Why MAD Lions Underperformed In LEC Spring 2022

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
9 Min Read
Image Credit: Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

With just one week left in the LEC Spring Split, MAD Lions are almost assuredly missing the playoffs, and we dive into why that is the case.

MAD Lions this split came in with 2 rookies despite being back-to-back LEC champions last year. They were expected to regress but this has been far beyond what people expected from the team. There are a lot of factors that went against the time while the team showed some progress in certain areas of their game. Let’s talk about MAD Lions this split and what is next for them.

MAD certainly had a lot of problems as the weeks went on as their record in the second half of the split is just awful. With that said, let’s start with the positives first and then move on to the negatives.

What MAD Lions Has Done Right?

When you talk about MAD’s positives in this split, there is a small number of them. However, the positives are significant enough to carry over to the next split.

1. UNF0RGIVEN

For the early part of the split, UNF0RGIVEN was looking like a Rookie of the Split winner. He was tremendous as a weak side bot laner and also showed up when resources were given to him. To be honest, he might have been the brightest start for MAD this split.

UNF0RGIVEN did regress a little at the later stages of the split, but it was the entire team taking a step back. So, it would be quite harsh to put MAD’s slump on his shoulders. Regardless, for a rookie, he showed good progress, and hopefully, he can keep it up to show up next split.

2. Early Game

MAD Lions last year was not a very proactive early game team. We knew them as the team fighting team in the mid game where a lead or not did matter. That same mystique is not quite there but their early game has gotten much better.

This is likely due to the influence of Elyoya and him taking over shot-calling duties. They are more aggressive during the laning phases and despite their record, they have been gaining leads early on. It’s what happens after that is the problem. Hopefully, they do keep this early game style and just work on their actual issues.

What MAD Lions Has Gotten Wrong?

There is a lot to dissect when we talk about why MAD Lions are in this position. So, let’s talk about it one by one.

1. Mid Game Confusion

It is very rare that a team that was known for their mid-game prowess last year suddenly becomes a team that seems like they have no idea what to do in the mid game. MAD looks lost in the mid game. The game against Misfits Gaming in Week 6 is enough proof. They had a solid lead going into the mid game, and then they did absolutely nothing with it.

The cause for this is the change in shot-calling in general. With the loss of Humanoid, who was the main shot-caller in the mid game, they look like a far different team. So, this is something that the coaching staff and the players have to work together to find the right balance and fix the issues they have been having. Frankly speaking, it needs to be a collective thing as the team nurtures the rookies and the veterans take the lead.

2. The Mid Lane

Reeker has been quite the topic of conversation given his performances this split. While he has not played up to what people expected of him, he is still a rookie in a situation where the team has not quite clicked yet.

Furthermore, the mid lane meta is not something in his favor. Reeker is known for his roaming plays and working with the team. The problem with this current meta is that there is not a lot of wiggle room to roam properly unlike the past years. It’s become more of a farming/scaling mid lane meta and that is not Reeker’s strength.

So while Reeker definitely has not performed, he is not entirely to blame. However, it falls onto up to figure out how to improve and for the coaching staff to guide him the right way.

3. Drafts

At times, we felt MAD Lions were too cute with their drafting. They often put themselves in a situation with a complicated draft that has very hard win conditions. If we look across the league, teams that are doing well are sticking to compositions that are generally easier to execute and not a very elaborate scheme to win games.

MAD felt like they were trying to push the boundaries and came up short in many situations. This is something that does fall onto the coaching staff, and they have to find a different strategy of drafting going forward.

How Can MAD Get Out Of This Predicament Next Split?

Let’s talk about the future of MAD Lions then. They had two rookies where one showed up and one never really found his footing. Meanwhile, Armut has reasonably stayed at the same level but was a bit inconsistent, Kaiser did not show a lot of his brilliance and Elyoya felt overwhelmed at times while trying to hard carry games. Also, the coaching staff had their errors with drafts and the likes.

However, the growing pains of rookies are kind of expected as not everyone comes swinging out of the gates. Rookies need a bit of time to adjust in most cases, and it’s fine for now. The bigger concern is the way they play the game. While their early game did get better as mentioned, their mid game way worse than last year.

The coaching staff and the players will definitely need to step back and sit after the split is over to figure out a plan going forward. Their main focus should be to fix the drafts and the mid game issue and then give Reeker some confidence going forward. Also, Armut and Kaiser will need to take a bigger role in the voice comms if Elyoya is indeed the guy making all the shots just to help Elyoya out.

In Conclusion

With the turnover for the MAD Lions squad, they found themselves a lot more negatives. Some parts got a bit better while the rest got worse. It is now up to the coaching staff and the players to come back next split and prove they are a top team in the LEC. The odds are stacked against them as championship points are a big factor in making Summer Playoffs and Worlds. Let’s hope we see a better MAD in Summer.

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By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
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Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.