Ranking the LCS Mid Lane - Both Regions
The mid lane is where some professional League of Legends games are won and lost. It is also arguably the lane most driven by individual mechanics. Since all North American and European LCS rosters are now locked in for the upcoming Spring Split, it is a good time to see where all 20 of them stack up against one another. Note that I do not think any of these mid laners are weak players overall, but some may find it difficult competitively.
20. PePiinero – Giants Gaming (EU)
I think many analysts are a bit harsh to Giants Gaming, but as the most unproven roster, time can only tell whether they will be a strong force in the European LCS. Although PePiinero has shown great mechanics on Xerath (to the point where viewers thought he was scripting), I don’t think he is at the level of other European mid laners.
19. Soren – Copenhagen Wolves (EU)
The Copenhagen Wolves roster does not impress me much overall with the exception of jungler Airwaks. Although Soren is a strong point on a relatively weak roster, only time will tell whether he has the skill to face off against other relatively strong mid laners in Europe. At least he has some LCS experience under his belt, which is why I ranked him above PePiinero.
18. Slooshi – Team 8 (NA)
Slooshi proved to be a strong force for Team 8 during the Challenger Series, and he played very well in the Expansion Tournament on Complexity. However, the talent in the mid lane in the North American LCS is far stronger this year than ever before. A year ago, Slooshi could have been a top contender, but currently, he looks weaker than the lot.
17. Ryu – H2K Gaming (EU)
We are not talking about the same Ryu that laned fairly well against Faker last year in OGN. There are going to be several communication issues, and it seemed that with his brief stints on Millenium during the Expansion Tournament on Roccat during IEM Cologne, he hasn’t quite returned to form yet. He has the capability to be a top 5 mid laner in Europe, but he just isn’t there yet.
16. Link – Counter Logic Gaming (NA)
This may seem like a harsh review of Counter Logic Gaming mid laner Link, and unlike most viewers, I don’t think he is a bad player. However, his last two splits (with the exception of a couple breakout performances) have been really lackluster. If he returns to early season 3 form, Link will exceed my expectations along with many others. In his current form, I don’t foresee Link breaking the bottom three mid laners in North America.
15. Keane – Gravity (NA)
The former Curse Academy roster looks strong coming into the North American LCS, and Keane is no exception. However, the LCS talent is much stronger in the mid lane than the Challenger Series. If Keane brings his A-game, he can match the best talent of North America, but we first have to see how he handles LCS level competition. He is one of the strongest innovators in North America, so I really hope that he does well.
14. Febiven – Fnatic (EU)
If Febiven was still on H2K Gaming, he may have been ranked higher, but it is hard to ignore the communication issues this team will have early. His synergy with new Korean jungler ReignOver will determine some of Febiven’s success. As I do not have too much faith in this Fnatic roster to make a strong showing as a whole this split, #14 on this list was as far as Febiven’s individual mechanics could take him on this list.
13. FeniX – Team Liquid (NA)
Straight out of Korea, FeniX looks like a mechanical master in solo queue on stream. However, competitive play is much more reliant on communication, and he and jungler, IWDominate, need to gain some synergy before they take the competitive scene by storm. In my opinion, FeniX looks like a potential beast for Summer Split, but for the upcoming Spring Split, he may only be average amongst the rest of North America.
12. Jesiz – Team Coast (NA)
Formerly of the World Championship SK Gaming roster, Jesiz moved on to Team Coast in North America. I’m certainly in the minority who thinks that Jesiz can return to his strong Season 4 Spring Split form and give other North American mid laners a run for their money. However, it will take time for Jesiz to get back to that dominant point. If he can, Jesiz will be a strong force to keep Team Coast in strong standing for the upcoming Spring Split.
11. Kori – Meet Your Makers (EU)
Kori, formerly known as Selfie on the old Supa Hot Crew roster, is stuck in a similar situation to Febiven. However, Kori has LCS experience to back up his mechanics, and I feel that once he gains synergy with Korean jungler H0R0, he will hit his stride. For now, Kori will remain in the middle of the pack. If he improves as much as he did last split, he could be a contender for the top.
10. XiaoWeiXiao – Team Impulse (NA)
XiaoWeiXiao was one of the strongest mechanical mid laners in the Summer Split last season for North America’s Chinese powerhouse LMQ. Unfortunately, he is the only original LMQ member left, and although he is a powerhouse in lane, it might take time to develop synergy and communication with his Korean and American teammates.
9. Nukeduck – Team Roccat (EU)
I might be too harsh on the recently unbanned Nukeduck, and many may argue otherwise that he is a middle of the pack LCS mid laner. However, I cannot ignore that Nukeduck has been out of competitive play for quite a long time. I might be alone in this opinion, but I feel Nukeduck may suffer from some rust coming into the next split. Granted, I think he will return to form as one of the strongest mid laners in Europe near the end of the split, but at this time, it is hard to place him any higher.
8. Pobelter – Team Winterfox (NA)
No one can deny Pobelter’s insane mechanical ability in solo queue, but all of it has not transferred into his competitive play. He will benefit with another split with jungler Helios to develop synergy, and there is definitely the (here comes the P word) potential for him to be the best mid laner in North America. However, he lacks consistency in his play, and until he gains the consistency, he will not reach any higher on this list.
7. Shiphtur – Team Dignitas (NA)
Shiphtur has the complete opposite problem of Team Winterfox’s mid laner, Pobelter. He is extremely consistent, but lately, lacks the big play ability he once had on the old Team Coast. If he can gain strong synergy with jungler Crumbzz this split, Shiphtur looks like a strong candidate to be at the top of his position this split. His mechanics are spot on, and he certainly needs to utilize those tools more often during competitive games.
6. Fox – SK Gaming (EU)
Fox (formerly Watdefox of SK Prime) was promoted to the main roster of SK Gaming, where he will be playing with some of the most talented players and strongest minds in Europe. With this in mind, I think that Fox will become a dominant force in the mid lane like he was in the Challenger Scene on SK Prime, but like everything, it will take time.
5. Hai – Cloud 9 (NA)
With his amazing shot calling, it seems people forget that Cloud 9’s mid laner Hai is also a world class mid lane player. Although he struggled a bit last split and in a few games during the World Championships, Hai proves time and time again that he can go even and beat some of the best mid laners in the world. I don't foresee any change in this for now.
4. NiQ – Gambit Gaming (EU)
It is true that I have a higher regard for NiQ than most viewers. However, no one can deny how much NiQ improved last year on a sinking Gambit Gaming roster. My prediction is that he will improve immensely this split and carry Gambit Gaming back into the European LCS playoffs. With a stronger supporting cast and a resurging Diamondprox in his back pocket, NiQ looks like a strong contender for best mid laner in Europe for the Summer Split. For now, he may be second to Froggen in consistency.
3. PowerOfEvil - Unicorns of Love (EU)
This will be my most controversial rating on this list, but I stand by putting Unicorns of Love’s PowerOfEvil in the #3 slot. He synergizes extremely well with his entire team, provides a very powerful laning phase, and his champion pool is huge. Out of all the up and coming talent Europe has in the Spring Split, PowerOfEvil seems to be the most impressive. In fact, I’ll make a bolder prediction that I think PowerOfEvil will be the best mid laner in Europe during Summer Split.
2. Bjergsen - Team SoloMid (NA)
With the new wave of North American talent in the mid lane, Team SoloMid’s mid laner Bjergsen may receive a run for his money in the summer. Despite his struggles against PowerOfEvil at IEM San Jose, Bjergsen is still the strongest mid laner in North America. Bjergsen’s champion pool is very large, and if new jungler Santorin can create pressure around the map, Bjergsen can let loose and bully opposing laners.
1. Froggen - Elements (EU)
Froggen still reigns supreme as the best mid laner in the League Championship Series worldwide currently (key word – currently). His experience, mechanics, and ever-expanding champion pool are enough to keep Froggen at the front of the pack for now, and I don’t foresee that changing this split. Summer Split is a different matter with all of the new talent at the mid lane position. Therefore, Froggen can only get better if he wants to keep that top spot.