MAD Lions has pulled off one of the most astonishing upsets in European League of Legends history, knocking reigning League of Legends European Championship champion G2 Esports out of the 2020 LEC Spring Playoffs in an unbelievable five-game series.
G2 Esports selected MAD Lions as its ideal opponent to kick off the Spring Playoffs, but the selection backfired against the defending champion. G2 Esports has not lost a best-of-five match on European soil in well over a year, and while MAD Lions had exceeded expectations before the start of the LEC Spring Split, a close series was not expected, let alone an upset.
MAD Lions rebranded from Splyce after a top 8 finish at the 2019 World Championship, and expectations for the team were low. The organization kept SPY Mid Laner Marek "Humanoid" Brázda after his rookie season and promoted 4/5 of the EU masters squad MAD Lions, completing the rebrand for the 2020 LEC Spring Split.
MAD Lions finished in 4th place with a record of 11-7, well above its expected performance for a squad full of rookies and a sophomore mid laner. Jungler Zhiqiang "Shad0w" Zhao was relentless in taking advantage of any mistake G2 Jungler Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski made, showing no fear in the face of the 2019 LEC Summer MVP on his way to the Player of the Series award.
G2 Esports did not play its best series against MAD Lions, but nothing can be taken away from the young squad that showed poise, patience, and initiative well beyond the collective years on its roster.
MAD Lions will move on in the 2020 LEC Spring Playoffs to play against Fnatic or Origen, and regardless of result, has guaranteed itself a top-three finish in the post-season. G2 Esports will have to regroup after its dethroning in the losers' side of the bracket.