The first week of the 2023 League of Legends Winter Split started the competitive season in Europe with three days packed with surprises. From new teams and new rosters to a new format, League of Legends fans were bound to experience some exciting matches, and they were not disappointed for the most part.
Fans were treated to three days of action-packed matches that exceeded their expectations, both in a positive and negative way. Some teams concealed their aces up their sleeves and displayed an interesting degree of cohesiveness, while others lacked the charm required to entice high-demanding listeners.
Here are five key takeaways that illuminate the future that awaits the 2023 LEC season.
Rookies are rocking.
The rookie season might come to an end in 2023. League fans know how stacked the region is in terms of veteran players, and how much value they bring to their teams is unquestioned. However, during the first three days of the Winter Split, the LEC rookies excelled more than experienced players.
Three players stood out even more from the eight rookies that entered the LEC this year. Yike and Bo, as well as top laner Photon, left a positive impression on both fans and talent alike during their debut weekend in the League.
Yike, a newcomer to G2, was all eyes on his performance beginning with his debut against Excel. But after losing his first blood, the jungler quickly recovered and led his bot lane toward victory. His aggressive but well-thought-out playstyle earned praise from the caster desk and his team.
Photon and Bo awakened Vitality, transforming the squad into the superteam they were meant to be last season. Both players' raw mechanics and game sense created the perfect conditions for the team to punish their opponents multiple times. Bo and Photon will strive to provide valuable help to Vitality.
Pause the game, postpone the match, and repeat the process.
Because of different but consistent issues, the broadcast during the first weekend of the LEC Winter Split faced various game pauses and match delays. One fan even pointed out on Reddit that the time between games on the third day of the week was longer than the average game length.
According to gol.gg, the average game lasted about 33 minutes in the first week of the 2023 LEC Winter Split. Some games between games lasted almost as long. Despite sudden issues, the broadcast continued entertaining its viewers with regular post-game interviews and lengthy segments featuring the analyst desk. However, fans were irritated by the ongoing game delays, so much so that the new LEC commissioner Artem Bykov addressed the issue and explained the reason for the issues.
According to Bykov, the reason for the delays can be attributed to a flaw with the firmware that "commonly used by our pros." Despite the planned rehearsals, this issue was not discovered before the start of official matches. The LEC team will work on a permanent solution during the week preceding the next match day.
Two teams were the most dominant.
There were contrasting opinions on which team would win the 2023 season at the start of the season. And although the competition has just begun, two teams have made their presence felt among fans. By the end of the first three days of the 2023 LEC Winter Split, only G2 and Vitality remained with a perfect record.
The first day of competition was a challenge for both teams, with G2 facing Excel's new roster and Vitality facing Fnatic's returning leader, Rekkles. However, both teams won without sweating too much and kept on winning their next games both under the 30-minute mark.
Both team's junglers provided a solid foundation to execute a winning strategy, while their veteran mid laners provided a solid foundation to execute a winning strategy. Similarly, both duos in the bot lane capitalized on the opponents' mistakes, widening the gap between their direct opponents until the end.
These win streaks may last the rest of the week, or at least for the first two days. On Monday, January 30, G2 and Vitality will meet off against one another, with only one going out on the top.
The importance of communication
During a match, communication is always critical, but especially during the first half of the season, when new players must still strive for optimal team unity.
This disconnect and lack of communication is particularly problematic for some teams who acquired players from other countries, increasing the challenge of maintaining a flawless communication flow within the game. Language limitations and different communication methods or ways of referring to certain strategies are just a few of the potential issues that may arise at the start of the season in a new roster.
Despite this, there are teams that forged a strong bond between themselves both in and out of the game, thus ignoring communication difficulties that might have hindered their performance. Kaiser's remarks were later refuted during a post-game interview. "In-game communication is a bit more difficult," said the speaker.
The way players communicate with each other stimulates the whole team to follow a certain rhythm and boosts morale, further proving that good communication can often result in a quick victory, as described by Team Heretics' Jackspektra after a match.
The LEC will travel to Montpellier.
The LEC's first day back on air has announced that the 2023 season finals will be held at Montpellier. The region located in the south of France was chosen following a screening process, according to Alberto Guerrero, the head of EMEA esports at Riot.
“We’re thrilled to bring our esports roadshow back to France for the first time since 2017,” Guerrero said, adding that the city’s incredible dedication and dedication to “growing the gaming and esports industries.”
The beginning of the 2023 Winter Split has shown its followers anything, and it is that the final season of the competitive season will lead to an epic match between talented rosters. As stated by the LEC team in its official announcement, fans might be treated to one of the league's most spectacular finals.