League of Legends: Who is the best LCS mid laner after Week 4

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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TSM mid laner Bjergsen - League of Legends
TSM Bjergsen – Riot Games /

Our ten LCS teams are almost halfway through their regular season. The relative strength of these teams is starting to become clear, and with that the relative individual strength of their players as well. These are our power rankings for the mid-lane talent in the LCS.

North America is not a region known for its mid lane talent. Eight of the ten current mid laners who start for their teams come from Europe or Korea and not the region they currently play in. With Tanner “Damonte” Damonte earning himself a starting spot on Clutch Gaming, we finally have another LCS calibre native mid laner to join Eugene “Pobelter” Park.

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The mid laners of the League of Legends Championship Series are a bit of a quagmire. Top laners and AD carries seem to be where the star players gravitate to in the region, many teams could swap out their mid laner for another mid laner on this list and their team’s results wouldn’t change significantly. This is of course excluding a select few mids who are a step above the rest.

1. Bjergsen

Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has been in a battle with Team Liquid’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen ever since the latter arrived in North America in Summer 2015. Though Jensen’s team is currently on top of the standings, Bjergsen leads his fellow Dane in a lot of the relevant metrics which track mid-lane performance. Bjergsen has higher GD10, XPD10, CSD10 and DPM than Jensen according to Oracle’s Elixir.

Though Jensen has far fewer deaths and a higher KDA than Bjergsen, this is simply down to the dominance of his teammates in their respective roles. Bjergsen is undoubtedly the star player of TSM whereas the same can’t be said about Jensen in his own team where Yillang “Doublelift” Peng is the focal point. Bjergsen has performed better with inferior teammates and while bearing the burden of leadership of his team.

2. Jensen

If Bjergsen is first, this means that Jensen is second. The Dane has been at the top of his role ever since his competitive ban was lifted in 2015 and Cloud 9 took a gamble in bringing him to North America. The only metric that Jensen leads among mid laners is KDA but as I previously mentioned his team doesn’t play around him. He’s playing with fewer resources in Team Liquid, only getting 22.6% of his team’s gold.

He is playing this style very well though. He has the fewest deaths among LCS players who have started every game while still putting up top-half stats in CSD10, GD10, and DPM. The Dane has settled in well at Team Liquid and is likely to win his first ever LCS title with the team.

3. Froggen

It may be seen as controversial to have Henrik “Froggen” Hansen so high up this list but I think it is justified. Froggen has always had the same play style, he contributes a lot to his teams while sponging very little resources. A quick look at the stats confirms that this is still the case, Froggen contributes an average of 28% of his team’s damage while only taking 22% of his team’s gold. Our third Dane on the list doesn’t need jungle pressure to succeed.

Golden Guardians have started to pick up in form and this is primarily off the back of the play of Froggen. His low-econ style frees up jungler Juan “Contractz” Garcia to assist his other lanes which enables Matthew “Deftly” Chen and  Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell to have a more significant impact. Despite low jungle proximity, Froggen still puts up respectable damage and farming stats and has a significant impact on the game.

4. Fenix

Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun has been impressive this split on what many considered to be a “budget” roster for Echo Fox. Fenix leads the league in CSD10 and GD10, though, he seems to struggle in transitioning his farm leads to significant advantages for his team. Despite this, his laning prowess deserves praise and if Echo Fox can finalize a concrete team identity then he may be able to shine later on in the game as well.

5. Crown

Lee “Crown” Min-ho joining Optic Gaming was one of the stranger moves in the offseason. Crown is a former world champion but it would be hard to argue that he was the primary reason for their success, he was primarily a tertiary carry for his team during their ‘crowning’ year. His team has been playing very poorly but it’s hard to blame the South Korean for their failures.

He is a perfectly average player on the eye test as well as when looking at the statistics. Crown could fit in nicely in any team but he needs another player to step up and be the team’s main carry. Optic doesn’t have players of sufficient enough quality to bring out the best in Crown but he’s performed admirably considering the circumstances.