Worlds 2022: The best players at each position – Nerd Street Gamers

by Nick Geracie
The 2022 League of Legends World Championship is a particularly momentous installment in the premier tournament of Riot Games’ annual League of Legends esports circuit. Worlds 2022 marks Vietnam’s triumphant return to the Worlds stage after COVID-19 complications and visa issues kept teams representing the Vietnam Championship Series out of the competition the past couple years.
In addition, the inability for the League of Legends Continental League to finish their season has led to Europe’s League of Legends European Championship to send a fourth team to represent the league at Worlds 2022.
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With the level of competition possibly higher than any other world championship, let’s take a look at the top three players in each role at Worlds 2022.
Photo credit: Riot Games
After an unceremonious ousting from Top Esports, 369 has been a revelation on JD Gaming in 2022, especially in helping the organization win their second LPL title this summer. There are many top laners at Worlds 2022 with aspects of their play that are undeniably world-class, but none are as well-rounded as 369.
Read more: Worlds 2022: Breaking down the play-in and group stages
Zeus has been phenomenal in his rookie season and might have the most pound-for-pound mechanical talent of any top laner at Worlds 2022. However, T1 don’t look like the unstoppable force they did in spring, and Zeus has less dimension and experience than 369. Rookie top laner Wayward has spent multiple stints as the best top laner in the LPL this season, but TES’ occasional reliance on Yu "Qingtian" Zi-Han keeps him out of the top two on this list.
1. Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang — Top Esports (LPL)
2. Seo "Kanavi" Jin-hyeok — JD Gaming (LPL)
3. Han "Peanut" Wang-ho — Gen.G (LCK)
Photo credit: Riot Games
Although Top Esports had to settle for second place in the LPL summer playoffs, Tian enters Worlds 2022 as the best jungler at the tournament. After a wrist injury and compounding issues in following seasons, Tian is not the mechanical force he was during FunPlus Phoenix’s Worlds 2019 run, but when it comes to the cerebral aspects of jungling, he is second to none.
Read more: Worlds 2022 diamonds in the rough: Wild card region players to watch
There’s an argument for Kanavi and Tian being interchangeable for the top spot on this list. Kanavi is fresh off of his second domestic title with JD Gaming in three years and is once again entering a world championship as one of the best junglers at the event. Kanavi and JDG as a whole underwhelmed at Worlds 2020, and as one of two returning members of that roster with mid laner Zeng "Yagao" Qi, Kanavi will be looking to prove he can match his domestic level of dominance on the international stage.
Peanut has been great for Gen.G, who dispatched T1 in the final of the 2022 LCK summer playoffs in a clean sweep, but China’s pool of junglers is a tad deeper and more competitive than Korea, which keeps Peanut out of the top two.
1. Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon — Gen.G (LCK)
2. Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao — Royal Never Give Up (LPL)
3. Zhuo "knight" Ding — Top Esports (LPL)
Photo credit: Riot Games
T1 mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is the best League of Legends player of all time, but when it comes to current form, he’s not even in the top three of his role at Worlds 2022. Chovy has been the best mid laner in South Korea — and arguably, the world — for the entirety of 2022. Although he’s been to Worlds before, his current level of play and the teammates he has around him put him in the best position of his career to lift the Summoner’s Cup this November.
Read more: Worlds 2022: C9, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses carry North America’s hope
After winning the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, Royal Never Give Up took a step back, ultimately settling for the fourth LPL seed at Worlds this year. However, Xiaohu has only continued to improve since the team’s dominant run in spring. Xiaohu has now been back in the mid lane for nearly a full year after playing top lane in 2021, and throughout 2022 he established himself as the best mid laner in China.
For years, knight has been lauded as the crown jewel of mid laners by LPL enthusiasts, but unlike other elite mid laners in China, he has yet to show his full potential on the international stage after an underwhelming individual performance at Worlds 2020. If knight wants to prove himself as the best mid laner in the world, he’ll have to be in top form given the level of competition around him.
1. Park “Viper” Do-hyeon — EDward Gaming (LPL)
2. Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo — Top Esports (LPL)
3. Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk — Gen.G (LCK)
Photo credit: Riot Games
Almost any version of a top three ranking for AD carries at Worlds 2022 feels like a snub because of the sheer level of talent in the role. The Chinese representatives alone boast four of the 10 best ADCs in the world, but sitting atop the list is Viper. EDward Gaming might not be heading into defending their 2021 Worlds title as the best team in the LPL, but Viper has retained his title of best AD carry in the world heading into the event.
JackeyLove was named to the all-pro team in the 2022 LPL summer split, He lost to JDG AD carry Wang "Hope" Jie in the final of the summer playoffs, but JackeyLove’s wealth of experience on the international stage — including a title with Invictus Gaming at Worlds 2018 — puts him just below Viper on this list.
If this list was made based purely on domestic performance without international context, Ruler would top this list with ease. Ruler is the primary carry of Gen.G and the best AD carry in South Korea by a good margin, but the level of competition in his role among other top LCK teams pales in comparison to that of the LPL AD carries.
1. Ryu "Keria" Min-seok — T1 (LCK)
2. Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming — Royal Never Give Up (LPL)
3. Tian "Meiko" Ye — EDward Gaming (LPL)
Photo credit: Riot Games
It’s tough to be universally considered as the best player on a team with Faker, but that’s what Keria has done all year long — from the support position, no less. Many top talents from the LCK and LPL are debatably stronger than one another, but Keria is widely considered to be the best support in the world. For T1 to become favorites for the Worlds 2022 title, he’ll have to be in top form after a season of building sky-high expectations.
Like his mid laner Xiaohu, Ming continued to shine even as RNG failed to defend their spring title, earning all-pro honors in the summer split. Meiko did not have one of the best splits of his career, but it would not be the first time he went on an international tear after a summer when he was a bit under his usual elite level of play.
Lead photo credit: Riot Games
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