The LPL season is still in its infancy, but we have a decent early snapshot of how players across all the teams have been playing, at least to start the year. Using these early season performances, along with player performances from last year, we can evaluate and rank the top five supports in the LPL this year.
5. Fu “Hang” Ming-Hang — FunPlus Phoenix
Hang is a player who didn’t get a lot of attention in 2021 on Rare Atom, but he’s a very skilled support. On engage champions like Rakan and Leona, particularly, Hang was able to show off his impressive skills. Even though his KDA in 2021 was nothing to write home about (3.21), on those two picks he was far more impressive (a 3.93 KDA and 20-9 record).
This year, he’ll be paired up with one of the most underrated ADCs in the league, Lin "Lwx" Wei-Xiang. This duo might not scare many teams, but it probably should. Don’t be surprised if FPX is a very strong team in 2022 off the back of their bot lane duo.
4. Li “Lucas” Tan-Pan-Ao — Invictus Gaming
After a disappointing 2021 season, Invictus Gaming decided to hard-reset their team for 2022. Gone were long-time centerpieces like Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok and franchise cornerstone Song "Rookie" Eui-jin. The only player to survive the changing of the guard was support Lucas.
Watching the tape, it’s easy to understand why iG kept Lucas as one of their pieces to build around. Even though his win-loss rate wasn’t that impressive, he still put up a 3.21 KDA on a bot lane that struggled, along with 8.42 assists per game. Invictus Gaming is hoping that, paired with Luo "xiaoyueji" Shi-Hao, Lucas can help lift the team back to its former glory.
3. Tian “Meiko” Ye — EDward Gaming
The support for the defending World Champions, part of the deadliest bot lane in the world last year, it was impossible for Meiko to not make this list. With a 4.02 KDA in 2021 and averaging 9.29 assists per game, Meiko was one of the driving forces behind EDG’s world championship. He made his name playing Alistar, with 22 games on the cow and a 68.2% win rate. But he is definitely not limited to only playing frontline tanks. He played 19 unique supports in 2021, including success on champions like Lulu, Yuumi, and even a fair bit of Nami.
The whole gang for EDG has (mostly) been brought back in 2022, and he and Park "Viper" Do-hyeon remain the bot lane for this team, so there is no reason to think that Meiko and EDG can’t make another deep run this year. Meiko may not be the flashiest player on Edward Gaming, but he is the engine that helps drive the team.
2. Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song — Bilibili Gaming
The Bilibili Gaming super team includes long-time FPX support Crisp. Paired with Chiu "Doggo" Tzu-Chuan (or Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao), either duo is easily poised to be the best bot lane in the LPL, thanks in large part to Crisp. With a 3.77 KDA in 2021 that was buoyed by 9.57 assists per game, Crisp helped FPX to Worlds (at Worlds, though, was a totally different story).
Whereas other top supports on this list tend to play a lot of Leona, Rakan, or Nautilus, Crisp actually made his living on Rell in 2021. With 26 games played (12 more than his next most-picked, Thresh), Crisp was perhaps the most prolific player of the Iron Maiden in the LPL.
1. Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming — Royal Never Give Up
Support of the defending MSI champions and a team that most observers thought would be among the favorites to win Worlds 2021, Ming was exceptional last year. The 3.77 KDA may not seem that impressive, but the 9.95 assists per game were tops among Chinese supports last year. As far as frontlining tank supports go, Ming was the best. On Nautilus, his most-played champion, Ming won over 80% of his games with a 3.87 KDA and 10.48 assists per game. His other top champions included Alistar, Leona, Rell, and Braum, as he made his name playing those strong tank champions.
Most impressive for Ming, though, was how he helped make his young AD Carry, Chen "GALA" Wei, look like one of the best ADCs in the world. This duo was, and continues to be, one of the major reasons that RNG is such a successful team. If RNG goes deep and to the World Championships again, their support will probably be a key reason for their success.
Diamond TFT Player & esports watcher.