2019 was a less than stellar year for Excel Esports in the LEC. They finished 9th place in the Spring split, and 10th place in the Summer split. They switched up the roster multiple times during both seasons, and it didn’t lead to success either time. Those roster changes were mainly centered around the bot lane, and that’s where Excel focused their efforts during the offseason. This year, Excel hopes that their newly acquired bottom laners can bring stability and eventually success to the organization.
Bot: Patrik – Former Origen
Support: Tore – Former Splyce
Fantasy Player/Team Projections
While 2019 wasn’t a spectacular year for Expect and Excel, there is some reason to believe this year will be better. Last summer, Expect ranked 22nd in average fantasy points per game out of all LCS/LEC top laners (12.5 ppg) (min 5 GP), last of all full-time starting tops. However, given how Expect has performed in previous years, there’s reason to believe that he can bounce back. In 2017, he won both LEC splits with G2 Esports, and the following year he won the European Masters Spring tournament. If Excel start performing better than their 9th and 10th place finishes last year indicate, then Expect will be scoring much higher than his low price would suggest.
Caedrel is in a similar predicament as Expect, except he doesn’t have the previous years of success to fall back on. Last summer, Caedrel ranked 19th in average fantasy points per game among all LCS/LEC junglers (12.6 ppg) (min 5 GP). For the last two years he’s been in the LEC, Caedrel hasn’t placed higher than 9th place while starting on a team. Before then, he spent a lot of time playing in smaller tournaments with slightly more respectable results. It is tough to argue that Caedrel will be the one to boost Excel to the next level, but he could benefit from a revamped bot lane bringing the team back into playoff relevancy. The low price with the potential for his roster to have grown around him makes Caedrel a nice upside play, but only pick on weaker competition with him to start.
Last LEC Summer split, Mickey was clearly the star of Excel esports. Despite his team’s 10th place finish last summer, Mickey ranked 18th out of all mid laners in the LCS/LEC (16.4 ppg) (min 5 GP), which isn’t good, but much better than his teammates in the 20’s. Among mid laners last split, he ranked 3rd in damage percentage (27.9%) and second in gold percentage (26%), showing that Mickey was the primary carry of the team consistently. Coming into 2020 with Excel’s heightened expectations, it’s possible that Mickey will once again be the best fantasy performer on the team. Excel’s new bot lane taking over as carry may disrupt this trend, but we have a full split of evidence to show Mickey will overachieve on this team. With Excel expecting to have the ability to climb the standings, Mickey will return some great value as he climbs the fantasy charts.
The first half of Excel’s new bottom lane comes over from Origen after a year in which they appeared in the Spring split finals. During the Summer split, Patrik ranked 12th in average fantasy points scored per game out of all LCS/LEC bot laners (20.3 ppg). This is great considering how far Origen had fallen since the Spring split, all the way to 8th place (7-11 record). Also, it was made clear last spring that Patrik was the primary carry on Origen, as he was the bot laner with the highest damage percentage (31.8%) in the LEC. Patrik is certainly better than the revolving door of bot laners Excel had last year, and it should cause them to rise in the rankings at least a little bit this split. Because Mickey was the primary carry for Excel last year, it’s still up in the air as to whether Patrik will be able to come in immediately be THE guy like he has been in the past. Until the new Excel dynamic is known, there are other bot laners to buy.
Filling out the second half of Excel’s new bottom lane is former Splyce (now Mad Lions) support, Tore (Norskeren). Tore has been playing in the LEC for the past 3 years with multiple teams, finding moderate success and often finishing the regular season in the top 5. Last Summer, Tore ranked 6th out of all LEC/LCS support in average fantasy points scored per game (14.8 ppg). Splyce finished the regular season in 3rd, so a near top 5 ranking is to be expected. The value that Tore will be bringing to Excel is mainly his years of experience supporting many different bot laners, which should provide the stability they’ve been lacking for the last year. Because Tore ranked so highly last summer, his price will be a bit inflated to start, and it would be best to wait before considering picking him
Last summer, Excel ranked 17th out of the 20 LCS/LEC teams in average fantasy points scored per game. With a record of 4-14, this comes as no surprise, as it’s really hard to score even decently if the team can’t win consistently. However, the fact that they weren’t in the bottom two scorers is a promising sign for this split. Despite being 10th in the LEC last summer, Excel as a team had the 5th best first tower percentage (50%), second best rift herald percentage (61%), and the 6th best first dragon percentage (50%). For a team with the worst [email protected] in the LEC (-1,364), this is actually impressive. Managing to find a few objectives even when they were consistently getting stomped in the early game is a good sign. Excel’s expected rise in performance should boost the team into the range of more average teams like SK and Vitality. If you need a really cheap option after spending most of your budget on star players at the start of the split, Excel will be one of the best options on the table.