League of Legends has seen countless players grace Summoner’s Rift over the course of the game’s first full decade of play. Across the four major regions and beyond, competitive League has played host to generational talents ever since structured domestic leagues were introduced to the scene in 2013.
Whether it be through unquestionable mechanical ability, international hardware, or undeniable domestic stardom, the game’s all-time best players have staked their claim to history one way or another. From early-age veterans who paved the way, new-wave up-and-comers who are already ahead of the curve, and timeless generational talents, here are the 10 best professional players to ever play League of Legends.
There haven’t been many players whose debut was more anticipated than Rekkles’. When he joined Fnatic in 2014, the team found immediate success by winning the EU LCS Spring Split. That was the first of four domestic titles he has to his name, with the most recent of those coming in 2018, the same year Rekkles led Fnatic to the semifinals at the Mid-Season Invitational and the grand finals of Worlds.
While he doesn’t have the same longevity that other players on this list may have, ShowMaker’s meteoric rise to international stardom has earned him a place in League’s pantheon. In his first three seasons as an LCK pro, ShowMaker reached Worlds with DAMWON Gaming in all three of them, winning the tournament outright in 2020. Consistency has been the strongest contributing factor to ShowMaker’s greatness, and if he continues to progress his career at this pace, he could very easily lead the way for the game’s next generation of superstars.
Right alongside Faker at the heart of the SK Telecom T1 dynasty was Bang. Between 2015 and 2017, Bang captured four international titles, while winning the LCK four times along the way as well. In addition to being regarded as the best Ezreal player of all time, Bang holds one of, if not, the most iconic play in professional League history to his name: a cross-map Ashe arrow to secure a victory for SKT in the semifinals of the 2016 World Championship.
Smeb is perhaps the greatest player to never win an international title. His mechanical ability in the top lane revolutionized the position. He became known for his aggressive nature in lane and teamfighting prowess in the mid-to-late game. His most recognizable moment came during the 2016 World Championship when he took on G2 Esports’ entire backline with a single Kennen ultimate, winning a game-deciding teamfight for ROX Tigers practically on his own.
Perkz is the undeniable greatest Western player of all time. Beyond his nine domestic titles, he is on the very short list of players (alongside his one-time teammate Zven) to win both the LEC and LCS. In 2019, he won two European titles, the Mid-Season Invitational, and finished in second place at the World Championship with G2.
When SKT’s run of international dominance was broken in 2017, it was Ruler who made the iconic play to clinch the World Championship for Samsung Galaxy, catching Faker out of position to initiate the series-winning teamfight. As one of the greatest AD carries of all-time, Ruler is known mostly for his mechanical prowess and individual ability, but he still has plenty of international appearances (and successes) to his name. Ruler has made Worlds in five of his six seasons of pro play, while finishing in the top four in three of those runs.
No player has ever won two international events at two different positions except Xiaohu. He’s won the Mid-Season Invitational as both a mid laner and top laner. His prominence in both positions has made him one of the most recognizable and versatile players of all time. A five-time domestic champion and three-time international winner, Xiaohu’s longevity is particularly impressive, while his strength as a player is impossible to ignore.
When it comes to raw talent, very few players are on the same level as Rookie. Beyond winning the 2018 World Championship with Invictus Gaming, Rookie is one of the only players to win a domestic title in both China and Korea. He’s spent the strong majority of his career in China and has blossomed into the greatest mid laner in the history of the region over the span of his career.
At the heart of Chinese League of Legends is Uzi. Although the LPL has been the most dominant region on the international stage as of late, Uzi’s prime was played mostly in the shadow of the LCK. Uzi has been a prominent and successful force in Chinese League since his debut season in 2013. With back-to-back Worlds final appearances to start his career and an eventual international title at MSI 2018, Uzi is one of the most accomplished-over-time players in League history.
There are simply no players on Earth quite like Faker. The three-time world champion is the greatest player of all time without any question. Beyond his filled-to-the-brim trophy case, Faker’s raw in-game ability is unrivaled. In practically every game he plays, the opposing team is going to have to budget for a mesmerizing play that propels T1 into the lead.
What makes Faker so special, though, is that he’s consistently been the best in the world for a decade. Since the inception of competitive League, he’s been at the top of the ladder. Each year after the next, he’s only added to his résumé, proving again and again why he’s the best in the game. Among his nine seasons of play, he’s missed Worlds only twice, and won the tournament in three out of four years between 2013 and 2016. With 10 years of professional League in the books, it will likely take another 10 for anyone to dethrone the Unkillable Demon King.