Team BDS has already locked in after the first day of Week 3, but Excel Esports is still in the run for top 8.
The last week of the 2023 LEC Spring Split is turning out to be very exciting! On Saturday, two teams managed to turn the tides, as KOI was able to hold out long enough for their lategame composition to start working, while Team BDS clinched a win against Team Vitality, even though they were almost 5000 gold behind the French squad at the moment of the Nexus explosion, securing their spot in the Spring Groups portion of this Split.
But that doesn’t mean Team BDS can rest, as their exact placement will decide where they’ll start the Spring Groups. Their opponents on Sunday will be the other comeback team, KOI, but on Monday, they will start the day off against Excel Esports, who are hanging on by the last thread. Will they be able to surprise us all and get into the top 8?
Team BDS vs Excel Esports Preview
The Swiss squad has surprised everyone this year. After joining the LEC at the beginning of the 2022 season, Team BDS have been steadily improving. Last year, they got a 9th and a 10th place in the Spring and Summer Regular Splits, being one of the weakest teams of the league, even though the community had high hopes for them as they had 3 ERL players who showed great promise: Jakub “Cinkrof” Rokicki, Matthew “xMatty” Coombs and Robert “Erdote” Nowak. Despite their raw talent, they couldn’t perform in the LEC well enough.
So before the 2023 season, BDS revised its roster: they only kept Ilias “nuc” Bizriken, while bringing back former LEC players Adam “Adam” Maanane and Jus “Crownie” Marusic, promoting Théo “Sheo” Borilé to the main squad, and signing Labros “Labrov” Papoutsakis after he left Team Vitality at the end of last year. The new team had a rougher start, and (mainly Adam) had some unusual picks, but in the end, they made it to Winter Groups after finishing 5th in the Regular Split, but failed to get out of Group B. However, in the Spring they were able to step their game up yet again, and only lost to G2 Esports and SK Gaming, beating all other adversaries so far. While they seem to be a toplane-focused team with Adam and his crazy picks, they rely more on Crownie than anyone else in order to win, with the occasional Adam and nuc carry sprinkled in.
The team which broke its playoff curse only to fall to the bottom of the standings, Excel Esports looks to fix this broken timeline. In 2022, the British organisation had a fairly middle-ground lineup with the exception of now 5-time LEC Champion and Worlds finalist Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle, who didn’t have the greatest season of his career last year. For the 2023 season, Excel Esports, have tried to build a superteam with star midlaner Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié, 2022 Summer Champion Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, up-and-coming talent Raphale “Targamas” Crabbé, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir and Patrik “Patrik” Jirú, the only member of the previous lineup.
However, the Winter Split was a disaster for Excel Esports as they were by far the weakest team in the LEC. It doesn’t matter if one looks at the individual or the collective performance of the members, XL was underwhelming in every aspect. They only managed to get one single win in the Winter Regular Season, getting knocked out from 10th place, while everyone thought they could be in the run for the title. For Spring, they benched Targamas to bring in a more experienced support, Dino “LIMIT” Tot. The change somewhat helped Excel Esports, as they doubled their wins compared to Winter by the end of Week 2, they still don’t look so good. Xerxe is outjungled regularly, Odoamne can’t be the Weakside King without his team doing the strongside, Vetheo was never played around and his replacement, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun is not looking so hot either. On Saturday, they almost managed to beat KOI, but the team formerly known as Rogue turned everything around.
With all of this, Team BDS is looking for another victory while hammering the last nail into XL’s coffin. If the British organisation fails to make it out to Groups for the second time in a row, management will have to seriously think about all of the roster before the Summer Split begins. Tune in for the last day of the LEC Spring Regular Season on Monday, with the first match, Excel vs BDS kicking off at 6PM CET! Also be on the lookout for more ESTNN previews of the LEC, LCS and all of the other big esports games!