There’s a good mixture of new and old in the bot lane of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. There are seasoned veterans and rookies from around the world. We rank the best five from all 11 bot lane carries gathered in Iceland for MSI.
Inven Global’s top five bot laners at this year’s MSI are:
- Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun — DWG KIA
- Chen “GALA” Wei — Royal Never Give Up
- Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen — Cloud9
- Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság — MAD Lions
- Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura — DetonatioN FocusMe
Ranking any other bot laner as the best at this MSI would be an insult to Ghost, who, despite his success at Worlds and the LCK, is still being undervalued. Some may argue that he lacks the ability to carry, but that was never true. It’s just that his other traits shine much brighter.
DWG KIA was a strong team from before Ghost joined, but it was only after he took the key to the bot lane that DWG KIA really became monsters. Ghost was the missing puzzle piece to a strong top side team that made DWG holistic.
Ghost’s strength comes from his balanced playstyle. He isn’t given the carry role that often since the team is more focused on the top side. His support, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, roams away to other parts of the Rift very often and Ghost seldom lets the opponent profit from that.
When he’s given the carry role, Ghost is as good as or even better than the bot laners that are considered at the top of the list. Ghost also has the ability to play any champion the team requires him, even if he's mostly put on Kai'Sa and Senna the most.
Having to play bot lane in the most aggressive league in the world wouldn’t be easy, yet GALA averaged fewer than two deaths per game during the regular season and clinched the spot for the LPL All-Pro second team.
GALA was one of the biggest reasons RNG reached the finals and defeated FunPlus Phoenix. His pentakill was a moment to remember and one that contributed to his Finals MVP award.
One needs to watch but a couple of highlight reels to be convinced that GALA is the second-best bot laner at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.
Zven is one of the most experienced players going into this MSI. He’s been away from international tournaments for a while, but that doesn’t mean Zven’s ability has declined any bit. Since moving to Cloud9 in 2020, Zven never missed the LCS All-Pro first team. Always duoing with his bot lane buddy, Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, the amount of time he grinds in solo queue and practice is unmatchable.
The biggest obstacle Zven has to overcome would be DWG KIA, which Cloud9 has to meet in the first stage of the MSI. Although the team may be successful domestically, the LCS has yet to prove themselves in international stages. Zven may be the best bot laner in North America, but there are several bot laners around the world who could do the same or more.
The LEC may be a better region than the LCS, but for the bot laners at MSI 2021, Carzzy is ranked 4th. He comes after Zven on the argument of inconsistency: one of the most important traits for a bot laner is to stay alive, but Carzzy just simply dies too often.
Then again, Carzzy is an aggressive player — he’s not afraid to die in situations where he has to deal damage, which leads to explosive performances when he is ahead.
Carzzy’s still young, and it’s only his second international tournament, but the talent is there. He just needs time.
Speaking of the importance of surviving, there's Yutapon who averaged only 0.88 deaths per game in the LJL playoffs — that’s 7 deaths in 8 games. He also has a long career behind him, going into his ninth year of competitive play, and even some experience as a top laner, giving him a much more comprehensive understanding of the game.
But then, there is the question mark of the LJL where Yutapon is competing — the league is far from the stronger ones in the world and this is always an asterisk when ranking players.