Trying to play bot lane in the LPL sounds like a nightmare. Considering the LPL’s reputation for starting teamfights over the smallest objectives, it can be difficult for bot laners to consistently farm or stay alive in teamfights. Which is why many of them will go 10-0 or 0-10. The LPL’s best bot laners are capable of not only carrying, but maintaining relevance even if they get obliterated in the early game.
5. Lin “LWX” Wei-Xiang — FunPlus Phoenix
Putting a player on this list that didn’t even make playoffs in Spring may seem like an odd decision. Or, it would be if it was anyone but LWX. FPX had a disappointing Spring after their bombastic opening in Demacia Cup, and their roster underwent many changes through the year's first half. However, through all of it, LWX never backed down.
On the very first day of the 2022 Summer, LWX casually dived the reigning world champions at level 2 and came out on top. Moreso than any other player in the LPL, LWX has unshakeable confidence in his ability to win fights. In FPX’s wins, LWX is often carrying. In their losses, he’s getting focused down.
LWX may not be at the top of the standings, but he continues to earn his place as one of the best bot laners in the LPL. The fact that he stands out despite the tumultuous nature of FPX this year shows just how strong this player can be.
4. Wang “Hope” Jie — JD Gaming
Hope is easily the most by-the-book bot laner on this list. He only played five champions through the Spring Split and Playoffs, making him one of the least diverse players in the world. That, however, matters little if Hope never has to be pushed onto anything else. And he's an expert on the champions he picks.
After Hope’s incredibly strong Spring performance (less than 2 deaths per game on average and 6.18 KDA), China’s best teams correctly identified him as someone they should be targeting. But Hope didn’t let that get to him.
In the first game of JDG’s Playoffs set, RNG dived on Hope so often, that they set him 50cs behind GALA before the 10-minute mark. Yet, he ended this game 10/2/4 and carried, even after being put far enough behind to reasonably raise an early surrender vote. In a region filled with coinflip players, Hope stands out for his consistency and strong macro play.
3. Ying “Photic” Qi-Shen — Victory 5
Photic is almost the antithesis of Hope’s playstyle. Photic had the most diverse champion pool in Spring at 12, and he’s an incredibly scrappy player. Much like V5 as a whole, Photic can take a small lead and turn it into a dead Nexus.
Someone forgot to tell Photic that most ADCs are ranged champions, because he might as well be playing in melee range at times. Photic shines when he’s piloting champions like Zeri and Aphelios that thrive in hectic teamfights, but he also excels at running the fasting Senna strat with Tahm Kench.
The caveat to this aggression is that Photic can sometimes struggle with getting shut down early. If his lane phase doesn’t go well, Photic is invisible in late game teamfights.
2. Park “Viper” Do-hyeon — EDward Gaming
Viper needs no introduction. As a member of the iconic Griffin roster that birthed many modern-day greats, he has a long-standing reputation as one of the strongest mechanical players in the world. When it comes to reaction time, spacing, and general awareness of his surroundings, Viper is second-to-none.
Even on the first day of Summer, Viper is already making plays that require a near-inhuman level of reaction time. His ability to flash with a millisecond’s notice combined with such strong positioning and target prioritization in fights makes Viper one of the most lethal ADCs in the LPL. He’s a carry in every sense of the word, and even through EDG’s post-Worlds slump, Viper never slowed down.
1. Chen “GALA” Wei — Royal Never Give Up
In many ways, GALA embodies exactly what a bot laner needs in order to thrive in the LPL. His laning is incredibly strong, often finding CS leads and priority on early drakes, which then he expertly converts to meaningful victories around the map. He’s strong as both an all-in hypercarry and as an ADC that needs to play safe and poke from range.
There’s a reason that GALA has dominated internationally at two MSIs in a row. While the rest of RNG does a great job of supporting him and enabling him to rack up pentakills, there’s something special about how great of a job GALA does at finding an opening. When it really comes down to it, GALA is often the one getting that game-winning pick or carrying a late game teamfight for RNG.
Top 5 2022 LPL Summer players
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.