With the League of Legends pro season almost over, here are our picks for the best player in every major region.
The year is almost over and oh boy, was it a doozie for LoL esports fans. We had some amazing games and series, from the return of T1 and RNG to prominence in the spring and their exciting showdown at MSI, to Rogue finally winning the LEC cup and Gen.G seemingly taking the torch in Korea, to the heartbreak and triumph at Worlds where DRX fought on through the Play-In to take the throne. With all major events except the Demacia Cup in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to look back and see who the best players from all major regions are. Here are our picks:
LCS: Kacper "Inspired" Słoma (Jungler, Evil Geniuses)
One of the top European junglers of the new generation that made its mark in recent years, Kacper "Inspired" Słoma was already a star in 2021, when he went to Worlds with Rogue. In 2022, he made the move to NA, signing on with Evil Geniuses. While the Polish jungler had a good spring split where he helped EG win the LCS cup and go to MSI, it was in the summer where he truly started to shine. Inspired won a well-deserved MVP award for the summer season and EG ended the regular split in first place.
Their third place in playoffs sent them to the Worlds Play-In, where the NA squad took second place in their group and made it to the group stage after winning two tiebreakers followed by a convincing 3-0 against LEC 4th seed MAD Lions. Through it all, Inspired was probably EG’s most impressive player and while the team exited Worlds 1-5, their jungler can hold his head high.
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LEC: Emil "Larssen" Larsson (Mid Laner, Rogue)
In a year where European teams would go up and down in form, Emil "Larssen" Larsson never slipped under “good” and often went far further. Long heralded as mechanically skilled mage player just under the level of the GOATs, he had a solid spring split where Rogue went first in the regular split and reached the finals where they were defeated by G2 Esports. While he was occasionally outshone by several other LEC stars and even his teammates, Larssen seldom had a weak game and was a big part of Rogue’s miracle weekend where they went from the decided underdogs against Fnatic to LEC champions in two very decisive series.
The team’s performance at Worlds was an absolute rollercoaster - from an amazing Week 1 to a 1-3 in the second half of groups and a rather anemic 0-3 vs JD Gaming - but in victories and defeats, Larssen was the one who could be relied on to give his best against any opponent.
LPL: Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao (Mid Laner, Royal Never Give Up)
LPL is famous for having mechanically godlike players but they have often struggled with consistency throughout the year. This is why for our pick of the , we’ll have to go with Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao. Royal Never Give Up’s veteran was back in the mid lane for 2022 and it was like he never skipped a beat. That did not mean the veteran didn’t have amazing performances - the RNG mid laner was a powerhouse in the spring split and helped his team secure the first place in the playoff finals, fought against the best mid lakers from other regions at MSI where RNG raised the title after a five-game final against Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok’s T1, and came back for another strong split in the summer.
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At Worlds, RNG fought their way to the Play-In in a group with eventual champions DRX. They continued on to the groups, where had an exciting back and forth battle with LCK champions Gen.G in the group for the first place before to their old rival T1 in the playoffs. It is this consistent high class that makes Xiaohu the best LPL player of the year.
LCK - Ryu "Keria" Min-seok (Support, T1)
Picking a single MVP among the star-studded LCK rosters has often been difficult, but for our money, we’d have to go with T1 support Ryu "Keria" Min-seok . Keria was already one of the stars of a very powerful T1 roster in 2021, but it was his performance in this year’s spring split that really showed what the young player can do. Some amazing performances on Thresh, Pyke or Braum ensured that he would become the first ever support player to win the MVP of the split award, something that had eluded even prodigies like Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyun or Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong.
Keria continues having standout performances in the summer and at Worlds, being a big part of why T1 made it all the way to the finals and came so close to raising the Summoner’s Cup yet again.
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Do you agree with our picks or do you see someone else as the MVP of their region? Let us know!
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