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 top laners competing to prove who’s the best. The top lane has always been somewhat of a solitary lane where 1v1 battles are very important, but their capabilities aren’t just limited to 1v1s. Here are the top 5 top laners competing at MSI 2023.
5. MAD Chasy
MAD Lions top laner Kim "Chasy" Dong-hyeon had a rollercoaster performance during the regular season and finished 8th to barely make the playoffs. However, heading into the playoffs, Chasy played a key role in the team's miracle run. Especially in the finals, he helped his team to a reverse sweep to win the championship, winning the finals MVP.
Chasy’s top picks in the spring season and playoffs were Kennen and Gwen. He was undefeated with the two champions. All he needs to do is gain more consistency. If Chasy shows the performance he showed during the LEC playoffs at this MSI, the other teams will have a hard time facing him.
4. BLG Bin
For a few years, Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin has been one of the best top laners in LoL esports. He has been one of the most aggressive players in the game, making great plays whenever he’s required to. At MSI 2022, Bin had an impressive performance in RNG, where he hoisted the championship trophy. However, his recent form hasn’t been as good as his reputation. Although Bilibili Gaming did make it to the MSI, Bin’s performance had little to do with the team’s runner-up finish.
The best champion for Bin this spring was Kennen, as he won 9 games out of 10 — especially in the playoffs, he went 6-0 playing Kennen. As the defending champion of the MSI, Bin hopes to repeat.
3. T1 Zeus
Despite having a nearly perfect season, T1 suffered a loss to Gen.G in the grand finals of the 2023 LCK Spring Split. Throughout the season and playoffs, top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je put on top-notch performances, as he was voted onto the All-LCK 1st team. Zeus’ ability clearly stands out among the players at this MSI, but over the past few finals T1 has been to, Zeus’ performance wasn’t as good as the other matches.
Nevertheless, Zeus is still capable of smashing any player he faces. In the spring, his best champion was Gnar, as he picked the yordle 15 times while winning 12 of those games. Despite being quite new to the scene, Zeus boasts a wide-range champion pool, as he played 15 champions in the spring. All he needs to do is overcome his weakness in best-of series, and if he does, he would probably belong on top of this list.
2. GEN Doran
Gen.G top laner Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon was often under-evaluated throughout his career, but he finally proved his ability in the LCK finals win over T1. Winning his second LCK championship ring, Doran is now a very experienced top laner. One of Doran’s biggest weaknesses was that he lacked stability, but he has become much more consistent. His performance is now one of the best in the world. From laning to clutch, Doran has become one of the biggest threats in the top lane.
Doran’s best champion in the spring was Gragas. He went 5-0 playing Gragas, and especially in the finals, Doran’s Gragas was nearly unkillable. Although the finals MVP went to his teammate, Peyz, no one can deny that if it weren’t for Doran, Gen.G wouldn’t have won the championship. Definitely a player to keep an eye on at MSI 2023.
Bai “369” Jia-Hao has been near the top of this list more often than not over his career. There may have been some unstable or inconsistent performance during his early years, but after joining JD Gaming, 369 has overcome his weaknesses and become a reliable constant in JDG’s top lane. He was voted on the All-LPL first team, and he dominated his opponent, Bin, in the LPL spring season finals to clinch the championship.
During the spring season, 369 played mostly tank champions, supporting the team with a reliable front line and flashing initiations. His best champion was Sion, with which he was undefeated over seven games. Heading to MSI 2023, 369 will be the most difficult top laner to face.