NA LCS Talents That You Need to Watch in 2018
The NA LCS is seeing an influx of new and talented players, ranging from Korea to Europe. These players range from competitors on the international scene to names that are starting to rise up. They’ve played for names both big and small, but what unites them all is their talent.
We’ll be taking a look at every player I think is going to make an impact, how they’ll benefit their team, and what we can expect from them in the 2018 Season. The 2018 Season could be the most exciting (and profitable) year for the NA LCS. What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
Please note: This list will not include names like Bjergsen and Jensen, who have already become notorious names in the NA LCS. These are fairly fresh faces, ranging from those who just arrived last year and those who are coming in for the next season. They will also include names that have moved to new teams.
Febiven (Clutch Gaming)
Febiven, as it’s been said many times before, has been a consistent and threatening face in the industry of League of Legends. He is one of the most threatening mid laners to play the game and could possibly rank in the top three mid laners in the world right now.
During his 2015 debut, Febiven took down Faker several times over during the Mid-Season Invitational. It was here that he asserted himself as the king of Europe and helped Fnatic go on one of the largest winning streaks Europe has ever encountered.
Now with Febiven on Clutch Gaming, he’ll be able to show his skills to the viewers of the North American audience. Armed with talents like Apollo and LirA, Febiven will have no problem with the flexible playstyle he provides.
You can expect him to make big power moves against the other North American mid laners, especially Bjergsen and Jensen. His flexible champion pool, ranging from the Zed that helped him take down Faker in 2015 to his deadly Orianna have always been first-class picks from him. With his help, Clutch Gaming can go far.
Arrow (OpTic Gaming)
Arrow has had experience on the stage of the NA LCS. However more importantly, he’s had first-hand experience on the Korean pro scene. His experience with the team KT Rolster has brought him far in the industry. He’s been one of the few names to master Draven and play him competitively as well as have Draven banned against him.
His mechanical prowess has proved crucial to his team’s performance. He helped KT Rolster make it to the 2015 World Championship and was key to making KT Rolster one of the top performers in the LCK. He’s been a threat since his appearance on the League of Legends scene and hasn’t diminished since.
Arrow has a unique and threatening playstyle. This has made him a viable threat to anyone who crosses his path. In 2016, he helped his team make it to the Regional Finals. However, they faced a shocking loss to Samsung Galaxy, ending their season early.
Arrow isn’t just another AD Carry from some foreign region. He is one of the best AD Carries to come from a region. He holds a wide range of champions that he can choose from, depending on the way he wants to play. He can play anything, from a long-range Caitlyn to his trusty Draven, making him one of the most versatile AD Carries the NA LCS has ever seen.
Combined with a powerful roster of zig, Akaadian, PowerOfEvil, and LemonNation, Arrow will have no problem playing in an environment suitable to his needs. If his teammates can help him play the way he wants to play, OpTic Gaming could become unstoppable.
Huni (Echo Fox)
Huni needs no introduction. Anyone who’s been around since Season 5 knows of this man’s dominance in the top lane. He helped make Fnatic the formidable force it is today, created one of the best superpowers in North America, and then played with South Korea Telecom only this year.
Much of his success can largely be attributed to his aggressive and carry-like playstyle. However, in Korea, he proved that he still has experience on tanks like Maokai and Shen. Huni’s unique and aggressive tactics have solidified him as one of the most outstanding players in both the EU LCS and NA LCS.
He helped bring Fnatic to a 2015 World Championship and South Korea Telecom to a 2017 World Championship Final. While many consider his performance in 2017 not as strong as that in 2015 and 2016, Huni has still proved himself to be a viable threat.
He’ll be playing on Echo Fox for the 2018 Season and like Febiven and Arrow, he’ll have strong teammates to back him up. His threatening top lane presence will be matched by that of Fenix, who was known to have taken on four of Counter-Logic Gaming’s roster by himself.
Not only that, he’ll have the infamous Dardoch to help in the jungle presence. Huni’s ability to snowball after one gank has made him one of the strongest early game champions in any region he plays in. With Dardoch’s ability to exert a large amount of pressure in the early game, Huni will bring a whole new playstyle to the table.
We can expect a lot from Huni. Ever since his appearance, Huni has always been a strong name. He’s unique, aggressive, and deadly. Give Huni one opportunity and he’ll take it. He’s never been one to shy away from a challenge and with the new opportunity he’s been given, I recommend you keep an eye out for him.
PowerOfEvil (OpTic Gaming)
PowerOfEvil has been a name that has spanned many teams throughout the EU LCS. He’s played with Unicorns of Love, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Origen, and most recently, the rookie team Misfits Gaming. His mechanical prowess has rivaled that of Febiven and Sencux.
In 2017, he helped bring Misfits Gaming to Worlds and was a large part of their remarkable Groups Stage performance. With his powerful Orianna and Cassiopeia, there’s no wonder as to why PowerOfEvil has been considered one of the best performing mid laners during team fights.
He’s used his mechanical prowess to match even that of Faker, making him one of the few mid laners to ever do so outside of the Korean region. He’ll be playing with OpTic Gaming in the 2018 Season alongside zig, Akaadian, Arrow, and LemonNation.
PowerOfEvil’s flexible playstyle will be able to coincide with that of Arrow’s aggressive playstyle and Akaadian’s fast-paced movements. He’s showed that he can outperform even the top names through his trusty picks and with the teammates he’ll be given, he could be key to OpTic Gaming’s performance in the 2018 Season.
MikeYeung (Team SoloMid)
MikeYeung may be a rookie to the scene and one of the youngest names to ever be in League of Legends. However, that doesn’t stop him from being one of the top performers in the jungling scene. He reached the Challenger tier at the ripe age of thirteen
He made his debut on Phoenix1 and with his help, kept them in the NA LCS despite their shaky performances. MikeYeung may be one of the youngest names in the industry right now but he certainly has the most potential out of all the players.
While he still has a lot to learn and improve on, I highly recommend you keep your eye out for him. The talent is there. The ambition is there and most importantly, the potential is evident. Once MikeYeung gets the experience he needs, the eighteen-year-old will be unstoppable.
Reignover (Counter-Logic Gaming)
It’s arguable that Reignover didn’t make his debut on Fnatic’s 2015 dream team but rather during his 2016 year with Immortals. It was here that he truly solidified himself as a strong jungle presence, dominating the NA LCS for almost an entire season before any opposition arose.
During his time on Fnatic, Reignover made himself known as one of the top faces in the jungle industry. However, it was not because he had anything truly exceptional that he brought to the table but because he was consistent in results.
Not only that, his top lane partner and former teammate, Huni, synergized perfectly with his playstyle. The two became an unstoppable duo in both the EU LCS and the NA LCS. Reignover’s calculated skirmishes on signature champions like Rek’sai, Gragas, and Elise led to him holding one of the highest first-blood percentages in NA LCS history.
He was the brains behind Fnatic and Immortal’s objective control, and he was also the initiator—the one who knew when it was time to act. Reignover has some of the best game-knowledge and with it, he dominates the jungle.
Reignover will be playing with Counter-Logic Gaming for the 2018 Season. He’ll be alongside formidable names like Darshan and Stixxay, both of whom have provided consistent results and have made reputations for themselves.
Armed with the objective control of Reignover and his ability to know when something should happen, Counter Logic Gaming could become the dream-team yet again and grab themselves yet another NA LCS title.
Ryu (100 Thieves)
Ryu is a deadly, under-the-radar name that has orchestrated several victories single-handedly. He’s possibly one of the most experienced players presently in the game and for good reason too.
Like Arrow, Ryu has had experience from the Korean region. However, he’s had equal experience from the EU LCS. His experience on KT Rolster, H2K-Gaming, and Pheonix1 have given him experience from every major region except China.
Ryu helped bring H2K-Gaming to a World Championship debut in 2015 and 2016, largely thanks to his ability to fluctuate between consistent mages like Twisted Fate to burst assassins like Zed. During his time on both KT Rolster Bullets and H2K-Gaming, he dominated the mid lane, taking down names like Sencux and even Faker to make himself a real-time threat.
During his time on Phoenix1, he was one of the key members in helping bring Phoenix1 back from the ashes to a third-place finish in the NA LCS Spring Split. While Ryu may not seem like much of a talented player, he has a concealed threat which has helped him stay in the meta since his starting days.
His playstyle matches his poker-face. He may not seem like a threat but give him time and he’ll show you why he was such a big deal in Europe and Korea. Ryu has had experience in North America but this year, he’s looking to take it all and make himself the king of North America.
He’ll be working alongside former teammate, Meteos, to take the crown for 100 Thieves. While the journey will be hard, and there will be considerable adversaries along the way, Ryu’s mechanical prowess and experience throughout the years could be what it takes for 100 Thieves to succeed.
Zven (Team SoloMid)
Zven first made his debut on the stages of the competitive scene during his time with Origen. While he may have been a small face then, he certainly has grown into a superstar, largely thanks to his unmatched mechanics during team fights and unstoppable snowballs.
Starting out with Origen in 2015, Zven quickly became a world-wide name. Armed alongside his trusty support, Mithy, they made Origen into a powerhouse that could only be matched by Fnatic. With the help of xPeke, Zven, and Mithy, the trio helped bring Origen to a 2015 World Championship Semifinal.
Zven and Mithy later moved to G2 Esports and with the help of Zven, they quickly took over the EU LCS, even removing names like Fnatic from the scene for short periods of time. Their success can largely be attributed to Zven’s mechanical prowess on names like Tristana and Kog’maw.
Zven’s ability to play safely in team fights and then jump in at the perfect time has been a large factor in his team’s success. He’s shown up against international powerhouses like South Korea Telecom and Royal Never Give Up, proving that Zven isn’t just some one-trick pony.
He’ll be playing alongside Team SoloMid and with the combined leadership of Bjergsen and Hauntzer, Zven could knock off Doublelift as the best AD Carry in the region. Armed with his trusty set of playstyles and consistent results, it certainly is possible.
Mithy (Team SoloMid)
Mithy is Zven’s counterpart to success. Every play that Zven has made, Mithy was the one who orchestrated the event. Every team fight G2 successfully won in 2016 and 2017, Mithy had been behind the scenes making sure everything was going to plan.
Mithy has never been a player that has been afraid to lead the team. He can change his playstyle from bruiser supports that disrupt the backline—like Thresh and Alistar—to mage supports who heal and keep the carries alive—like Janna and Lulu.
He’ll be crucial to Zven’s success throughout the upcoming season. With the duo switching to North America’s Team SoloMid, Mithy and Zven will look to begin their reign in the NA LCS, but it won’t be easy. They’ll be challenged by new names like Doublelift, Cody Sun, and Arrow.
However, Zven and Mithy have faced countless challenges before and they’ve happily taken them all on. They fought off international names like Uzi and Ruler while also dominating the EU LCS since their appearance in 2015.
Team SoloMid’s success in the Spring and Summer Split has always largely depended on the bot lane’s performance. With Zven and Mithy’s synergy and past experience in the EU LCS, the duo will definitely be prepared to take on any challenge they face, and no matter what comes their way, Mithy will be ready to take it head-on.
North America may be coming to a peak in its career as one of the top regions in the world. They brought in numerous talents from all across the globe and have established four new teams that will be competing for the gauntlet in 2018.
Next year’s NA LCS will see an explosive amount of action, highlights, and change. With the meta constantly flowing in different directions, only the best will be able to stay on their feet. These players are the ones that bring results for their team and create names for themselves while they’re at it.
New talents have made their way into the scene and old veterans have established their place on the throne. The NA LCS is always a high-risk high-reward scenario, but with the right knowledge, the money will always come your way.