As the 2021 Season in League of Legends is about to begin, it's time for the crew of Inven Global to take one last, reminiscent look at the whirlpool of a year that was 2020. And what better way to do it than to give out some end-of-year (though technically start of the year now...) awards?
We're happy to announce the inaugural edition of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the crew of Inven Global, the IGA's are awarded to the best teams, players, talent, and stories in competitive League of Legends for 2020, split into 13 categories.
Today, we present you the fifth of those categories: the "Best junglers of 2020" award, presented to the junglers that were the most solid, impactful performers in their own region.
Previously on Inven Global Awards
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There are many outstanding players in League of Legends across all roles and all regions. These are the best junglers across the LCS, LCK, LEC, and LPL.
Best LCS jungler: Santorin
Lucas "Santorin" Larsen had a stellar performance throughout 2020, marking the best year of his career so far, including his fantastic breakout year on TSM in 2015. Santorin helped drag FlyQuest to back-to-back LCS finals, the first two for the org since they joined the LCS in 2017, and then to the org's first Worlds as well. Santorin was just a strong all-around jungler, often playing to concede farm to find creative pathing that would impact his laners and shut down the opponents. He also had a strong champ pool, with one of the best Trundles in the world. He's also a strong teammate outside of the game, making him an even more impressive candidate for the best LCS jungler in 2020.
LCS runner-up: Blaber
Robert "Blaber" Huang had an incredible Spring Split followed by an incredible first half of Summer Split, followed by a long, downhill adventure that unfortunately landed Cloud9 outside of Worlds 2020 contention. But despite his and his team's downfall, he had such a strong 3/4 of the year he deserves recognition. Blaber was such an aggressive jungler that the league was forced to play differently and learn to adapt. Blaber had plenty of pocket picks, so he couldn't be banned out, and on each and every pick he selected, it was a scary proposition for his opposition. He and Cloud9 went 35-2 for the first split and a half, making them the most dominant team in LCS history. Blaber may have missed the most important tournament of the year, but he shaped and defined the whole entire season for the LCS.
Best LCK jungler: Canyon
Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu is the 2020 Worlds winner, and it was no fluke — he deserved it. Despite being on a roster full of superstars, Canyon still often found a way to shine and even carry his team. Canyon had one of the best Nidalees in the world, and he was so good, in fact, that it was permabanned from him at the Worlds competition, where he ended up on Graves nearly every game. He consistently had stellar performances, even among the other top tier teams across Worlds, losing only three games at the entire event. He held a 7.2 KDA at the event — the third-highest of every player in attendance — and was just simply a tier above the rest.
LCK runner-up: Pyosik
Though Canyon was clearly the leader of the region, Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon had an amazing year in his debut season in professional League of Legends. DRX had a huge turn around in 2020, returning to some of their glory from before their rebrand, and Pyosik was a huge part of that. He was flanked by some strong veteran voices on the team, but he was still a standout player among them, alongside Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon. Pyosik not only had a strong domestic performance but also a strong Worlds, really showing up in the international event.
Best LEC jungler: Selfmade
The strongest LEC jungler is tough, due to a rapidly changing landscape of jungler strength throughout the year, but Fnatic's Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek takes the first position thanks to his aggressive playstyle and his improvement over the LEC Summer Split Playoffs and Worlds. Selfmade was often a main carry for the team, playing similarly to Blaber, finding angles that many don't see and taking a shot at them, forcing the opponent to play perfectly or lose out on the play. His aggressive style helped the team advance out of groups and nearly take down Top Esports in the Quarterfinals.
LEC runner-up: Gilius
Erberk "Gilius" Demir only played a small portion of 2020, but it was made up for by his explosiveness and ability to persevere when pressed against the wall. Gilius was a key part of FC Schalke 04 Esports' miracle run in the Summer Split, going from 1-10 to 8-10 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Gilius wasn't the sole carry of his team, but he was crucial for their incredible run that left a mark in LEC history. Before this past split, Gilius had a rocky career, getting traded from team to team, spending time in various regions, across major regions, minor regions, and the developmental league all to try and prove himself. But his dominance on Schalke helped cement him as a core part of the squad, and he's made a name for himself in the LEC heading into 2021.
Best LPL jungler: SofM
This is not the first time we've lauded Lê "SofM" Quang Duy on this site. He has been in the LPL for years, but in 2020, he went above and beyond his usual ceiling and truly left his mark on the league and the globe.
SofM plays a very unique style as a jungler, and he is very greedy. While that often didn't work out in years prior, he found the right team and the right meta to excel in 2020, and along with some other standout performers on Suning, SofM helped lead them to a Worlds Finals, beating out both the two higher-seeded LPL teams to get there. He absolutely broke the Worlds meta, playing anything and everything to find a draft advantage and counter his opponents' picks and styles. He's been slowly forcing others to learn his style for multiple seasons, and in 2020 it finally came to light how strong of a player he truly is.
LPL runner-up: Kanavi
Much like Blaber, if this award ended at the Spring Split, Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok would have taken the cake, winning MVP of Spring over the whole LPL. Kanavi had a tumultuous career in past years being on loan from Griffin, but once he finally landed his own legitimate contract with JD Gaming ahead of the 2020 season, he flourished immediately. Kanavi was incredibly dominant through Spring and led JDG to their first-ever LPL title. Then in Summer, they claimed second place, making it to back to Finals. He slightly underperformed at Worlds — particularly against SofM in the Knockout Stage — but overall he had an amazing year and was heralded as one of the best across the globe for much of the season.
Next on Inven Global Awards: Best mid laners of 2020 (Friday, Jan. 22)