The 2018 Spring EU LCS W O K E Awards Are Here!

On the 2018 Spring Biased Awards I will ramble about whatever set of criteria I’ve come up with to justify giving the spotlight to my favorite players. If you like objective selections and solid reasoning behind statements save yourself the read, we are going full into narratives and edgy choices, the very essence of wanting to feel smart while talking about an irrelevant video game.

Let’s dive into it shall we?


For me, it’s clearly Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro. I can’t help but feel that any other choice is a bit “woker than thou” on its approach, similar (but obviously to a much smaller degree) to how people usually try to twist arguments to try and explain away why Faker is not the best player at certain given times.

His two main opponents would seem to be Tore "Norskeren" Hoel and Patrik "Sheriff" Jírů, at least those are the only ones that can compete. Sheriff is the one that most dirty feels to me out of the three. Of course, he might be the best in the long run, and the carry performances he is putting out in teamfights are unreal for a rookie ADC.

But come on, what even is this? Does nobody remember bad pathing, lack of map awareness and blatant over-aggression? One of the things that makes Sheriff stand out the most is precisely how much he has overcome his early difficulties and tuned into his stage performance. Ideally, the first day should weigh as much as the last, and clearly Sheriff is benefiting A LOT from his upwards trajectory.

Rookie with the most potential? Likely. Best rookie of the overall split? No.

Then there is Norskeren, who has very clear parallelisms with Jiizuke. The preferences of his team and early metagame enabled a lot of his strengths to come through and show themselves, but he is a bit lackluster by comparison outside of high comfort picks like Braum. I don’t mean to say Norskeren was bad or anything on other champions, but the performance certainly wasn’t as impactful. I’m very excited to see more of Norskeren, he is my favorite rookie this split, it feels like there is a lot for him and more will pour out in the future, but I can’t give him the title.

For Jiizuke it seems like the case has to be made, which is the weirdest feeling. He is the star of a team that not only had a great early run, but his commitment to a carry oriented style took so much from the shoulders of his teammates. It’s not every player that will always want or be able to take pressure and do something with it but, as a ROOKIE, Jiizuke did and succeeded heavily. Even today most teams approaches to Vitality revolve around not letting them snowball the midlane.

Yes, I know his playstyle is not “correct”, and I too see more limitations to his development than I see for the other two candidates. Still, Jiizuke was a more key piece to the success of his team than any of the other two, and Vitality had more success than any of the other two teams. Games are won on performance, not potential, and so is this award.

Winner: Jiizuke
Runner ups:
Norskeren, Sheriff


The criteria for the all pro is perhaps the most nebulous of all three, and this is how I currently think it should be decided.

I travel back in time to before the split starts and I have to set up a team that will play together for a year. Patches will be the same, and I have no idea which players I can get in combination, I have to just write up a list of priorities and Riot will do the rest and pay the salaries, what do I write?

The going back in time but playing a full year criteria exists because I want to give weight to what a player has achieved but also how he is developing towards the summer split, by far the most important of the two. When it came to evaluating rookies, I didn’t want it to give potential improvement a lot of weight because I felt that it is much more of a performance rather than a quality or talent based award.

However, All Pro usually featuring veteran players with a lot more footage on their back and all being likely to make it into worlds, I want to put more of a spotlight on the evolution of their form. I make patches be the same because I want players to reap the rewards of being lucky enough to find themselves in a metagame that favors them, after all, this is a title that in theory rewards split performance as well.

You don’t really get a choice on the players to take out of the equation in order looking to not reward those who have advantages from having teammates that compliment their weaknesses and not to punish those who don’t.

Lastly, I choose the team to be mine because I think this award should reward quality and talent more than it does performance. Since this is the only event where people usually spare praise for players, I want who I think is the best to be rewarded, and the best way for my brain to get into the groove for it is to think of it as an investment.


For as long as sOAZ keeps being sOAZ, it will be sOAZ.

It’s a sad fact of League that toplane just isn’t as relevant to the game result as the other roles are, for reasons we won’t get into. This makes a toplaner that can play without resources extremely valuable, and Paul "sOAZ" Boyer is just the best at it.

With his uncanny game sense he is able to not only to find creative solutions around the problems of being left to dry out, but he pairs it with one of the best engage senses in the EU LCS, if not straight out the best. His skill set is simply fundamentally tied to what makes a good toplaner, and he is at the very least good in every other aspect.

It’s very hard to argue that Martin "Wunder" Hansen has not been the best performing toplaner of the split, because he has. His carries have always been pretty good, but it’s his front lining that has really caught my attention this split. He was always good on Gnar flanks, but him being able to make the Ornn shine so much not only in terms of engaging but also teamfight positioning and zoning really wins him that merit.

The last has to be Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu, even if his performance was lackluster at the start, he picked it up by the end of the split. He has not shown himself to be either better than the other two or headed in that direction, but it’s not like he hasn’t shown he is able to in the past. He is better than the remaining competition and also a disciple of the low econ lifestyle, a valuable trait indeed.

1- sOAZ
2- Wunder


Oh jungle! The amount of headaches this role has given me this season, and I sense more will come down the line so I’ll just dive in with my all pro jungler.

I choose Maxlore.

Simply put, Maxlore has had the hardest jungle to execute in the entire EU LCS. Misfits has been exploring the merits of snowball since they day viewed with their Galio Lee Sin composition, and were heading towards a very interesting direction in how well they were able to track enemy vision and play around it.

Regardless of what your teachers have told you, imaginations do have a limit. Misfits was toying with very complex concepts that even the best Korean teams would often just fumble. To say they did this as they incorporated two new members on the lineup (including a new midlaner that performed worse individually with whom Maxlore had to mesh) would be an understatement as, from the outside, it also looked like they were figuring it out over the weeks.

Keep track of vision, be a key element of the team’s strategy and shotcalling, be put on carries only to fall behind due to the team’s (and often Maxlore’s own) poor execution is one hell of a position to play. Your mechanics will tank if you invest more time on macro concepts during practice as Misfits likely had to do, and your mechanics will tank the more mentally intensive your role is on the team. There is a reason why the most individually excellent players and the smartest are rarely if ever the same. It’s just too much.

I am convinced that Maxlore could have played the jungles other players in the League were given to execute at the very least well enough, if not straight out better. I don’t think anyone could play the jungle he did, so I would choose him even from outside of playoffs.

Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir is great, performance wise he might even be the best right now, but be reasonable. People used to laugh at me for ranking Xerxe top 3 at the beginning of the split, and he has become even better right now.

But Xerxe has also had some bad performances, like in their first match against Misfits. He’s also on a team that has, from day one, been willing to play for the style he is most comfortable on and slowly develop from there. Yes, Xerxe is creative and talented, but I want to see more of him before I can commit to saying he is the best jungler in EU.

Last, but certainly not least, is Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski. I want to point out that jungle is the role where the top three players are the closest in my opinion, and Jankos’ aggressive intuition is always a display of pure talent.

People often go back to how he gets into weird invades without the needed priorities when they want to critique him, but that’s exactly where praise for him lies for me. Every player can look at a wave and see if it’s pushed, but only those with enough raw talent can dance on the edge of what’s correct and find good plays despite the general rules not applying.

He is third because the metagame hasn’t suited him and he will sometimes overstep his boundaries and be punished for such choices, he still needs to develop more coordination and understanding of his team’s limits. But don’t sleep on Jankos, he can take the first spot by blood if the correct conditions for his skill set arise.

1- Maxlore
2- Xerxe


Once or twice every split, Perkz will just not show up on stage and look terrible. Once or twice every split, Perkz will not be Perkz. Never once in his entire professional career has Caps ever been Perkz.

The best mechanical midlane in the League? Absolutely, but that’s only half of it. First you have to be able to conceive of the play, and then you must be able to execute it. Caps has an execution edge over Perkz, but Perkz has a bigger conceptual advantage over him.

When it comes down to calling it between two fantastic players it’s always taste and intuition taking control, but I’ll sum it up like this. Perkz is, in my opinion, a midlane genius. Individual plays are often measured and compared in mechanical movements, but where Perkz really shines is when it comes to the plays he is able to imagine and executing them brilliantly afterwards.

Because he is always ahead of his opponent in how he conceives of matchups and limits he isable to achieve advantages that shouldn’t be possible. He also inspires fear on the enemy team of what he will do next, therefore getting advantages just out of pure fright of disagreeing with him on stage and being proved a simple peasant.

For those reasons I value Perkz over Caps, even if I still think Caps is a brilliant player and a close second. For third, despite him being on a different league to the first two, I’m going with Nukeduck.

It’s pretty apparent at this point that Nukeduck has a collection of flaws that have kept him from achieving more. Nevertheless, he is simply better than the competition. His laning is strong, and while he is not the best at creating pressure he is great at tanking it. Nukeduck can outplay through mechanics or experience and he is one hell of a teamfighter.

He will punish you if you fuck up enough for him to be safe while doing so, and he will rarely be caught out of position or show anything but great mechanics.

1- Perkz
2- Caps


Martin "Rekkles" Larsson is just the best, there isn’t much to be talked about in this regard, plenty of people had said enough. I’d choose him in a heartbeat over every other ADC in the League.

The second choice is the hardest one, and here is where I’ll have to put the narrative glasses from now on. My second choice is Steven "Hans Sama" Liv. I know the Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup stock is skyrocketing with Splyce’s rise, but I feel like he gets a big pass on laning phase due to SPY drafts and Kasing’s champion pool. He is very good, but the system he is in has been very well crafted around his strengths and weaknesses.

That’s why my second pick is Hans Sama. Hype for this player banished as the season developed and fear that Misfits wouldn’t be successful became certainty. His performance was still very good during the overall split, particularly in the laning phase, where his individual prowess alongside Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle allowed them to get very strong control of the botlane on good matchups and ahead in even ones.

Hans Sama was never as good as the narratives would have you believe in my opinion, but his skill hasn’t banished just because Misfits struggled as a team, and I rank him highly at this point in time.

My third choice is Sheriff, and I’m mostly basing it on how good he has been performing lately, mostly teamfighting.

Despite him not having the better average performance, he has shown the highest peak out of any of the rookies that have joined this split. Considering the fact that H2K was heavily struggling as a unit when he was looking worse and maybe he couldn’t get as much individual attention, I think it’s very likely that one year from now Sheriff will be widely recognized as the best rookie of the batch.


1- Rekkles
2- Hans Sama


For me, no other support has done as much to make their team win as Raymond "kaSing" Tsang has. His counterpick mage supports allowed an easier lane for a Kobbe that sometimes can get chunked against the highest level opponents. Controlling the botlane resets, he would move midlane early in the split helping Xerxe with vision control and allowing Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçerto have an easier lane in a time where he was struggling, both to mesh with Xerxe and individually.

It’s hard to be impressive on Rakan with how tough the competition is worldwide, yet Kasing manages. He might not have the crispest mechanics on the League, but he very far away from mediocrity.

The question of champion pool issues still remains to be resolved for me. On the one hand his Taric has looked kinda iffy, and it’s reasonable to make the point that his picks were covering his own weakness as well. However, when it comes to players that have a big role in the team’s direction, as I did with Maxlore before, I can find forgiveness for someone that is simply playing with a mental and practice disadvantage.

He tops his virtues off with how good he is at dancing on the edge of matchups. Great players often will look out of position to their less competent peers, who will invest resources trying to capitalize on their unexisting mistakes. Kasing is no exception, and he is the best EU support at baiting enemy resources that go nowhere, both engage tools and summoner spells. By far.

Then there is Mikyx, who again was suffering a severe case of being on Misfits. I really struggle with this choice because his play is often excessively risky, but that is something I would say of the whole botlane more so than him exclusively.

His understanding of matchups and individual mechanics is fantastic, and he is still half of one of the best laning botlanes in EU if not the best. Even if I think Misfits had problems when it came to taking fights and he was usually on engage duty, I felt that problems stemmed from a bad understanding as a team of when to fight, individual mistakes by team members, or just not being ahead enough rather than him personally being at fault.

The last one is Tore "Norskeren" Hoel Eilertsen. Again, if I’m pondering future value, I’m rating this guy crazy high. It’s not many supports that can straight out carry, and Norskeren is one of them. His Braum ultimates definitely speak of a guy that can read teamfights like a book, and I’m eager to see more of how that sense develops. Being a natural in this department is a huge boost for anyone, but especially so for supports, who are often the directors of teamfights.

1- Kasing
2- Mikyx


There is two main ways to define Most Valuable Player. First, the relative approach, is by awarding the title to the player that brings the most value into their team by comparison. That is, the player that if taken out form a team and replaced by one of level similar to that of the four remaining ones would take more out of the success of a team.

The other one, the absolute one, is selecting the player that has more value on an empty league. If you had an empty team and you could sign any and only one player on the EU LCS for free, which one would you choose?

We are going the absolute approach because no one cares about good players that are stuck in elo hell. If I had an empty team and the power to pick any player to join, who would I pick?

I would pick Perkz.

Don’t worry about my life. Even though Fnatic fans can smell my heresy through the air as I type, I’ve set up a labyrinth near my house filled with Rekkles photos, which should give me enough time to finish the piece and take a ferry to a desert island. I’ll be fine.

But Perkz has been so bad these last few weeks, you are so biased holy f**k you are a blah blah blah...

Yes, Perkz has been bad these last few weeks but, as I said before, every game should count when it comes to split awards, so I assume we are all just pretending this never happened.


And no, I’m not saying that Rekkles has had as bad of a performance as Perkz lately ever this split, because he hasn’t, but he hasn’t carried as hard either. Sure, he doesn’t need to because his team is so stacked, and even then Fnatic look fantastic when they play from the botlane, but it can’t be understated how much help he has. Perkz has straight out willed himself into victories.

I consider that Fnatic has better players at every position but jungle, and the difference is absolutely massive when it comes to their other carry. Caps and Perkz are different but very close in skill, but Hjarnan is galaxies away from being Rekkles, both in overall split performance and current form.

However, I’ll repeat again, I consider Perkz to be a midlane genius. His ability to be ahead of enemy calculations is not one in a generation of EU players, it’s one in many. As spectators, we are lucky that he chose to play League.

That talent, the raw mixture of calculation and grit, I value higher than any other a player can have, and in the EU LCS Perkz has the most of it. Rekkles might be a perfect machine, but Perkz is just a wizard, and he deserves to be celebrated for it.

MVP: Perkz
Runner up: Rekkles, Kasing

(Photo courtesy of Riot Games)

If you liked this article, you clearly have good taste. You deserve a reward for that, treat yourself and follow my Twitter @Cabramaravilla to be the first to enjoy future pieces. 

Disclaimer : The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance. 


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