It’s that time of year! The Group Stage for the 2018 League Of Legends World Championship has started and the fans get to see the best of the best from around the world duke it out. We wanted to determine who the best players at this tournament were, and these players just missed out on the top 10. Some of these players are already World Champions. Others are newcomers to Worlds hungry to prove that it’s their turn to hoist the Summoner’s Cup. The following players are key to their team’s success and why their team has earned a spot to compete in this years tournament.
#15: Tian “Meiko” Ye, Support for Edward Gaming
It’s hard to believe that Meiko is only 20 years old because he has already led Edward Gaming to four straight appearances at the World Championship and a Mid Season Invitational Championship since joining the team in 2015.
But with EDG having a big slump in the summer season due to shotcalling issues, Meiko as the team captain had to step up and replace Clearlove as the main shotcaller for the team. This was huge because it allowed the aggressive Haro to dominate the early game which led to EDG’s miracle run through the Regional Finals. Meiko has an excellent sense for engage timings and shines on the likes of Alistar and Rakan, where he can single-handedly win EDG fights with his massive engages.
Comment: “As I previously said, Meiko is currently the face of EDG for most western fans. When you watch his performance it’s not hard to see why. While iBoy is the carry most of the time, it’s Meiko who is setting him up to succeed with his great play throughout the game. Through his play, Meiko has easily proven in my eyes that he’s the best support in China, landing him in 15th.” –Rui Yang Xu
#14: Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo, Bot Laner for Invictus Gaming
Legend has it that Royal Never Give Up’s Uzi, around this time last year, refused to scrim a certain player because he was getting beat so bad that the practice wasn’t worthwhile. That player was JackeyLove. JackeyLove is the youngest player on our list at 17 years old and only this year became old enough to play in the LPL. A former Draven one trick, you can expect JackeyLove to play extremely aggressive. Sometimes this leads to him dying unnecessarily, but often it leads to JackeyLove making insane mechanical outplays on the likes of Kai’Sa and Varus. The sky is the limit for this player; he has all the tools to become the next Uzi and lead Invictus Gaming to a dynasty, but he has to work on cutting down his unforced errors and not succumbing to the pressure of the big stage.
Comment: “JackeyLove is a difficult player to place in a “Top 30″ list, because he is so young. It is hard to distinguish his contributions from all of his teammates’. That being said, JackeyLove earned Third Team All-Pro this summer, only below Smlz and Uzi. He always shows up in teamfights, pumping out as much damage as possible before dying. Higher deaths are the only thing holding him back, most likely a part of his rookie status. At his first World Championship, JackeyLove is hoping to prove himself as the fourth best AD carry.” –Thomas Baker
#13: Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin, Top Laner for Gen G
If I had to pick one player that represents what it means to be a team player, CuVee would be it. Despite his happy go lucky personality, underestimate this player at your own peril because his jack of all trades playstyle in the top lane is one of the biggest reasons why Gen G are the defending champions coming into this tournament.
Watching him play during the regular season can be a bit underwhelming at times, but CuVee always comes online at exactly the right time every year to give out his best performance. Get this man enough bananas and he just might win Worlds again. Also, don’t let this man near Aatrox if you want a chance at beating him.
Comment: “What separates the legends from the great is that, when it matters, they play their best. That’s the clutch player that CuVee is. Perhaps the most versatile top laner in the world, CuVee has great teleports, cautiously aggressive laning and a deep champion pool that works in tanks and splitpushers like his trademark Gnar/AD Kennen. Fun fact; he takes overgrowth on nearly every champion, including champions like Akali and Aatrox. It’s just a little tidbit to show you that CuVee supports the Gen G classic of scaling into late game, the phase of game where he takes over.” – Taylor Damaschi
#12: Rasmus “Caps” Winther, Mid Laner for Fnatic
EU mids, man. There hasn’t been this much excitement about a Western player heading into Worlds for a long time, but Caps certainly deserves it. Coming into his second season, Caps has completely turned the sophomore slump on its head. He has grown considerably as a player, learning how to play side-lanes properly and cutting down on unnecessary deaths. EU caster Deficio even went as far as to say that the West has never seen a more mechanically gifted player. With the team playing through Caps this year instead of Rekkles, expect Caps to take over games for Fnatic with style.
Comment: “Did you see this mans Vayne play yet? If not do yourself a favor and go watch. While Rekkles was benching himself Caps stepped up big time this year for Fnatic. Whether you call it arrogance or confidence Caps has it and should be able to go toe to toe with the best midlaners in the world. If Fnatic go far it is no doubt because this guy is making huge plays.” – Robert Hanes
#11: Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, Bot Laner for Gen G
Last year, Samsung Galaxy became the World Champions after a flash Varus ultimate onto the unkillable demon king himself, Faker. That Varus was Ruler. Ever since Ruler emerged as the starter over Stitch, the 2017 Worlds MVP has always managed to be clutch when it counts. Ruler is known to build very defensively while outputting insane damage; this year he even managed to bully in lane as well, something he wasn’t known for in the past. While he isn’t as proficient on Kai’Sa as some other bot laners in this tournament, his Xayah lets him bully lane and become a hyper-scaling option for the team.
Comment: “Don’t let Gen.G’s occasional poor performances fool you, Ruler is a beast. Many analysts place Uzi and Deft on another level, but Ruler puts up consistently strong performances against the LCK’s best. He almost always wins lane, and somehow stretches every champion to its limit in teamfights. If Samsung/Gen.G repeats their World Championship victory, Ruler will be the difference-maker.” – Robert Hanes
Catch the rest of our rankings: 30-26, 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, 10-6, 5-1
Featured Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr