With the conclusion of the 2021 Season in League of Legends the Inven Global team (as well as some other strong League of Legends minds) got together to reflect on the standouts throughout the year. It was a great season of entertaining casts, memorable games, and stellar play. What better way to celebrate than with some end of season awards?
We're excited to present the second year of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the editorial crew of Inven Global, along with some other experienced journalists and analysts, the IGA's celebrate the many strong facets of League of Legends in 2021 — the best teams, players, talent, and stories.
This time, here are the best supports of 2021. Fans can also vote for the player who they think deserves it the most, and the player with the most votes will receive the IGA Community Award.
Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee
BeryL certainly received a lot of criticism this year. DWG KIA’s were seen as the main weak points of the team this year. Remember, though, this was a team seemingly made of Teflon. These “weak points” were compared next to players largely considered the best in the world.
BeryL’s main issue was consistency. As one of the most aggressive support players in the game, his diving antics could many times get him in trouble. If DWG KIA were struggling in a game, most likely you’d find BeryL getting caught out about every fifteen seconds. When they looked good, though, his bold initiations gave him openings into favorable teamfights no other support player had access to.
Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in
CoreJJ once again shadowboxed his way through the LCS to be considered one of the world’s finest support players. Though Team Liquid suffered many pitfalls that prevented them from reaching their full potential, CoreJJ still performed at an elite level and once again did his best to carry the team. Despite all the roster changes and internal drama, he helped TL to two runs to the finals and three games won in a challenging group at Worlds.
Everything — his brilliant roaming, fearless playmaking, and ability to stay alive as long as possible in fights — was brilliant. His problem, once again, was he was held back, both by his team and his region. Even when he had great games against the best competition, the limitations of his position prevented him from helping his team do better. Another great individual year by a legend of the scene, but one whose environmental limitations are more apparent than ever.
Tian "Meiko" Ye
Playing alongside the likes of Li "Flandre" Xuan-Jun, Lee “Scout” Ye-chan, and Park “Viper” Do-hyeon makes it difficult for any player to shine. Though he wasn’t carrying games, Meiko made as much use of his teammates’ talent as possible. With Viper fully capable of laning by himself, Meiko used the opportunity to roam as much as possible.
Meiko played exactly how you would expect from a veteran. He wasn’t melting minds with mechanical wonders, but he played smart enough to be where his team needed him to be, and to stay alive as long as possible. He did so well enough to be crowned a World Champion.
Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming
Ming was another player that could be outshone by his teammates, but that didn’t prevent him from bringing the flash. Throughout Royal Never Give Up’s strongest performances this year, Ming could be seen as one of the primary win-conditions. His strong laning, excellent initiations, and skill in traversing fights helped RNG dominate many games.
The main problem for Ming was that he wasn’t able to play well from behind. When opponents tried their best to shut Ming down — it usually succeeded. His impact would fade away and usually lead to RNG bottoming out. A very strong year for him, but one that definitely showed holes in his play.
Ryu "Keria" Min-seok
There were a lot of great support players this year, but most stood within the confines of the position. There weren’t many like Hong "MadLife" Min-gi or Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong that redefined how we see the role. But if one player got close, though, it’s Keria.
Though there were certainly some bright moments, T1 didn’t have the performances they had hoped for but Keria certainly tried his hardest to get them there. He was excellent in almost every aspect you would like to see from a good support. His warding was effective, his champion pool was limitless, and his mechanical skill was something unmatched by any other player in his role. He also did what all other great support players do — innovate. Whether trying unorthodox champions or even running Unsealed Spellbook to create plays, Keria was undoubtedly creative.
Honorable mention: Kim "Life" Jeong-min
Life lived to his namesake. He did his best to support Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk and keep him alive as long as possible while setting up Gen.G well in teamfights.
More from the Inven Global Awards
Best top laner
Best mid laner
Best support (Dec. 10)
Best rookie (Dec. 11)
Best minor region player (Dec. 12)
Player of the year (Dec. 13)
Best coaching staff (Dec. 14)
Best play-by-play caster (Dec. 15)
Best color caster (Dec. 16)
Best story of the year (Dec. 17)
Biggest controversy of the year (Dec. 18)
Best in-game moment (Dec. 19)
Best content piece or series (Dec. 20)
Off-season winner (Dec. 21)
Awards announcement: Player categories (Dec. 29)
Awards announcement: Caster and community categories (Dec. 30)
Inven Global Awards panelists:
Nick Geracie /// @NickGeracie
Daniel "Quest" Kwon /// @LoLQuestKR
David "Viion" Jang /// @David_Viion
John "OddBall" Popko /// @OddballCreator
Kim "Haao" Byung-ho /// @Inven_Haao
Jang "Irro" Min-young
Carver Fisher /// @Carver_Fisher
Josh Tyler /// @joshtyler
Andre Gonzalez Rodriguez /// @Vulv_
Tom Matthiesen /// @TomMatthiesen
Adel Chouadria /// @AdelChouadria
Yohan Markov /// @Esports_Person
All images via: Riot Games
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