Support is a role that seems to get more and more attention as the years go on. We’ve come a long way from the early days of the role, where support was basically about being a walking ward machine with a stun and a shield. Whether you want to shield your teammates and keep the backline alive, run headlong into battle and find the perfect engagement, or outright carry games with damage supports, there are a ton of playstyle options.
With the durability patch taking hard-engage tank supports out of the spotlight, the best support players in Summer will be those who have shown their ability to adapt to the new meta.
5. Liu “Crisp” Qing-Song — BLG
BLG’s bot lane has been in the spotlight for most of the split, but it’s not because of Crisp. Between Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan and Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, their starting ADC was up in the air for most of Spring. While it’s nice that BLG have finally decided on a starting ADC long-term in Doggo, it’s a real shame that Crisp’s exceptional performance on BLG this split got pushed under the rug.
Crisp’s Rakan is probably the best in the region and it perfectly represents the melding of both his playstyles. On one hand, he’s down to play hard engage supports like Leona and Nautilus. On the other, he’s also shown prowess on Renata and Tahm Kench as strong backliners. If Crisp can spend the split working on building synergy with Doggo, BLG will have one of the scariest bot lanes in the LPL.
4. Tian “Meiko” Ye — EDward Gaming
The thing that’s great about Meiko’s long history with League of Legends is how easy it is for him to pick up champs like Lulu and Zilean when the need arises. Enchanters were a key part of Meiko’s champ pool at Worlds 2021, and they’re a key part of the new meta. However, Meiko tends to struggle on hard engage champs in comparison to other support players in the LPL.
Meiko can do well on something like Leona, but he’s also shown that he can’t stop the bleeding from behind. Simply put, Meiko being behind on a tank is one step away from inting. He is much stronger as a backline support player. It’s rare to be better at enchanters than tanks in the LPL, but the new meta is one in which Meiko’s playstyle thrives. He's set up to dominate the LPL in Summer as long as he embraces his strengths as a player.
3. Ling “Mark” Xu — Top Esports
Mark was set up to fail going into Spring. He was the replacement for Zhuo, a support player that had a ton of potential but ultimately fell short for Top Esports. Along with top lane and jungle seeing some swaps over the course of the split, it’s hard to think of a worse time to try and develop synergy with a team. Fortunately, Mark turned out to be the perfect fit for TES.
Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo is a high-variance ADC, someone who either carries games or runs it down. Having Mark around to keep JackeyLove in check makes him an invaluable asset to TES. If Mark’s playing a tanky engage support, he’ll make sure he starts the fight ahead of JackeyLove. If he’s playing an enchanter, Mark will do everything he can to keep JackeyLove alive.
2. Lou “Missing” Yun-Feng — JD Gaming
Missing is the unsung hero for JDG. Considering how focused this team is on front-to-back teamfighting with Yagao and Hope often playing late-game scalers, Missing played an essential role in creating a frontline for this team and starting all the right fights. With Nautilus and Thresh being his main picks through Spring, it’s clear that Missing is always looking for a pick.
Missing’s tendency to play tanks may have been a weakness coming into the new meta, except for the fact that he’s already shown his ability to play enchanters in their very first set against TES in Summer. His Yuumi in Game 1 and Nami in Game 3 were both pivotal parts of JDG’s victory in this set, and they’re both champions he never played in Spring.
The rest of JDG looked very strong through Spring, but don’t forget about Missing. He may be the best player on the team.
1. Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming — Royal Never Give Up
It’s not easy to stand out on RNG. It’s a roster filled with some of the best teamfighters in the world. Highlight reels are the norm for this team when it comes to playoffs and international events, but Ming is often the man behind the scenes creating opportunities for the rest of the team.
Ming’s champion pool isn’t all that different from most other support players in the LPL other than Braum, but the way he plays tanks makes him stand out. With how strong both Yan “Wei” Yang-Wei and Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao are when it comes to initiating fights, Ming often acts as a backline support player even with frontline champions. This means that, as long as Ming is alive, there’s always a chance for one of RNG’s carries to turn a teamfight and win the game.
Ming’s ability to find skirmishes early and keep his team alive late is what makes RNG one of the best teams in the world, and he’s a huge part of their international success.
Top 5 2022 LPL Summer players
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.