Who is the best mid laner in the LEC?


Europe’s list of top mid laners has shifted drastically in the past few years. The days where Rasmus “caPs” Winther was undisputed have long passed. In the 2021 Spring Split, Emil “Larssen” Larsson and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda solidified themselves as the next generation of Europe’s finest when they led their respective teams, Rogue and MAD Lions, to their first grand final appearance. In the subsequent Summer Split, Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer flourished and helped redeem Fnatic through a fantastic lower-bracket run in the playoffs.


In the seven weeks of the 2022 LEC Spring Split so far, Misfits Gaming’s Vincent "Vetheo" Berrié has jumped into the spotlight. The young Frenchman is leading the charge for his team with remarkably consistent, top-notch performances. Vetheo has lifted his team up to be a top contender in the LEC.


As a result, many have declared Vetheo as the best mid laner in the LEC due to his standout performance. Is that a fair award to hand out, especially since Larssen has been incredibly consistent in the LEC spring split too? Is he being snubbed?

The raw data

Let’s look at the numbers for Larssen and Vetheo first. 




# in LEC


# in LEC






Kill participation





Part of team damage dealt





Damage per minute





CS per minute





CS difference @ 15





Gold per minute





Gold difference @ 15






A single point of data doesn’t tell a story, but by combining them we get glimpses at what’s going on for these players. For example, Larssen is mister consistent throughout the game. He establishes leads in the early game by outlaning his opponents and then using that advantage to be a big damage dealer on his team. 


Vetheo’s laning is not nearly as good. He trails behind Larssen significantly and, on average, even has less gold than his opponent at fifteen minutes, when the mid-game arrives and the map typically opens up more. But that’s when Vetheo catches up to and surpasses Larssen. Although he does not contribute to his team’s total damage output as much as Larssen does, Vetheo is more effective at snatching up kills for his team.

Source: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Vetheo, the hard-carry

But data doesn’t tell the full story. It needs contextualization. If someone only plays Heimerdinger then yes, their lane stats are going to look impressive, but would that make them a great mid laner per se? Larssen and Vetheo might be close to each other on the leaderboard, but their playstyles are distinct and unique. Let’s take at their champions played so far and how they fit into their respective teams, starting with Vetheo.


Source: Games of Legends


Vetheo’s champion pool this Split has been deep, with 11 different champions across 15 games — a more diverse lineup than any other mid laner in the LEC thus far. The type of champion Vetheo opts for varies too. From the slower, control-type mages such as Orianna and Viktor to the aggressive melee champions such as Sylas and Akali: Vetheo wields them all and everything in between.


Misfits do not have a true identity as a team yet in the same way we’ve seen top LEC teams claim a playstyle in the past. For example, last year Rogue were the kings of the early game, MAD Lions would break their opponents’ ankles with superb teamfighting, and Fnatic would seize every opportunity to start a teamfight and then rely on sheer mechanics to power through them. 


Misfits are still very much finding their footing, but so far, all their games, win or lose, have one thing in common: Vetheo performs. Although he humbly said it was all a team effort and, admittedly, bot laner Matúš "Neon" Jakubčík is coming out of his shell in the past weeks too, Vetheo is Misfits’ bread and butter. He's aggressive and fearless Even if it sometimes costs him a little at the beginning of the game, once the map opens up he seems to feel the rhythm of the game and knows exactly what is expected of him.



Vetheo has not had a single bad individual performance this year and he is one of the rare cases where the stats speak for themselves: he’s just that good. Even in Misfits’ defeats, Vetheo is has had clearly great performances and often was the reason why his team still was able to hold onto the game for as long as they did.

Larssen, the unbreakable defender

It doesn’t take a lot of analyzing to notice that Larssen has had a very different Split compared to Vetheo. Just his champion pool alone paints a good part of that picture.


Source: Games of Legends


In the seven different champions Larssen has played in the LEC so far, two champion types with a lot of overlap stand out. In the overwhelming majority of games, Larssen has played the strong late-game picks: Viktor, Orianna, and Corki make for 2/3rd of his picks. It’s rounded off with three games on roamers with Ryze and Twisted Fate, and two games on magic-based assassins Ahri and LeBlanc.


Contrary to Vetheo, though, Larssen fulfills a clear role in an overall team strategy. From the get-go, Rogue have known how they want to play the game. They play a weakside top laner for Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, a scaling mid for Larssen, and a safe AD carry for Markos "Comp" Stamkopoulos. Depending on what their opponents pick, Rogue adapt with their support champion for Adrian "Trymbi" Trybus. Most importantly: depending on what their opponent does, jungler Kim "Malrang" Geun-seong chooses which one of his carries he ganks and gets ahead.


It is unfair to say that Larssen only knows how to play safe mages. Last Summer Split, for example, he grew into an excellent Lucian player when that was in the meta for the mid lane. That said, Larssen is just an excellent mid laner on those control mages: the best across the LEC and LCS. If he offers that much stability to his team, why would he or Rogue need to change that up?



Larssen’s stability is often underestimated and incorrectly described as “passive”. However, that is mostly because his contemporaries are remembered for a completely different style. Vetheo’s aggression has already been discussed. But think of caPs’ best plays, and what comes to mind? Him flashing underneath the tower to kill Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao at MSI 2018, perhaps? Or his infamous Vayne pick against Misfits in the 2018 EU LCS Summer Split semifinals? And then there’s Humanoid, who won’t go for as crazy picks but will push the boundaries of the champions he pilots. He was memed in the past for always dying in a sidelane, but since last year, he has become a fantastic player at bending reality to his will and backing off before it breaks. He toes the line incredibly well.


Though those three all have different specifics in how they approach the game, the point is clear: you won’t see Larssen making those plays. But “passive” isn’t the right word for Larssen’s trademark strength because it implies that Larssen takes no action, no matter what. He’s better described as “defensive”. Rather than pushing himself into risky territory, Larssen waits for his opponent to slip up and then punishes that. That is what he excels at. It isn’t as flashy or memorable as the playstyles of the other three, but there is great value in having an unbreakable mid laner.


Longevity matters

When discussing who is “the best” in anything, eventually we wade into the grey area of setting parameters. How long should someone be at the top of their game to be in contention? And how long does their performance carry them? caPs played at a higher level than any other European mid laner before him and his peaks of 2018 and 2019 are still untouched years later. But caPs was not a top mid laner in the LEC last year, and this Split too has been hit and miss. Yet, he will likely always be respected, at the very least by his colleagues, for his longevity.


Vetheo does not have that longevity. After exploding onto the LEC in the 2021 Spring Split opening weekend with a stellar performance with his signature pick Zoe, he struggled to perform in the weeks after on different champions. He would get caught out a lot and die unnecessarily. In the Summer Split Vetheo was better, but it was still unstable—perfectly understandable for a rookie. For Vetheo to now be such a star player already, just one year after making his debut, is truly remarkable. His growth is almost unheard of. But push comes to shove, Vetheo’s great Spring Split is just that: one great Split.


Larssen has an enormous lead in this area. The 2022 Spring Split is at least the fifth Split in a row that Larssen is in the discussion for best mid laner in the league. His consistency in the past 2+ years puts him leaps ahead of Vetheo.

Source: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

The curse of narratives

At the end of this week, the LEC regular split comes to an end. A panel of experts will once again vote for the official LEC awards based on players’ and teams’ performances in the eight weeks of best-of-ones. Vetheo is almost certainly going to be chosen as the mid laner on the All-Pro team, and deservedly so. He has been phenomenal this Split.


But Vetheo also stands out because he’s so much better than his peers, whereas Larssen is surrounded by seasoned, stable pros. Furthermore, “best mid in the LEC” goes beyond those eight weeks the LEC award is based on. It carries history with it that should be taken into account when having these broader discussions. If tomorrow you had to build a League of Legends team and had to choose between a player who’s been among the top of the region for the five past splits, or one who’s been there for only the most recent split, the decision is easily made. You would pick Larssen, the best mid laner in the LEC.


To round up, Humanoid deserves a hard-earned mention. Although in this Split he has not performed at the level that saw him carry MAD Lions in the past, he has been of incredible value to Fnatic. According to his teammates, Humanoid’s in-game leadership has tied Fnatic together in a Split where most of the players were still figuring out how to play with each other. If Vetheo’s contributions are easy to see and those of Larssen’s difficult, Humanoid’s biggest efforts are invisible. He might not have been the best pure mid laner this split, but for his leadership Humanoid still counts as one of the best players the LEC offers.

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