LCS 2021: Ranking Every Single Starting LCS Mid Laner

Photo by David Lee/Riot Games.
Photo by David Lee/Riot Games. /
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Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games. /

Let’s rank every mid laner starting for an LCS team in 2021.

Mid lane tends to be a stable position in terms of LCS offseasons, but leave it to the end of 2020 to completely upend that trend. With the retirement of Bjergsen and Perkz crossing the Atlantic to the LCS, six of the LCS teams have a new mid laner from the end of Summer 2020.

Today, we rank all the starting mid laners in the LCS, basing a player’s ranking on the four key metrics that correlate to a team’s success, along with individual performance.

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  • Adjusted KDA (aKDA) – calculated like regular KDA but weighing solo kills higher and assists lower
  • Gold Per Minute (GPM)
  • Estimated Damage Differential (EDD) – the difference between a player’s damage output on a given champion and that of the average player on the same champion
  • Matchup Adjusted Gold Plus Experience Differential at 15 (MAGXD @ 15) – what it sounds like, the gold plus experience differential at 15 minutes, accounting for the lane matchups that a player has faced
  • Champion Pool Strength – measuring a player’s champion pool by the number of unique picks they played last year and the number that they played above average.

10. Max “Soligo” Soong (Dignitas)

A year removed from an unsuccessful shot as 100 Thieves’s starting mid laner, Soligo has returned to the LCS ranks following a year in Academy. While DIG is certainly banking on Soligo having improved with an extra year of experience, his performance against weaker competition is not encouraging.

None of Soligo’s stats are terrible, other than his 393 GPM (which is third-worst among all LCS starters for this year). His EDD and MAGXD @ 15 were both positive, meaning his damage contributions and laning performance were better than expected given his champion pick and matchup.

Unfortunately, neither stat was particularly high and his adjusted KDA was also slightly lower than average (3.03). He also had one of the smallest champion pools of all the mid laners last year, with 12 unique picks. Encouragingly, though, he did record elite performance on one of the more popular mid laners in Leblanc.

So, Soligo played around average last year in Academy and has shown to have a smaller champion pool. That’s not exactly encouraging for him now that he’s making the next jump to the LCS.