No matter the sport, the best part of an all-star event is the chance to see the best and most popular players all in one place. This comes with the added bonus of getting to see players lined up alongside rivals and competitors for the rest of the year, providing fans with plenty of topics to debate and discuss.
In League of Legends, that means getting to see Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok and Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho on the same team, or watching Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin gank for Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng and Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black.
But those combinations got us thinking: What if we had even more control over the teams? What would a true all-star team made up entirely of all stars look like?
We'll let you decide. Using the 2016 League of Legends All-Star lineups and our simple salary scale, you can put together your dream team of five players from around the world.
We've selected $17 as the cap for this hypothetical assignment because it provides the right mix of challenge and balance. The average non-wild-card player would cost about 3.40, and five of those players cost $17. This leads to a frustrating but fun decision to load up on South Korean aces at the expense of unheralded players at other positions, or build a more balanced, all-around lineup. You'll find that it's a bit hard to build the "perfect" squad, which is the intended result.
Here are the salaries for each team. Remember, your starting five must come in under $17.
While there are certainly no "right" answers when it comes to picking from the best players in competitive League of Legends, allow me to provide my quick thoughts on the best starting five I can put together using these salaries.
Top lane: Paul "sOAZ" Boyer (2)
There's a reason why sOAZ was voted into the all-star competition despite his team's lackluster performance in this year's European League Championship Series campaign. He, like the rest of Origen, struggled in 2016, but you don't have to think that far back to remember a sOAZ who sat alongside Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon as a premier top laner in Europe in 2015. You have to save money somewhere when building an all-star lineup, and I'll take my chances on the "real sOAZ" being the 2015 version.
Jungle: Reignover (3)
Reignover finished the summer split with the second best kill/death/assist ratio among junglers in the North American League Championship Series behind only William "Meteos" Hartman of Cloud9, but he did it with a higher kill participation and better farm numbers. I'll gladly take his creativity in pathing and ganking to help provide a spark to this all-star lineup, and may ask him to lend a hand to get and keep sOAZ ahead, because he won't really need to help my next pick.
Mid: Faker (5)
You pretty much have to pick Faker here, right? The SK Telecom T1 ace is the unquestioned best player in the history of League of Legends esports and is almost certainly the best player currently in the game. While spending big on Smeb, Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao or Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong would be justifiable, I'm looking to build a balanced team around a single ace, and that ace has to be the best in the world. I could provide stats or other justifications here, but come on ... it's Faker.
AD Carry: Chang "BeBe" Bo-Wei (2)
No ADC in the League Masters Series had a better KDA this past split than BeBe, who finished second in kill participation and led Taiwan's marksmen in first-blood participation, according to Oracle's Elixir. He won lane thought aggression rather than just farming, and in an all-star event, who wants to see an ADC farming away in the bottom lane?
Support: Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez (4)
The last-hitting members of League of Legends teams get all of the credit and glory, but it is often the supports who dictate the tempo and run the show to bring about a successful competitive squad. So that's why I'm spending a majority of my non-Faker salary to lock in arguably the best support in the West (yes, Aphromoo fans, I hear you). Mithy finished with the best KDA among supports in the EU LCS in the summer split (by a wide margin) and proved he can call the shots on the world stage. Now let's give him an even more talented team and see what he can do.