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Who will be RNG’s new Top Laner?

LPL 2021 Summer Split Week 3 Preview

Following LangX’s departure to join LGD, RNG is once again without a starting top laner. Despite Yuekai still being on the team, he is a substitute top laner, so it is unlikely he sees much playtime. Here are the top 4 candidates to join RNG’s top lane.

Flandre – Currently on LNG

Who will be RNG's new Top Laner?
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

Rumors regarding Flandre’s departure have been going around for some time. This is an interesting case as the management of LNG confirmed that they are interested in selling Flandre. However, Flandre doesn’t want to leave LNG, and that is why his departure hasn’t been confirmed yet. Should Flandre join RNG, he will help with the problem that RNG had all spring: their shot-calling.

Throughout the Spring Split, RNG looked lost without Uzi, who was the team’s captain and shot-caller. Flandre is the captain and shot-caller for LNG, so should he join RNG, he could carry on with the role. That way, RNG have a in-game leader, in case Uzi is unable to play once again during the Summer Split. Flandre has been on LNG, formerly Snake, since 2014.

The last few games LNG played in the Spring Split was the first time that Flandre didn’t play for the organization. This was most likely due to management wanting to try out their new top laner. While his future is uncertain, there is no doubt that he is rumored to join RNG.

705 – Currently on JD Gaming

Who will be RNG's new Top Laner?
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

Another top laner that RNG have on their list is 705. Fans that watched the Spring Split will remember him playing while Zoom was unable to start for JDG. With a champion pool consisting of mostly bruisers, this seems to align with the style of top laner RNG favors. 705 is a mostly unproven quantity since this is his first split in the LPL.

His history in the LDL is a successful one, finishing in the top 5 five every time he participated. Previously on Invictus Gaming Young, alongside Forge and Huanfeng, 705 won the Summer Split of 2019. Should 705 join RNG, it would be the second time that a substitute for JDG joined a top tier organization. Previously in the same position as 705, Morgan is now the starting top laner for Team WE and had a stable performance all throughout the Spring Split.

New – Currently on Legend Esport

Who will be RNG's new Top Laner?
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

This is a name that few will likely remember. Long-time LPL fans might remember him as Meow, formerly from Vici Gaming. After the team’s poor performance in 2018, Meow renamed to New and left for Triumphant Song Gaming. Should New join RNG, it will be the first time in a while that RNG’s top laner is a carry top laner. Throughout most of his career, New’s preference was always carry-top picks, such as Vladimir and Gangplank.

That said, in 2020 most of his picks were either tanks or bruisers that can play top side, acting much more team orientated. While Legend Esport Gaming didn’t have the best run in Spring 2020, New put on solid performances. It’s important to note that Legend Esport were affected by the lockdown caused by the pandemic. New played not only in the top lane but also as a mid laner and a support. He won’t face this problem should he join RNG, and sources say that he is on the team’s shortlist.

Hanabi – Currently on Talon

Who will be RNG's new Top Laner?
Image Courtesy of Leaguepedia

Rounding out the list is Hanabi, a Taiwanese top laner. Hanabi is a name that former LMS, now PCS, fans will recognize. Before joining Talon, he was the starting top laner for Flash Wolves, prior to their disband. As Talon Esports expanded to League of Legends, they picked up Hanabi. In their first split as a League of Legends org, Talon finished in third in the regular round-robin and won playoffs.

Hanabi has a champion ocean and can play anything, from tanks to bruisers to carries. This year alone he played 15 different champions. When it comes to discussing skill, there is no doubt that Hanabi has the skill of a top tier top laner. Should Uzi not return during the Summer Split, Hanabi is a former teammate of Betty, who is the starting carry for now. Hanabi is also the only player of this list that has international experience, having gone to both MSI and Worlds.

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