The mid lane is one of the most stacked positions in the LEC. Besides the players who are consistently at the top of Europe, every year brings new players who pop off and carve their name in the region’s history. The strength of LEC mid laners is also versatile: kings of the laning phase versus roaming specialists, control mage gods versus lethal assassins… whatever you prefer to watch, Europe has it.
With a talent pool that runs this deep, it can be hard to make a top-five list of mid laners playing in the LEC. We gave it a shot anyway. Here are the best mid laners competing in the 2022 LEC Summer Split!
5. Luka "Perkz" Perković — Team Vitality
After a one-year adventure on Cloud9 in the LCS, Perkz returned to Europe. The expectations were high for the West’s G.O.A.T. as he stood at the center of Vitality’s superteam. While the team faceplanted and failed to live up to the bare minimum of expectations as they could not find a coherent playstyle, Perkz still delivered as much as was feasible. Especially in the early parts of the Spring Split, if Vitality grabbed a victory, it was Perkz who ran around the map to help his team acquire leads and close things out in clutch moments.
In terms of pure level of play, it has been a while since Perkz has consistently performed at a level that would put him in the discussion for best mid laner in the region. It comes with flashes. Still, there is one thing that sets Perkz apart from any other mid laner: the intangibles. Perkz is a player who, no matter which colleague he plays alongside of, lifts up the team. He knows what it takes to win and will do everything in his power to get his team to that point. With Vitality bringing in jungler Kang "Haru" Min-seung to have the team more on one page compared to the Spring Split, chances are that Perkz will have to apply fewer band-aids, and instead can focus on dominating his lane instead.
4. Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié — Misfits Gaming
Seeing Vetheo in fourth place might raise people’s eyebrows. The young Frenchman had a phenomenal eight weeks in the regular Spring Split, being a hard-carry for Misfits. From seemingly impossible situations, Vetheo found angles to drag his team across the finish line with fantastic outplays on champions such as Akali and Sylas. Even in Misfits’ losses, it was often Vetheo who held off the enemies for as long as possible. Across the eighteen games he played in the best-of-1 stage of the LEC, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a game in which Vetheo played badly. It earned him a spot on the LEC All-Pro team, and he was crowned MVP of the 2022 LEC Spring Split.
However, if we look at what Vetheo’s performance last split means in the grand scheme of things, it becomes clear: it was just one really, really good split. Misfits’ strategy revolved entirely about enabling Vetheo. He would get all the attention and resources to put him in a position to carry, which he then did brilliantly. But when those resources were cut off successfully in the Spring Split playoffs, Vetheo couldn’t find an angle to find the same impact.
Although Vetheo has lots of growing to do as a player, he is easily one of Europe’s best already. The development he has gone through since he debuted in the LEC last year has been dazzling. If Vetheo’s teammates step up in the Summer Split with their versatility and consistency, giving Vetheo room to breathe instead of having to be “on” at all times, Vetheo will become a fully-rounded player who can lead his team even when he’s not meant to be the carry.
3. Marek "Humanoid" Brázda — Fnatic
Humanoid had a lot of pressure to perform in 2022. In 2021, the veteran had stood out as not just the best mid laner in the region — he was the best player Europe had full stop. He brushed off the stigma of “needlessly dying in a side lane” and led MAD Lions to back-to-back championships with outstanding play and precise shotcalling. Now on Fnatic, who crafted their own version of a superteam, expectations were that Humanoid wouldn’t just continue that trend; he was bound to perform even better alongside his new colleagues.
Those expectations had to be tempered quickly. The veterans on Fnatic took a while to get aligned in how they wanted to approach the game. It led to a disjointed playstyle across the team. In the chaos, Humanoid had trouble keeping up his shape. At times, he fell back into his old habit of overextending, pushing his luck, and needlessly dying as a result, putting his team in a disadvantage.
That said, the brilliance of Humanoid has not faded — it just took a while for him to find his place. As explained by his support Hylissang, it was Humanoid who was teaching the Fnatic lineup where to be on the map at any given time. And, as the teachings of Humanoid brought Fnatic in line, he was able to execute his style much better as well. While Fnatic still has ways to go when it comes to finding their synergy, the progress they made in one Split was promising. In the Summer Split, Humanoid should be able to get much closer to his 2021 shape as his team develops even more.
2. Rasmus “caPs” Winther — G2 Esports
For the first time in years, the audience got to witness peak caPs again. Towards the end of the regular Spring Split he already had a few games that fanned the flames of hope that he would return to full glory. During G2’s lower bracket run of the playoffs, he started to play better and better. caPs ascended to god status when he took to the stage against long-time rival Fnatic and didn’t let go of that shape.
From then, all the way through MSI’s Group Stage and to the end of G2’s game against Saigon Buffalo, caPs was seemingly untouchable. He seemed to break the game in ways that he hadn’t since 2019. From Ahri to Galio, from Yasuo to LeBlanc, caPs broke ankles with insane levels of mechanical play, while also cleverly roaming and denying his opponents any room to breathe.
So then why is caPs in second place, if his peaks are untouchable levels of divinity? Well, because people only remember the good when it comes to caPs. Understandably so, it’s magical to watch him play when he’s on that level. But for most of the Spring Split, caPs was just another mid laner, average in the pack of the LEC. From the third day of the MSI Rumble Stage onward, he was straight up playing badly, which stood in huge contrast to his performance just one day before that. caPs’ return to peak shape was attributed to playing in front of a crowd again, but he also dropped off massively in front of that same crowd. What shape caPs will be in is unpredictable. Still, the Dane has shown some fantastic performances this year that awed the planet.
1. Emil “Larssen” Larsson — Rogue
Larssen edges out a top spot over Humanoid and caPs because of a very simple reason: he’s the king of consistency. Whereas his contemporaries took time to warm up, Larssen was on-point for virtually the entire Spring Split and if it weren’t for Vetheo having a pop-off Split with spectacular outplays, Larssen would have finally gotten his All-Pro listing. The young Swede knows like no other how to tend to his lane, relentlessly punishing every mistake his counterpart on the Rift makes. He’s the consistent carry for Rogue and a pillar for the team’s dominance Split after Split, for years in a row now.
In spite of Larssen’s incredible stability over the past years, he is still criticized a lot, and often unfairly. “He can only play control mages” and “he just plays passively” are the most-heard points of criticism, but if you’re hanging onto those at this point, you’re blindly clutching onto old narratives for the sake of bandwagoning. Yes, he is easily the best player the LEC has on control mages, and his excellence on champions such as Viktor and Orianna is why Rogue keeps picking it for him. However, people seem to forget that just last Summer Split, Larssen dominated on Lucian in the mid lane. To take away any doubters more recently, he absolutely decimated Fnatic with Sylas in the Spring Split playoffs — a series in which he also showed that he can and will play aggressively if need be.
The biggest caveat in Larssen’s career at this point is that he doesn’t have an LEC title yet, which Humanoid and caPs both have multiple of. In 2021, Rogue attributed missing the final hurdle to a crumbling team environment when under pressure. In the 2022 Spring Split final, the team had no say against the fury of an in-shape G2. Perhaps only when Larssen wins the LEC, he’ll be widely acknowledged for his performances. Still, heading into the Summer Split, there is no mid lane player you can rely more on than Larssen.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.