As the 2021 Season in League of Legends is beginning, 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 12 categories.
Today, we present you the tenth of those categories: the "Best rookies of 2020" award, presented to the rookies that stood out the most within their own region.
Previously on Inven Global Awards
The off-season winners of 2020
The most improved teams of 2020
The most memorable moments of 2020
The best top laners of 2020
The best junglers of 2020
The best mid laners of 2020
The best bot laners of 2020
The best supports of 2020
The best broadcast talent of 2020
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Best LCS rookie: Tactical
This is hands down, without a doubt Edward "Tactical" Ra. Nobody else comes close. Tactical showed up for Team Liquid in a huge way, replacing their former star player and face of the org, Yiliang "Peter" "Doublelift" Peng. Tactical and Team Liquid turned around their ninth-place finish from Spring to make it to Worlds, where Tactical performed rather well. He dominated most of the summer and butted heads with some of the best players in the World, including Suning's Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng and Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh bot duo. Tactical is one of the best rookies the LCS has ever had.
LCS runner-up: Johnsun
The runner up rookie happens to be TSM's other Academy/amateur AD carry from 2019, Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen. Throughout most of the year, Johnsun looked like the best player on Dignitas, a roster otherwise stacked with veteran players across both their LCS and Academy teams. Johnsun was a rock star performer for the team, making a great case for himself, despite a less than stellar record at the end of the year. Regardless, Johnsun is on FlyQuest now, so check out his growth in year two.
Best LCK rookie: Pyosik
The LCK rookie of the year is a little less cut and dry, but it goes to Hong "Pyosik" Chang-hyeon for his convincing and dominant performance on DRX in the jungle. Pyosik was at the top of the KDA for junglers in the LCK, and at the top for damage as well. He was an overall strong player that melded well with his teammates and helped them — especially Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon — pop off. In his rookie year, Pyosik made it out of the Worlds Group Stage with a 4-2 record, only to be knocked out by the eventual World Champions, DAMWON Gaming. Pyosik is the only remaining player on that DRX roster, so watch him develop more under a new environment this year.
LCK runner-up: Canna
T1's rookie top laner, Kim "Canna" Chang-dong, takes runner up after a strong performance throughout the entirety of 2020 for the LCK super team. While much of T1's roster was shifting around, Canna played all but four games with them through both spring and summer. Canna had the highest KDA among top laners across both splits, and he provided a stable, yet flexible role from T1's top lane. He played a plethora of champions, both tanks and carries, and even supports (with a 24 KDA on Soraka across two games). Canna remained as T1's starting top this year, showing their faith in the player.
Best LEC rookie: Kaiser
Norman "Kaiser" Kaiser was one of the most impressive players from the LEC in 2020 altogether. He had the second-highest KDA for supports in both splits, with high kill participation. Kaiser was a fairly versatile support as well, playing mostly engaging frontliners, but also playmakers like Bard and even some FOTM picks, like Wukong. In his first year, along with many other rookies, Kaiser made it to the Worlds stage he and the team failed to qualify through the Play-Ins, however, but had a standout year nonetheless. As one of the main players to hit the go button and lead his team, Kaiser performed phenomenally as a rookie.
LEC runner-up: Razork
Though you could easily follow Kaiser up with almost any of his teammates, Iván "Razork" Martín Díaz takes the runner up for his breakout year with Misfits. In his debut, Razork turned heads, showing strength across multiple champions and roles, and specifically smashing G2 Esports in the Spring to give them their first loss of the season with his 8/2/6 Ekko where he dealt the most damage to champs in the game. Razork didn't have as strong of a summer split, but his consistent strength over the spring net him as the runner up for the LEC in 2020.
Best LPL rookie: huanfeng
We mentioned him before, he laned against the LCS rookie of the Split, Tactical, at Worlds. Suning Gaming's huanfeng claims the prize for the LPL. huanfeng had a similar year to Tactical, too. He didn't replace a legend in the middle of the split, but he is the former backup to a different legendary AD carry, the LPL's very own, Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo. huanfeng also had a rough spring, followed by a huge surge in the summer, and an eventual placement in Group A at Worlds. huanfeng, however, then went to take first in the group and advance all the way to Worlds Finals, knocking down both LPL seeds above him in JD Gaming and Top Esports, where JackeyLove played, himself. huanfeng didn't quite succeed in winning Worlds, but he was two games away, and made some iconic plays on the way, like his signature Jhin ult from behind enemy lines against JD Gaming.
LPL runner-up: Bin
Chen "Bin" Ze-Bin sat next to huanfeng the whole year, just on the other side of the Rift as Suning's top laner. Bin had some iconic plays of his own, including a single Gangplank barrel chain that would send them to the knockout phase as the first seed in their group, allowing them to advance all the way to the Finals before having to face DAMWON Gaming in a best of five series. Bin had a somewhat rough year, not having as strong of a performance as other LPL top laners that attended Worlds domestically. However, he turned up the heat on the Worlds stage, locking in carry pick after carry pick and really giving his opponents a tough time. His step up was crucial for Suning's dominant and surprising run through Worlds, and he's only got more room to grow.