Before Worlds 2022 starts, let’s take a look at some of the best top laners coming to North America to compete for the championship. League of Legends’ most important trophy will be awarded on November 7, and these five players will be crucial to their teams’ success as top lane is one of the most important roles in the current meta.
As with most roles, this year’s top five top laners list consists of Asian players. China and South Korea managed to get ahead of the West, and the top laners from Europe and NA will have difficulty trying to catch up to their opponents. While many Western top laners are either aggressive or defensive and struggle when they are asked to play another way, Asian top laners solved that problem a long time ago.
Top laner for the defending world champions EDward Gaming, Flandre is coming to Worlds 2022 looking weaker than 2021. Although he is still good enough to be considered a top five player, Flandre lost control in the LPL during some games and caused some problems for EDG during the regular season.
However, Flandre and EDG managed to improve their form in the playoffs, and the only teams that could outclass them were TES and JDG. Flandre is still behind Scout and Viper, which is expected, but he should at least catch up to the standards of Wayward and 369 if EDG aims to get the Summoner’s Cup.
As with many LPL top laners, we have seen Flandre on Gnar the most this summer. He has a wide champion pool from Gangplank to Riven, but Gnar, Gragas and Ornn seemed to be his best choices. He will keep being the weak side player for EDG at Worlds 2022, and he is a valuable player because he manages not to fall behind.
Wayward got promoted to Top Esports’ main roster at the end of 2021, and he has had an impressive form since then. Although he is considered a one-sided player, showing remarkable performances on Gnar but not much else, I think Wayward will be key to TES’ success considering that many teams have quality top laners at Worlds 2022.
Many LPL teams and players had problems including Wayward as it’s a long marathon. However, the lowest point was probably when he was replaced by Qingtian against JDG in the first match of the grand final. After TES lost, Wayward got back in and played a perfect series in the remaining four games, outclassing the best top laner in China, 369.
Because of that grand final series, I trust Wayward to help Top Esports even more in Worlds 2022. With his 80% win rate Gnar, tanks like Sejuani and carries like Gwen, Wayward is a strong player that shouldn’t be overlooked.
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Breathe caused some controversy amongst the fans after he was acquired by Royal Never Give Up, replacing Bin in the middle of the year. Rumours were floating, saying that this transfer was already decided at the start of 2022 and RNG couldn’t keep Bin for the summer. However, Breathe’s performance proved why he was a great pick for RNG.
A strong laner with incredible mechanics and a wide champion pool which includes tanks and carries, Breathe showed he was not behind Bin, and he was as good as an heir to Xiaohu, who played top lane last year and left a mark in RNG’s history. Breathe’s ability to defeat his opponents and get early leads with champions like Fiora will definitely affect RNG’s chances at Worlds 2022.
369 is undoubtedly the best top laner in China, whether you consider the laning, team fights, 1v1s or map movements. It isn’t a surprise, as JD Gaming mostly has the best players in the LPL with players that are the full package. He has anything you want from a top laner, and the fact that he was sent from Top Esports seems to have fired him up.
You might remember the meme: the name 369 comes from the fact that he throws the dice and plays 3/10, 6/10 or 9/10. In 2022, 369 was never 3/10. Playing many champions like Gangplank, Gnar, Sion and Kennen, 369 is ready for anything. If things change for Worlds 2022 and a new meta is introduced, we know that 369 will be ready for that, playing weak side or counter picking.
Compared to 369, Zeus is a different beast: he is the best top laner in the world and currently the best player in T1. However, I can’t say if that last sentence about 369 is also applicable to Zeus. While he offers a galaxy of potential for T1, if the top lane can’t get a huge part in Worlds 2022 meta, Zeus will have a hard time adapting.
While T1 was outclassed by Gen.G this year, Zeus was the only player that could challenge Gen.G, otherwise, T1 was doomed. This means that Zeus will have a similar responsibility of being the flagship for his team as a player in his first professional year. It’s a huge one, but if the meta suits him, Zeus has proved countless times that he is ready for such a challenge.
Known as a mechanical prodigy before his professional career started, Zeus played champions like Yone, Fiora and Akali too, but mostly settled for Gnar, Gangplank and Gwen, showing that he was ready to adapt. Still, it is bad for T1 to give Ornn to their best player, and Zeus might have problems against stronger top laners than Doran, Kingen or Nuguri.
We will witness the first player from this list on Rift this weekend when Worlds 2022 Play-In Stage starts which includes RNG. You can watch the games live on Luckbox. Sign up now to claim your 100% bonus before placing your bets.