Future sight: Asking 5 top pro players who they think will be the faces of League’s future

Greatness recognizes greatness.

Photo via Riot Games/Getty Images

The world of esports is constantly in flux. Player careers start and end in the blink of an eye, and organizations are always finding new and exciting names to throw into the spotlight. League of Legends might be one of the hardest esports to find true longevity in due to constant patches that can change the landscape of the competitive scene.

Only the best players can keep adapting to the game’s ever-shifting meta, while others stumble and fall to the wayside. But sometimes, people can tell when a young fiery pro has what it takes to find—and more importantly, maintain—success in the industry.

At the 2021 World Championship, Dot Esports asked five top superstars who they thought would be the next leaders of the competitive scene. Here are their answers.

Royal Never Give Up’s GALA (Nominated by Gen.G’s Ruler)

As one of the best and most respected AD carries in the world, Gen.G veteran Ruler certainly knows how to spot great talent in the bottom lane. Throughout his five-year career, the 23-year-old has faced many talented players and battled alongside some of the best in the world. But over the past year, one ADC that has caught his eye is GALA.

The RNG firecracker made a name for himself in China, even though he just kicked off his LPL career during the 2020 Summer Split. He has quickly become one of the most feared in his role, however, showing off incredible aggression and confidence in his first seasons under the bright lights of the big stage. He also had his fair share of highlight moments as well.

Just last year, GALA helped lead his team to a 2021 Spring Split championship, an MSI 2021 trophy, and a World Championship appearance. He had the fifth-most kills in the league during the summer regular season, according to League stats aggregate Oracle’s Elixir, and pushed his team to an exhilarating five-game quarterfinals appearance against the eventual Worlds 2021 champions, EDward Gaming.

At only 20 years old, the future is bright for this young star. This year, RNG have gotten even stronger with the addition of Bin in the top lane and superstar Xiaohu returning to his original position in the mid lane. With yet another force added to their repertoire, GALA can now reign supreme in the bottom lane alongside one of the best veteran supports in the world, Ming.

Gen.G’s Chovy (Nominated by Cloud9’s Fudge)

In competitive League, the mid lane is usually considered to be one half of the winning formula of any successful team. Strong mid laners can take over a game, and there aren’t many players stronger than Gen.G’s new mid lane phenom, Chovy. The 20-year-old has been touted as a top-five player in the world by fans, analysts, and fellow players for good reason. He is one of the most mechanically talented players we’ve seen in a long while.

Cloud9’s top-turned-mid Fudge had plenty of praise for Chovy during Worlds, saying the young star is “leading the way in terms of how to play the game well.” During his stint with Hanwha Life Esports, for example, he was the most destructive and dominant early game player in Korea with some of the highest damage numbers in his role, according to Oracle’s Elixir.

“I think people are starting to realize that he always goes up CS every single game he plays, and he just has many lane advantages [and] gold advantages through the mid game,” Fudge said. “It shows how important CS, gold, and experience [are] to the game, whereas I feel like a lot of pro players forget about it and focus mainly on macro concepts. Although they are very important, I think people overlook how important laning is.”

Looking ahead, Chovy has been given an arsenal of players to help him carry the load with Gen.G. He will not only be joined by veteran superstar jungler Peanut, but he’ll also have veteran AD star Ruler in the bottom lane to provide some late-game insurance and consistent performances as he tries to make his way back to the top of the LCK and beyond.

DWG KIA’s ShowMaker (Nominated by Gen.G’s Chovy)

Although Chovy is one of the best players in the world, greatness will always command respect from greatness. And in this case, one of the players he specifically named off was DWG KIA’s generational mid laner, ShowMaker.

The special 21-year-old has constantly been in the conversation for best player in the world over the past few years, while DWG KIA’s dynasty has already been compared to the giants of the League world, like SKT T1. Even though they weren’t able to win back-to-back World Championships, he and his team’s reign through 2020 and 2021 was absolute. They’ve won every LCK trophy from the 2020 Summer Split onward, Worlds that same year, the subsequent KeSPA Cup, and were finalists at both MSI and Worlds in 2021.

ShowMaker has been a leading force on this roster with one of the deepest champion pools in the world at 18 champions played during the 2021 Summer Split. He is smart and mechanically gifted, while being commanding in-game and charismatic off Summoner’s Rift. He even had the highest average damage to champions and the highest KDA in his role this past season.

He has grown into one of the new faces of the esport, but he isn’t content with always being called the heir apparent to the greatest of all time. Instead, he told fans in a Worlds hype video that “if [he] could be so bold, rather than the ‘Next Faker,’ [he] would like to later be known as just ShowMaker.”

DWG KIA’s Canyon (Nominated by LNG Esports’ Tarzan, DWG KIA’s ShowMaker, and Gen.G’s Chovy)

As one of the only players to be nominated by multiple players, DWG KIA star Canyon has quickly become of the game’s best junglers of all-time. He’s only 20 years old, but he already has a surplus of experience that would make a veteran League player envious, both domestically and internationally.

Canyon is also the engine that keeps the DWG KIA war machine chugging and has the accolades to show for it. He was the Most Valuable Player for the 2021 Spring Split as well as a First Team All-Pro, and even got Second Team All-Pro honors in the following summer.

He also regularly maintained top stats in his role for KDA, damage, and kill participation in the LCK regular season and at Worlds, according to Oracle’s Elixir. Not only is he mechanically strong, but he is flexible enough to play any role the team needs, with a champion ocean of 15 unique picks this past summer.

His twin-like, telepathic connection with ShowMaker also makes them the scariest mid-jungle duo in the world. Even though the rest of the roster has changed around them once more, DWG KIA will always remain a threat with this juggernaut roaming the Rift.