Note: the following article reflects the writer’s personal opinions, not those of Break the Game’s staff, therefore it should not be taken as factual.
Upsets, drama and a desire to be the best and show your worth. That’s what defined the 2016 LPL Season. But after such a crazy year China is back where they were last year, losing to Korea at Worlds after having high expectations placed on them. Now is the time to reflect on the entire year and compliment those who were at the top within the Chinese region.
Best Top Laner – RNG Looper
With Koro1 stepping down after a rough Spring Split and MaRin having a tough time on LGD, Looper is the obvious choice here. He was consistent throughout the whole year, winning the Spring Split with RNG and being one of the better performers on the team at Worlds. Mata being on his team is a benefit but Looper is a great player in his own right. Often being criticized for being a weak player that just gets carried by strong teammates, Looper stepped up big this year and was one of the best laners in the LPL. Even against SKT’s Duke he was one of RNG’s winning points on the map.
Best Jungler – EDG ClearLove
Once again Mlxg falls short to ClearLove when it comes to best jungler in the LPL. The EDG jungler’s biggest remains the World stage. He is fantastic domestically but whenever it comes to international competition, he falls short along with his team. Having four Quarterfinals finishes in the last five years, one has to question if ClearLove is a choker or if he’s really cursed at Worlds. The only exception is the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational where EDG was able to defeat SKT.
Even with his poor showing at Worlds, he still remains the best jungler within China. Always a consistent force for his team, ClearLove is a creature of habit, often preferring to camp for his bottom lane and completely ignore his top lane. This constant pattern is a weakness he has yet to fix. But inside China it’s not a problem and EDG remains the top team in the entire region.
Best Mid Laner – IG RooKie
No other player embodies the phrase “1v5” better than RooKie. Invictus Gaming is filled with problems and inconsistencies but the one constant within the team remains RooKie. He is always performing well and winning lanes against pretty much every other mid laner in the LPL. Just like any other player he may have the occasional bad game but when it comes to consistency, RooKie is the best one there is within the region.
Best AD Carry – EDG Deft
I’ve already mentioned it in one of my previous articles about Deft but despite leaving China after this season concluded, he has cemented himself as one of the best AD Carries to play in the region. He used to have a clear flaw back on Samsung Blue where he was passive in lane but a god in team fights. In China he became a laning god while keeping his team fighting in-tact. This made him the full package and an absolute monster.
He rightfully earns this award not just for his amazing play but also for his ability to play so well with a Chinese speaking support. Communication issues are a tough barrier to crack but through hard work Deft and Meiko overcame them and became one of the best bottom lanes in the world throughout 2016. There’s no doubt in my mind that Deft is the best carry China had to offer this year.
Best Support – EDG Meiko and RNG Mata
I just can’t decide between these two. Mata had a shaky season as a whole despite leading RNG towards their first LPL title. But his impact on the team cannot be overstated and it’s clear he was the driving force behind their success. With that said though, Meiko has continued to develop into the best support China has ever produced. Personally, I am a big fan of Fzzf who used to be EDG’s support as well. But after watching Meiko for two seasons, I’m inclined to say he has surpassed Fzzf and has become the best Chinese support of all time. If we take imports into account, Zero and Mata can definitely challenge him for that title. But comparing him just to Chinese-born supports he is definitely at the top.
Best Rookie – Snake SofM
Coming over to China from Vietnam, SofM burst onto the scene and immediately proved himself as a capable jungler despite coming from a weak region. Although Snake barely missed qualifying for Worlds, SofM developed from a raw mechanical jungler into a more well rounded player. Unfortunately it was too late and he was unable to lead Snake to Worlds. But coming into next year, he is definitely one of the people to look out for.
Best Team – Edward Gaming
Royal Never Give Up is a strong candidate as well but EDG had a more dominant Summer Season. They also made history by being the first team to have an undefeated season in a Bo3 format. The team had a major downfall at Worlds once again dropping out in the Quarterfinals. Despite losing Deft and PawN, Edward Gaming remains the team to watch coming into 2017 and that won’t change until they are dethroned.