What does it mean to be a top LoL player? The answer often depends on the person tackling the question. Some argue that the best players are mechanical prodigies who overwhelm their opponents with spectacular outplays. Some celebrate confident shot callers that direct their allies on the battlefield. Others put their stock into bold innovators that always seem to find new ways to break the competitive meta game.
As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The best League of Legends players tend to have a mixture of talent, game sense, and creativity that instantly makes you recognize their greatness. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the top 20 LoL players of all time!
20. Karsa (LPL – RNG)
Karsa has always been among the top League of Legends players, yet somehow, he’s still flying under the radar. He entered the scene back in 2014 as a part of the relatively unknown Machi 17 lineup. Six months later, he was jungling for the iconic Flash Wolves roster. And it was largely because of his mechanical prowess and objective-focused playstyle that this team went on to dominate the LMS and represent the league at international tournaments for three years in a row.
His story didn’t end there. In 2018, Karsa went to China to play for Royal Never Give Up. The transition wasn’t the smoothest, but his controlled approach to game turned out to be a great fit for the Chinese powerhouse. Karsa made a career of strangling his opponents in the jungle and setting his teammates up for success—and these traits alone make him worthy of a spot on our list.
19. sOAZ (LEC)
sOAZ is the definition of a legacy player. The French top laner has been playing competitive League of Legends since 2010, and, barring a few outliers, he’s consistently stood at the top of his region. And at this point, it’s hard to attribute this to anything other than natural talent. sOAZ has a great mind for the game that allows him to remain a threat regardless of meta shifts and balance changes.
Granted, he’s not the flashiest or most mechanically gifted player. However, when push comes to shove, you can count on sOAZ to outmaneuver his opponents and break open the game with a well-timed teleport or a perfect initiation. The downside is that he’s not exactly the most dominant carry player out there, but considering how many other things he brings to the table, he certainly deserves to stand among the best League of Legends players of all time.
18. Mata (LCK – T1)
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s best to have brains or brawn. But what if you could have a mixture of both? Enter Mata, the support that forever changed League of Legends. During the Samsung White era, this man came up with a brand new macro paradigm and single-handedly reshaped the competitive meta, and even if that was the only thing he did, it would be enough to put Mata on our list of the best LoL esports players of all time.
He didn’t stop there. After leaving Korea, Mata established himself as the best shot caller in the game by micromanaging his Vici Gaming and Royal Never Give Up teammates in a foreign language. In 2019, Mata joined the South Korean powerhouse that is T1. Together with his teammates, Mata dominated the domestic competition and secured a first-place finish in the 2019 LCK Spring Split. And while he fell to the eventual champions at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, he still proved he has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the top LoL players in the world.
Unfortunately, Mata has a tendency to cultivate a very specific playstyle on his teams, which is one of the reasons why T1 benched him in summer. He’s still trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was Samsung White. And until he accepts that he needs to move on with the times, Mata will remain in the bottom half of our list.
17. Bjergsen (LCS – Team SoloMid)
If there’s ever an esports Hall of Fame, Bjergsen’s name would certainly be included. He’s been on fire since his debut on Copenhagen Wolves, but it’s only when he joined Team SoloMid that he became the clear-cut best mid laner in his region and earned the nickname of the North American Faker.
Bjergsen is TSM’s immovable object. He’s a rock-solid veteran that makes his presence known through smart laning and potent teamfighting. His mechanics are sharp enough to stand up to the top League of Legends players in the world, but his main strength is consistency, and no matter the stage or opponent, you can count on him to perform.
That said, Bjergsen is haunted by the lack of international success. He also tends to avoid risks in high-pressure situations even if taking that chance is the only way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And it’s up to Bjergsen to overcome this hurdle and climb up our League of Legends player rankings.
16. Kiin (LCK – Afreeca Freecs)
Kiin got a lot of flak for his performance at Worlds 2018. However, the people that criticized him simply haven’t seen him play in his home region. Kiin is the most versatile top laner in South Korea, and his refined mechanics and limitless champion pool are the cornerstones of Afreeca Freecs’ strategies.
Give this man a carry, and he will pummel his opponent into the ground while expertly avoiding enemy ganks and finding the right teleport timing. Give him a tank, and he will become a fearless initiator and an unbreakable shield for his carries. Perhaps his biggest weakness is that he’s too selfless for his own good. Kiin is always eager to do what his coach says and fill the right role on his team, which doesn’t exactly enable him to carry as hard as some of the other top LoL esports players out there.
15. Doinb (LPL – FunPlus Phoenix)
Doinb is the best League of Legends player that most Western fans don’t know about. His mechanics are on point, but it’s his relentless aggression and creative thinking that allow him to continuously get the upper hand on some of the strongest mid laners in the world. He also has a plethora of pocket picks at his disposal, making it nigh impossible to force him into a bad matchup.
Of course, it’s hard to look past the fact that he’s just found his way to international tournaments in 2019. Despite being an obviously talented player, Doinb lacks the clutch factor to take his game to a new level. But considering he’s still trying to turn his bad luck around, it’s only a matter of time before he succeeds.
14. Ruler (LCK – Gen.G)
When Ruler began his career, he was a stable, yet unremarkable teamfighter that spent most of his time in his mid laner’s shadow. Fast-forward a couple of years, and he’s the spitting image of a top-tier marksman. His laning is sharp, as he takes every opportunity he can get to contest CS and harass his opponents. However, his real forte is teamfighting.
Ruler has an uncanny talent to seamlessly dodge enemy spells and top damage charts. He’s also one of the top LoL esports players when it comes to consistency, as he’s seldom the reason his team loses the game. And no matter how dire things are, his teammates can rely on Ruler to hitting his power spikes and giving his enemies hell in the upcoming teamfight.
13. Chovy (LCK – Griffin)
It’s fair to say that Chovy stated his LCK career with a bang. He entered the league in the middle of 2018, but he quickly made a name for himself as one of the best mid laners in South Korea. His playstyle was aggressive, yet uncharacteristically calculated for a rookie. And while he had the brains and the brawn to go for solo kills, he was even deadlier whenever his shifted his focus to teamfighting and working together with his jungler.
Chovy retained most of his talents to these days. However, his dominance is undermined by the fact that he consistently fails to bring out his A-game in the playoffs. Don’t get us wrong, even at his worst, Chovy is better than most LCK mid laners, but we need to see his step up to the plate before moving him into the top half of our League of Legends players rankings.
12. Jankos (LEC – G2 Esports)
Jankos is the most underappreciated player in Europe. The Polish jungler spent a huge chunk of his career playing for deeply flawed teams, which made him a constant target for community criticism. It wasn’t until he joined G2 Esports that fans realized how much he brought to the table.
Even when surrounded by the best LoL esports players in Europe, Jankos still found ways to stand out. His natural knack for pathing ensured that he would always be a step ahead of his opponents, and his polished mechanics meant that he could always pull off a dive or initiate a teamfight. But it’s his mental resilience and ability to make the right decisions in the most chaotic circumstances that turned Jankos into the rock of G2 Esports.
11. Doublelift (LCS – Team Liquid)
It’s almost unheard of for two North American pros to make the list of the best LoL esports players in the world, yet Doublelift has earned the right to be here. Much like many high-profile AD carries, he started his career as a mechanical monster. His decision-making was lacking, but he made up for it by pulling off such impossible outplays that his enemies had to think twice before challenging him.
Over the years, Doublelift shored up his weaknesses. Now, he’s a veteran, a leader, and one of the most famous League of Legends players in North America. Combine that with his ridiculous skill ceiling, and it’s not exactly surprising that he became the driving force behind Team Liquid’s success.
And the most impressive thing? He continues to grow to this day. 2019 saw Doublelift defeating the reigning world champions—Invictus Gaming—and going all the way to the MSI finals. And while he fell in the next series against G2 Esports, the moment when Doublelift claims his first international trophy seems to be on the horizon.
10. CoreJJ (LCS – Team Liquid)
CoreJJ didn’t have the best start in League of Legends. He spent his first two years playing AD carry for the likes of Bigfile Miracle, Quvic E-Sports, and Team Dignitas. However, it was only when he joined Samsung Galaxy and switched his role to support that CoreJJ established himself as one of the best League of Legends players in the world.
Whether it’s setting up teamfights, protecting his carries, or roaming around the map, CoreJJ ticks all the boxes of a top-tier support player. Yet, his biggest strength is vision control. CoreJJ is exceptional at lighting up the map and suffocating enemy vision, making him a very difficult opponent to face on the Rift. Combine that with the fact that he’s going stronger than over on Team Liquid, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he reaches new heights in the near future.
9. Wunder (LEC – G2 Esports)
For the longest time, Wunder has been flying under the radar. He qualified for the 2016 EU LCS Spring Split as a part of the Danish Splyce roster and quickly established himself as a talented top laner. Yet, it was only when he joined G2 Esports in 2018 that everyone saw the extent of his mechanical ability.
Wunder is the definition of a carry top laner. His champion pool is vast and his game sense is sharp enough to put some of the best League of Legends players in the world on the back foot. Granted, G2 Esports went through some growing pains in 2018, so Wunder didn’t claim any trophies that year. But that didn’t stop him from showing up at Worlds 2018 and becoming one of the biggest carry threats on the team.
His next year went even better. With Wunder’s help, G2 Esports breezed through the 2019 LEC Spring Split and qualified for the Mid-Season Invitational. There, Wunder cemented himself as one of the top LoL players, and his carry play and Pyke pocket pick were instrumental to G2 winning the tournament. Admittedly, he lost a bit of ground in summer, but there’s no doubt in our minds that he still has what it takes to be a top laner powerhouse.
8. Perkz (LEC – G2 Esports)
Perkz is one of the most unusual players in the world. He made his EU LCS debut in 2016, and quickly established himself as a top mid laner in the region. In fact, it’s largely because of his razor-sharp mechanics and insane killer instinct that his team—G2 Esports—proceeded to win the next four titles in a row. Over the years, Perkz reinforced his already impressive talent with veteran game sense. He hit his peak as a mid laner in 2018 when he made it all the way to the Worlds semifinals before falling at the hand of the eventual champions in Invictus Gaming.
And then Perkz did the unthinkable: he role swapped. That’s right, one of the strongest mid laners in the world voluntarily switched to the AD carry role to open up a spot for another great mid laner on his team. Many predicted this move to backfire. Yet Perkz silenced the critics by becoming the best marksman in Europe and winning the 2019 MSI in his first year as a professional AD carry. It remains to be seen whether he can keep this momentum going, but considering he’s already enjoyed great success in two of the most mechanically intensive roles in the game, Perkz is already a living legend.
7. Tarzan (LCK – Griffin)
Tarzan is a jungle phenomenon. Much like his teammate—Chovy—he entered the league as a complete rookie, yet he played his role with such skill and conviction that even LCK veterans couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed. His ganks and initiations are the driving force behind Griffin’s aggression, and you can always count on Tarzan to pull through in do-or-die moments.
His playstyle doesn’t revolve around mechanics either. Tarzan has a knack for tracking the enemy jungler, and it’s almost uncanny how he always ends up in the right place at the right time. With that, he has no issues finding invades, setting up counterganks and completely outmaneuvering his opponents around the map. And it’s this mixture of talent and game sense that makes Tarzan one of the best LoL esports players of all time.
6. Deft (LCK – DragonX Busan)
Deft is a one-man-army. This player is a mechanical prodigy in every sense of the word, and his unique blend of game knowledge and killer instinct turns him into the focal point of every teamfight. His laning isn’t too shabby either, as Deft is always looking for a window to take a bold trade or force a 2v2 kill.
There was a time when his aggressive playstyle made him too easy to pick off in the late game. However, Deft has long since shored up this weakness. The only thing that holds him back from reaching the pinnacle of our top LoL esports players is that he is far too keen to make the game all about himself. Granted, this is a great mindset for a star player. But it can also lead to Deft’s teammates bending to his will to the point where they can no longer carry games on their own.
5. TheShy (LPL – Invictus Gaming)
Smeb might be the godfather of carry top laners, but TheShy is someone who took his teachings to heart. This player seeks to overwhelm his opponents with aggression from the first minutes of the game—and he does it with zero fear or hesitation. For any other top laner, such a style would be far too risky to practice. For TheShy, there’s nothing more to it than kill or be killed. And considering his mechanical skill is head and shoulders above that of other top laners, the former happens way more often than the latter.
This would already a good enough reason to put him at the top of most League of Legends players rankings, but TheShy didn’t stop there. He’s one of the few top laners that have mastered the art of splitpushing, and his ability to draw pressure and come out on top in 1v2 skirmishes opens up countless opportunities for his teammates. That being said, TheShy’s dominance came under question when he lost to Team Liquid at the LoL MSI 2019. Of course, he has the talent and conviction to bounce back from this setback, so it will be up to him to silence the critics at the 2019 World Championship.
4. Caps (LEC – G2 Esports)
When he first entered the EU LCS, Caps was renowned for his mechanical prowess. His talent was so overwhelming that he routinely came up with CS leads and solo kills against the best mid laners in Europe, but his dominance was undermined by his shaky decision-making. Still, Caps worked hard on refining his playstyle, going from a flashy yet unreliable mid laner to the centerpiece of Fnatic’s strategies.
Combine this with his vast arsenal of pocket picks, and Caps is the perfect lightning rod. If you leave him alone, he has the skill and confidence to single-handedly take over the game, and if you try to shut him down, his teammates will have free reign in the side lanes. These traits have carried Caps to a second-place finish at Worlds 2018, but a silver medal wasn’t enough for him. In 2019, he parted ways with Fnatic and joined G2 Esports. And even though many criticized him for abandoning such a successful team, Caps put these doubts to rest by showing up at the MSI 2019 and claiming his first international trophy.
3. Uzi (LPL – Royal Never Give Up)
Uzi is a player that combines mechanical prowess and mental fortitude. Widely recognized as the best AD carry in the world, this LPL legend challenges his foes with immaculate positioning and pinpoint precision. For the longest time, Uzi struggled to claim an LPL title, but his victory in the 2018 Spring Split put an end to this narrative. On top of that, he never fails to put on a clinic at international tournaments, making him one of the best League of Legends players in the world.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about him is that he achieved this level of greatness while dealing with health issues. He’s been open about suffering from wrist and shoulder pain, and he even had to go on the Worlds 2017 stage a day after getting drips at the hospital, This creates a unique situation where his team—Royal Never Give Up—has to play with substitute AD carries to avoid straining the health of its ace. But whenever RNG find themselves in a pinch, they always fall back on Uzi.
2. Rookie (LPL – Invictus Gaming)
For a long time, Rookie was seen as one of many Korean mercenaries that went to China chasing a bigger paycheck. However, his Worlds 2018 run turned this storyline on its head. Not only did Rookie make a solid claim to being the best League of Legends player in the world, but his individual skill was so overwhelming that he spent the entire tournament bullying world-class mid laners as if they were random Gold players from Solo Queue.
His talents go far beyond the laning phase. Rookie is the pillar of Invictus Gaming, so whether it’s teamfighting, splitpushing, or playing around his teammates, he does everything in his power to set his team up for success. Hell, even when IG suffered a crushing defeat at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational, Rookie still played like a world-class mid laner. And while he’s not among the most famous League of Legends players, you won’t make a mistake by putting your faith in Rookie.
1. Faker (LCK – SKT T1)
Yeah. It’s Faker. Let’s be honest, no other pro could come first in our top LoL esports players of all time list while Faker is playing the game. This man is a competitive juggernaut that seamlessly climbs to the highest point of League of Legends players rankings. His level of dominance is so unbelievable, it’s akin to a fable, yet somehow, someway it’s entirely real.
Faker puts insurmountable amounts of pressure on enemy mid laners. His presence alone can cause his opponents to overhaul their strategies for the sole purpose of shutting him down. However, taking down the man nicknamed the Unkillable Demon King is easier said than done, as Faker excels at soaking up jungle pressure.
In the later stages of the game, Faker turns into the perfect ace that routinely finds one playmaking opportunity after another. And if T1’s mid laner secures a lead, he always seems to find a way to break open the map with roams and teleports. His individual accomplishments are bolstered by a spotless competitive record, and until he retires, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Faker standing at the top of the League of Legends food chain.