LCS: The MVP Candidate for 2020 No One is Talking About

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: A view of the winners trophy during the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals between Cloud9 and Team Liquid at ORACLE Arena on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: A view of the winners trophy during the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals between Cloud9 and Team Liquid at ORACLE Arena on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

LCS Spring Split MVP is one of the most prestigious individual awards in League of Legends, but a top laner has never received it. Can the 2020 winner break that mold?

Thanks to the current state of the League of Legends meta, it is looking increasingly likely that 2020 could be the year a top laner wins the MVP award for the first time in LCS history (including Summer Split). This article is not about the most likely player to win before the award though, today we discuss an LCS player flying under the radar.

Robert “Blaber” Huang began his pro career in the 2017 NA Scouting Grounds and, from an early stage, Cloud9 seemed to recognize his potential and brought him aboard their Academy roster. The jungler would then be promoted to the starting line-up for the team’s remarkable 2018 run to second place in the Summer Split regular season.

Cloud9 were swept 3-0 in the playoff final at the hands of Team Liquid, but still comfortable qualified for the 2018 World Championship through the Regional Finals. It was during this run that Blaber proved himself and was named Rookie of the Sumer Split.

The Svenskeren-Blaber duo would go on to become a powerhouse for Cloud9 in the 2019 LCS season.

Blaber, Cloud9, LCS, League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Cloud9 made history in the 2018 World Championship, becoming the first North American team to reach the semi-finals since Season 1. Although they were defeated 3-0 by Fnatic, it was clear to see that the young C9 roster had a lot of promise heading into 2019.

Unfortunately, fans didn’t get the chance to see where this roster would go as Jensen left for Team Liquid in the following offseason. And with 2019’s disappointing results still lingering over the heads of C9 fans, it’s clear why many are skeptical about the team’s optimism heading into 2020 without their Danish MVP in the jungle.

How will Cloud9 improve in 2020 without Svenskeren?

Well, the fact is, Cloud9 might have another MVP jungler on their roster and he is the young and unexpected Blaber.

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When teams split time between two players, it’s important to remember that these players are not acting alone; they are bouncing ideas off one another and playing out strategies that work for their team. Their playstyles might not match and that could be a reason to switch them around, especially depending on how aggressive you want to play out certain games.

Blaber is a Cloud9 product through and through. With a legacy of building players from the ground up and having the ability to scout for amazing talent, Cloud9 have proven themselves time and time again.

There is no reason to doubt their assessment of Blaber’s future and this leads me to believe there will be a reason to celebrate for Cloud9 fans.

Some might forget that Licorice started in their Academy roster as well and thus they have known each other for a very long time. Their top/jungle synergy will be a huge reason for their success (or their downfall and from the admittedly small amount of evidence present), and it seems as though 2020 could potentially be the year of Blaber.

If you browse through Blaber’s short time on the LCS/international stage, it’s clear to see why the Cloud9 coaching staff decided to split so much playtime between him and Summer Split MVP, Svenskeren. Even in front of a global audience at his first League of Legends World Championship, Blaber performed from good to excellent in nearly every game he played.

Can Blaber win the LCS Spring Split MVP award?

The number of champions in Blaber’s jungle pool from both Academy and the LCS make him a dangerous player who is capable of forcing target bans and even flexing picks with his team at times. His stats suffer from not having enough games and make him more of an unknown, but that is the beauty of the MVP award.

From XiaoWeiXiao to Rush we have seen name recognition is not all it takes. We have seen two supports take the award home in the last two years even though many consider it to be the least impactful position.

The C9 jungler’s inconsistency was initially a red flag and it still remains so as he smashed through the early game against some of the world’s best junglers, such as Jankos and Tarzan, but ultimately fell short come the mid-game.

Blaber is not the favorite for the MVP award and will likely not even be in the discussion unless he has an absolutely insane Spring Split. This means he has to start off strong and keep his foot on the gas pedal all the way to the end because people will remember each and every moment he falters.

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If he performs well people will look at Blaber and say “Wow, this is unexpected” and thus will be looking for reasons to not believe it. If he makes a mistake it will become a “fluke”, but he cannot play with this fear.

Instead, Blaber needs to attack hard and relentlessly to show that his talent is no fluke and Cloud9 made the right decision, not just with keeping him over Svenskeren, but also with picking him up all those years ago.

Blaber is my dark horse MVP candidate and definitely my player to watch for 2020.