LPL, LCK On the Rise: Top talent to look out for
With the return of LPL in full effect, and the subsequent return of LCK in a week, the international LoL scene is once again firing on all cylinders. Recent developments have forced most international leagues to take a hiatus. China and Korea were affected earliest. The LPL has only completed two full weeks of competition as they look to play catch up while the LEC and LCS are well ahead of schedule. In spite of that gap in play, you can rest assured that the professionals across both leagues have been biding their time and grinding solo queue in hopes of competing once again.
In this list we will look at the best up-and-coming Eastern talents in League of Legends that may have not hit your radar just yet. Some of these players have already crafted a reputation for themselves domestically, but their true talent hasn’t been shown yet on the World stage.
Ryu “Keria” Min-seok – DragonX
If you haven’t had the chance to check out a Pyke montage of Keria just yet, go do yourself that favor. Keria has quietly been the must watch support in Korea, if not the world. His Support play alongside a struggling Deft this Spring has been nothing short of a revelation. In spite of his legendary laning partner suffering from a rare slump in form, Keria has been bringing the goods with each outing on the rift.
Keria ranks first amongst Supports in the LCK for kill participation, and with good reason. His omnipresent demeanor on the map makes him an issue in more lanes than one, and few Supports in the LCK are willing to engage at a moment’s notice for their team’s success the way he does. DragonX have gotten off to a winning start on the back of Chovy and Keria’s proactiveness, and once Deft gets back to his playoff caliber form, DragonX can no doubt contest for best bot lane in the league.
Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok – JD Gaming
Last year, JD Gaming’s Kanavi was loaned to China via Griffin gaming. The 19-year-old jungler never got a chance to show his true form due to his team’s inner turmoil. This year the script has flipped for Jingdong Gaming and now Kanavi is enjoying a renaissance rookie season in jungle off the back of two solid weeks with the new look roster. Being a Korean jungler with Chinese solo laners and Support in the LPL is sometimes difficult. Yet, the language barrier seems nonexistent when looking at his synergy within the team.
Kanavi currently sports the highest KDA of any jungler who has played a minimum of nine games so far this season. His patience between the brushes as a rookie jungler is a positive omen for what can come down the line. He has also shown a willingness to produce highlights on the most renowned junglers in the region with impressive games on Lee Sin and Sylas.
ShiauC – eStar Gaming
If Korea can have insane Support god carrying games this season, so can China. When looking for the next Thresh to permaban on the World Championship stage, we may have found the next candidate to do that. ShiauC is the only player on eStar Gaming that is taking up an import slot as he was picked up from Flash Wolves last year. The highly touted Taiwanese Support reached Rank One only playing Support, and his Thresh and Blitzcrank hooks have sent shivers down the spine of many LMS and LPL bot laners.
Although eStar Gaming don’t possess all the tools to make a deep run into playoffs with their current roster, there is no doubting the playmaking potential of ShiauC as he continues to prove that Support is one of the most important roles in League of Legends. While his individual numbers aren’t spectacular, ShiauC ticks all the boxes for what you need in a top tier Support in the making.
Summit – SANDBOX Gaming
Despite SANDBOX’s lackluster start to 2020, Summit’s regular inclusion in the top three top laners of LCK conversation is no fluke as he continues to be the anchor for his team. Summit had his World Championship dreams cut short last year as his team were narrowly defeated by KZ. Regardless, even back then Summit was making a name for himself as a fearsome top laner.
Currently, Summit has the highest kill participation amongst top laners in the LCK. His impact on an ailing 2-7 team is not to be understated. The fact that he continues to keep up high individual laning stats and shares a high percentage of kills highlights his natural ability to provide support to a team no matter the circumstances. If Summit doesn’t find help quickly this year, he may be one of those diamonds in the rough that gets signed by a wealthier roster in the following years. His contract with SANDBOX Gaming runs out in 2021.