The League of Legends World Championship might look a little different this year, but one thing that will remain the same is the level of competition.
The best League of Legends players: The top players in 2020
Despite legendary players such as Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok not attending, there are plenty of world-class talents taking to the stage this year with an abundance of Worlds debutants looking to make a name for themselves. Here are the top eight players at this year’s tournament, as well as a few honourable mentions you should keep an eye on.
Zhuo “Knight” Ding
All eyes will be on this man as the mid-laner looks to lead tournament favourites Top Esports (TES) to Summoner’s Cup glory. Zhuo "Knight" Ding is being hyped up as the best player at this tournament and potentially in the world.
Knight has been an exciting talent for a few years now, but we saw the best of him this season as he sported the highest KDA (7.3) in the LPL Summer Playoffs. The Chinese national impressively managed to maintain a similar record of 7.2 throughout his 37 Summer Split games, which was again the highest in the league among those who played at least six matches.
Capable of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, get ready for Knight’s extraordinary individual plays such as this one from Game 5 of the Summer Finals.
Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok
The meta heading into Worlds has seen carry-junglers at the forefront, which will suit Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok. The Korean jungler is the star of JD Gaming’s incredible roster and helped the squad to the Spring Split title and Summer final. In that Spring triumph, he became the first player outside of the mid-lane to win the LPL’s MVP award.
Kanavi is a bloodthirsty player, sporting the highest average kills (3.4), gold per minute (369) and damage per minute (358) out of all the LPL junglers in the previous split. Kanavi thrives on the pressure of putting his team on his back and we’ll certainly get to see the best of his explosive play-style at the Worlds this year.
Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo
Arguably the best ADC in the world, Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo’s record speaks for itself. The bot-laner helped Invictus Gaming lift the Summoner’s Cup before he even turned 18 years old and now he has taken TES and their talented solo-laners to another level.
JackeyLove sported the highest average kills and gold per minute out of all players in the LPL Summer Playoffs and is yet another TES star capable of mind-boggling plays. You just have to look to the Spring Final where he and Knight managed to 2v5 against all of JDG at Baron. There’s a very real chance that JackeyLove will become a two-time World Champion.
Rasmus “Caps” Winther
Rasmus “Caps” Winther was a monster this previous split, earning the Summer MVP award after returning to the mid-lane from his short stint as an ADC.
Caps has now won the previous six LEC splits and has also competed in the last two Worlds finals. It’s a staggering record, but the Dane won’t be satisfied until he can finally lift the Summoner’s Cup.
After a rollercoaster season, it’s hard to tell if G2 Esports are really up to the same standards as last year, but if Caps can consistently perform to the best of his ability, the squad has a chance of beating anyone.
Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
Our first LCK player on the list, former World Champion Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk is pushing JackeyLove for the spot of best ADC in the world.
The bot-laner is ridiculously strong with the highest average kills (4.9), gold per minute (470), damage share (32.2%) and damage per minute (641) out of all players in the LCK this summer.
Gen.G are Korea’s third seeds but might be more consistent than second seeds DRX. No matter what happens, Ruler will always pose a serious threat that cannot be ignored.
Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran
Likely the strongest top-laner at the tournament and one of the main contenders to challenge TheShy as the best top-laner in the world, Zhang "Zoom" Xing-Ran is an extraordinary player.
Zoom was always known for his impressive carry performances but since Kanavi joined JD Gaming, the top-laner has shown his flexibility with world-class tank performances. You’ll see Kanavi drift to his lane early more often than not.
This is his long-awaited first Worlds performance and will surely be one to remember.
Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon
Another top-laner on this list, Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon made a stunning impression during his first LCK season last year and has since gotten even stronger.
LCK champions DAMWON Gaming were incredibly dominant in the summer, dropping just five games and winning 34 during the regular season. Nuguri has been a huge factor in that, with his stats speaking for themselves.
Indeed, Nuguri led the top-lane stats during the summer with the highest average kills (4.4), cs per minute (9.2), gold per minute (469), damage per minute (571), cs difference at 15 minutes (12), experience difference at 15 minutes (564) and gold difference at 15 minutes with an absurd average of 1053 – for context, the second-highest was just 145. Check out this highlight of his mechanical skill here.
Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon
DRX has an immense amount of talent amongst its roster, but 19-year-old mid-laner Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon stands out from the rest.
The superstar was repeatedly a game-changer for the LCK’s second seeds with incredible plays such as the example below. He also sported very good stats during the Summer Playoffs with the highest average kills (4.5), cs per minute (9.6), kill percentage (78.5%), damage percentage (26.9%), cs difference at 15 minutes (10) and experience difference at 15 minutes (182) of LCK mid-laners.
Watching him take on Knight during the Group Stages is certainly going to be sensational to watch.
League of Legends players to watch: Honourable Mentions
There a lot of players who will be making their Worlds debuts this year and there are a few from the West worth highlighting.
Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek has been incredible this season, especially in the Summer Playoffs. He was the main reason Fnatic were able to defeat G2 in the first of the two best-of-five meetings between the two sides, as he took full advantage of the carry-jungler meta.
Meanwhile from the LCS, young ADC Edward "Tactical" Ra comfortably filled the shoes of Peter “Doublelift” Peng and helped Team Liquid dominate NA during the regular season. Much isn’t expected from the LCS teams this year, but a strong individual performance from Tactical could be huge for a region that is crying out for domestic talent.
Sticking to the bot-lane, it’s worth highlighting Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser who, despite being in his first year, might be one of the best supports at the tournament. The German has shown proficiency on a wide variety of champions including traditionally top-lane characters like Wukong. His adaptability and ability to go off-meta could be extremely valuable for MAD Lions.
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