The third week of the 2021 LEC Spring Split is right around the corner, so let’s go over a couple of predictions, starting with Rogue vs. Schalke 04! Now, on paper, this isn’t exactly the most premier match-up one can imagine.
In actuality, however, this particular clash is probably going to deliver in a myriad of ways. In fact, it might even end up as the most exciting game of the day. This might seem like an odd, unrealistic scenario, but it’s well within the realm of possibility, especially given just how incredible both teams have looked thus far.
There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin!
Rogue vs. Schalke 04 Predictions
First of all, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Rogue are the heavy favorites in this one, and there’s a good reason why. Simply put, they’ve shown little to no weakness throughout their first five games of the split and are currently in sole possession of first place. That, in a region dominated by G2 Esports and Fnatic, is quite a commendable achievement. And sure, they’ll probably lose a game or two over the coming weeks and months, but they’re undoubtedly one of the best and most capable teams the LEC has to offer right now. And, by the looks of it, they’re here to stay.
— LEC (@LEC) February 3, 2021
They’re not winning through sheer luck — they’re actually a well-rounded contender with an identity to call their own. They are not without fault, of course, but when they set things up correctly and play to their strengths, you can’t really notice their inherent flaws and weaknesses. Whether they’re good enough to challenge G2 Esports for the LEC throne is less important at this point in time — let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
A big shoutout has to go to Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu and Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus, the latest additions to Rogue’s starting line-up. Both players have been playing out of their minds and you would never be able to tell that they’ve only just joined Rogue mere weeks ago.
Perhaps the biggest strength of this five-man line-up is its flexibility. Each and every single member can adapt whenever necessary — Rogue is, in many ways, a cut-down version of G2 Esports. Now, that might not sound like much, but being slightly weaker than the best European team ever assembled is actually as big a compliment as we can give out right now.
Schalke 04, on the other hand, are quite an enigma. But that’s pretty much standard fare when it comes to the boys in white and blue.
An Unexpected Surge
When it comes to Schalke, we’ve all become accustomed to unexpected twists and turns that boggle the mind. That’s pretty much their M.O. and, if anything, they’re exciting to watch, even at the worst of times. So far they’ve given us mixed signals.
There was pretty much nothing to praise them for and, frankly, it wasn’t a good look — especially after their hugely impressive miracle run in the second half of 2020. Their second week, on the other hand, was anything but dreadful.
And it wasn’t a fluke, either. Schalke was just the better team on the day. They were nearly perfect in execution and they gave very little leeway to G2 from start to finish. The defending champions couldn’t maneuver as much as they’d wanted to, and were quickly backed into a corner. From that point onward, Schalke knew exactly what they needed to do in order to close things out and make the region take notice.
Now, is Schalke better than G2 Esports? Perish the thought! But they have proven their worth, and that’s incredibly important at this point in time. They won against a top-tier team by playing better League of Legends, which means they should not be underestimated going forward. Not in the slightest. They are, however, severely flawed as a team and, given the right preparation, exploiting their inherent weaknesses shouldn’t be all that hard.
That’s where Rogue comes into play. They’re not as chaotic and reckless as G2 Esports, nor will they rest on their laurels. They’re hungry for the spotlight and won’t underestimate Schalke 04 — no matter how flawed or inconsistent they might be. They’ve seen G2 fumble and they can learn a whole lot from their mistakes, both in terms of draft and in-game decision-making. That is invaluable information and it’ll surely give them an edge going forward.
Betting on the LEC right now is quite a complicated thing. Very few teams are consistent enough to give us peace of mind, and betting on (or against) Schalke 04 is especially challenging — you never know whether they’ll implode or soar higher than ever.
They’ve been phenomenal ever since 2021 began and there’s no reason to start doubting them now. They probably won’t steamroll through Schalke with ease, but they’re certainly well-equipped for the task at hand. They’re better across the board and will surely prove it this Friday.