Bjergsen – TSM
Historically, TSM dominates the NA LCS but fails abjectly on the international stage. The most popular team in North America never seems to live up to the hype, with their poor performance in the recent MSI tournament only adding to this trend. Yet hope remains for NA fans. TSM’s performance (and the performances of other North American outfits) at the recent Rift Rivals event showed some promising signs that perhaps they do have what it takes to deliver on the world stage.
This hope mainly rests on the shoulders of their Danish Mid Laner, Bjergsen, who recently received the title NA LCS MVP for the fourth time, showing just how dominant he is in the North American league. The star studded line up of TSM with Doublelift and Hauntzer allows Bjergsen the breathing room to carry, and turn into a late–game monster.
And here’s the the clinching factor: no Korean Teams are present in TSM’s group. If Bjergsen doesn’t shine at this Worlds, one wonders if he’ll ever get a better opportunity.
With the highest kill participation of any Korean top laner at Worlds, Khan is the backbone of Longzhu, and their performance will largely be determined by how well their star top laner plays. If you’re looking for a team to beat SKT, the smart money’s on Longzhu – and Khan is the main reason for that.
ClearLove – EDG
ClearLove has undeniably been the most impactful player in the Chinese scene this year. The jungler has been able to put Edward Gaming on his back and carry them to domestic success.
Where ClearLove goes, carnage (and objectives!) follow. He can demonstrate his unique style against SKT during groups, and if there’s any jungler to disrupt the methodical thinking of the Korean giants, its ClearLove.
Crown – Samsung Galaxy
Touted as the second best mid laner at the 2016 worlds, Crown was in a spot to dominate Korean League of Legends coming into 2017. Yet instead of catapulting Samsung Galaxy to new glory, his inconsistent performances have held the team back, and as a result Samsung Galaxy have only been able to secure the third Korean seed coming into Worlds.
But Crown is a veteran player, with a world renowned work ethic. The break from the LCK will see him train harder than almost any other player in the world, and if his performances returns to its former glory, Samsung Galaxy met yet have another amazing Worlds run. All eyes on him.
Xmithie – Immortals
At the start of the season, Immortals and CLG made a roster swap in the Jungle – Xmithie for Dardoch. Everyone imagined Immortals were getting the worse end of the deal. Having been on CLG for a number of years most analysts did not hold Xmithie in high regard, with his passive play always been seen as a key weakness to the team’s performance.
But his shotcalling and supportive playstyle thrust Immortals back in the limelight, and saw them go from strength to strength. Xmithie won’t have the most kills, the highest KDA, or the best map pressure. But he gives Immortals a sense of purpose a direction and clear shotcalling. A veteran of the World’s stage he brings a much needed calm to a team largely made up of younger players.
Khan – Longzhu
Khan is coming off the hot streak of taking the LCK title away from SKT T1, historically the most dominant League of Legends team in Korea. Longzhu’s win against Faker’s decorated team was no fluke either, with Khan’s snowball performance in the top lane seeing them dominate SKT in a way we rarely see.
With the recent performance of C9 and TSM many people are overlooking this NA team, But their decisive playstyle coming from Xmithie, with a smaller reliance on individual brilliance, this may be a winning formula.
Faker – SKT T1.
The three time World Champion, the face of League of Legends, the personification of Korean dominance – Faker is always on people’s minds at Worlds. However his lackluster performance during the LCK finals versus Longzhu is the reason many people believe SKT did not arrive at Worlds as the Korean champions.
Faker has always had slumps, periods where he has been less dominant, and BDD (Longzhu’s mid) has eclipsed him in all the stats during this season of LCK.
But Faker is a mechanical mastermind like no other. Even when in a slump, he puts on performances that others can only dream of. He has more Worlds stage experience than almost any other player, and has always showed up. This year should be no different.
Zven – G2
Hailing from G2 who celebrate their fourth consecutive EU LCS finals victory, Zven is the most consistent ADC in the west. A young prodigy he started playing from when he was just 17 and has been improving year in year out, without a single slump so far in his career.
He has a versatile playstyle not seen in most ADCs, being able to play initiation, teamfight, or a supportive playstyle, and this flexibility is his team’s true strength. His lack of stubbornness in picks or meta is another big strength, with Zven having one of the deepest champion pools of ADCs entering worlds. When G2 needs a big performance, Zven is the player leading the charge.