The jungle role is stacked with talent in the LPL and the cream of the crop in the league are in the conversation for the best junglers in the world. Even though there was very little movement when it comes to junglers in the LPL offseason, the top-ranked junglers in the league should surprise no one.
5. Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan — Victory 5
One of the few junglers who did move to a new team in 2022, Karsa joins the Victory Five super-team that includes Song “Rookie” Eui-jin and Guo "ppgod" Peng after a very strong season last year with Top Esports. Even though it was a disappointing season for TES, who were projected to be one of the strongest teams in the LPL but did not make Worlds 2021, Karsa individually had a strong year.
Karsa posted a 4.00 KDA and 359 gold per minute (GPM) in 89 games last season, with a vast champion pool that included 19 different picks. He’s proven to be an incredibly effective jungler on champions with easy engage tools like Diana, Hecarim, and Gragas, so expect him to be the catalyst for a lot of V5’s plays this year.
4. Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok — JD Gaming
Another team with high ambitions that were not met in 2021, JDG bring back their star jungler Kanavi in 2022, hoping that he will spark JDG back to the form that saw them reach the quarterfinals of Worlds 2020. With mid laner Zeng "Yagao" Qi returning as well, along with new additions like Bai "369" Jia-Hao in the top lane, there’s no reason to think that JDG can’t be competitive with their core built around Kanavi.
In 2021, Kanavi himself had a 3.74 KDA and 377 GPM and actually led the LPL in GPM in 2021 Summer. Although that was likely bolstered a bit by playing a lot of Graves (10 games in 74 on the Outlaw), Kanavi showed a willingness to play some supportive picks like Lillia. The meta right now completely suits him as well, with high-pressure junglers like Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, and Jarvan dominating the meta.
3. Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong — LNG Esports
Tarzan might be a lot of people’s pick for the best jungler in the LPL and his reputation certainly supports that case. He’s considered to be one of the most mechanically-gifted junglers in the world and he helped power a scrappy LNG team to the Worlds group stage in 2021. With an upgraded lineup around him that includes Hu "Ale" Jia-Le, Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang, Wang "Light" Guang-Yu, and Zuo "LvMao" Ming-Hao, LNG are many people’s picks to dominate the LPL.
In 2021, Tarzan individually was an absolute beast. A 4.47 KDA which was tops for LPL junglers while also playing some more supportive junglers like Olaf, Volibear, and even a good amount of Zac (which is why he had a pedestrian 348 GPM. He was the catalyst of the LNG team and now has even more support, which should make other LPL teams very nervous.
2. Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei — Royal Never Give Up
The jungler for the defending MSI champions RNG, Wei was probably one of the more overlooked players on that team despite his incredible success. Just like Tarzan, Wei was a player who was counted on for engages on champions like Olaf, Lillia, and Volibear, but he was also often on Udyr duty back when he was dominating the meta. He also got a lot of time playing aggressive champions like the Lee Sin and Xin Zhao, managing to succeed on all of them.
With a 4.3 KDA, Wei managed to stack up quite nicely against the rest of the junglers in the LPL. Even though he didn’t have a flashy-high GPM (351), he proved that he could be extremely efficient even while directing a lot of his resources towards those carries. That will prove to be very beneficial considering that he has Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao (now back in mid lane), Chen "Bin" Ze-Bin, and Chen "GALA" Weito support.
1. Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie — EDward Gaming
EDward Gaming surprised a lot of people when they ended up winning Worlds in 2021, largely off the back of strong jungle play from Jiejie. Like Tarzan and Wei, his GPM wasn’t super impressive (340) but his play on those staple early game junglers like Udyr, Olaf, and Lee Sin helped propel him to an incredible 5.25 KDA. He also averaged under two deaths per game, which is quite a remarkable stat for a player with such an aggressive style.
And, just like with Wei, Jiejie didn’t have to shoulder too much of the carry burden last year, with Park "Viper" Do-hyeon as his ADC and Li "Flandre" Xuan-Jun in the top lane. The entire EDG roster returns this year, so it’s no stretch to expect another year from Jiejie just like last year. If he does, he should be firmly in the conversation for the best jungler in the World.
Diamond TFT Player & esports watcher.