The Best Players in the LCK: 2020-2021
The region lives in glory. Ever since season three and T1’s steamrolling, Korea has been known as the lords of the rift. For the following four years LCK players ruled the game. In 2018 and 2019 China took a few titles, but as of 2020 Korea came back with DWG for the crown. Amongst the tyrants, though, who is the most POWRful?
The numbers are in: we have the POWR ratings from May 2020 through to August of 2021. To compile the best-of-the-best, we took the highest average raw POWR ratings throughout the year. As of publishing, these are your top 10 players in the LCK.
Number 1: Canyon, Jungle for DWG
Few can debate this particular player’s greatness. Widely considered the best jungler in the world, with far fewer detractors, Canyon is indeed untouchable. His average POWR rating is 56. He morphs to any meta, sporting Morgana and Rumble at MSI 2021. He does everything well, from the micro to the macro.
As the spirit guardian Udyr he locked in a POWR of 82. He was bear slapping the hell out of HLE, going 3/3/15 as he died at the enemy fountain in the final seconds of the game. While he wrecks as the arguably best jungler in the game, he can rock that 88 percent win rate on plenty of characters: his pool in the last year was an impressive 23 different champions (including jungle Lulu, so take that MarkZ). He has a 75 percent win rate on Viego, an 86 percent win rate on Diana, and 100 percent on Sett.
Basically, don’t mess with Canyon.
Number 2: Ghost, Bot Lane for DWG
Another player whose efficacy has wrongly been debated. Jang Yong-jun (장용준) scored a pentakill on Varus in the MSI finals against perhaps the best Chinese team in the world. Unlike in the LPL where the competition is stiff, DWG is far and away the best team in the LCK. The marksman holds an average POWR rating of 54, with a high mark of 80 on Kai’sa.
When Worlds 2021 comes around, with China’s additional seed thanks to their MSI win, audiences everywhere will see if Ghost can put up the devastating numbers he’ll need to keep the crown. If he’ll be joined by his partner Beryl is another question. (But along with the other members of his team, don’t sleep on Beryl.)
Number 3: Oner, Jungle for T1
We can’t talk about jungle in the LCK without talking about Oner. While Faker-senpai didn’t make this year’s cut (an average POWR rating of 50) his teammate at fourth is nothing to scoff at. His POWR rating is 53, just one below Ghost. He’s the best thing to happen to T1 in years.
Moon Hyeon-joon (문현준) is just 18-years-old and has only been on the team since December 2020. Before that he was an academy player for T1, moving to the starting roster to replace Clid as he moved to Gen.G (we’ll get to him). As SKT1 became T1, they hired a number of junglers. Rotating players in and out has worked only so well for the team as it tries to gain its former glory. What can be said is that Oner is a strong, smart, ambitious player. He scored an 82 POWR on Lilia, a champion that was potentially never as good as she was claimed to be.
Number 4: Clid, Jungle for GEN
The man who held Oner’s spot on T1 before he took off for greener pastures. So far it seems that 21-year-old Kim Tae-min (김태민) was correct: T1 stands at fourth and GEN at second. But is he an overvalued player?
At ninth best, his average POWR sits at 52 in the last year. While he is less consistent than some of his peers, he still knows how to make a dent: his yearlong high was a whopping 80 POWR on Hecarim in the Turbochem Tank heyday. He also sported a champ pool of 22, which is nothing to scoff at.
Number 5: Canna, Top Lane for T1
That three T1 players are on this list may come as a bit of a pivot for fans. The team’s heyday began in 2013 and slowly faded since their last big win before China took over in 2017. But Canna is not to be trifled with. In fact, he’s the best top laner in Korea.
Kim Chang-dong (김창동) is 21-years-old and he either murders everyone in sight or gets murdered. If "GODNA" appears, he can hit his all-time high POWR of 77 on broken champs like Gwen. As "CAN NA" he still holds the line, but can give away an isolated death here and there. His average POWR is at 51, and when he goes big be ready to go home. He loves deadly champions like Renekton and that same seamstress Gwen, with an 80 percent and 100 percent win rate respectively.
His idol in the league is Khan, which is sort of fascinating given how he has pulled ahead of the terrifying tyrant of DWG. We’ll see if he can keep the rank – Khan is a monster. T1 sits at fifth in the LCK going into summer, and, if Khan has anything to say about it, DWG at fourth.
Number 6: ShowMaker, Mid Lane for DWG
Back to business: DWG players. There’s a reason this team gets so much attention. It’s because they’ve been running the LCK. (At least until summer split.)
His performance in MSI 2021 was just another example of how Heo Su (허수) runs the show. At just 20-years-old, the Katarina enthusiast can bring the heat on Jayce, Ornn, Zoe, and Zilean, to name a few. His POWR rating over the last year was 51.3 with a top score of 79 on Viktor. Like many Korean players, ShowMaker has a lot of power in his consistent high level play: he has 24 games with a POWR rating of 60 to 69, and twelve with a POWR of 70 to 79.
In comparison to make or break all stars like Perkz, who recently had a dominating win against TL’s fed Jensen, it’s no question that ShowMaker is the real deal.
Number 7: Ruler, Bot Lane for GEN
After Ghost, Ruler is the best marksman in the LCK. The individual talent on all three of the teams represented on this list is what keeps them hovering in the conversation of the best. While NongShim REDFORCE currently holds the throne, none of their players have put huge numbers on the board throughout the year.
To prove the point further, GEN is second on the rankings as of now. Yet only number four and seven on this list sport their players. Plenty of heroic players such as CoreJJ and Peanut have played for GEN.
Ruler is no less a skilled player. His stability in the bottom lane is enormous: he has 29 games between 60 and 69 POWR. His personal best is 80 on the spectre Kalista. And his yearlong average is 51.2, just one decimal point lower than those doing battle for 51. Be careful if he gets Jinx: he has an 80 percent win rate over the five games he was able to play the little maniac.
Number 8: Teddy, Bot Lane for T1
The third and no-less-deadly T1 player on the list is Park Jin-seong (박진성). At 23-years-old he’s been in the SKT/T1 family since 2018. Since July he has moved to substitute on the team, bringing Gumayusi to the starting roster. Teddy is known for his mammoth late-game, whereas Gumayusi is an aggressive early laner.
Maybe that’s what the team needs, but it’s not due to lack of skill from Teddy. Through the last year he held an average POWR of 51. The man loves Ezreal so it comes as no surprise his yearlong high was on the explorer with a brutal POWR of 80. It will be further unsurprising that he has a 100 percent winrate on Ezreal, too.
He played ten unique champions, but with a distinct lack of Tristana. (Maybe I’m just noticing that after Danny blew up the LCS.)
Number 9: Khan, Top Lane for DWG
There will be portions of this list that surprise. There will also be portions of this list that are not surprising at all. Khan being so low is a fairly surprising stat. For god’s sake he has an 85 POWR rating on Lee Sin – that’s the highest in Korea.
Kim Dong-ha (김동하) is arguably the most dominant toplaner in the world, but his team fell off a bit after MSI. His average POWR rating for the last year is 50.9. But don’t count him out: his Sion play is iconic, and throughout the 21 champions he showcased in the last year has earned him an 81 percent win rate.
It bears mentioning that DWG lost MSI to Chinese brutalizers RNG. It has been aptly pointed out that Khan lost to his enemy xiaohu, spectacularly so in the final game of a tense 3-2 finals series. Some have questioned who will be crowned best in the world in 2021, then, as the team last won with powerhouse Nuguri. It’s hard to say. The last few months have shaken up the LCK in a tremendous fashion.
Number 10: Faker, Mid Lane for T1
Oof! You hate to see it, but senpai himself, otherwise known as Lee Sang-hyeok (이상혁), brings up the rear in the elite brass these days. The better part of a decade into his pro career, and at 25-years-old, Faker brought an average POWR of 50.1 to the table this last year.
Let’s not forget that 50.1 POWR is still devastating. While not in his 2013 Zed glory days, Faker still manages to terrify his opponents and put numbers on the board. League’s Michael Jordan came in from the halls of solo que and solo killed Ambition, then considered one of the best mid laners in the world, immediately after joining pro play.
These days his numbers still speak for themselves. He showed 19 unique champions in the last year, including Sett and Galio mid. His highest POWR for the year was 68 on Azir. And his total win rate is at 58 percent.
But his hands have fallen off a bit in the last few years. Some blame organizational issues within management and the team. No matter the cause, his play strikes a bit less terror than in past years.