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 Paul de Leon/Riot Games.
Photo by Paul de Leon/Riot Games. /

5. Cristian “Palafox” Palafox (FlyQuest)

Easily the rookie mid laner that I am most interested and excited to watch in 2021, Palafox has been one of the most talked-about young players in Academy for a few years now. Looking into the key stats behind his play, it’s easy to understand why.

The first encouraging sign is that Palafox dominated mid laners in Academy during the laning phase. His 622 MAGXD @ 15 is the highest among all LCS mids heading into 2021. Even though it came against weaker competition, the fact that Palafox is that far above other Academy mids like Soligo and Ablazeolive makes me think he could challenge the top-tier players.

Second, Palafox is also an extremely efficient mid laner in terms of damage. He posted a 72.8 estimated damage differential, which is also the best for 2021 mids. Again, it’s against weaker competition, but he still has shown that he knows how to get the most out of his champions.

Speaking of, Palafox played 23 unique champions in Academy last year (most of all 2021 mids) and graded as elite on Zoe, Syndra, and Orianna. All three of these champions are staples of the mid lane meta, so Palafox has the skill to match up against the best mids, while also being able to flex into a lot of unique picks.

The only real knocks against Palafox are that, like most younger players, he dies a bit too much (2.3 deaths per game) and he’s not always so great about translating the lead he gets from laning to take over games. Both of those are skills that can be acquired with time and I definitely think Palafox will challenge for one of the top spots among the LCS elite by the end of 2021.