Six Worlds Play-In Superstars That Should Move Regions
September 30th marked the conclusion of the League of Legends 2020 Worlds Play-in Stage with Team Liquid, PSG Talon, LGD Gaming, and Unicorns of Love advancing into the main event. While UoL, the representatives from the League of Legends CIS League, were the only team from an emerging region to advance, a select few players managed to have standout performances despite ultimately being knocked out of the tournament. Here we’ll take a look at six players that would be worthy of an import slot in a major region.
Armut – Papara SuperMassive – TCL
In his second Worlds appearance, SuperMassive’s top laner İrfan “Armut” Tükek made a huge splash both in and out of game. He solidified himself as one of the best, if not the best, top laners in the Worlds Play-in Group Stage putting on incredible performances on champions like Shen, Wukong, and Malphite and beating just about every top laner he came across. But to him, that’s just another day at the office.
Armut is a player that would be a valuable pickup for a bottom or middling team in the League of Legends Championship series that’s looking for both a versatile top laner and a big personality to spice up their brand. Both CLG and Immortals of the League of Legends Championship series would benefit greatly from a pickup like this.
Josedeodo – Rainbow7 – LLA
LCS players may know him from some of their NA solo queue matches, but jungler Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas is considered to be one of the best players in Liga Latinoamérica (LLA). The Rainbow7 jungler almost single-handedly flipped the script on his team’s chances to succeed in Worlds Play-ins with clutch plays and pop-off performances.
For a team looking for a carry-style jungler to either power-up their main roster or develop with their Academy team to eventually start onstage, Josedeodo would be a perfect fit. Interesting picks would be Team Liquid for Academy and CLG or Dignitas for LCS.
Raes – Legacy Esports – OPL
There’s a reason why ADC Quin “Raes” Korebrits is proudly referred to as “the perfect player” by fans of the Oceanic Pro League. The stability he brings to the team is complimented by a tempered aggression that allowed him to step up at crucial times against strong opponents in Worlds Play-ins.
He’s considered to be the best ADC in his region by his peers. Even Astralis support Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw pointed him out as someone that should’ve been imported back in 2019. He would slot well into a team like 100 Thieves, Team Dignitas, or CLG that would benefit from having a more active top side of the map with a reliable bot lane. Misfits in Europe would also be a good spot.
Tally – Legacy Esports – OPL
James “Tally” Shute swapped from top lane to mid lane with Legacy Esports back in Spring 2020 and never looked back. While he wasn’t by any means the flashiest mid laner in Play-ins, his adaptability, mental fortitude, and teamplay made him a name to remember.
After an unfortunately one-sided loss against Team Liquid where his Lucian was bested by Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen’s Orianna, Tally said in an interview that he wanted to focus less on playing what others perceived to be good, and swap back to picks he knows will work for the team. From there, he gladly took on the role of facilitator on champions like Galio and Twisted Fate for the rest of the tournament to help funnel resources to his teammates.
Tally could be an asset to any LCS Academy lineup. Despite being newer to the role, he showcased that he can go toe to toe with players like LGD’s Su “Xiye” Han-Wei and be a leader for his team. If these skills can be cultivated and refined in Academy, he could become a great fit for a team looking for a role-playing mid laner with a knack for playing the map.
Nomanz – Unicorns of Love – LCL)
Unicorns of Love performed above and beyond expectations during Play-ins, and their mid laner Lev “Nomanz” Yakshin was a huge reason for this. Throughout Play-ins, he showcased his mastery of seven different champions, only playing Kassadin more than once. The flexibility is helpful for draft, of course, but having so many different picks prepared for specific situations highlighted his intelligence as a player.
Nomanz flexed his muscles in a big way during Play-ins, and would be worthy of a pick up by any bottom four LCS team or even some European teams like Misfits, Team Vitality, or Excel Esports without a standout mid.
Gadget – Unicorns of Love – LCL
It’s ironic that UoL bot laner Ilya “Gadget” Makavchuk is topping off this list, as he stated in an interview with Hotspawn that he’d prefer not to move to another region because he believes his current roster is much stronger than most LCS or LEC teams. The thing is, any LCS or LEC team legitimately looking to compete for a title would be lucky to have Gadget as their starting bot laner.
Gadget was the only bot laner in Worlds Play-ins to showcase true understanding of the flexibility offered within the lane. He was unafraid to draft unique mage picks in the bot lane to open up a universe of drafting options for his teams and it wasn’t just for show. Gadget’s ability to perform on these picks while remaining adept on traditional marksmen rivals that of G2 Esports’ Luka “Perkz” Perković. It would be interesting to see him slot in to teams like Golden Guardians, Fnatic, FlyQuest, or Cloud9 that won’t shy away from unconventional drafts.