Throughout what is now over a decade of League of Legends esports history, no role has matched the competitive prestige and prowess associated with the mid lane. Over the years, the cornerstones of what is important in competitive play from a mid laner's perspective have changed, but the significance of the role itself has not.
Map play and synergy with one's jungler are more important than ever for mid laners in 2022 and the facets of what separates elite mid laners from the rest of the pack are in the small details. Let's take a look at the top 5 mid laners competing in the upcoming 2022 LCS Summer Split, according to the Inven Global team.
5. Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen — Cloud9
If the average player found themselves teamless for the first five months of the season, it would be controversial to rank them in the top 5 in an upcoming split. That being said, Jensen could not be further from the definition of the average player.
Jensen found himself teamless after being replaced on Team Liquid during the 2021 offseason. After his buyout was waived by TL weeks later, it was too late for him to find a team for the 2022 LCS Spring Split. However, he's back to a familiar environment with C9, and if he can manage to shake the rust off at a reasonable rate, he'll be much higher than 5th on this list come the end of summer.
4. Felix "Abbedagge" Braun — 100 Thieves
Abbedagge joined 100 Thieves midway through the 2021 season, and in his first LCS split, he established himself as the region's best mid laner and was a large part of them winning their first LCS title. In 2022, however, he failed to live up to that level of play for the majority of spring, admitting himself that his focus would inexplicably wane and affect his consistency.
Abbedagge turned it on in the last few weeks of the Spring Split and continued to exhibit stellar form in the postseason, looking every bit the player 100 Thieves signed to win their first title last summer. However, his invisibility in crucial moments of 100 Thieves' last two series in the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs lands him at number four on this list as he will look to maintain his flashes of brilliance on a more consistent basis in the upcoming Summer Split.
3. Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg — Team Liquid
Bjergsen's return to competitive play after a year of retirement as the head coach of TSM was significant, to say the least, especially given the fact that he would be returning in a jersey other than TSM's for the first time since his rookie season with Copenhagen Wolves in the 2013 EU LCS Summer Split. However, it was expected that, after a year off, Bjergsen would need time to ramp back up to his prime level of play.
Bjergsen undoubtedly improved as the split went on, but he failed to match his peak on TSM in his first split back on Summoner's Rift, and his arguably outdated Corki builds in the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs were subject to criticism from many a fan and analyst alike.
There is a chance that Bjergsen will top this list by the time the 2022 LCS Summer Playoffs begin, but until then, the Bjergerking will have to settle for top 3.
2. Loïc "toucouille" Dubois — FlyQuest
The signing of toucouille by FlyQuest was, for the most part, met by skepticism. The 2021 LFL Spring Split MVP had never played in a major region, and the team he played on in the French league was far from elite.
In the end, FlyQuest was rewarded by betting on toucouille, who was arguably the best mid laner in the 2022 LCS Spring Split and the primary firepower behind the FLY roster led by veteran support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black.
FlyQuest may have finished outside of the top 4, but toucouille was able to earn himself All-Pro honors for his performance during the 2022 LCS Spring Split and is far and away the strongest player on his team, despite the importance of aphromoo and the improvement of jungler Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas.
If FlyQuest is to maintain or surpass its standing in the LCS from spring, toucouille will need to continue to perform at a high level.
1. Joseph "jojopyun" Pyun — Evil Geniuses
It's easy to call jojopyun overhyped because he is the first domestic North American mid laner to win an LCS title since Eugene "Pobelter" Park during Team Liquid's championship run through the 2018 NA LCS Summer Playoffs. It's even easier to say he's overhyped because his team is the reigning LCS champion, but that could not be further from the truth.
To put it simply, jojopyun has been the best laning mid laner since the 2022 LCS Lock In. His CS differential at 10 minutes of 10.9 was 7.5 higher than the second place mid laner in the category, Dignitas' Ersin "Blue" Gören, despite both mid laners averaging 8.9 CS per minute throughout the tournament. In the 2022 LCS Spring Split, jojopyun's CSD@10 of 6.4 was four times the amount of FlyQuest's toucouille, who finished second in the statistic.
Despite the stellar laning, jojopyun's map play left a lot to be desired, especially when more experienced mid laners would gracefully lose lane to him before outplaying him in the later stages of the game for wins over EG. However, a big part of EG's powerup in the playoffs was jojopyun's ability to play the map far better than previous performances, specifically on roam-centric champions like Ryze and Twisted Fate.
After winning a LCS title in his debut LCS split, it's hard to argue that the sky isn't the limit for jojopyun. The Evil Geniuses mid laner has all eyes on him as he looks to solidify himself as the best mid laner in North America in the upcoming LCS Summer Split.
Top 5 2022 LCS Summer players
All images by: Riot Games