The Best Players in the LCS: 2020 to 2021
It’s a coveted list. It’s the list that people sit around at the bar debating endlessly. It’s the list that keeps the players themselves up at night, restless and wondering just who would be who at the olympic camp. Thankfully, we can put that debate to rest.
The numbers are in: we have the POWR ratings from May 2020 through to the end of 2021 summer split. 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 LCS.
Number 1: Santorin, Jungle for TL
This has been, of an already coveted list, the most intense conversation: who is jungling the best in the LCS? While it’s true we may overhype junglers, the reality is that they are powerhouse play makers for their teams. Full stop. With that in mind, many will be surprised to see Santorin top the list. But believe it: his average POWR for the year is 55.8. He topped his personal chart while on Viego, devastating with a POWR of 81.
Despite roster changes, coach shuffles, and health issues, Lucas Tao Kilmer Larsen is a 24-year-old jungler that has cut his teeth in League. He came to the LCS from the LEC in 2014, and has had plenty of ups and downs. Somehow, amongst the global chaos, 2020 and 2021 have been his golden years.
His style focuses on supporting the team – that's an important fact to focus on when thinking about him in comparison to other all star junglers like Closer and Blaber, number three and number five respectively. When he does poorly, it’s not the end of the game. For his peers, their performances can be more nuclear, Hulking out for the better or meltdowns for the worse.
Number 2: Danny, Bot Lane for EG
A far less surprising chart topper is the beautifully optimistic Kyle Sakami, just 17-years-old. He’s been hailed by all the casters. He may be the best thing that has ever happened to Evil Geniuses. And he comes from solo que, demonstrating that the next generation of players are well worth watching. For god’s sake he’s been playing League since he was six-years-old.
His average POWR is only a decimal point lower than Santorin at 55.7, and his year-long high is as the bombadier Tristana at 82, which is fitting as after that Game 4 against 100T, it's definitely his signature champion. His style is highly aggressive, which has now come to be associated with EG in general (we’ll get to Jiizuke later). If he can dominate you 2 v 2 in lane, he will. If he can 1 v 1 you and straight dunk, he will.
The future of the LCS looks like Danny, and we’re lucky to have him at any age.
Number 3: Closer, Jungle for 100 Thieves
From downtown comes Can Çelik, a 22-year-old jungler with quite a different path than, say, Santorin. He’s only played in the LCS since the end of 2019, playing in Turkey for a few years beforehand. He joined 100 Thieves one year later, and his performances in the last few months have led to the arguably most wild upsets in LCS history.
Since season one there have been iconic LCS teams: TSM, CLG, TL (formerly Curse), and as of season three C9. 100 Thieves, alongside fellow competitors with EG, have made a name for themselves in a bracket that often shows the same teams doing the same things. These types of positions are part history and part meme. Needless to say, Closer and 100 Thieves have rattled the rosters.
The Turkish jungler brings the heat, arguably the biggest name on his team. His POWR rating is at 55.1 – the competition for top ten is incredibly stiff. He went 11/2/9 against TL as he danced around teamfights as Diana. Bet big on his Hecarim, Graves, and Xin Zhao where he holds a 100 percent winrate on all three. Falling off just a bit in the last month is what bumped Closer further down the list, but rest assured he is a force to be reckoned with as he showed in the LCS playoffs so far.
Number 4: Abbedagge, Mid Lane for 100 Thieves
This guy is why Closer is arguably the biggest name on his team. Felix Braun, the German 21-year-old, didn’t join the LCS until April of this year. That’s crazy! In his ultra short career in the states, he has made it clear why he was picked to join with this crew of renegades. It speaks for itself: his POWR rating is 53.5. Faker these days puts up a yearlong average of 50. I guess that’s why they call him “Fakerdagge.”
Across 11 champions he has a win rate of 69 percent. In fact, had it not been for some fumbles in the last month 100 Thieves players would have gone higher on the board. Going into playoffs, LCS fans are left to wonder if those time-tested spots will get knocked around by all stars like Abbedagge.
Number 5: Blaber, Jungle for C9
This comes as no surprise to fans of the LCS, but probably for fans of C9. Blaber has blown the scene apart and has secured Rookie of the Split for 2018 and LCS MVP in both 2020 and 2021. Robert Huang is just 21-years-old but keeps an average POWR of 53.5. He holds a record of an enormous POWR of 81 while galloping across the rift as Hecarim.
Sadly C9 lost a lot of clout as the summer droned on. With EG and 100T’s ascents, Blaber just didn’t hold the focus of his peers. As long as he steers clear of scuttle crabs, he may be able to come out on top at the end of play-offs and reclaim the throne.
Number 6: Spica, Jungle for TSM
With an average POWR of 52.7, Spica is strong as hell. Mingyi Lu is just 20-years-old and comes from China, a country looking to house League’s future fandom. As the junker yordle Rumble Spica notched an impressive POWR of 77 over the last year. While on Udyr Spica racked up a KDA of 5/4/10 and helped secure a mid-season showdown victory over rivals EG. He was just elected all pro jungler for the LCS, and as other junglers have looked shaky in the past month Spica has helped secure TSM’s first place.
He demonstrates a wide array of champions in his pool, coming in with 16 different junglers alone in the last year. Beware his uncommon picks such as Jarvan IV, Kindred, and Shen, but also beware his meta picks like Xin Zhao, Gwen, and Diana. In short, beware Spica.
Number 7: Jensen, Mid Lane for TL
Nicolaj Jensen has been playing for nearly a decade. It shows. The veteran Dane’s experience has brought him to an average POWR rating of 51.9 with a year best of 80 on his famous Orianna. He went 2/0/8 against Cloud9 that day, with the team racking up 13 kills against the LCS favorite. An emerging rivalry between the expat European midlaners is always fun, and Jensen delivers. In the last year the midlaner has showcased 20 champs, a massive range when considering the meta. This is a player who shuts out TSM 3 - 1 without their primary jungle and manages to dominate as Annie, to boot.
Number 8: Tactical, Bot Lane for TL
Replacing Doublelift was never going to be easy. Yet, Edward Ra makes it look easy. Calming, even. As Sivir Tactical punched through to an 81 POWR rating, keeping an average POWR of 51.8 for the last year. Given that Tactical joined in February of 2020, this means that the crushing level of POWR is just the beginning for this hotshot carry. Known for a chipper attitude and a deadly Tristana, Tactical has a bright future ahead.
Number 9: PowerOfEvil, Mid Lane for TSM
The only other TSM player to nab a spot on this list is Tristan Schrage. We have already detailed why this guy is so good, especially as he stacks up against the TSM godhead Bjergsen. But he keeps getting better and better. By the end of the year his POWR has risen to 51.4, even higher than when we first penned about his career on TSM.
While he looks shaky on melee mids like Viego, his ability to dominate the rift with control mages is almost entirely uncontested. His yearlong high was on Viktor (a shocker to nobody) as he landed just .005 away from a POWR of 80. He had a KDA of 2/1/7 and did 29k damage. The next highest was Perkz, allegedly the best mid laner in the western world, who did just 21k that game.
Number 10: Jiizuke, Mid Lane for EG
As an Italian American, I’m biased. Daniele di Mauro is a 25-year-old who hails from our home country of Italy. He’s the first Italian in the LCS. And he’s damn good.
He holds a yearlong average of 51.1 POWR. On Sylas he hit a POWR of 78 going 3/2/9 against the unlucky members of FlyQuest. His Ryze winrate is at an astounding 82 percent.
He’s a trash talker who backs up his words with unmitigated aggressive play. Recently, against 100 Thieves’ academy team, he brought the hotly contested machine gun build to the rift and absolutely stomped. Part of why we see him further down the list, however, is due to the at-times wild ups and downs of Evil Geniuses play style. In the last month, they have really begun to even their play style out.
Again, I’m biased. But by the end of the playoffs, we may see the LCS’ Italian stallion climb further up the list.