Welcome back to the third edition of our top five players at the League of Legends World Championship. Today we're looking at junglers.
Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok (JD Gaming):
What a year for JD Gaming jungler Kanavi. Last year was mired in controversy for the young jungler as he was in the middle of scandal between his former team, Griffin, who lent him to JDG in 2019, and former Griffin coach Kim "cvMax" Dae-ho. But the offseason saw him sign directly with JD Gaming and return to China to continue what he began in his rookie season.
In 2019 Kanavi looked to be one of the best up-and-coming prospects in the jungle role in China. Now, he's taken that a step further and become the best jungler in the region. 2020 has shown a more mature Kanavi in the way he plays, and he's been integral to a JDG team who have risen close to the top of the League Pro League. Kanavi's domestic success in the best region in the world and his play at the Mid-Season Cup and in the LPL playoffs leads us to believe he'll be the best jungler at the 2020 world championship. -- Jacob Wolf
Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu (DAMWON Gaming):
As an amateur under the name "JUGKING", Canyon became one of South Korea's prized prospects with his plethora of accounts in the upper echelon of the region's online ladder. DAMWON, a newly promoted team to the LCK at the end of 2018, recruited the youngster with the raw potential to become a world-class player and haven't looked back since, watching their 19-year-old jungler win a domestic MVP award and help DWG make the worlds quarterfinals in 2019. Now, with a year under his belt, Canyon's development has made him one of the premier talents heading into the 2020 world championship, for when he's in form and on a comfort pick like Nidalee, there is no one better in the world. While he had a shaky spring split and has a knack for having mini-slumps when he looks like an unstoppable force one series and a bystander the next, Canyon is in peak form and the meta should favor his playstyle. -- Tyler Erzberger
Lê "SofM" Quang Duy (Suning):
With both Vietnamese teams unable to attend worlds, many Vietnamese fans will be behind SofM: a former VCS jungler and LPL staple since he was picked up by Snake Esports in 2016. This was the first year that SofM has played in the LPL outside of Snake Esports, and Suning has benefited from his farm-heavy, teamfighting style. This has been the perfect meta for SofM, who sometimes can overreach in his proactive counterjungling, with champions like Graves and Olaf available as well as more aggressive options like Lillia or Lee Sin. -- Emily Rand
Han "Peanut" Wang-ho (LGD Gaming):
Admittedly, there's a bit of recency bias in rating Peanut so highly. He, alongside mid laner Su "Xiye" Han-Wei, have been the shining lights on an inconsistent LGD lineup all summer, and both really turned it on in the playoffs and, later, regional finals, accompanied by stronger performances from top laner Xie "Langx" Zhen-Ying and the LGD bot lane. Like SofM, Peanut thrives in the current meta, where he can farm proactively and use those advantages in tandem with Xiye to make mid a strong control point for LGD early. LGD still aren't the most consistent team, but Peanut has been a constant for them all summer and is a large part of how they made it to the world championship.
Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek (Fnatic):
Selfmade's move to Fnatic this season has proved fruitful for the sophomore season jungler and has given Fnatic a bit of a new identity. This playoffs saw Fnatic be the Selfmade and Martin "Rekkles" Larsson show -- as the young jungler and veteran AD carry carried the team through to a grand finals appearance by beating G2 Esports 3-2 in the winners finals -- though they would, in fairness, lose to G2 in that grand final.
Nonetheless, Selfmade has become one of the main carries for Fnatic, and his aggression has led him to be a difference-maker for Fnatic in the games when they prioritize him in the draft. His Evelynn play against Rogue made that champion a frequent ban against Fnatic afterward, but Selfmade continued to perform on Sett and Lilia. Heading into worlds, Selfmade is the best jungler in Europe, and that should bode well for him on the world stage. -- Wolf