The 2022 LCK Summer split finally kicked off on June 15, and Kwangdong Freecs and DRX were the first two teams that marked their first regular split victories on the board. With the competitive meta shifting to more late-game-oriented play after the 12.10 durability patch, the importance of ADCs became ever more important.
As the start of the LCK Summer Split, here are our top 5 picks for who we think will be the top performers in the bot lane role.
5. Lee “Prince” Chae-hwan — Liiv SANDBOX
The prince of bot lane Lee “Prince” Chae-hwan returns to the LCK after a split-long break. Prince has been communicating with his fans through his stream on AfreecaTV, streaming his gameplay in Challenger solo queue. Now, he's back to his former team, Liiv SANDBOX.
Aside from the flashy mechanics and other common features of a great bot laner, what made Prince so special in the LCK was that he had the X factor that Liiv SANDBOX needed.
At one point in the game above, Liiv SANDBOX was down 11 kills and 6K global gold. As the clip shows, one wrong move from Prince would have meant a teamfight loss for LSB, but he was able to thread the needle and be the game-changer that his team needed to victory.
4. Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil - DWG KIA
Ever since his days on Nongshim RedForce, deokdam has shown carry potential and ability to create variance for his team. Nicknamed "General deokdam", he transferred over to DWG KIA for the start of the 2022 season, alongside his lane partner Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu from Nongshim.
DWG KIA were criticized for their weak top side during the Spring Split. Despite this, it came down to a close loss against Gen.G in Game 5 of the LCK Spring semifinals that barred DWG KIA from finals appearance and MSI seed challenge. Since then, they’ve re-signed their former top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. Now armed with a strengthened roster, deokdam has fewer excuses to perform against the best top laners in the region.
3. Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu — DRX
Recently, there have been discussions within the LoL esports communities about whether veterans in the scene play the game smarter than the younger generation. For Deft and his extensive career now spanning nine years, this statement cannot be any more true.
It’s jaw-dropping to think that Deft not only retained, but honed and refined his mechanics throughout all those years. On top of that come years of knowledge that cannot be ignored when it comes to the highest level of gameplay in League of Legends.
Although Deft has shown consistency issues throughout his career, he has proven over and over that the team can rely on him to turn things around for his team. Deft had a split to build up lane synergy with his new support in Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee and should be looking for improved results in Summer.
2. Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk
Gen.G created the superstar line-up for the 2022 Season, centered around their franchise star, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk. On a personal note, I think that Ruler has shown growth this past Spring Split, where he stepped out of his comfort zone on many occasions.
By saying this, I do not mean to discredit him as a player of course. He’s always had godlike mechanics and a game sense built throughout an extensive career. Now that Ruler’s had a split to build that synergy with an eccentric, think-outside-the-box support player like Son “Lehends” Si-woo, he looks to spread his wings and dominate the Summer.
1. Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong
Through T1’s undefeated run in the 2021 LCK Spring split and their second-place finish at the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, Gumayusi confirmed that he deserves to be in the conversation for one of the best players in the world. Oftentimes, his team relies on him to be the late-game insurance, especially when he’s playing champions like Jinx and Aphelios.
One thing that MSI exposed about Gumayusi however, was that while he felt comfortable on his Spring Split champion pool, he struggled on picks that were new to the meta. With a shorter time to adjust to the durability patch and the changes that come with it, Gumayusi has an uphill battle ahead of him, figuring out how to navigate this tricky for him territory.
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