The LCS is known as an import region these days. Very few of the LCS’s best players are North American, and this holds true with the best mid laners in the region. From fresh imports to long-standing players with enough time in the LCS to gain residency, the LCS’ long and storied history has been made by powerhouses from overseas. It’s unlikely that 2022 will be any different.
5. Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun — Evil Geniuses
Jojopyun is a young rookie and completely unproven in the LCS, which sets him apart from every other mid laner on this list. However, with EG’s history of talent acquisition, there are reasons to believe in jojopyun going into 2022.
During his time in EG Academy, jojopyun showed us how flexible he is as a mid laner. While he’s strong on your typical high damage burst mages like LeBlanc, he also looks strong on melee bruisers like Irelia and supportive mid laners like Lulu. On one hand, this could be read as jojopyun still trying to find his identity as a mid laner. On the other, it means he may have an easy time fitting into whatever role EG needs him to play on their team.
It may be jumping the gun to put jojopyun on a list like this, but it’s hard not to believe in EG after their bot lane miracle last split. With the guidance of veteran players on EG, jojopyun is one of the most exciting mid prospects going into 2022.
4. Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami — Cloud9
Speaking of unproven mid laners, Fudge’s role swap came as a surprise to many during the off-season. He was one of NA’s best top laners after a year of hard training and immense improvement from his initial LCS lock-in performance at the start of 2021. Fudge is surely learning the meta mid picks, but the prospect of him playing traditional top laners mid is just as exciting.
With the addition of Park “Summit” Woo-tae to C9, there’s a lot of added flexibility to this roster. Yoo “FATE” Su-hyeok, Summit’s mid laner during his time with Liiv Sandbox, was no stranger to drafting bruiser picks like Sett and Lee Sin when the time was right. There’s a chance that C9 drafts in a more traditional manner, but the odds of C9 adopting an LCK-style draft is more than zero. Fudge may be roleswapping, but his top lane experience could make C9 stand out and give them the ability to draft team compositions other teams can’t compete with.
Fudge was a top laner known for his lane stability, efficient farm, and effective sidelaning along with some solid teamfighting. He’s a player that learned fast in the face of adversity, and there’s no reason to doubt his potential to be one of the LCS’ best mid laners.
3. Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage — Immortals
Hot off the heels of a pretty strong performance in 2021, PoE is looking to make his mark on the LCS with a revitalized Immortals roster. TSM certainly didn’t have a great 2021 (in more ways than one), but PowerOfEvil managed to stand out as a fantastic mid laner despite TSM’s overall weak standing.
PoE’s been around for almost a decade, and it shows from his champion pool. A traditional control mage player in every sense, PoE’s best performances are on mainstays including Azir, Syndra, and Orianna: champions that give him strong early lane presence as well as some fantastic teamfighting. PowerOfEvil has been on the cusp of being the very best NA has to offer for a while, it’s just hard to strut your stuff when your team is holding you back.
Immortals’ didn’t have the best 2021, but their team had potential and they have seemingly kept the best parts from last year. Perhaps PoE will finally get his time in the spotlight.
2. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg — Team Liquid
Bjergsen needs no introduction. One of the best mids in LCS history, Bjergsen’s legacy is elemental to the league. If you’re a fan of the LCS, you’re probably a fan of Bjergsen, even (or especially) now that he's not associated with TSM. After a year of coaching, he’s back and playing on Team Liquid.
Has Bjergsen had a year-long break from pro play? Sure, but that doesn’t discard Bjergsen being on top of the role for years. Considering he bootcamped in Korea and has been putting some serious time into getting his mechanics back to where they were when he was a starting player, it shouldn’t take long for him to get right back to his dominant status.
Paired with a very strong Team Liquid roster going into 2022, Bjergsen is set up for success. Out of all the North American teams, TL is one that’s stacked enough to have a serious chance at international success.
1. Felix “Abbedagge” Braun — 100 Thieves
Being a mid-season pickup from a mid-tier European team made Abbedagge a bit of a wildcard going into the 2021 Summer Split. His time on Schalke didn’t end well, but he managed to bring a mid-tier team to playoffs before their unfortunate demise at the end of 2021. Alongside top-tier jungler Can “Closer” Çelik, Abbedagge managed to be North America’s scariest mid/jungle combo within months of getting picked up by 100 Thieves.
Abbedagge gets an edge over other NA mids for one big reason: teamfighting. He’s strong on Champions like Sylas, Leblanc, and Ryze. If there’s an opening, 100 Thieves are going to do their best to turn that opening into a teamfight. Strong rotations and early objective fights are a large part of what put 100 Thieves ahead of the competition, and it allowed them to take a game off EDG, the reigning World Champions.
Abbedagge’s strong synergy with the rest of 100T combined with his individual skill and strong macro play make him a shoo-in for the current best mid laner in NA. There are some other European vets primed and ready to take that title away from him, but, if we’re going off of how 2021 ended, Abbedagge is on top going into the LCS Lock-Ins.
|Top 5 players per position in the West|
|Top laners||Top laners|
|Mid laners||Mid laners|
|Bot laners (Jan. 12)||Bot laners (Jan. 12)|
|Supports (Jan. 13)||Supports (Jan. 13)|
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.