The 2023 Mid-Season Invitational is just around the corner. For nearly three weeks, 13 teams from around the world will compete to declare the best team for the spring season. And in those battles, there will be 13 junglers competing to prove who’s the best. The junglers have to do the difficult work for the team, from supporting the lanes to smiting and on. Here are the top 5 junglers competing at MSI 2023.
5. MAD Elyoya
MAD Lions had a difficult season for sure, but they managed to pull off a miracle playoffs run from the 8th seed. One of the reasons behind that was Javier “Elyoya” Prades’ form. His performance during the regular season wasn’t close to the Elyoya we know, but starting from groups, he recovered to keep his reputation as the LEC’s best jungler. Although there were a few overextending moments in the finals, he managed to keep cool to reverse sweep Team BDS for the championship.
Elyoya played Lee Sin and Vi an awful lot in the spring season. In fact, he didn’t play many champions in total from the season throughout the groups and playoffs — the only other picks were Wukong, Trundle, Sejuani, and Maokai. Elyoya has been one of the best junglers in the LEC since his debut, but his biggest weakness is his consistency. One of the key points for MAD Lions to do well at MSI 2023 is Elyoya’s performance.
4. BLG Xun
Bilibili Gaming has been up and down throughout the spring, and Peng “Xun” Li-Xun went through all of it with the team. Xun pulled the team up to a 5th place finish in the regular season and continued to do so in the playoffs as Bilibili Gaming managed to reach the MSI. Consistency is also an issue for Xun, but he is nearly unstoppable when he’s on his A game.
Xun’s most-picked champions in the spring were Vi and Wukong, and there was a pocket pick in Kindred. Xun was the only player that used Kindred through the entire LPL spring, and it had good and bad results. As he has a high ceiling, if Xun manages to stay consistent, he will draw some attention at MSI 2023.
3. T1 Oner
T1 had a spectacular season in the spring as they went 17-1. Oner was a reliable constant on the team through the glorious season, and he was finally voted on the All-Pro 1st Team, which he was left out of over the past few seasons. He showed that he was capable of being an all-around jungler, playing whatever role he was given. However, Oner struggled in the finals, trailing to his counterpart through the series.
Oner played a variety of champions this season, and his most-picked champions were Vi and Sejuani. He played champions like Nocturne and Xin Zhao as well when they were needed. As mentioned earlier, Oner has been a constant in the team, but he needs to boost his performance on big stages to seek higher places, and MSI 2023 is a great place to prove his ability.
2. GEN Peanut
As one of the most experienced players in the scene now, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho aims to claim his second MSI title. Earlier in his career, Peanut’s performance was mostly based on his instincts and mechanics, but with all that experience, he has now become a much more macro player, with unique pathing and game plans. Although he trailed to Oner in the All-LCK pro team, Peanut was one of the key reasons Gen.G won the championship.
Peanut’s most-played champion this season was Wukong, which helped the team win the championship in the finals. Another popular pick for Peanut was Vi and Maokai. With a wide-range champion pool, Peanut can blend in with the team comp like a chameleon, and he’ll show what he’s made of at this MSI.
1. JDG Kanavi
For a while, Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok has been recognized as one of the best junglers in the world. Kanavi was the main reason JD Gaming has been around the top of the standings in the past few years, as he carried the team time after time. This year, there are more players that can carry within the roster, so Kanavi has been relieved from much of his duties, and this made him play even better.
The most-played champions for Kanavi this season were Lee Sin, Vi, Wukong, and Sejuani. Among them, he played Wukong the most in the playoffs and won seven of the eight games he played. Although there were doubts about him being LPL’s best jungler, he prevailed in the playoffs, as he made jungle differences against his opponents game after game. With stronger teammates this year, Kanavi deserves to be on the top of this list.