Welcome back to the third edition of our top five players at the League of Legends World Championship. Today we're looking at mid laners, the core of a successful team.
Zhuo "Knight" Ding (Top Esports):
When Top Esports failed to qualify for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, the absence of mid laner Knight on the worlds stage was the main reason why fans were disappointed. This year, TES enters worlds as a favorite to take it all, and Knight enters as not only the team's best player but arguably the best player in the entire world right now. Knight's statistics are not only impressive, but also point to his role on the team. Even with a remarkably strong supporting cast, Knight is first in TES with a 75.6 percent kill participation (second in LPL summer only to FPX's Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang) and 35 percent of all of TES' kills. Knight has a wide champion pool and can be called upon to play anything, while also being able to turn disadvantageous teamfights around on the likes of Syndra or Orianna. At a world championship where mid lane is the most stacked position individually, Knight is the best.
-- Emily Rand
Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon (DRX)
A one-man army. A cheat code. A laning virtuoso. There are many ways to describe Chovy and especially his performances to get DRX into the world championship after a haphazard end of the summer split, but for his team to have any shot to make a real run at the Summoner's Cup, the ace mid laner might somehow have to play even better. In their qualifying match to make it to the world championship, a domestic semifinal versus Gen.G Esports, Chovy put DRX on his back in three games of a razor-thin five-game series, winning game MVP in all three of DRX's wins to advance onward to the world championship. In terms of pure solo laning skill, there's arguably no one better in the competitions, sans possibly our No. 1 mid in the ranking, as Chovy dominated in the summer split with an average CS differential of 7.6 at 10 minutes. -- Tyler Erzberger
Heo "Showmaker" Su (DAMWON Gaming)
The reigning South Korean MVP, ShowMaker is the talisman of the country's best chance of winning a world championship since they last hoisted the Summoner's Cup in 2017. His former head coach Kim Jeong-soo called him the "perfect player" from his mechanics, to his level-headed sensibilities, to his flexibility of picking up a champion at a whim and mastering them. On a team with chaotic players like Nuguri and Canyon that can have off days, ShowMaker is often looked upon to be the stabilizer of the team, ready to calm things down when things go sideways for DAMWON. Even when the team went through a disappointing spring split where everyone on the team looked sluggish, ShowMaker was one of the lone silver linings to a forgettable season. His Zoe has been his signature champion this year and a pick that should be feared by opponents. DWG's superstar mid laner holds an overall record of 16-7 on the champion, with a KDA of 14.5 during DWG's championship summer split.
Rasmus "Caps" Winther (G2 Esports)
Some may argue that Caps should be higher on this list and our Top 20 Players one, too. This summer has certainly earned him the highest of praise, but as you can tell here, this is one of the most stacked mid classes that worlds has ever seen.
Even though Caps's year ended hot, it didn't start that way. His adventurous swap to AD carry made him look like a shell of himself, but come summer and a move back to mid lane, he reminded people of why he's considered one of the best players in the world. G2 has, in many ways, become the Caps show. While Wunder has performed well and is deserving of recognition too, Caps has ascended to another level. He's no longer just the best mid laner in Europe. He's one of the best in the world. -- Jacob Wolf
Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong (Gen.G Esports):
For Gen.G's mid laner, 2020 is all about the culmination of an evolution that began five years ago as part of the CJ Entus organization. Bdd was seen as the next Lee "Faker'' Sang-hyeok in South Korea and the most-prized prospect since the Unkillable Demon King's debut, with Bdd's Zed highlights regularly going viral on social media. Yet, his hype was almost extinguished overnight, and his solo carrying mindset saw him get relegated from the LCK and down to the minor leagues. Since that night he got relegated, Bdd's changed the way he plays the game entirely, becoming more of an enabler and all-around talent than focusing solely on winning advantages in the mid lane, his signature champions of Galio, Taliyah and Azir helping him become the only player to win three domestic MVP awards. Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk is GEN's ultimate weapon, their prized ace, but Bdd is the perfect secondary carry on the team, setting the table for the AD carry to reach his necessary items to mop up the enemies.