Over the years, League of Legends fans have seen many different players come and go through the professional esports scene. Only the best, however, are able to maintain a consistent and successful career with the ever-evolving nature of the game. Others must make way for the newer, hungrier players who are also looking to go pro.
That cycle continued this past season, with some players retiring and others starting off their careers looking to make a name for themselves. Across every region, people got a glimpse at the new age of League with rookies that wowed critics and fans alike.
Here are the best rookies who took Summoner’s Rift by storm in 2020.
Team Liquid’s Tactical
Since he joined the LCS as a full-time starter for the 2020 Summer Split, Liquid’s new AD carry Tactical proved himself as one of North America’s budding star prospects.
The 20-year-old made his first impressions on the big stage when he temporarily stepped in for Doublelift in the 2020 Spring Split. But when Tactical finally became the team’s starting marksman, he used daring, decisive plays to showcase his potential to be one of the region’s best players.
In his first full split, Tactical had the fifth-highest KDA in the league with the second-most kills among LCS ADCs, according to Oracle’s Elixir. He was a huge part of his team’s success and even had some of the highest damage numbers in his role. With CoreJJ behind him, he should blossom even further in 2021.
MAD Lions’ Kaiser
After only playing on Mousesports for half a year in 2019, Kaiser joined a young roster filled with bright-eyed newcomers for the 2020 LEC Spring Split—and they ended up winning the hearts of League fans around the world.
The 22-year-old rookie also became one of Europe’s best supports over the course of a year. With a deep champion pool full of heavy engage, Kaiser ended the year with the most kills and assists among LEC supports during the 2020 LEC Summer Split, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
His aggression and penchant for fighting helped enable MAD’s playstyle as a team, eventually leading to their impressive 12-6 record in the summer. With more experience on stage, the sky is the limit for this fiery support.
It’s usually hard to live up to the legendary T1 namesake as a rookie. But when Canna moved into the team’s main roster at the end of 2019, he was quick to show why he shouldn’t be underestimated.
The 20-year-old was one of the most consistent players in the league during his debut year. He had the second-most kills, second-most assists, and the highest KDA among his fellow LCK top laners, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
His performance was so good that T1 decided to extend his contract during the offseason, signing him until 2022.
Keria is one of the younger players on this list at 18 and yet he was one of the deadliest supports in Korea this past year. Alongside veteran ADC Deft, these two players quickly became one of the most feared duos in the region and were lauded as a top-three bottom lane at Worlds 2020.
Throughout the 2020 Summer Split, he led all LCK supports with 401 assists, had a role-leading 72.3 percent kill participation percentage, and a 29-percent first blood rate. He also gave DRX plenty of options with his expansive champion pool, ranging from Yuumi to Nautilus.
He’ll now be joining legendary mid laner Faker and explosive marksman Teddy on T1. The team has created a formidable core that could push the perennial world champions back to the top of the LCK.
Huanfeng’s journey as a pro is one of the most inspiring stories in esports. The 19-year-old ADC went through many struggles when he was young, having lived in poverty—and in a broken home—for most of his childhood.
At age 15, he took a risk and decided to go pro to try to change his future. And now, he’s appeared on the Worlds stage in front of thousands of fans across the globe. Alongside veteran support SwordArt, Huanfeng helped Suning reach the finals of Worlds 2020 with plays that have been etched into the history books forever, like his epic Jhin flank against JD Gaming.
His growth this year was astronomical. Even though SwordArt won’t be with him in 2021, Huanfeng is good enough to hold it down with whichever support ends up joining the team.
On the other side of the Rift, top lane prodigy Bin also had a breakout year with Suning. He had impressive stats during the 2020 LPL Summer Split, but he truly put himself on the global radar when he took over multiple games at Worlds this fall.
His abilities on top lane carries was put on full display, whether he was playing champions like Jax, Gangplank, Camille, and even Fiora. He had the third-most kills of any player at the tournament and had the highest damage numbers in his role.
Look for Suning’s young core carries to lift this team to new heights in 2021.
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