Throughout over a decade of League of Legends esports history, support has been the most thankless role of the five positions to grace Summoner's Rift. Many a legendary support player have been the linchpin of their team's success, but 2022 was the first season that saw supports take a more defined role due to the state of the game favoring grouping on objectives and cohesive execution more than any previous iteration of the game.
Even with the durability-focused patch of 12.10, support remains a pivotal role in the current state of competitive League of Legends. Let's rank the five best supports heading into the 2022 LCS Summer Split.
5. Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black — FlyQuest
FlyQuest for forthcoming about their reasons for signing aphromoo: the squad wanted a veteran to lead the squad on and off of Summoner's Rift, and as far as the team was concerned, aphromoo delivered. "I think our team is a lot better because aphromoo is a really good component to our team. He makes the game way easier," said jungler Brandon Jeol "Josedeodo" Villegas of aphromoo during what was far and away his best split in a FlyQuest jersey.
In addition to leveling the FLY team as a whole, aphromoo's reunion with AD carry Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen revitalized the AD carry. After a strong rookie season alongside aphromoo on Dignitas, Johnsun looked lost without aphromoo on FlyQuest in 2021, even losing his starting spot during last summer. However, following his reunion with aphromoo, Johnsun, along with the rest of the FLY squad, look better than ever and proved it with their post-season berth since 2020.
4. Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun — 100 Thieves
It's hard to argue against huhi and 100 Thieves AD carry Victor "FBI" Huang being the best bot lane duo last summer in the LCS - the duo was a huge part of 100's first-ever North American League of Legends esports title secured in the 2021 LCS Championship. However, FBI and huhi slumped in the spring of 2022, and while the pair picked up the slack in the post-season, it wasn't enough to defend the 100 Thieves trophy against Evil Geniuses in the finals.
As far as huhi is concerned, there is no excuse for 100 Thieves' bot lane, and while they should be expected to continue fighting to find their form from last summer as a linchpin of their team's success, the results remain to be seen heading into the 2022 LCS Summer Split.
3. Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung — Golden Guardians
Golden Guardian's signing of Olleh as their starting support for the 2022 LCS season was met with skepticism, and for good reason. Olleh had not played professionally since his stint on Dignitas Academy in the spring of 2020, and his last time playing in the LCS was in the summer of 2019 with Golden Guardians. Add the fact that support Jonathan "Chime" Pomponio had a solid rookie campaign in the summer of 2021, and Olleh's signing looked to be a question mark, at best.
Olleh blew expectations out of the water in the 2022 LCS Spring Split. He was far and away the best player on the Golden Guardians roster and was one of the top supports in the LCS despite having a relatively low-performing AD carry in Lawrence "Lost" Hui, who has since been transferred to Immortals ahead of the Spring Split. With veteran AD carry Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes at his side ahead of the 2022 LCS Summer Split, Olleh will look to build on an impressive spring campaign.
2. Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in — Team Liquid
Team Liquid's 2022 LCS roster might be the best ever assembled on paper, but that came with the asterisk of CoreJJ's green card not being approved until week 4 of the 2022 LCS Spring Split. While Bill "Eyla" Nguyen performed admirably in an individual support context in place of CoreJJ, Core's impact on the map and team atmosphere as a whole is world-renowned for a reason.
Despite arguably the most talent on any roster in the LCS, TL's delayed search for identity hindered them in the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs. A regular split finish of 1st place was followed up by a third place finish in the post-season after being swept by eventual champion Evil Geniuses in the penultimate match of the post-season. Come summer with CoreJJ in the lineup full time, Team Liquid has no excuses left to reclaim their throne as LCS champions.
1. Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme — Evil Geniuses
Yes, Vulcan is the support on the reigning LCS champion team, but crucially, his greatest strength exemplifies what made Evil Geniuses the best team in North America — his understanding of his role within his team's identity was second to none.
At multiple times throughout 2022, other supports surpassed Vulcan in level of play, but his grasp of what EG needed was ever-present in his team's success. One only need look as far as his Tahm Kench alongside the Jinx of AD carry Kyle "Danny" Sakamaki, which formed a bot lane duo that was arguably the most crucial combination in EG's first domestic title. Vulcan has plenty to prove in the Summer Split, but regardless, he comes into the competition as the best in his role.
Top 5 2022 LCS Summer players
All images by: Riot Games