For me it almost feels predicted which teams are the best heading into IEM but I think it’s more interesting comparing the players. I wanted to spend some time examining and ranking all the players compared to their competition. From the Top lane to the support I wanted to give an analysis on where I think these players stack up against each other. The qualities I’m looking for when ranking a player are, how vital they are to their teams victories, diversity of play styles and strength of their champion pools, and a very general “how good do they look”. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and if you want to look at just my rankings I will provide my list up front, with analysis below.
I’ll be honest this ADC list was the hardest list to put together. At a certain point it became really hard to judge and compare the different players so it really came down too how did they play in their most recent games. Another factor that made it hard is that I tried to separate the individual skill of the ADC player with how good they look with their duo partner.
- PraY – GE Tigers
- Forg1ven – SK Gaming
- NL – Yoe Flash Wolves
- P1noy – Gambit Gaming
- Sneaky – Cloud 9
- Space – CJ Entus
- Wildturtle – Team Solomid
- Styz – Team WE
PraY – GE Tigers
The amount that PraY has looked like a new man on GE Tigers is really a testament to the journey his career has become. If I were to pick who I think the MVP of the tournament would be, before the tournament starts I think it would be PraY. I think the game where he single handily stopped the enemy team from taking a Baron after a team fight GE lost, it was cemented for me just how much of a change the PraY of last year had grown into the PraY we see now. Also the man has an insane KDA with the next highest in his position in Korea being almost 4 points lower. PraY is a kill hungry play maker who I think outclasses the competition.
Forg1ven – SK Gaming
It’s been a very long road for Forg1ven to get to the position he is in now, he is sitting at the top of the EU LCS. The thing I think Forg1ven brings to the table more than anyone else in this tournament is one being one of the best lane adc’s I’ve seen. The reason I want to highlight that is because one of the primary reasons Forg1ven is so strong and SK wins is that he regularly comes out of the lane phase getting his tower, possibly a kill or two and is 20 CS up on the enemy adc. This translates to him being able get items and transform into an insane source of damage for his team. The results also show, with Forg1ven currently holding the highest KDA and GPM he is a player that is immaculate at just outperforming the competition. Picking the rest of this list was super difficult, but Forg1ven as my second spot was a no brainer.
NL – Yoe Flash Wolves
It may seem odd to people who are not familiar with the the LMS region but NL has shown to be one of the most consistent ADC’s in the league. NL has grown this split into one of the better positional ADCs, since they have play makers like Maple, Karsa, and Steak NL’s entire style is stay in the back and be a consistent source of damage while other teammates absorb cool downs. One of the other primary reasons I have NL so high on my list also illustrates a problem I had when making this list. When I looked at the list of players at large the ADC position felt the most to be desired. Most of the ADC’s on this list past NL have shown large amounts of inconsistency and sometimes some bad levels o play. I don’t want to take anything away from NL, he is a great player, but ordering the rest of this list revealed a real problem I felt when it came to this position.
P1noy – Gambit Gaming
P1noy is one of the newest players on Gambit gaming, and I think he’s done a great job at slotting himself into the Gambit style of play. P1noy had his first showing at the IEM Gambit won and established himself with Edward as a super aggressive bot lane. After a very hyped showing at IEM P1noy took a slump in quality of play. Sometimes his very aggressive play style would backfire on him and he’d get ganked. However recently he’s really shown up in the last few weeks and the aggression has paid off. We’ll see if the P1noy we’ve seen in the last few weeks is the one that has shown up because I do think P1noy has the potential to be one of the best ADC’s at this tournament.
Sneaky – Cloud 9
If you were to point a gun at my head and ask me to tell you who the best player on Cloud 9 will be at this tournament, my money would be placed on Sneaky. It’s no secret that Cloud 9 has not looked to form this split and even when they had a brief few weeks of hard and fast climbing they’ve continued to show signs of weakness from almost all of their positions. Sneaky however is probably the exception. This split he’s really evolved into a play making hard carry that Cloud 9 needs and has been putting up fantastic numbers, even when Cloud 9 lose. His first match will be against PraY, the player I think is the best at this tournament, but Sneaky has shown that he can hold his own against better bot lanes.
Space – CJ Entus
It’s frustrating because about 5 weeks ago I would have but Space as third on my list, because this was when CJ was on a hot winning streak and Space was looking like a new man. But now Space is back to always being near the bottom of the ADC KDA standings and in game it almost looks like he is having little impact, then he’ll turn in a game like he had last week and I throw my hands in the air. I have Space right in the middle because I can’t predict which space will show up and whether him and MadLife will suddenly turn it on and go crazy in the bot lane. For CJ’s sake let’s hope Space finds whatever it is that let him beat SKT and not the team that had problems.
WildTurtle – Team Solomid
Technically speaking I think Wildturtle might be above some of the players on this list, but it’s the fault in his play style that brings him so low on this list. Often times during the end of TSM games, especially when they win Wildturtle usually puts up very good numbers and has a more than decent KDA. What the numbers doesn’t show is how often Wildturtle tries to make solo plays by jumping in with Tristana, but winds up dying, or lashing into get 1 kill on a low health target, get’s burst down ahead of his team and throws team fights. We’ll see if that because he is at a tournament where he is not at the top, if those mispositionings will cause TSM to drop games.
Styz – Team WE
I’m going to say this upfront, this entire section might be invalid by the time I post this. It’s been almost all but confirmed that Mystic, who is currently on WE Academy, formerly of Jin Air fame will at some point be replacing him on WE. Mystic has even been taking pictures and has shown to be at IEM, but as far as I know, Styz is on the roster list. So I wanted to spend time comparing the two and what I expect to see. What we’ve seen from Styz is that he is at best a passable ADC, but when you live in a region where you probably have the best ADC’s per team he tends to look very poor. What he does have over Mystic is time, he’s been in that bot lane with YuZhe, so even if Mystic probably being the better player overall he may falter a bit with not having that synergy. If I had to give a gut reaction to Mystic being on this list, based on his performance from when he was on Jin Air, I would slot him in the 3-4 spot.