Korea has traditionally been a region blessed with great top laners and with Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon returning from his break this season, the competition has been cranked up a notch. Deciding who the top players will be for the top lane in the 2022 LCK Summer Split was difficult, but these five players were ahead of the others.
Here are the top 5 top laners you should keep an eye on for the 2022 LCK Summer Season.
5. Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon — Gen.G
Doran is one of the most aggressive top laners in the LCK. This playstyle of his makes him inconsistent, but when he’s on his game, no one can really stop him. During the spring season, Doran had his ups and downs, but seemed to have stabilized the volatility of his play quite a bit compared to the past.
Doran was voted as the Player of the Game in seven times during the season, which was the second most among top laners and among his team. With great teammates to aid him, Doran’s main keyword is consistency — more consistency will put Doran at the top of anyone’s list of the best top laners.
4. Kim “Kiin” Gi-in — Kwangdong Freecs
Already known as one of the greats — and always the ace of the Freecs — Kiin is ranked fourth among the top laners for the 2022 LCK summer season. From laning to teamfights, he is an all-rounder top laner. Kiin's champion pool is extremely wide, as he played 16 different champions in the Spring Split.
Kiin showed consistent performance throughout the Spring Split, as he ranked second in the league in KDA among top laners, a position he ascended to through fantastic laning phase and considering that Kwangdong Freecs placed only fifth in the Spring, Kiin’s stats are remarkable. Since Freecs can always count on him to do his job in the top lane, all he needs is better assistance from his teammates to achieve better results.
3. Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee — KT Rolster
Rascal was a solo kill machine during the Spring Split with a total of 30 solo kills over the season. That's 10 more than the runner-up and second-most in LCK history for a single season following Jang “Marin” Gyeong-hwan’s 31. Back in his Gen.G days, Rascal was called the “Iron Wall” for his capability of playing a solid, immovable top lane style. This year, instead of just being a fortress, he's added an aggressive element to that wall and has started smashing skulls in it.
Unfortunately for Rascal, KT Rolster didn’t play as well as he did, finishing seventh and missing playoffs, but considering that a seventh-place team top laner collected the second most solo kills ever is evidence that Rascal had a great season, regardless of what the standings show. If Rascal can maintain this performance, he will be the key for KT Rolster to reach the playoffs or higher.
2. Choi “Zeus” Woo-je — T1
Going 18-0 for the split and winning a championship is never a solo effort — all five players have to do their roles. In that matter, Zeus was a great team player in the game as he was seldom given the counter pick. Despite that, he managed to stay ahead of his opponents in most games. His Jayce and Gnar were especially exceptional: 14 wins in 18 games on Jayce and a perfect 6-0 record on Gnar.
The team’s high winrate may have aided Zeus’ stats, but he shines the most when he’s in a pinch, getting dived by multiple players. Opponents constantly tried to attack Zeus in the sidelanes when he was alone, but more often than not, Zeus managed to survive or at least trade even, helping his team benefit on the other side of the map while taking up all the aggro.
Considering that Zeus is only 18 years old who already has a championship and the added international experience from MSI, he’ll be back this Summer as one of the best top laners in the league.
1. Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon — DWG KIA
Nuguri is known as one of the most aggressive top laners ever in the LoL esports scene. He has one of the best mechanics in the game, with great laning and an exceptional ability to carry the team in any situation. Nuguri sharpened his sword during his year in the LPL, constantly fighting with his aggressive champion pool.
The 2020 world champion is back in the LCK with his former team, with whom he lifted the Summoner’s Cup. Hopes are high as he is reunited with Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu and Heo "ShowMaker" Su, who Nuguri already has good synergy with. The one-season break is the only doubt for Nuguri. If he’s back in his old form, he will again be at the top of the ecosystem, gobbling up his opponents as they come.