Top lane has been through quite a journey so far in 2022. The role was deemed useless by many following season 12 changes to Teleport, and at one point, roaming supports with smite were able to provide more impact than your standard top lane champions. Despite the adversity the role has faced, the top laners of the strongest teams were still able to find a way to provide pressure one way or another for their team. Let's rank the top 5 LCS top laners heading into the Summer Split.
5. Ibrahim "Fudge" Allami — Cloud9
After a stint in the mid lane for the first half of 2022, Fudge has returned to his original position of top lane following Cloud9's reunion with Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen after the LCS Spring Split. Cloud9 is sporting quite a different look than they did in spring with both Fudge roleswapping back to top lane and Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen returning from a substitute role for the first time since 2021 after roleswapping from AD carry to support.
Fudge was the most consistent player on Cloud9 last year and was in the running for MVP in the 2021 LCS Summer Split, and there is a very real chance that he will be able to reclaim his title of best top laner in NA. However, since he hasn't played the role competitively at all in 2022, he comes in at number five.
4. Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon — TSM
Huni was the sole bright spot on TSM's worst split in LCS history this spring, which saw them finish tied for last place in the standings and miss the post-season for the first time. However, Huni was able to be flexible and continue to silence doubters who continue to be convinced he is incapable of playing weak side. Huni was able to carry in the rare opportunities he got to in the 2022 LCS Spring Split, but when most of the gold went to AD carry Edward "Tactical" Ra, Huni showcased flexibility.
This isn't to say Huni was a top 4 top laner in the LCS Spring Split, but he certainly wasn't the ninth-best despite having factors working against him. In an interview with Inven Global, Huni admitted that, like jungler Mingyi "Spica" Lu, his individual performance had dipped as he was trying to focus on getting rookie mid laner Zhu "Keaiduo" Xiong up to competitive snuff.
After removing Keiaduo from the starting roster, TSM began to look much better than their final placing in the LCS Spring Split. Expect TSM to improve in the LCS Summer Split and Huni to be a crucial part in any success that comes their way.
3. Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau — Team Liquid
Bwipo started 2022 in his original of top lane after jungling for the second half of 2021, but seemingly needed no adjustment as he dominated the competition on Team Liquid's way to their second consecutive LCS Lock In championship.
Bwipo was one of the early adopters of Hullbreaker, an item that ended up defining the top lane meta for a good chunk of the LCS Spring Split.
Despite a strong regular season performance, Bwipo was comparatively lackluster in the deeper parts of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs, oftentimes misreading a situation and self-admittedly losing TL a few games singlehandedly. Bwipo's highs might be the highest of any top laner in the LCS, but a pair of his peers have exhibited similar levels of play with more consistency.
2. Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho — 100 Thieves
When 100 Thieves won their first LCS title last summer, Ssumday's role was, more often than not, the lightning rod of opposing pressure while the team played through the stellar bot lane duo of AD carry Victor "FBI" Huang and support Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun. In 2022, Ssumday's role on 100 could not have been more different. While the bot lane slumped, Ssumday showcased arguably his best form since coming to the LCS as Dignitas' top laner in 2017.
While the 100 Thieves bot lane slumped, Ssumday added to his immaculate cerebral play with utter carnage on carry champions like Tryndamere. In a season where the bot lane slumped and mid laner Felix "Abbedagge" Braun didn't find his consistency until the post-season, Ssumday was the go button for 100 Thieves jungler Can "Closer" Çelik and the linchpin to their success. However, when it mattered most, there was one top laner that surpassed ven Ssumday's elite level of play.
1. Jeong "Impact" Eon-young — Evil Geniuses
Since joining Evil Geniuses before the 2021 LCS season, Impact has been the team's most consistent member and showcased MVP-levels of play in the 2021 LCS Summer Split. In the 2022 LCS Spring Split, Impact struggled to consistently shine due to an up-and-down 9-9 finish for EG, but in the post-season, the former world champion was on an entirely different level than his Spring Split form,
Impact was far and away the best performing top laner in the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs and was forced to prove it in EG's back-to-back sweeps of Team Liquid and 100 Thieves to win EG's first LCS championship. Impact outclassed Bwipo on every level before winning both sides of the Ornn matchup against Ssumday, crucially on the 'against' side with a pocket Mordekaiser, and indisputably comes into the Summer Split as the best top laner in the LCS.
Top 5 2022 LCS Summer players
All images by: Riot Games