Going into the LCS Spring Split you’d be hard-pressed to find a more stacked role than jungle. To start the 2022 LCS Spring Split, five junglers came to mind as these pivotal players and for the Summer Split, this hasn’t changed. Let's rank the top 5 LCS junglers heading into the Summer Split.
5. Mingyi "Spica" Lu — TSM
Having been forced to take on a leadership role, one that had him watch over the youngest roster he’s been a part of to date, Spica had to take a step back on his own gameplay, leading to a less than ideal spring performance. Add the fact that TSM as a whole was underperforming, leading to a ninth-place finish, there’s only so much the 2021 LCS Summer Split MVP could do.
However, going into the 2022 LCS Summer Split, that’s all set to change, as now that his roster has somewhat been bolstered with more experience with the acquisition of veteran mid-laner Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang. It’s safe to say that Spica has proven in the past to be one of the best home-grown talents North America has ever produced and he’ll once again showcase why this summer.
4. Can "Closer" Çelik — 100 Thieves
Although not quite as flashy as some of the other junglers on this list, Closer has one of the most unique intangibles in the role—his ability to will his team to win. This was showcased all throughout the 2021 LCS Summer playoffs as with Lee Sin and Viego in hand, the Turkish jungler proved to be unstoppable.
Throughout the spring, he and his roster struggled to find a groove following their impressive title run in the previous year. However, one of the factors that kept this Thieves team afloat was Closer's individual level of play. Thanks to his high-end performances that netted him a top-three spot in KDA and First Blood rate, 100 Thieves were able to reach the finals.
Even though it was a net loss performance-wise going from last year’s LCS Championship to this year’s spring, one thing’s for certain, a jungler of this caliber won’t allow his team to trend downward for long.
3. Robert "Blaber" Huang — Cloud9
Time and time again, Blaber continues to prove why he is one of the best home-grown talents the North American scene has ever witnessed. Add the fact that he holds Multiple MVPs—the only one on this list to have such accolades—and seemingly is always on the LCS All-Pro list, this Cloud9 jungler is a player that, at any given moment, can take over the game.
This was evidenced by yet another terrific Spring Split that resulted in Blaber finishing top two in numerous statistical categories amongst his peers as a killer one-two punch alongside Cloud9 top laner Park "Summit" Woo-tae. Gold difference at 10 minutes, experience differential at 10 minutes, average damage to champions per minute — name the stat, and you will find Blaber at or near the top this spring.
Now that mid-laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and ADC now turned support Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen are both making their return to the team for the summer, the jungler who has often been seen as a lynchpin since he joined the team in mid-2018 will look to use the reunion with his old teammates as an opportunity to restore Cloud9 to their former glory.
2. Kacper "Inspired" Słoma — Evil Geniuses
To say that Inspired came into the LCS this year with high expectations is an understatement. Having just come off of an incredible 2021 LEC Summer performance that netted him his first-ever MVP award, the Polish jungler had a lot to live up to when joining Evil Geniuses for the 2022 season.
However not only did he perform to expectations, but he also superseded them, especially in the post-season. He was a crucial part of Evil Geniuses’ otherworldy championship run, boasting the best KDA for all roles at 8.4 according to Oracle’s Exlir, continuing where he left off in Europe. Inspired is not the same jungler he was on Rogue, he’s undoubtedly a crucial part of this team as he leveled up his teammates’ play and led EG to their first ever LCS championship.
1. Lucas "Santorin" Larsen — Team Liquid
Santorin doesn’t have the peaks that the other junglers on this list occasionally have but he also doesn’t have some of the valleys—he is 'Mr. Consistency.' It’s a title that now comes with a modicum of newfound aggressive confidence thanks to the new roster built around him in 2022 that’s allowed him to evolve into what some would say is the best version of himself.
In the spring playoffs alone, this Danish jungler managed to boast top-end performances that netted him multiple top-two finishes in various categories for the role according to Oracle’s Elixir. Statistics like KDA, kill participation (the highest of any role), kill share, and First Blood rates all contributed to giving Team Liquid a fighting chance at another LCS title, but the team stumbled in the penultimate match of the post-season against eventual champion Evil Geniuses.
Ever since he re-joined the LCS, Santorin has just gotten better and better, and now that he and the star-studded TL roster have had time to gel, there are no external conditions that should hinder TL's quest for another North American title.
Top 5 2022 LCS Summer players
All statistics by: Oracle's Elixir
All images by: Riot Games