How it works: Each member of Inven Global's seven-man coverage team picked their personal top 10 players per position and assigned them points from 10 (best) to 1 (worst). The players were then sorted by their average scores (shown next to their names). The top 10 players made it into these article series, with the top 5 getting their own write-up.
The year’s biggest tournament is fast approaching, and it brings some of the best jungler talent pool to date. Although the LPL leads the charge in the role, other regions like the LCK and LEC aren’t too far behind in that regard.
Here are Inven Global’s ranking of the best junglers for the 2021 World Championship:
10. Jiejie (EDG) — 1.29/10
9. Bwipo (FNC) — 1.43/10
8. Clid (GEN) — 3.43/10
7. Oner (T1) — 3.57/10
6. Inspired (RGE) — 3.71/10
5. Elyoya (MAD) — 5.57/10
As the only Western jungler in the top 5, Javier "Elyoya" Prades is an esteemed company for a reason. He started the year a bit slow but quickly made himself crucial to MAD Lions’ success this year. The franchise couldn't make it out of Play-ins at last Worlds, but in 2021, they've turned things around and Elyoya is a huge reason why.
While not quite the statistical powerhouse as his top 5 peers, Elyoya makes up for it with a versatile champion pool, playing 12 champions in Spring and 11 in Summer (sure, not on par with Canyon's 17, but still). And one has to remember that even a poor-form Elyoya still helped MAD Lions reach MSI finals, so imagine what he can do when in his peak.
4. Wei (RNG) — 6.00/10
Since making his LPL debut in 2020 on eStar, Wei has shown no signs of slowing down. All he needed was the elevation he found in Royal Never Give Up later that year, which pushed him to the position of one of LPL's best.
Wei's is a crucial part of RNG's success, taking the role of the team's carry, and seemingly will gladly keep doing so in the future. He made the LPL All-Pro First Team in the Spring, the Second All-Pro in Summer, and tied Viper for first place in the Spring MVP standings.
Wei is certainly not an aggressive jungler, but one thing he’s done well is show up during the mid-late game. As a jungler who has Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao in his top lane, he’s the ultimate “do what’s needed” player — whether that's rotating to secure top lane or converting Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming engages into wins.
Wei also has some of the best teamfight mechanics in the region and although iaohu tends to gap his enemy top laner, Wei is still the one setting up fights for RNG.
3. Tian (FPX) — 6.86/10
Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang has been ready to go and has shown so throughout the 2021 LPL Summer Season. The former 2019 Worlds Finals MVP is looking to bring back the level of play that he showcased in FPX's championship year.
Tian differs from the other junglers on this list. Unlike Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu who uses Heo "ShowMaker" Su to his fullest potential, or Wei who leans on Xiaohu in top, Tian necessarily play off of a teammate — he is the main damage for FPX. Due to Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang's setup playstyle and Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon's preference for late-game scaling top laners, FPX heavily rely on Tian to carry the early and mid game.
Tian isn’t afraid to walk into 5v5 and it shows as FPX have some of the best team fighting out of the LPL teams at Worlds. He will follow any call and forge head on to whatever fight across Summoner’s Rift, regardless of the objective that is available. If there’s a fight going on, chances are Tian will be there.
2. Tarzan (LNG) — 8.29/10
Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong first got his name out as part of Griffin and for the three years he was part of that team, he refined and honed his skills to be in the conversation for the best jungler in the world. While Griffin remains of the bigger "what ifs" in LoL history, there was never any doubt about Tarzan.
Griffin ceased to be but after sitting out the 2020 Summer Split, Tarzan found another home in LPL's LNG Esports. Even though LNG's placement in the standings wasn’t the best, all they achieved was largely due to Tarzan, which netted him the All-Pro First Team ballot in Summer.
Tarzan shines through his jungle pathing and target focus in teamfighs. He favors strong early clear junglers, which allow him to track and evade enemy junglers, making himself near invisible — a true King of the Jungle. After he's confused the opponent, Tarzan can then go into teamfights and absolutely wreak havoc. When not using the typical Olaf or Lee Sin that focuses on the enemy’s backline, he goes about things a different way. He trusts his team to finish off kills which allow him to be even more efficient in an otherwise chaotic scenario.
1. Canyon (DWG KIA) — 9.86/10
While the jungler talent pool is filled to the brim at this year's Worlds, all junglers have one or two pieces missing to be perfect. Canyon has it all, and then some.
At the start of the year, Canyon hailed as the best jungler in the world, fresh off of a world title, which he's since followed up with two LCK titles, MSI final, Regular Season MVP for Spring, First All-Pro in Spring, and Second All-Pro in Summer. He is the glue that keeps the powerhouse that is DWG KIA together, and has an uncanny, sixth-sense-esque connection to ShowMaker.
While arguably not on the same level as his MSI form, Canyon still boasts the highest damage per minute (DPM) and average gold difference at 10 minutes (GD@10) out of all junglers at Worlds. Competition against him in the jungle will be stiff, but none can match his international experience or success. Canyon's dominated Worlds before and there's no indication he won't do it again.