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Top 5 Academy/Amateur Prospects for the LCS 2022

With the 2022 LCS Offseason quickly approaching, many North American fans are wondering about NA talent. NA talent has always been a controversial subject matter. Many are under the belief that NA has no young talent. That imports are the only way to win. That narrative was somewhat destroyed this year after players like Danny, Ablazeolive and Spica proved their worth.

So who is the next big North American talent? What about players who are making a comeback? Here are five players that every LCS fan should hope is getting a starting spot in the LCS.

Number 5: 5Fire (Free Agent – Mid Laner)

There is no doubt that 5Fire has earned himself a spot on at least an Academy team, but there is a real-world where 5Fire could jump up to the LCS. After winning Spring Proving Grounds 2021, a tournament filled with Academy teams on an Amateur team, it’s amazing he wasn’t signed. 5Fire was briefly on Evil Geniuses Academy back in 2020 before leaving the team in March. After this, he has bounced around Amateur teams looking to prove himself.

Before proving Grounds, No Org, 5Fire’s team, swept every single tournament they entered. Challengers Uprising Season 2, Unified Grand Prix and BIG League Season 4 were all won. This team never placed below first. Furthermore, there is pretty much no point in the year in which 5Fire is under Top 100 on the NA Ladder. Sure, it’s Solo Q, but the work ethic is what matters.

In the Proving Grounds that he won, 5Fire had a DPM of 588, a KDA of 3.8. GD10 of 167, XPD10 of 82 and a CSD10 of -3.4. Keep in mind though that 5Fire played 17 games while some people above him in some stats played only 5-10. Both V1per and AnDa from No Org were signed by Immortals Academy for the Summer Split right after proving grounds. 5Fire deserves a spot much like those two and his work ethic is truly inspiring and what many want to see in an LCS player.

Number 4: Will (Dignitas – Jungler)

Dignitas Will courtesy of Dignitas

Many may not of heard of Will if they didn’t pay attention to Proving Grounds. Will was signed for Dignitas Academy as their starting Jungler after the whole Dardoch and Akaadian ordeal. Despite being signed near the end of June, Will made quite the splash. Starting off, he is only 16 years old. To compete in the LCS, one needs to be 17. Unfortunately, The Game Haus could not find his birthday, so it’s unknown whether he will be 17 or not before the LCS starts in January. Furthermore, his contract with Dignitas is expiring this year, any team can pick him up. But why would they?

Well, the answer is simple, Will is amazing. In his 11 games at Proving Grounds, he had a DPM of 359 (3rd best in the role), a GD10 of 158, a XPD10 of 162 and a CSD10 of 2.7. Keep in mind, his is 16 and doing this. Will is not a guaranteed home run, but nor was Danny or Ablaze. Teams took a chance and it ended up working amazingly. That is what Will is. If he is not signed again by Dignitas, there is a good chance numerous teams will be fighting for him. A young NA Jungler is a tantalizing concept.

Number 3: Tenacity (100T – Top Laner)

Of the names on this list, Tenacity is probably the one everyone knows. Whether it’s his peak Zoomer shenanigans on Twitter or his dominant Academy performance, Tenacity is making a name for himself. At only 18 years old, Tenacity is signed with 100T through 2022. This limits his off-season potential a bit, but there is a possibility 100T are willing to sell for enough of a buyout. Another likely option is that 100T will either choose to replace Ssumday with him this year or next year.

But why would 100T have so much confidence in this player? Well considering he was the fastest player to reach Top 50 of every competitor at Worlds, he just might be good.

Furthermore, during the 2021 Summer Academy Split, Tenacity had respectable laning stats and the highest DPM of any Top Laner. Unfortunately, due to him going to Worlds, Tenacity could not compete in Proving Grounds Summer, but in the Spring his stats were usually in the Top 4 or 5 of the event. Tenacity is a young and incredibly talented player. He deserves a spot in the LCS next year. There will be some growing pains, but the tenaciousness of Tenacity is unmatched.

Number 2: Jojopyun (EG – Mid Laner)

Jojopyun might just be the most exciting Mid Lane prospect in years for the LCS. In a role traditionally dominated by imports like Bjergsen, Jensen and PowerOfEvil, players like Jojopyun and Ablazeolive stand out even more. What makes Jojopyun so amazing? Much like Will and Tenacity, Jojopyun is really young. He will turn 17 during the LCS offseason. This means he is eligible to play in the LCS next year. Furthermore, he has only been playing competitive League for about a year. Jojopyun is raw talent.

None of that matters if the player isn’t good, but fortunately, Jojopyun is insane. In the Academy Summer Split, he had laning stats of 88 XPD10, 44 GD10 and a CSD10 of 5.7. In addition, his DPS is the highest in the League. Jojopyun isn’t perfect of course, he struggled a bit more in the Playoffs and Proving Grounds in laning stats. Laning matters, but Jojopyun is a scaling and teamfight monster. The amount of times he solo carried Evil Geniuses Academy is insane. For a player who has only played two splits, it is hard to find someone better. He is currently signed with EG through 2023. There is a good chance Jojopyun could take the starting LCS Spot on EG. Jojopyun deserves a starting spot, whether on EG or elsewhere.

Number 1: Kenvi (100T – Jungle)

100T Kenvi Worlds 2021 Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Of everyone on this list, Kenvi is the one player that really could be put in the LCS and there would be no doubts of his ability to compete at an LCS level. Kenvi was brought up to 100T Academy from 100T Next in the Summer of 2020. He wasn’t an immediate success having some struggles, but the growth of Kenvi has been astronomical.

Take for exmaple the Summer Split versus the Summer Playoffs. In the regular split, he had a 64 GD10, a 124 XPD10 and a 4.3 CSD10. Kenvi was always able to play aggressive and carry games with insane team fights. If the early game was just better, he would be a real monster. That is what happened in the Playoffs. Kenvi had a GD10 of 323, XPD10 of 304 and CSD10 of 5.0, which is quite the growth. Despite placing fourth, Kenvi was able to get these stats.

Kenvi deserves a spot on an LCS roster. The only issue is that he is still signed with 100T through 2022. Keep in mind, Closer just had a pop off performance and there is little to no chance he gets replaced. The worst-case for Kenvi is that he is forced to wait another year for his chance. LCS fans should hope that he gets sold to another team. Amazing talent like this should not be stuck in contract purgatory.

Other Noteworthy Players:

EG Tony Top – Courtesy of Riot Games

There are amazing players who unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Here are some that could be promoted or sold to other teams:

  • Nxi (Flyquest – Jungle)
  • Prismal (GGs – ADC)
  • Gamsu (Free Agent – Top)
  • Arrow (Free Agent – ADC)
  • Tony Top (Evil Geniuses – Top)
  • Pretty (Immortals – Mid)
  • Tomo (Flyquest – ADC)
  • RoseThorn (GGs – Jungle)
  • APA (Free Agent – Mid)

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