With the 2022 League of Legends World Championship just around the corner, Upcomer isn’t just bringing fans in-depth looks at every single team, but also a look at the best players in every role. Through a panel of Upcomer’s League experts, the team has compiled a Top 5 ranking of every player in every role at this year’s Worlds 2022 tournament.
Today we are looking at the Mid Lane, bringing fans a look at who we believe to be the five best players in the role — with in-depth analysis and reasoning included, of course.
5. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (T1)
Eight years ago, @Faker took the League of Legends world by storm in his pro debut. Here’s our Top 8 defining moments that made the @T1 star a living legend. pic.twitter.com/7gSJCAMHUI
— Upcomer (@Upcomer) April 6, 2021
It is strange to see Faker on a list in anything by first place, but the Worlds 2022 has one of the best mid lane pools in a long time.
Faker has been the one consistent factor in T1. As the players changed around him, he has always remained. This year, T1 put four talented rookies along with Faker and created one of the most dominant teams that the LCK has ever seen. They made it into the playoffs and dominated all opposition in the Spring Split. T1 once again made it back into the LCK Summer Split finals. Unfortunately, they were unable to conquer their biggest rivals, Gen.G.
Despite their loss in the finals, Faker was able to keep up with Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, who most analysts believe is the best mid laner in the world. Through his years of experience, Faker is able to play almost anything in the midlane. Whether its active early game skirmishers like Taliyah, Ahri, and Galio, or even control mages like Lissandra, Faker play almost anything at the highest of levels. He will get the chance to prove himself again in this year’s World Championships.
4. Zeng “Yagao” Qi
Playmaker all series, Yagao earned the FMVP for the 2022 #LPL Grand Finals! pic.twitter.com/iX4EdYeT96
— LPL (@lplenglish) September 1, 2022
To anyone who hasn’t followed the League Pro League this year, Yagao is a name you probably didn’t expect to be on this list — or maybe you never heard of him before.
As a member of JDG for the last five years, Yagao has been an okay starting mid laner and was on the team that allowed JDG rise to prominance in 2020 when they qualified for Worlds 2022 before getting knocked out in quarterfinals by Suning. At the time, Yagao was just a side character for “Kanavi.” But this year, Yagao looked like the character in a leading role.
In the 2022 LPL summer split, Yagao didn’t make it onto one of the three LPL All-Pro teams, but quietly placed top three among mid-laners in KDA according to Oracleselixer.com. But what wasn’t quiet was his performance in the 2022 LPL summer playoffs. Simply put, when his team needed him the most, Yagao showed up.
JDG and Top Esports played in the upper bracket finals and grand finals. Both matches went to Game 5, both had JDG coming out on top and both Game 5 MVP’s went to Yagao. In the grand finals, the series MVP went to him as well.
Over the course of the 2022 LPL summer playoffs, Yagao has shown to be unbelievably clutch and is without a doubt, playing the best League of Legends of his career on the best LPL team.
3. Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao (Royal Never Give Up)
Bouncing around to perfection Xiaohu won't let anyone near his carry! #LPL pic.twitter.com/yYvqfWhtLf
— LPL (@lplenglish) September 4, 2022
The Tiger Emperor making this list should not come as a surprise.
Tied first in MVP standings for the regular season and chosen to be in the first All Pro team, Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao had a very strong summer showing despite the LPL being filled with monstrously skilled mid laners such as Scout, Yagao, Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, and Zhuo “knight” Ding. With three MId-Season Invitational titles under his belt, many were now wondering if RNG could finally pave the golden road to Worlds once more.
As we know the story by now, that was not to be. Xiaohu had a much quieter playoffs run in comparison as RNG very nearly missed out on Worlds qualification, taking it to the final game and final series to secure their spot in Mexico for the Play-ins.
Be that as it may, Xiaohu is still very much a top tier player and mid laner. With time off and the monkey of missing Worlds off their backs, RNG can use this time to sharpen up their play and reevaluate their priorities. He has shown multiple times that he can adapt to almost any meta thrown his way and this Worlds should be no different.
2. Lee “Scout” Ye-chan (Edward Gaming)
Emperor Scout's TEXTBOOK Shurima Shuffle! #LPL pic.twitter.com/fwfmgx67fK
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) July 14, 2022
The reigning world champion mid-laner is making his second straight trip to Worlds and is in the second spot in our Top 5 mid-laner rankings.
Scout has been himself over the course of the 2022 campaign which means that he has been consistently elite. In the crowded mid-lane pool in the LPL, Scout hasn’t shined brighter than his peers as he whiffed All-LPL selection for their summer pro teams. But that hasn’t stopped him from keeping up with them. According to Oracleselixer.com, Scout placed in the top five of all mid-laners in virtually every statistic.
EDG had a poor summer regular season by their own standards but came alive in playoffs and so did Scout. In playoffs, Scout outdueled Xiaohu twice, Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang once and went toe to toe with Zhuo “knight” Ding.
Just like we saw at Worlds 2021, there isn’t a mid-laner that Scout cant beat when he’s in form. And entering Worlds 2022, he is very close to his peak.
1. Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon (Gen.G)
Welcome to the church of Chovy! @CaptainFlowers breaks down the game that gave this @LCK_Global star his first ever PENTAKILL in pro play. pic.twitter.com/BcEwomixx1
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) July 22, 2021
From his debut, Chovy had plenty of competition such as Son “ucal” Woo-hyeon and Heo “ShowMaker” Su. Four years after his rookie season, Chovy has risen above his competition through his consistency. He has not missed a single Worlds throughout his career while seeming to become better as the years progress.
Chovy’s laning phase continues to deliver with him squashing his opponents in match-ups that are considered even or disadvantageous for the Gen G mid laner. With the mid lane champion pool seeing little to no change, it is hard to imagine a scenario where Chovy doesn’t do what he did for the entire spring split at Worlds 2022: dominate.
About the Author
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.