With top and junglers down, it’s time to move on to the mid lane. As the power rankings move down the map they proceed to get harder and harder. This time is no different with all the talented mid laners in the LCK that needs to be ranked. Without further ado, here are the preseason power rankings for the mid laners of the Spring Split of the LCK.
10. Kim “Cover” Joo-eon (APK Prince)
Out of the ten players, there were two very easy rankings to decide. The first being the best mid laner in the game and the second being the worst. Unfortunately for Cover, after an abysmal promotion tournament and no improvement shown at KeSPA Cup, he was the clear candidate for worst mid laner in the LCK.
If APK looks to make any changes at the halfway point of the season, it should definitely be at the mid lane position. Because if Cover sticks around for the long run, APK will unfortunately be playing with a huge disadvantage for the whole split as Cover already struggled against weaker competition in Challengers Korea.
9. Kang “Tempt” Myung-gu (Hanwha Life Esports)
Taking the ninth spot in the rankings mostly as a result of how strong the field is will be Tempt. Throughout his time on Hanwha, Tempt has shown that he’s capable of being a top mid laner in the league. However, along with that potential, Tempt has also shown that he’s fairly inconsistent as well. In the end, this inconsistency could prove to be his downfall as Hanwha looks to finally break through and become a playoff team.
If Tempt can find that consistency heading into the Spring Split then not only will he move up the power rankings, but Hanwha will move up the standings as well. Will Tempt be able to reach a new level? Only time will tell.
8. Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon & Yoo “Naehyun” Nae-hyun (Griffin)
While it’s likely an unpopular thought, the duo of Ucal and Naehyun take the eighth spot of the power ranking. While Ucal and Naehyun were both some of the best mid laners last season, they do enter this new season with concerns. For Ucal, the question entering this new season will be whether he can remain one of the best mid laners at a consistent rate. If he struggles again like the 2019 Spring Split, there may be no second chance this time around. Meanwhile, the second option for Griffin is Naehyun who had his best career split with Kingzone DragonX during the 2019 Summer Split. However, will he be able to replicate that performance, or will he return to his previous form?
With these big question marks surrounding their mid laners, it’s hard to put them higher on the power rankings. However, a great Spring Split can easily blast them up into the top five.
7. Song “Fly” Yong-jun (Afreeca Freecs)
Starting off the really hard decisions to make is recent KeSPA Cup champion Fly. While his previous season split between Flyquest in North America and Gen.G was disappointing, his performance at KeSPA Cup was different. At KeSPA Cup, Fly showed that he was clearly capable of being a staring LCK mid laner after dominating the tournament. Through the tournament, he was especially impressive on the likes of Syndra (2-0 14KDA) and Orianna (4-0 10.8KDA).
While his recent performance was impressive, the issue with anything from KeSPA Cup will be if it can be maintained. Luckily for Fly, that pressure won’t be as high for him as some of the other mid laners in the league thanks to the amazing roster around him.
6. Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng (KT Rolster)
Making his return to Korea and taking the sixth spot on the power rankings is Kuro. After a great season that was capped off with a solid run in the Summer Split with Bilibili Gaming in China, Kuro makes his return onto a mostly solid KT roster. While the overall competition in the mid lane will be somewhat tougher in Korea, Kuro should be able to hold his own fairly well overall. Unfortunately at this point, there are simply better mid laners in the league than Kuro. While Kuro can still surprise the region and take down some of these mid laners, his ceiling is well known at this point and it’s simply not high enough to be a constant threat.
5. Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong (Gen.G)
Starting off the top half of the power rankings is a mid laner that will have a lot to prove in 2020. After a rough 2019 season with KT Rolster where Bdd was still one of the better players on the map, he’ll have a chance to compete for a title once again with Gen.G. The key concern for Bdd will be if he’ll struggle again now that he has a strong roster around him.
Now that it won’t be a one-man show anymore, Bdd should be able to have a much easier time. With his potential ceiling still very high, can Bdd reach his former individual glory and dominate the league again? If so, Gen.G will have a very easy road to the title, if not the likes of Afreeca Freecs and DragonX will still be some tough contenders,
4. Kim “Dove” Jae-yeon (SANDBOX Gaming)
The first of three young mid laners to show up in the power rankings is Dove. While Dove has constantly shown that he has what it takes to be one of the best mid laners in the league, his consistency throughout their games. This could be seen in effect as frequently as the team’s run through the KeSPA Cup and shows that Dove still has a long way to go in that regard. With the rest of the roster upgraded or also improving in their own rights, all eyes will be on Dove to also follow and improve now. Will he be able to bring SANDBOX Gaming into elite status? Or will the team fall short again?
3. Heo “ShowMaker” Su (DAMWON Gaming)
Taking the bronze medal is the 2019 Summer Split mid laner KDA leader, ShowMaker. While his recent matches against G2 Esports during the Worlds 2019 playoffs and DragonX at KeSPA Cup has been less than impressive, ShowMaker is still deserving of his spot on the power ranking. While his low is an average mid laner that can be exposed, his peak is seemingly unstoppable.
His challenge this season will be to consistently play at that peak. With teams slowly figuring out DAMWON more and more, he’ll be relied upon even more to lead the team to victory. If he’s able to handle that pressure, DAMWON could find themselves contending for the title this year.
2. Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon (DragonX)
Taking a close spot in second is the always fantastic Chovy. While Chovy was in contention for the title of best mid laner in Korea at times throughout 2019, he was never able to fully take the title. Now that he’s on a new team with more pressure on him to perform as the younger players will need to develop, will he be able to make that jump to finally dethrone the king?
For Chovy, it won’t be a question of how he’ll perform during the regular season where he has always been solid. Instead, it’ll come down to his performance in the playoffs that will truly cement where he stands when compared to the other Korean greats in the mid lane. Will he finally be able to live up to these expectations this time around? Only time will tell.
1. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (T1)
Was there any doubt that the Demon King would continue to hold on to his title and sit on the throne as the best mid laner of the LCK? While Faker and the rest of T1 fell short at Worlds once again, he was able to show that he is still nearly unmatchable as a player on an individual level. As such, don’t expect his dominance in the LCK to stop any time soon.
While Father Time is still undefeated against all the legends of the sporting and esports world, Faker will be able to hold on for at least this season. For now, let’s continue to enjoy Faker in action and worry about the future of his career in the future. Faker is still dominating and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon.
To watch League of Legends tournaments, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the Split, teams, standings and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image courtesy of y.w kim (Kenzi) Flickr.
Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38