The arrival of Worlds puts fans' attention and focus on the big-name players from other regions, and therefore, brings the arrival of "Top 20 players" and "Best of" lists. Though many of the most well known and loved mid laners, like Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, Song "Rookie" Eui-jin, and Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang didn't make it to this year's Worlds, the list of mids attending the tournament still draws attention.
Inven Global's top 5 mid laners at this year's Worlds is:
- Heo "ShowMaker" Su
- Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon
- Rasmus "Caps" Winther
- Zhuo "knight" Ding
- Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong
The LEC is known for its mids, but the LCK is still the boss of that role, and we have all three of their mid laners in the top 5. In contrast, while the LPL is known for its incredible talent, it just doesn't breed mid laners the same way it does, say, ADCs. And though the three best mids in the LCS are all attending Worlds (and are all from EU originally, mind you), they do not quite stack up against the rest of the competition. Three of these players are on the shortlist to win Worlds, and it's no surprise to find them at the top of the competition in their role.
1st: ShowMaker, DWG
ShowMaker provides everything you want from a mid laner. He plays a bunch of different picks across various styles of play, CSes well, roams when necessary, and finds advantages when it seems impossible. ShowMaker is the type of player to win lane in a scaling matchup, hitting power spikes five minutes before is typical, and carrying teamfights by flexing those extra items on his opponent. If there is any mid laner you can always count on, it's ShowMaker.
While other mids may have a bit higher solo carry pop-off potential, ShowMaker is the most consistent, and still remains on par with mechanics and decision making. He has a nearly 16 KDA across the Summer Split, including both the regular season and playoffs, and on two of his top three most played champions, he has over a 20 KDA. One of those champions is Kassadin, which in his first three games he played on the champ this season he finished the game in under 25 minutes with a combined 51 KDA.
When he's not busy stomping people in the early game on a late-game champ, he's usually busy out-CSing them in lane and out-damaging them in fights. He has by far the highest KDA, the second-best CSD at 10, and the best damage percentage in a region full of star Mid Laners. And after being chosen as the LCK MVP and winning the LCK trophy this Summer, the only thing ShowMaker is lacking is a World Championship title, which he'll be hunting for in 2020.
2nd: Chovy, DRX
Chovy has been one of the most well-respected players since he made it to the LCK in 2018. His career timeline is incredible. He's played in five LCK splits, finishing second place in the Playoffs for four of them, and third once. Chovy and Griffin found themselves on the shortlist of teams to win Worlds in 2019, but his time in the tournament was a bit short-lived, losing to IG in the Quarterfinals.
Since then, however, he has continued to perform in the Mid Lane in the LCK, and returns to Worlds 2020 with a vengeance. Chovy was the Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg of the LCK, dragging his team along when necessary, ensuring their trip to Worlds. He also has an incredibly deep champion pool, playing 17 different champions across his games this summer.
The one issue Chovy may face at this year's Worlds is his team difference and adapting to the faster pace of some of the other regions, namely the LPL and LEC. He is matched up against knight and Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage so far, and probably will see Marek "Humanoid" Brázda added to that list. It will be on him to show his worth if he wants to match or beat his 2019 finish.
He's known for making plays that nobody has any business making. Consistently outplaying when undermanned, winning counter matchups, and just simply having some of the best mechanics in all of League of Legends. Look forward to watching him show that off again at Worlds.
3rd: Caps, G2
Just like the LCK, the LEC is full of incredible mid laners, and Caps sits above the rest. Caps simply does things that should not be possible, and he does them against some of the best players in the world. While his champion pool is a bit more limited than that of Chovy, he pops off just as hard and there's never a time when you can count out G2 if Caps is playing with his wits about him.
G2 had a pretty big slump earlier this summer, with the meta not suiting their individual playstyles, especially in the bot lane, and hamstringing their overall ability to control the game. Caps, however, continued to shine, and much like Chovy, was occasionally relegated to performing as a one-man band in order to find victory in some of his games. Due to his performances, G2 made it through their dip, and found their way into the playoffs and back on top as the LEC Champions for the fourth split in a row since Caps joined the team and Caps' sixth split in a row himself.
Take a look at Caps' history over the past three years:
He does have his "Craps" moments, but as he has gained more and more experience, those have become fewer and farther in between. If Caps can find a strong footing this tournament and keep away from his random desire to int, he will be a nearly unstoppable force to be reckoned with. And as long as that's the case, he is the strongest LEC player to attend Worlds.
4th: knight, TES
Ah, the legendary "knight9" that everyone keeps hearing about who has always failed to make it to Worlds to prove himself has finally found his debut on the international stage. He may perhaps be the best mid at the tournament, even before the three listed above him here, but he's yet to prove himself outside of the LPL. And though the LPL may have the highest level of competition in the World, their pool of mid laners is not quite as strong as the LCK and LEC overall, and therefore, makes it a bit difficult to put knight right on the top.
He is essentially an international rookie (not Rookie), as this is his first event, and he has the most to prove. LPL casters and other media alike have been singing his name for over a year now, hoping that he'd see the Worlds stage to prove his strength.
Now, not only is he here, but he has come with one of the most stacked rosters of all time, and is at the top of the list for Worlds favorites. Sitting next to him are the legendary Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan and Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, bookended by Bai "369" Jia-Hao and Liang "yuyanjia" Jia-Yuan. They will be an absolute wrecking ball of a team, and DRX, FlyQuest, and (likely) MAD have a tall order to take them on.
knight was voted as the summer LPL MVP and is incredibly gifted in the mid lane. He's played nearly 20 champions across his 45 games, and despite all the ridiculous blood baths in the league, still sports a 7 KDA.
You can bet he will bring the heat this year. Without Rookie and Doinb to draw away attention, all eyes are on knight to perform as the LPL mid lane star. And anything short of a Worlds title would be a failure from him and the team.
5th: Bdd, Gen.G
Rounding out the last on the list is the final LCK mid laner, Bdd. Bdd has hovered around the top of the list of LCK mids since he was picked up by Longzhu Gaming in 2017. He took the team to first in both the LCK regular split and playoffs but fell in the Worlds Quarterfinals to the eventual Champions, Samsung Galaxy. The team rebranded to Kingzone DragonX in 2018, and again they took the LCK title, advancing to MSI where they claimed second place to Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao's RNG.
Since then, Bdd has struggled, failing to make any other international tournaments until this Worlds two and a half years later. But he and Gen.G found their footing in 2020, claiming second in the Spring Playoffs and third in the Summer, claiming their spot at Worlds in the Regional Finals. While the team has struggled here and there, Bdd has been relatively solid and holds the second-highest KDA and damage percentage in the league.
This is Bdd's first shot at international success in a while, and he will assuredly be looking to outdo his past performances and claim a title. In his last series in the LCK, he was forced to face the Unkillable Demon King himself to claim his spot at Worlds. He ended that series in a 3-0 stomp with nearly a 5 KDA. Bdd is not one to be trifled with.
There are plenty of other strong Mid Laners at the tournament. Pretty much the entire LEC Mid pool is incredibly talented and can match these players on any given day, and the LCS mids (who all hail from Europe) are right there with them. Even the other LPL Mids are noteworthy, though the absence of the past two World Champions hurts their overall strength.
Who do you think should've made the list, and who do you think is overrated?
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