Every story has its hero, and for the six teams heading into LCS playoffs, their path through the postseason may hinge on the efforts of a shining protagonist. Through all of the ups and downs of the split, these six players have risen to the occasion when their teams needed them most. This playoffs, the ball is in their court.
It's no secret that CoreJJ has been the best support in the LCS (and now one of the best in the world) since joining the league in 2019. He's also in the running with his teammates Jeong "Impact" Eon-yeong as one of the most successful Korean imports of all time.
Team Liquid is the best team in the LCS, and CoreJJ is one of the driving forces behind their calculated playstyle. He wears many hats as an engage mastermind, protector, and babysitter to Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng.
CoreJJ has demonstrated his creativity and adaptability in leading four of the best players in the league. This Summer, he's looking to become a back-to-back LCS champion, and assert himself as the only support to truly draw out the best of Doublelift's abilities.
Svenskeren has slowly gone from "Brother Sven" to "Daddy Sven" since leaving TSM to join Cloud9, and is even considered to be a leading candidate for the 2019 Summer Split MVP Award. After years of being underrated or playing second (or third) fiddle to superstar teammates, he's finally getting his time in the spotlight.
Consistency has been a key factor in Svenskeren's performance in summer. He's been a linchpin for his team by controlling all stages of the game. Executing crisp early games and orchestrating improbable comebacks is Svenskeren's forte, and he has what it takes to usher in Cloud9's first championship in over five years.
Wiggily's growth has been one of the most surprising stories of the season. Not many people could've guessed that his way of looking at the game and playing around his team was exactly what CLG needed to get the most out of their roster.
When CLG is playing, the camera is following Wiggily. When a play is being made, it's typically off the back of a well-timed gank or decision made by him. Even his ADC Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes said that he improved faster than anyone else on CLG could've expected.
This playoffs is stacked to the brim with legendary LCS junglers such as Svenskeren, William "Meteos" Hartman, and Jake "Xmithie" Puchero. CLG's playoff bracket puts him on track to potentially match up against each one of them. Wiggily will play a huge role in proving that CLG's Summer run wasn't simply a fluke.
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TSM has taken a hard nosedive in the second half of the split, and their loss against a trolling Team Liquid in Week Nine didn't instill much hope in fans pining for them to turn things around. Amidst all of the chaotic on-stage performances from TSM, Smoothie has stood out as a diamond in the rough.
Smoothie is the teammate who will gladly make himself look bad by tanking a few skillshots or dying all for the sake of the greater good. Unfortunately for him, his sacrifices mostly have gone in vain, but it still stands that he's actively trying to become a reliable and selfless presence on a team that's shown to be fairly volatile these days.
Unlike the other veterans on TSM, Smoothie has never won anything, and has gotten used to being the runner up since his time with Cloud9. For TSM to turn things around and actually make a run to finals would be an incredible Cinderella story, but nearly impossible without Smoothie's team-centric mindset. While his teammates may be searching for redemption, Smoothie is hungrier than ever for his first taste of domestic success this playoffs.
Clutch flew by into playoffs a bit under the radar for some. Aside from their mid-split coaching upgrade, one of their biggest strengths is the consistency of their bot lane duo, and specifically Cody Sun, who hasn't died a single time across his last five LCS games.
When the biggest blunder of your career was a mistake made at the World Championship, you're probably doing pretty good for yourself already, but Cody has a chance to paint his own narrative in this playoff run. Clutch's chances of going far are higher than ever with their first match being against an under-performing TSM.
When your jungler is Meteos and your mid laner is a world champion, it's probably pretty easy to feel like a burden whenever anything bad happens in-game. Dhokla was the scapegoat for almost all OpTic criticism in Spring, but he seems to have finally found his groove within the experienced roster.
OpTic's biggest issue in the past was their inability to play around Dhokla unless he was on his pocket pick Yorick. Since then, OpTic has leveled up to become a legitimate top team in the LCS, and Dhokla didn't sit back and ride the wave of success; he's grown exponentially as a player. This is will be his first ever playoff appearance, after barely missing sixth place multiple times, he can't afford to waste the opportunity.
Dhokla is the most improved player on OpTic, and the only one who has yet to peak. He's gained the tools to win games by hard-carrying on meta champions like Aatrox, and can even lose lane gracefully while still remaining as an asset for the team. Whether or not he's popping off in any given match, once thing is for certain: Dhokla is no longer a liability, and that's lifted a heavy weight off of that rosters' shoulders.