Why the LEC is winning League's EU vs NA rivalry - Dexerto
Opinion

Why the LEC is winning League’s EU vs NA rivalry

Published: 13/Jan/2022 13:52

by Lauren Bergin

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When it comes to competitive League of Legends, the LEC has marked itself as one of the greatest leagues in the world not just in terms of gameplay, but content creation too. Here’s why the LEC is the best national league in the competitive circuit. 

Despite being European, my League of Legends journey began across the pond with the LCS. My first glimpse into competitive LoL (and esports as a whole) was during the 2017 LCS finals, where Team Liquid took on TSM in an intense battle for the North American crown.

From here, I branched out, watching the LCK and LPL in order to become acquainted with the likes of T1’s Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok and FPX’s Kim ‘Doinb’ Tae-sang. It was the LEC, however, that stole my heart – and no, that’s not because it was a tournament that encompassed talent from my own country.

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Sure, high-level games contributed to my LEC obsession, but it was the breath of fresh air that accompanied the competition that held my interest. From banging tunes to a desk of rotating casters and analysts, the LEC is forever evolving in ways other regions just aren’t – and that’s why it’s the best regional league out there.

league of legends lol LEC 2021 G2 Roster Jankos Rekkles Mikyx Wunder Caps
Michal Konkol, Riot Games
Sure, G2 didn’t exactly have the best year in 2021, but they’re still my all-time favorites.

It started like a Wildfire

One of the things that keeps drawing me back to the LEC is the sheer excellence of the supporting content, a feat that caster duo Andrew ‘Vedius’ Day and Daniel ‘Drakos’ Drakos should be incredibly proud of.

What started off as a “mediocre” rap battle over who would win the 2019 Spring Split has transformed into a full-blown musical masterpiece in the form of the LEC’s resident rock group. From the classic Origen vs G2 diss track to the pair’s recent collaboration with alternative music legends, Against the Current, all eyes (and ears) are on the LEC’s Twitter just waiting for a new track.

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Wildfire is an absolute banger that I find myself belting out at full volume while driving (don’t do that at home, kids,) and Reckless With my Heart is the blast from the past my emo soul needs. The Mediocre Rap Battle lyrics make me crack a smile no matter how many times I hear them, with Vedius’ “do you wake up mediocre or is it just a conscious effort” having been adapted into my list of all-time favorite insults.

And of course, I can’t forget Eefje ‘Sjokz’, Depoortere, a woman who many looking to break into the esports industry hold in high esteem. “You can take a shot at the queen, but you best not miss” is my mantra now, and is likely etched into the minds of talented and aspiring women in esports everywhere.

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So, come on dance with me, let yourself be free, get on the LEC hype train. I promise you, it’s worth it.

league of legends lol lec casters ender drakos vedius dressed in gothic clothing as a rock band
Riot Games
“It’s just a phase, mom.”

Following in the LEC’s footsteps

Not only has high-quality content become synonymous with the LEC, but it’s also permeating into Europe’s smaller regional leagues, too.

The LFL’s new hype videos draw clear inspiration from the sleek yet inherently esports style promoted by the LEC and Riot Games as a whole. Organizations like France’s Karmine Corp and Spain’s KOI are channeling their inner G2 Esports and Fnatic by producing short-form documentaries, enticing sponsors.

Quality has trickled down into Europe’s secondary Leagues, while the LCS remains entirely stagnant. At the time of writing, the official LCS YouTube has released one caster-centric video, on January 12, but the content before that was released a whopping four months ago.

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As a major region, the LCS has a job to do better, and right now, it is lagging behind its rivals.

league of legends lol LFN KOI vs Karmine Corp
LFL
Spanish star Ibai’s fledgling League of Legends team, KOI, are already making better content than the LCS.

Variety is the spice of life

Not only does the LEC continue to add to their eclectic musical repertoire, but their extensive roster of analysts, hosts, and casters sees fresh faces rotate in and out pretty much every split – and we love to see it.

2021 was the year of Marc ‘Caedrel’ Lamont, the “seventh-place prodigy” who has cemented himself as one of the best casters and analysts that competitive League has seen. 2022 will see the return of the Brit alongside new permanent caster Mikkel ‘Guldborg’ Guldborg, whose segments throughout 2021 had fans begging for more.

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While the LCS did see a bit of a shakeup last year, the departure of fan-favorite Ovilee May seems to have sucked the life out of the broadcast. Her quirky personality, insane antics, and pure, unadulterated love for all things LCS are truly missed every single game. The LPL and LCK have also added to their respective crews, but largely attract a smaller audience in the West, leaving the LCS as the LEC’s main competition.

Sure, the victor of the NA vs EU rivalry is in the eye of the beholder, but given the freshness and innovation on the LEC side, the LCS need to step up their game – after all, according to Wildfire, “we ain’t seen nothing yet.”

league of legends lol lec casters drakos and vedius
Michal Konkol, Riot Games
The addition of Caedrel (left) to the casting desk was just what the LEC needed.

Personality is the key to the LEC’s success

A well-oiled broadcast team is one thing, but personality is another, and the LEC has it in droves. From the caster desk to the players themselves, what attracts people to the tournament is the fact that it’s just straight-up fun.

From Caedrel and Vedius’ sassy quips to G2 Esports’ seemingly boundless ability to ridicule themselves and those around them (by the way, they also have their own dedicated song and it is lit) – it’s all fun and games until we take to the Rift.

When you think of the LEC, your mind is immediately drawn to its colorful cast of powerful personalities in a way that just doesn’t happen with other regions. While the LCS conjure up images of Clayton ‘CaptainFlowers’ Raines, I’m quickly at a loss as to who the rest of their on-screen talent is. There just isn’t the same vibe.

In short: the LCS is boring by comparison. It lacks a soul, and makes little attempt at innovation – there’s nothing drawing me to watch anymore.

Michal Konkol, Riot Games
A picture says a thousand words.

In terms of sheer entertainment value, content, and talent, Europe has become League of Legends’ most dominant region to date.

“I Want the LEC Back” has been my most played tune of 2022 so far, followed up with Wildfire (which has only been out for three days) on my playlist aptly entitled “0/7 Yasuo Power Beats.” I’m excited to spam in the chat, cheer for my favorite squads and, most of all, add even more banging tracks to that playlist.

Watch out, Worlds 2022, because Europe is coming for the empire, and we’re here to snatch the crown.