Worlds has brought the best of the best to one single Shanghai hotel. And among them, 22 different junglers arrived to represent their region and their team in hopes to secure a Worlds trophy. However, five stand above the rest and have the highest likelihood to carry their team to victory and claim that title on Halloween.
Inven Global's top five junglers at this year's Worlds are:
- Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok
- Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu
- Lê "SofM" Quang Duy
- Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan
- Kim "Clid" Tae-min
The LPL and LCK are dominating this year's jungle pools, showcasing some historical superpowers, like Karsa along with some Worlds newbies in Kanavi and SofM. Three of these junglers are on the shortlist for Worlds title contenders, and the other two are going to be a big boon for their respective teams if they can make it that far. There are plenty of strong junglers from the LEC and LCS, but none of them quite stood out enough to eclipse the likes of Karsa or Clid.
1st: Kanavi, JDG
Kanavi speaks for himself with his work on the Rift. This man is the center of attention on his team. He gets the draft resources and the in-game resources, stealing away farm and securing those kills to eat up as much gold as possible to be the driving force in JD Gaming's victories. While most junglers hover around a 15% post 15-minute Creep Score (meaning they only take 15% of their team's CS after the laning phase), Kanavi sits at 19%. He takes the resources to get fed so he can carry.
Kanavi won MVP of the split this Spring Split and was voted first All-Pro jungler this Summer Split. It's clear he's at the top of the list in the LPL, who sits above the rest of the world. He will out-skirmish all his opponents, and he'll do it all while looking flashy. He's perhaps the biggest reason why JDG is rated so highly and why they made it to the finals against Top Esports. Make sure to tune into every JDG game this Worlds if you're looking to see some spicy jungle action.
2nd: Canyon, DWG
The best jungler in the LPL is followed by the best jungler in the LCK. Canyon is looking on-form and will be tough to handle for anyone he meets in the tournament. Luckily for the fans, DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming will meet up in the Group Stage, delighting us with this matchup at least twice this Worlds.
Canyon has the highest KDA, highest damage per minute, and highest damage percentage out of all junglers who played at least half of the LCK Summer Split. Additionally, he has more than double the second jungler in CS differential at 10 minutes, and more than triple second-place in experience differential at 10 minutes.
Much of that can be explained by champ preference, because whereas many junglers were sticking to high-baseline value, teamfight-oriented champions this split, Canyon's most played champion was Nidalee. But he also has a 100% win rate on the champion, sporting a 9.3 KDA across nine games. Then he has Trundle tied for second at eight games and sits at a 17 KDA and 88% win rate with him. Two completely different champions and playstyles, but entirely dominant on both.
Overall, Canyon has a pretty wide champion pool with a great mix of AD, AP, carry style, farm heavy, gank heavy, teamfight focused, tanky engage, etc. He has a champion for any role that needs to be filled. And with potentially the best mid laner in the tournament at his side, he will be absolutely dominant throughout this tournament.
3rd: SofM, Suning
This man is an absolute innovator. Before Riot changed how the trinket cooldowns worked, SofM was manipulating his trinkets in a very specific manner to smash the opponents in overall vision score. He helped popularize the early yellow trinket placement into backing for a red trinket before starting camps. He'd then use the red trinket to gank and then back and switch to yellow, receiving two yellow trinkets. He'd continue timing his backs like this throughout the game, on top of all the other pathing and ganking decisions he'd have to make.
Now, he's playing Lee Sin as a full tank, pulling off some of the most impressive flanks and dives in the world. He has a relatively decent champion pool and is one of the Trundle utilizers. He was a large factor in Suning's victories over LGD, making Han "Peanut" Wang-ho a non-factor, especially in the Regional Qualifiers, where SofM had a 12 KDA across three separate champions.
His one major downfall is he plays zero AP champions outside of the one game on Lillia, which was his last game (against LGD). But for 54 games before that, he was entirely on AD champions, which could make drafting a bit easier for his opponents. Nevertheless, SofM is a monster and deserves some serious attention this Worlds.
4th: Karsa, Top Esports
Top Esports has incredible players across each position, and jungle is no different. There's a reason why this team is atop the list of potential title takers for this event. Karsa is one of the most well-known junglers from his time on both Flash Wolves and then later RNG. Unlike many of the junglers on this list, however, Karsa is a much more supportive player, who looks to out-macro his opponent by setting up counter ganks or controlling the early game to secure objectives and scale to the mid-game.
That's not his only style, of course though, having a number of games across Lee Sin, Graves, Nidalee, etc. But with Trundle as his most played, it's clear his most common role in the team is to set up for the other mechanical gods on his team to win in fights as the game progresses. The perplexing thing is how selfless he really is. Despite winning the majority of their games, he has the lowest gold at 10 minutes out of any LPL jungler. He also has the lowest experience at 10, second-lowest CS% post 15 minutes, and lowest damage percentage. But he is a true enabler and helps to control the enemy to ensure his own team's success.
Unlike Kanavi, Karsa won't be putting on a show, but he will be putting on a clinic. Expect him to receive few resources in draft and in-game, but expect to see him make it work anyway.
5th: Clid, Gen.G
Rounding out the list is the second-best LCK jungler, Clid. Clid has a pretty expansive champion pool, playing Lee Sin in 1/4th of his games, but then splitting the rest across 14 different champions. He's much like Canyon in the sense where he has an answer to any draft problem, playing an incredibly diverse mix of styles.
Because of his lack of a super-specialized style, he may not look as flashy or impressive as the few junglers on top, but just like Karsa, Clid is impressively good at navigating the game and doing what his team needs him to do. He hasn't looked particularly impressive on the Hecarim, which could be problematic if it's a high priority pick in the Worlds meta, but he does have plenty of other Hecarim adjacent champs to fill that niche. Gen.G is no DWG, but many consider them the second-best LCK seed this year - despite their loss to DRX that netted them third seed - and that's in large part thanks to Clid's control in the jungle.
What changes would you make to the list? Who do you think is underappreciated? And what is your dark horse that will surprise everyone at this Worlds?
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