2022 was a memorable year for League of Legends fans. There were exciting storylines throughout different regions, the reintroduction of live audiences swung into full force, and the year was capped off by the most exciting World Championship the game has seen. Seeing the passion and dedication of top players is always a treat, and this year was no different.
Although some professional players have pointed to the ease of jungle metas this year, the skill demonstrated by the best has still been very impressive. Though some teams have had junglers fulfill only basic needs for the team, the best rosters have again demonstrated how impactful the position can be — many big matches won at the hands of the jungler. Whether it's setting their team up for an early victory because of intelligent ganking, or securing crucial objectives in the late game, players in the jungle had a pivotal role this year.
Here are Inven Global’s top five junglers throughout 2022.
5. Han "Peanut" Wang-ho — Gen.G
A lot of attention has been given this year to Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok reinventing himself into a supportive leader for his team. However, more praise needs to be offered to Peanut for his transition from one of the craziest mechanical savants the game has seen, into a reserved but intelligent jungle veteran. Building off the success he had with Nongshim RedForce in 2021, Peanut fit in perfectly with Gen.G to be the perfect supportive talent for Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk and Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon.
Though the latter two received most of the credit for Gen.G's success, Peanut's smart teamfighting, versatility for compositions, and willingness to play from behind to give more resources to his teammates made him a crucial asset. He wasn't always carrying, and wasn't as flashy as some of the other players, but his game knowledge and adaptability made him one of the most valuable junglers of the year.
4. Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu — DWG KIA
One can only hope that DWG KIA clicks better this year than it did in 2023, because it will be a shame if Canyon's peak ability is wasted. Although only 21, DWG KIA's jungler has put together a portfolio of accomplishments that already rank him as one of the greatest to ever play the position: multiple MVP awards, a Summoner's Cup on top of several domestic championships, and a reputation for carrying.
Canyon did his best to continue building his legacy throughout 2023. His team, however, was not on the same page. It wasn't as if they were complete dead weight — Heo "ShowMaker" Su was still an elite mid lane threat, and the team had strong moments as a five-man unit — but Gen.G's side lanes simply never matched up with what teams like Gen.G and T1 offered, while the roster's teamplay did not have the same level of cohesion as in 2020 and 2021.
Still, though, Canyon once again proved himself to be one of the best junglers in the world. With DWG KIA's play revolving around Canyon, he helped them to two top-four finishes in competition, and almost made the semifinals of Worlds (in one of the best sets of the tournament). Paired with a Player of the Split award in the spring — Canyon is the same beast he's been since he began blowing people's minds years ago.
3. Yan "Wei" Yangwei — Royal Never Give Up
Throughout Worlds and most of the summer, Wei was not on most people's radars as one of the best junglers in the world. RNG had dropped flat out of the conversation for best team in the LPL, and several jungle opponents throughout China and Korea looked better in almost every way. It's not as if Wei was in a position like Canyon where he had to carry all of his team — he certainly deserves some blame. His feast-or-famine style was not as effective with a less connected team, but he also made a lot of mistakes we didn't see from him at his peak.
However, his performance throughout the first half of the year (classic RNG), in addition to his relatively solid play in the summer easily makes him one of the best junglers of the year. His domestic results were fantastic, and he was one of the primary reasons for RNG being able to defeat the formidable T1 at MSI.
2. Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok — JD Gaming
Watching Kanavi play is like watching homemade fireworks: awesome and flashy, but you're always worried about how unsafe it is. His carry-heavy approach to the jungle was something no other player in the world could replicate — making it work even in metas every other jungler was taking a backseat to their teammates. He has excellent playmaking, can always identify how to properly approach teamfights, and has the willingness to get his hands dirty and deal as much damage as possible unlike anyone else in the world. Sometimes that got him in trouble — teams would exploit his mistakes and shut out JDG's main win-condition — but it certainly led to some fantastic results throughout the year.
1. Mun "Oner" Hyeon-jun — T1
Oner is the complete package. Some players are better at certain aspects of jungling, but no one is more well-rounded than him. Certain players had better performances than Oner during some points of the year, but no one maintained a similar level of excellence throughout all stages of 2022. Certain players were good, but none were greater than Oner.
At the 2022 LCK Awards, Oner was one of the most awarded guests — including winning the region's Jungler of the Year honor. He won impressive individual honors (Spring Finals MVP), and had by far the overall most successfult team year for a jungler. He served his team in every way they needed, and had plenty of memorable highlights of his own. An all-time great year for a player that still has plenty of room to grow.
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