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The 2022 League of Legends Pro League Summer is in full swing. With matches being played seven days a week, it’s hard to keep up with what the most important storylines in China’s premier league are. Thankfully, Upcomer has you covered. Here are the lessons we learned so far in this 2022 LPL Summer mid-week recap for Week 9.

Don’t forget about Rookie

When looking at the player of the game leaderboards so far in the 2022 LPL summer season, three of the top five players are mid laners, including two who are tied for first. Top Esports’ Zhuo “knight” Ding and Royal Never Give Up’s Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao sit at the top of the standings with LNG Esports’ Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang right behind them with eight. Despite them all having great cases for MVP, it’s the player tied for 12th with six player of the game awards that should be in that conversation with them.

Victory Five’s Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, who is the reigning MVP, has only played in less than half of V5’s total games so far in the summer season after coming back to the main team in Week 5. But since then, he hasn’t missed a beat. In six of the 12 wins V5 have picked up since Rookie’s return, Rookie has picked up player of the game honors, giving him literally half of all of V5’s player of the game’s since his return.

His most recent two came against Bilibili Gaming, where he picked up both of V5’s awards in the series thanks to a combined 13/4/24 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) statline on Lissandra and Sylas that led his team to an easy 2-0 win.

Over the course of the season so far, Rookie would have 12 if he played in every game and kept his same pace. There is still even time for him to match the rest of the league regardless.

JDG is more than just Kanavi

The last time JD Gaming were an LPL powerhouse was back in 2020 when they made it to Worlds on the back of their superstar jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok. After a down year in 2021, JDG are back in Worlds contention and are the current No. 1 seed in the 2022 LPL summer season.

While Kanavi, who is tied for the lead in player of the game honors, is a major part of that, the team is much deeper this time around than even in their 2020 campaign.

JDG top laner Bai “369” Jia-Hao has been one of the LPL’s best-performing top laners all summer as he also sits at the top of the player of the game standings alongside Kanavi, but they also have one of the best mid laners in the league alongside them too. In JDG’s match against Weibo Gaming on Week 9, Day 3, Zeng “Yagao” Qi came up clutch. In Game 2, Yagao was the primary carry for the team going 5/0/14 on Sylas to pick up player of the game honors.

The team will go as far as Kanavi can take them, but JD Gaming also have additional support with 369 and Yagao.

RNG have hit their stride

Just like last summer, it took a little while for RNG to emerge as the world-class team they were after winning the Mid-Season Invitational. That, coupled with bringing in a new top laner just days before the start of the 2022 LPL summer split, made people think that RNG might need time to find their form. Not only did they not have a major regression at the start of the split, but they have also already found their peak form even before playoffs.

At this point in the season last year, RNG had a record of 8-5. This season, they are 11-2 and just got done beating Anyone’s Legend in back-to-back sub-30 minute games. RNG have won seven straight series and are now just a game behind the one seed for summer playoffs. It took RNG until Worlds 2021 to find their elite form, but the fact that RNG are already there despite the setbacks they faced between spring and summer makes the team even scarier than last year.

RNG are in good position not only to pull off the LPL spring and summer sweep, but also the MSI and Worlds sweep.