My 15 Players to watch out for at Worlds
All 16 teams for League of Legends World Championship in S5 are determined. The draw of the groups will take place next Saturday. Until worlds starts we have to wait 24 days, so I thought before lolesports does make a list like last year again, I will do one too. But not about the best players at worlds, this list covers the players to look at. Just because I include (for example) Niels but not Deft doesn't mean I think he is better then him. This list has no ranking. I wanna talk about players, who have either interessting storyline, who has his first big international apperance, who has to prove something, who am I exicted so see him playing vs players from other countries. Please note that these are just my thoughts, if you have other suggestions, I wanna hear them!
CLG's top laner is hailed as best top laner in NA. I don't wanna start a debate about who it is, but I think Zion is really good and has interesting pick ups. As we look on the worlds rosters they are filled with strong top laners, and I am curious how Zion in his first international tournament since IPL5 does. Back then he got a solo kill on Flame (was the first tournament of him afaik) and if he does something impressive here, he can add a cherry to his story. Another reason why it will be interssting to watch for Zion (and pretty every other top laner at Worlds) is the meta going in to worlds, since no one has a real idea of what's the best currently. Darius, Fiora, Gangplank and Garen will all be high contested picks and it will be really exciting to see who comes out on top.
At his last international appearance the former Riven One trick pony famously solo killed the best League player in the world. Now he comes back to the world stage, which a impressive 24:2 record in his region. His performance all year long was really strong, being able to pick up a lot of different picks. Recenly Febiven got the critisism to get all freedom in p/b because he never recieves a ban. After his one year of competitive play Febiven already is one of the best European mid laner. Fnatic is expected from some analysts to reach the semifinals. This is a possible option, since they are likely to get put in a easy group due their 1st place seed. After dominating Europe for a whole split I wanna see what the young man has prepared for the world.
Another Fnatic member to watch out. But for a specific reason: Reignover is the worst player on his team and a pretty predictable jungler. At MSI, Game 5 between SKT/FNC we saw how hard a good jungler can kill RO's Game. Even though there is not a jungler like Dandy at worlds, there still some really good junglers out there and if there is a weak link in Fnatic it's Reignover.
His performance in the LCS Finals and Qualifier Finals really impressed me. He is a better ADC then Rekkles, he did more with less compared to Rekkles and had a really good rookie split aswell deserved Rookie of the split. Now Niels goes to worlds, and his team goes as 3rd place seed, probably getting them a really stacked group in which case I am curious how he and the team will do.
The biggest reason why I include Huni is because the top lane changes for the patch of worlds. Huni showed in the LCS Finals that he barely practiced the new Gangplank and got outperformed hard by sOAZ. And going into worlds there are a lot of new picks and changes were made. What is Huni going to do? What Champion will he pick? Will he fail to the pressure? Because so far his play in both EU Finals this year has been lackluster. For emergency there is still the smite/tp Lee sin top. By many fanboys Huni is hailed as the best top laner in the world. Since he has no competition ins EU (except sOAZ) I wanna see what Huni does against the likes of Smeb or Ssumday, which he might face in the groups.
sOAZ's Gangplank is by far the best played in the west so far. And with so many different strong picks on Worlds Patch I expect sOAZ to pull out some crazy shit, like he always does. I think the strength sOAZ has to pull out really weird, unexpected shit will win them games and might get them out of the group.
The two best top laners in china and probably in the world together on one team, Flame most of the time on the bench. We did not see LGD play in the chinese qualifier, so I have no clue what Acorn/Flame will be like on Fiora or Gangplank. But I expect them both to stomp the shit out of people. Also I hope Flame won't be sitting on the bench for most of worlds. The whole LGD team is currently one of the strongest contenders to win worlds. I don't think there is any team in the world right now that has a level of ADC/Top/Mid strenght combined like LGD.
Many people consider him the best jungler in the world right now. Also some people think EDG will win worlds, even tho they lost 3:0 to LGD. The recent performance of the team looked a lot better and Clearlove never really had a slump this year. With recent Evelynn and Nidalee nerfs but also Lee Sin buffs I am curious what he will play in the jungler, because I was never really impressed with CL's Lee sin, even though Clearlove has a really big champion pool and is really good on a lot of champs. I hope EDG and Clearlove can make it far at worlds because I don't want to wait until spring for more Kate Upton pictures.
Finally our all favorite jungler made it to worlds. After 2 years of Failure and delivering the the two best series in the history of League (OGN Summer Final S3 & S4) and also another favorite of mine (CJ Blaze vs KT B, Summer Playoffs '13) KaKAO made it to worlds. With recent Lee Sin and Nocturne Buffs two of his best champions got a lot stronger. I have to admit, KaKAO is not the undeniable top 2 jungler in the world (like last year) he is still a mechanical beast and I look forward for the first international tournament he plays.
Together with KaKAO, Rookie also goes to worlds. Last Year he was a top 3 mid in KR and in their recent matches his damage stats are disgusting, dealing almost double the damage of the enemy mid laner (mostly with Viktor). Rookie is still a really good player and with such a strong performance recently he will deliver really good games, even tho the rest of the iG Roster is not the best. He is still a really young player and I want to see what he can bring out at the world stage.
The performance of Imp in the LPL Summer Playoffs has been incredible. Currently he might be the best ADC in the world. In a meta, that is supposed to be bad for ADC, he does distusting carrying. Last year Imp won the Worlds Title and styled on almost every ADC he met, now he is back with a also super stacked team. Will he repeat his last yeara success? I am excited!
The best Korean Top Laner in this tournament. He is the only Korean player to be part of the last 3 OGN Summer Finals (even if he only won one). In 2013 and 2014 Ssumday was a average top laner at best, but this year, especially in the summer, he developed in a legit carry thread of his team, winning the game most of the time together with Piccaboo. He has a large Champion Pool, and with like a lot of other top laner it will be juicy what all the top laners will do. The World only knows the meciore Ssumday from MLG Dallas '13, now Ssumday has become a beast.
The Man with up's and down's all year long. In OGN Spring this year Pray was the best ADC in the world and him and GE went almost undefeated for weeks. Then the IEM happend and they got beaten by WE. In Summer PraY seemded to struggle more and more, but got it together for the Playoffs and played really well. Now there is no team at worlds at the WE Level (except NA Teams), so maybe PraY and the other tigers will perform on their high level again. Will he perform to his regular season form or to his playoff form? Even though PraY is not Koo's best player anymore, he is definitely the guy who decides how his team will do, based on performance. They have to hold the flag high for Najin this year, since Ggoong didn't want to go to worlds.
Piccaboo is the best Support in Korea right now and constantly did high level plays and game winning decisions for KT this Summer. He is the player KT needed to become a really good team and he does a great job. Yes, KT lost 3:0 vs SKT, but who else could expect bengi and MaRin to do way better then before and Faker going absolute god mode again. The way Piccaboo plays is really interessting and I wanna see him play for teams from other regions and see how they will react to a support roaming at level 1 in mid.
The King is back. The best League player is back at worlds, and he and his team are favorites to win the whole thing. Will Faker become the first league player to win two World Champion Titles, together with bengi? Will Kkoma put Easyhoon in the finals just to make Faker and all of us mad? I can't wait to see Faker play at Worlds again.
Photo Sources: lol.gamepedia.com