The international competition at Worlds is higher than ever before. Players across every region are coming together and competing at the highest level with no boundaries on the skill cap. Because of this, the 2017 Worlds Championship is sure to make new records this year.
Well, that’s your decision but the real fact is this: the amount of players coming into this tournament is higher than before. This means higher performance, higher risks, and higher rewards. Because of this, we’ll be diving into the players you should be watching at Worlds this year. Let’s get started!
Pray (Longzhu Gaming)
The AD Carry of Samsung Galaxy, Pray, has been at the top of his game since the LCK started. He’s been considered as one of the best AD Carry’s in the world, even topping star players like Doublelift and Bang. Alongside his trusty support Gorilla, the two have a very synchronized playstyle which is a trouble for every duo team to play against.
During his debut against South Korea Telecom in the LCK FInals, Pray pulled out solid picks like Caitlyn, Xayah and Varus to best his notorious rival, SKT T1 Bang, consistently. With his superior team fighting, positioning and mechanics, Pray has been one of the reasons Longzhu Gaming’s season has been so successful.
Khan (Longzhu Gaming)
The LCK has been littered with the best top laners in the world. There are players like Smeb, Huni and Cuvee who have separated themselves as the top in the world. However, out of nowhere, a new name arose from the stiff competition.
Khan, who had previously been an unknown face to the world, suddenly began to show his presence. Taking down legendary names like Marin, Khan was starting to show that he was someone not to be messed with.
Many people around the world consider Khan to be one of the best Jayce players in the world. He is deadly on solo-carry champions like Jax and Fiora and has even successfully defeated Faker on one of his signature champions.
In the LCK final, Khan was one of the key points to Longzhu Gaming’s victory over the titan known as South Korea Telecom. Several times, he took down their main damage dealers on champions like Fior and Jayce who had mastered to their best ability. During the crucial moments, he was the one who took charge and made sure that he could hold the enemy back.
Khan is one of the uprising players in the world. His superb playstyle and aggressive game, which he brings to the table, will be trouble for anyone who faces them. He’s bested teams like South Korea Telecom and if we know one thing about Khan, it doesn’t matter who you are, he’s going to take you down.
Bjergsen (Team Solo Mid)
One of the top talents in North America, Bjergsen has proved his vigor throughout the years, beating top players like Nagne and Crown. He can play anything from a passive Zilean who ensures his teammates’ safety or he can play a deadly Leblanc who will kill anyone who gets too close to them.
Bjergsen’s arrival into the North American LCS was seen as a turning point for the region as a whole. Not only did he bring a whole new class of competition, he brought a game which could not be imitated. Therefore, competitors like Jensen and Pobelter were forced to create their own style.
For the past few years, Team Solo Mid’s performance has depended largely on Bjergsen. His pure skill level has enabled him to play against some of the top players in the world. Because of this, his performance has been influential on not only him but also his teammates.
Doublelift (Team Solo Mid)
For a long time, Bjergsen was the face of Team Solo Mid. Though he did have players come and go like Amazing and Dyrus, he didn’t have someone who could synergize with the playstyle he had. This all changed when Doublelift joined the roster.
Previously a rivaled opponent playing on Counter Logic Gaming, Bjergsen witnessed first-hand the destructive success that Doublelift had if he was given the correct resources. Even with Bjergsen’s superb gameplay, they still fell to Counter Logic Gaming several times in the previous years.
However, when Doublelift joined Team Solo Mid, they had suddenly gone from a regional team to a world-class competitor. Combined with the shot-calling of Bjergsen and the follow-up of Doublelift, the duo was a deadly combination of precision and grace.
Even when Bjergsen wasn’t on top of his game, Doublelift was there to make sure that he could keep his cool and demeanor. Not to mention, Doublelift’s roster of champions was huge. He could play anything from a short-ranged burst marksman like Lucian to a long-ranged sniper like Caitlyn.
The widely mastered range of champions along with his unique playstyle that only matched that of Bjergsen is one of the reasons he is one of the most respected AD Carries in North America as of now. When Worlds comes around, make sure you keep your eye on him.
With the Play-In stage starting September 23rd, we’re going to experience first-hand the power of Cloud Nine’s roster. Leading that team will be Cloud9’s Jensen in the mid lane. Possibly the only player in North America who could play against Bjergsen, Jensen will be displaying his school this Saturday.
After Hai left, new shoes needed to be filled for Cloud9’s mid lane. Those shoes were filled by Jensen and there was no better person to fill it. Jensen has beaten players from Bjergsen to Pobelter and recently put many more on that list.
Jensen doesn’t care if you’re the best player in the world or if you just started playing the game. He takes down anyone in his path. Teams like Counter Logic Gaming, Team WE and Team Dignitas learned this the hard way.
Surrounded by solid teammates like Impact, Sneaky and Smoothie, Jensen is in the perfect environment to do what he wants his way.
Faker (South Korea Telecom)
There’s no doubt that Faker would be on this list. The fabled hero of League of Legends himself, Faker has proved why he’s seen as one of the most dominant forces in the competitive series right now. His micro-managing skills are some of the best to this day and anyone who gets in his way will suffer for it.
He’s constantly surrounded by fresh talents like Huni, Bang and Peanut who all help boost his competitive level. Like all the other mid laners on this list, Faker has a wide variety of champions he can play.
For years he’s dominated the scene and has only been upset occasionally by new talents like Pawn, Dade or Febiven. However, there’s a reason South Korea Telecom is considered the best team in the world and it’s mainly due to Faker.
From the start, Faker has been one of the main reasons South Korea Telecom has had so much success in the past few years. Alongside his teammates, Faker’s excellence in the mid-lane and consistent results in the team fights has contributed to his team’s unparalleled dominance in their region.
With Faker on the team, they’re almost guaranteed to get through the Group’s stage. His plays are shared millions of times across the internet and he’s considered a legend in South Korea. With Faker on SKT, anyone who is in their way will either have to put up the best fight they’ve ever had or certainly face failure.
Bang (South Korea Telecom)
Another key component of South Korea Telecom is Bang. His superior intellect in the bot lane has won them several key victories, including two World Championships and two Mid-Seasonal Invitational championships.
During the 2015 Mid-Seasonal Invitational Semifinal, it was Bang who helped clutch a key team-fight against Fnatic to win the match. Bang has consistently pulled results out ever since he joined South Korea Telecom and it’s been rare for him to ever underperform in a match.
Ever since Bang joined South Korea Telecom, SKT has been at its best. With his trusty support Wolf by his side and strong teammates like Faker and Peanut, Bang’s environment has been ideal for his performances.
Bang has the experience, the intellect and the skill level that enables him to compete so successfully with the top players in the world. In fact, these factors have contributed to his success throughout the years.
If this is the SKT T1 Bang that we know, the one who takes charge in the team fights, then we’re going to see a very strong performance from him. His ability to take control of vital points in the match could be one of the crucial pieces to SKT’s victories.
Zven (G2 Esports)
Zven, who originally started his rise to stardom on Origen, is known for his outstanding techniques in the European region. In fact, his mechanics were so exemplified that he managed to help pull G2 Esports to a World Semifinal debut in 2015.
Now situated on Origen, Zven has seen two Summer Split Championships and two Spring Split Championships. He also helped his team reach the Mid-Seasonal Invitational, taking down several Korean Powerhouses on the way.
Zven has a wide range of champions he can choose from. Some of his favorites are Tristana and Caitlyn who can deal heavy damage from the back without ever getting touched. Sometimes, all he needs is his support Mithy and he can perform to his best ability.
G2’s future will decide heavily on Zven’s ability to play his champions. His strong assets like his positioning, consistent damage output and knowledge of the game will be crucial to how G2 does in the Worlds tournament.
With World starting on September 23rd, we’re sure to see plenty of action-packed plays, huge moments in the game, and the best competition League has had so far. Some players will stand out. Some players will underperform. That’s how League of Legends goes.
However, there are some players you need to keep an eye on. Whether it’s Zven or Bang in the bot lane or Faker in the mid-lane, keep an eye out for every single one of them.