The Dot Esports MVPs: The best of the best from Worlds

Last week, Riot Games handed out $2.2 million and the Summoner’s Cup.

Image via Riot Games

Last week, Riot Games handed out $2.2 million and the Summoner’s Cup in the biggest League of Legends tournament of all-time, the Riot World Championships.

The World stage is the perfect place for the top talent around the globe to showcase their skill, one of the few times fans get to see the best players from each region test themselves against the others.

Our staff picked the top performers from the month long World tournament, in a variety of different categories.

Samsung Galaxy White dominated our in-house awards, with little surprise. But the Riot World Championships had much more to offer than a dominating performance by the world’s best team.

Most Valuable Player

Jian “Uzi” Zihao, Marksman, Star Horn Royal Club

While any player on Samsung Galaxy White could’ve taken this title, no one player singularly contributed more to their team’s success than Uzi. His aggression bordered on foolhardy at times, but paired with solid mechanics, it became an obstacle for each of their opponents throughout the event. – Ian J. Barker

Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok, Top Lane, Samsung Galaxy White (12.14 KDA, No. 1 among all players at Worlds)

Looper was the single most dominating force in the tournament. He brutalized all of his opponents early, and consistently utilized either superior map positioning, or Teleport foresight to seal fight victories for Samsung Galaxy White. – Thomas Watts

The top lane was supposed to be Samsung Galaxy White’s weak point, a place where other teams could at least hold serve against a solid, but unspectacular player. Instead Looper destroyed all comers with a dazzling array of carry and tank champions, posting the top KDA in the entire tournament while showing off some of the most impeccable teleports you’ll ever see. – Samuel Lingle

Breakout Player

Thiago “TinOwns” Sartori, Mid Lane, KaBuM! e-Sports

When you gather the best of the best, it’s hard to say who’s having a “breakout” and who’s simply doing their job. However, Kabum’s TinOwns asserted himself with authority, making Alliance look like one of the team’s lesser Brazilian rivals and denying the white-hot Europeans a trip to the knock-out rounds tournament. – Ian J. Barker

Sa “GreenTea” Shang-Ching, Support, AHQ e-Sports Club

Thanks to Southeast Asia being a far less publicized region compared to the Big 4 (NA, EU, CN, KR), AHQ did not receive much hype. In a top heavy group, Sa was able to perform consistently even though his squad was frequently overmatched. In one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, AHQ beating EDG, his prowess on Thresh was underscored, and pushed him to being the breakout player of the tournament. – Thomas Watts

Simon “fredy122” Payne, Top Lane, SK Gaming

The SK Gaming top laner led Europe in CSPM from the top lane in both splits this year, but Fredy122‘s impact has always been understated and often ignored. No longer, after a Worlds performance that saw him single-handedly carry games despite teams throwing three bans his way in multiple matches. It may not be a true breakout in the sense that he was probably already a star performer before Worlds, but Worlds is the stage that allowed people to realize it. – Samuel Lingle

Best “non-meta” champion pick

Akali, the Fist of Shadow

Personally, I don’t care how crappy a pick is; if it’s unconventional, I’m rooting for it. However, Samsung White managed to turn the Bronze queue terror into the perfect counter to their sister team’s Intervention/Chronoshift lineup. Now if only they’d picked mid Hecarim… – Ian J. Barker

Jayce, the Defender of Tomorrow

He saw play in solo queue, and a smattering of games in the various Regionals, but he was ignored even during the Worlds group stage. But in the knockout rounds, the Defender of Tomorrow went from “non-meta” to standard, the mark of a truly stunning meta shift. – Thomas Watts

Pantheon, the Artisan of War

I’m biased since I love Pantheon as a champion. There’s something exciting and romantic about a bare-breasted, shield-bearing warrior throwing caution to the wind and smashing into the back line of the enemy, executing foes with spear in hand. Picks like Jayce were more effective, but Pantheon came out in one of the most important games of the tournament, the deciding fifth game of the semifinal between Star Horn Royal Club and OMG, and carried the game. – Samuel Lingle

Best Top Laner

Gao “GoGoing” DiPing, OMG

OMG came one win away from making it to the championship final, but they wouldn’t have even come close if it wasn’t for GoGoing. When OMG needed a spark, he was there, dictating the pace of fights and pushing Starhorn Royal Club to their limits in the semifinals. Plus, the guy’s got a jawline that could sink an entire cruise ship full of fan girls. – Ian J. Barker

Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok, Samsung Galaxy White

The man we picked for tournament MVP showed the greatest variety of top lane styles and excelled at all of them while showcasing impeccable teleport support. He was supposed to be the weakest link on White, but played like their greatest strength. – Samuel Lingle, Thomas Watts

Best Mid Laner

Heo “PawN” Won-seok, Samsung Galaxy White

Dade certainly looked like the best mid-laner in the world headed into the final event with highlight reels and eye-popping stats topping r/leagueoflegends with regularity. However, PawN officially silenced that sentiment, playing nine champions in 17, earning a KDA of 9.88 and a SPG (smiles per game) of 0. With his performance, it’s hard to argue that Samsung White doesn’t have a monopoly on the world’s top talent for the time being. – Ian J. Barker

The man in the middle lane. Much like his top lane partner Looper, PawN was a monster throughout the tournament. He was everything Samsung White could have ever asked for during their run to the Summoner’s Cup. If the team needed a roam, Heo provided it. If the team needed Heo to bodyslam his opponent, he did it with merciless precision. – Thomas Watts

Dade handed his treasured jacket over to PawN after getting slammed by the Samsung Galaxy White player. That’s really all you need to know about PawN’s performance at Worlds. The supposed best mid laner in the world passed the torch to the hungrier, better player. – Samuel Lingle

Best Jungler

Choi “DanDy” In-kyu, Samsung Galaxy White

If Samsung White ran like a Ferrari, then DanDy was the finely tuned, 12-cylinder engine powering the beast. Entering the contest slated as the best jungler in the world, his performance from game one through the championship final left no doubt of that. Pathing, mechanics, strategy, timing, and synergy were all on display and other junglers, both Eastern and Western, would do well to take notes. – Ian J. Barker

Samsung White found most of its success in the dominance of their solo lanes, and Choi “DanDy” In was the big reason it all worked so well. The early game dominance of his two solo lanes let him push forward aggressively into the enemy jungle on numerous occasions. The push opened up surprising avenues of attack on every lane, and those attacks were frequently the spark that White needed to score a decisive win. – Thomas Watts

The choice is an obvious one. DanDy is the best jungler in the world. Everyone knew it before Worlds. Everyone saw it at Worlds. He’s so good it calls into question calling his teammates the best at their positions–would they have the same impact without him carrying their early games? That’s a tough question to answer and one we likely won’t. – Samuel Lingle

Best Bottom Lane Duo

Jian “Uzi” Ziharo & Yoon “Zero” Kyung-sup, Star Horn Royal Club

The Star Horn Royal Club duo was the linchpin of the Chinese attack throughout the 2014 World Championship. While Zero wasn’t the best support at the tournament, he was the perfect balance to Uzi. Jian loved to push the place, and rely on his mechanical wizardry to win throughout the game. Zero was able to consistently get Uzi out of close encounters, and keep the Star Horn Royal Club ADC firing away at the opposition. – Thomas Watts

Gu “Imp” Seung-bin & Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong

During their pre-game coverage, Riot played a clip of Imp rolling around in the grass of South Korea’s World Cup stadium, enjoying the site of the world’s biggest match as a kid would a playground. With his free-wheeling domination of all teams up until that point, the sight was a personification of Imp’s performance throughout the tournament, manhandling champions like a child swings from the monkey bars. Thankfully for Samsung Galaxy White, Imp’s sometimes careless confidence was perfectly supported by Mata; a combination that would turn virtually every contest into a foregone conclusion. – Ian J. Barker

The argument for the Star Horn Royal Club pair is a legitimate one, and they certainly had a bigger impact statistically relative to their team. But Imp got a bad rap stats-wise through the tournament. In the finals, the announcers praised Uzi’s laning over Imp’s, but that was a statistical mirage. Imp’s most played champion was Twitch, yet he put up a big positive CS differential in lane. That’s extremely impressive considering the average ADC falls way behind on the champion–just look at Deft’s laning numbers. Imp also put up similar damage numbers to Deft and Uzi, with one key difference: none of White’s team comps were built around Imp, while Deft and Uzi benefit from being the main focus of their team. That ignores the impact of Mata, a deserving MVP candidate at the tournament. – Samuel Lingle

Best Match

Fnatic vs. OMG, Group Stage Game Two

The closest League of Legends match ever. Enough said. – Ian J. Barker

NaJin White Shield vs. Cloud9, Group Stage Tie Breaker

NaJin White Shield provided the blueprint for beating Cloud9, slamming Hai’s champion pool. This was an example of preparation, and manipulating a team’s weaknesses into a nearly unwinnable game. – Thomas Watts

Cloud9 vs. Samsung Galaxy Blue, Quarterfinals Game Four

Cloud9 gave Samsung Galaxy Blue a run for their money, complete with an exciting finish. – Samuel Lingle

Biggest Disappointment

Zhu “Namei” Jia-Wen

Last year, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl against a Denver Broncos team whose defense had apparently taken a vacation. Wherever they went, NaMei clearly had reservations of his own. The world-class marksman did little more than exist during the World Championships, surrendering clutch deaths and failing to carry his team as promised. Some players underperform, but NaMei barely showed up. – Ian J. Barker

Baek “Save” Young-jin, NaJin White Shield

Save was the engine that pushed NaJin White Shield into the tournament. Heralded by many as the best top laner in the event, his performance was a dud. In order for Shield to win, their solo laners have to be in top form. Save’s weakness was a major reason for the team’s undoing. – Thomas Watts

Alliance—and Europe as a whole

Europe as a whole underperformed at Worlds, but Alliance was the headliner. Their performance in the group stage mirrored Cloud9 except for one key fact–they lost to one of the worst teams at the tournament. Falling to KaBuM! is unacceptable for a team like Alliance, one capable of winning against the Chinese and Korean teams in the playoffs. The loss underscored Europe’s failure at this year’s Worlds, showing the region as a whole can’t be complacent when even Brazilian teams are improving fast. – Samuel Lingle