Let’s get to know the hometown teams competing in Worlds 2022 as we head to North America and the LCS.
LCS had one of its best playoffs in recent history during the 2022 Summer Split. Fans get to see most games going to the full five, and the race for the Worlds spots was hotly contested. We’ve seen up-and-coming but hopeful teams like CLG and super teams like Team Liquid fail to qualify, but in the end, NA is sending three solid teams to the competition at home.
- Jeong “Impact” Eon-young
- Kacper “Inspired” Słoma
- Joseph Joon “Jojopyun” Pyun
- Muhammed Hasan “Kaori” Şentürk
- Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme
Evil Geniuses quickly rose to success in 2022 with their new roster involving two veteran imports and three influential NA players. After their Lower Bracket run and MSI performance, they were a big championship favorite for the LCS 2022 Summer Split. Unfortunately for them, the problems started in the Playoffs with their young ADC prodigy Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki having some mental health issues and eventually stepping down during the Finals Weekend, which led to them EG only being able to secure a Play-in spot.
Roster problems aside, the Geniuses still have an impressive roster and should be a favorite, especially in the weaker of the two groups. They have two great solo laners in Jojo and Impact, who both had a massive impact during their playoff games, despite their quieter regular seasons. The support/jungle duo of Vulcan and Inspired, who is the LCS Summer MVP, has excellent synergy and, with more engage supports looking to get into the meta, should have more presence around the map.
The big question mark around EG is, of course, their substitute ADC, Kaori. The young player was brought up from the Academy team and had a good showing in the Bo5 series he played in. His Lucian games were great as he won his lane and was the carry in the fights, but he struggled with his team fighting, even when he did have a lead, on champions like Sivir and Zeri. Still, we know from his Academy and TCL days he can play hyper carries; it is just a question of how comfortable he can get with the team in a short time span.
- Players to watch: Inspired, Jojopyun
- Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
- Can “Closer” Çelik
- Felix “Abbedagge” Braun
- Ian Victor “FBI” Huang
- Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun
100 Thieves had a bitter end to their year. But in a retrospect, they made two more straight finals after their win in Spring 2021, even though both ended in 3-0 losses. Still, this roster stuck through ups and downs, and aside from those two final series, they’ve always performed when they needed to. This includes their Worlds appearance last year when they went 3-3, taking a game off the eventual champions, EDG.
The biggest advantage of this team is that every lane is capable of carrying on any given day. Of course, this depends on the meta and the players' current form, but we’ve seen all five players be the reason their team won the game. Currently, the most consistent player on the roster has to be Ssumday. The rock in the top lane for 100T has mostly been a weakside player in recent years, but ever since the last split’s Tryndemere meta, he has been more open to playing carries. We've seen Ssumday even go so far as blinding Fiora in the Summer Playoffs.
In the mid and top, both Abbedagge and FBI are very flexible players. They like to go with the more scaling picks like Azir, Zeri, or Sivir but they are willing to pull out more early game picks like Ahri, Taliyah, Kalista or Lucian. We also saw things like Seraphine/Senna bot lanes or Seraphine mid flex from them, so expect to see some creativity.
Then there is the jungle king, Kral Closer. The Turkish jungler has been the guy who led this team in-game ever since the GG core joined 100T. It isn’t unusual to see 100T win when Closer is in form or see them perform worse when his form is also poor, like the most recent LCS Finals. Not the mention the Lee Sin buffs on patch 12.18.
- Players to watch: Ssumday, Closer
- Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami
- Robert “Blaber” Huang
- Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen
- Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol
- Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
Cloud9 is arguably the most successful North American organization in the history of international competitions. Since they joined the NA LCS they missed only one Worlds event, in 2020. However, the organization is not used to being the first seed as this is the first Summer victory for them since 2013. The general community sentiment, primarily being a meme, is that they need the Play-ins to get practice and power up.
Both splits in 2022 have been a roller coaster for C9. They came into the season with the hype of hiring Nick “LS” De Cesare as a head coach but fired him after just two weeks. With Maxwell Alexander “Max Waldo” Waldo filling in LS’s shoes, they dominated the Spring regular season but faltered just before the playoffs. Then they came into the Summer with Fudge role-swapping back to top, Zven role-swapping to support and Jensen coming out of a split-off. Against all odds, and despite their middling regular season, they dominated the Playoffs, eventually ending with a 3-0 final series.
For anyone watching C9 this season, it was apparent who the team's primary carry. Berserker, the young T1 prodigy, has been making improvements throughout the year and has become a full-fledged superstar towards the end of the split. He was undoubtedly the best teamfighting ADC in the league, and his laning became much better as time went on and he got used to laning with a “rookie” support. There are some meta questions around him and Zven, who relied heavily on enchanter, but no one is quite sure how the meta will look like, so we will have to wait and see.
The top side of the map for C9 is nothing to scuff at either. Despite still being very young, we’ve seen Fudge perform very well on the international stage and Jensen has been slowly climbing back to his previous level. There are some worries about Blaber and his overaggressiveness being punished by better teams, but C9 has always lived or died by Blaber and he’s been delivering most of the time. They got a very tough group despite being the first seed, but I’m sure every Cloud9 fan still remembers the Words 2017.
- Players to watch: Blaber, Berserker
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