Martin "Rekkles" Larsson is no longer in the LEC. That may seem like an odd way to begin an article like this, but for a ranking of the strongest AD carries in Europe, it felt significant to mention his absence. After years where Rekkles was always somewhere in the conversation for the best, and with other top players like Steven "Hans Sama" Liv also out of the picture, the throne has never been more vacant.
Although we’re missing many of the heavy-hitters we’ve come to know and love, the battle in the bot lane is still very exciting. There are several prospects that will no doubt be exciting, strong veterans with fresh teams, and proven successes waiting to build their legacy further. Although it could be the end of an era for European bot lane talent, a new one is beginning.
Here are Inven Global's ranking of the AD carries for the 2022 LEC Spring Season:
5. Victor "Flakked" Lirola — G2 Esports
G2 took the gamble of issuing several rookie signings, but as far as Flakked is concerned, it seems like a safe bet. Though his performances with MAD Lions Madrid weren’t out of this world, he was one of the best aspects of the team, and reportedly showed great results in scrimmages against Worlds teams.
Flaked’s playstyle should translate beautifully to the LEC. He can play champions at the drop of a hat, is humble and resilient when playing weakside, and is capable of carrying when needed to. His versatility will be a useful weapon as this new version of G2 finds its identity.
There are a few issues with Flakked, though. His learning environment isn’t the best, as not only will he be scrutinized by the might of the G2 fanbase, but doesn’t even have an experienced support player guiding him. Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé looks good, but is just as fresh as his bot lane partner.
4. Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup — Astralis
2021 was a weird year for Kobbe He was able to wash his name of the stink left from his time on TSM, and formed a partnership with Oskar "Vander" Bogdan to become one of the better bot lanes in Europe — albeit with lackluster playoff runs. Not as strong as his peak in 2019, but getting there. He was taking steps in the right direction.
Now, he’s taken several steps back.
Astralis made little effort to get themselves out of the gutter, Kobbe’s signing being the biggest change. By retaining Hampus Mikael "promisq" Abrahamsson, Kobbe is forced to play side-by-side with one of the worst players in the LEC, along with… whatever the rest of the team is. Had he joined one of the better teams in the league, or even stayed with Misfits, he could’ve very well been considered in the top three. As it stands, unless he somehow performs better than we’ve ever seen from him, his shot in the foot with this ball-and-chain signing prevents him from being ranked any higher.
3. Patrik "Patrik" Jírů — Excel
For quite some time now, Patrik has been one of the most overlooked players in the LEC. Split after split, fans have wanted to see Patrik on a team more fitting of his talents. At the end of 2021, for one reason or another, all the top teams opted for other AD carries instead of him so he once again plays for Excel.
It’s not like that’s the end of the world, though. XL have been at their most promising with Patrik on the roster. Their exciting young core is refreshing and while Erlend "nukeduck" Holm can’t be expected to really carry the team — and Finn "Finn" Wiestål’s wasn’t what you’d call confidence-boosting — if the stars align, Patrik has a team better than he’s ever had before.
Patrik hasn’t shown the ability to carry games consistently, but he always is able to contribute and does well in fights. He also now has plenty of synergy built with his support. Though those ahead of him have much stronger teams and more experience, Patrik looks to have his best games yet.
2. Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság — Vitality
While there are many questions regarding the viability of the Team Vitality super-team, it can’t be denied that Carzzy fits the team like a surgical glove. He not only had an extremely successful year with MAD Lions, but came into his own as a very potent threat in the bottom lane — one that made great contributions to teamfights and could also carry when MAD’s solo lanes were unable to. He was fine taking a backseat to the rest of the team when needed, but could steal the show when called upon. A star in every sense.
The lineup Team Vitality has put together looks made for an AD carry like Carzzy. Labros "Labrov" Papoutsakis is a perfect bot lane partner — as support player Carzzy has stated in the past suits his playstyle. He has towering solo lane talents that can carry their own weight and then some, and a jungler that takes advantage of his strong laning. Something disastrous might happen — maybe VIT becomes rife with internal problems and Carzzy goes to zero — but judging it at surface level, it looks like a dream scenario for one of Europe’s best AD carries.
1. Elias "Upset" Lipp — Fnatic
Who else would it be over Upset. Even if Rekkles and Hans sama were still in the picture, Upset would have a legitimate case for being the best. With them gone, the throne is firmly his right now. The number of advantages he has over every other AD carry makes it almost unfair. He has the best support player in the league by his side and his roster is made up of talented players well-constructed to make the best use of his strengths.
Most importantly, he has himself. Last year, the high-potential project player that could never fight for the top turned the script around. He lost the battle, but the blame goes more to anyone else on the team over him. The point is, Upset is living up to the high standards fans originally set for him, and he’s doing it with the perfect support staff. There is a lot of talent among the AD carries of Europe, but it will take a lot of catching up for any of them to pass Upset.
|Top 5 players per position in the West|
|Top laners||Top laners|
|Mid laners||Mid laners|
|Bot laners||Bot laners (Jan. 12)|
|Supports (Jan. 13)||Supports (Jan. 13)|
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