The 2021 LCS “Spring Split” regular season has ended. Now the top 6 teams of the league will face each other in a tournament and see who’s going to MSI. I recently noticed many people talking about their top ten players for various roles in LCS and wanted to give my take here. In this post, I will be talking about my top 10 LCS top laners going into the Spring 2021 Playoffs.
How I Rank LCS Top Laners
A lot of analysts use stats to back up their ranking lists. They look at things such as damage per minute, jungle proximity, KDA, and other things to see how well a player is playing.
For me, I’m more like a Reddit analyst or one of those guys in the YouTube comment section. I didn’t really look into stats all that much, but I still have reasons for putting various players in their positions on this list.
And no, I didn’t rank players based on who I like. I back every ranking with my experience watching the players play. I look at how they play in-game and look at things like the player’s macro and micro plays. I also monitor things such as TSM Legends to see what each player is like behind the scenes. Then I rank the players based on what I see.
Starting with number 10, we have Niles from Golden Guardians. Niles has been the worst top-laner in the LCS, and most people will unanimously agree.
Niles has not looked at all. Teams have consistently won against the Golden Guardians by playing through the top lane. The main issue is that Niles often plays like he’s on an island, and junglers continuously punish him for his overaggression. Then the teams facing Niles transition that gold lead into a win.
Generally, I’ll be giving someone the benefit of the doubt if they show that their coinflip plays can also win them the game even if they lose a lot. Unfortunately, Niles has not had a single game where he showed that he is why his team wins. In all the games Golden Guardians won, it was accredited to players such as Stixxay and ABlazeOlive popping off while Niles tries to not int.
I don’t want to flame Niles too hard because Golden Guardians pushed him into the LCS straight from the Collegiate League, but this is why he’s sitting at number 10 in my rankings.
Now Licorice at number 9 is somewhat of a hot-take. Just last year in the 2020 spring split, he was named first all-pro team and considered the best top laner in North America. People will also remember his world’s performance in 2018, where he stole Baron as Ornn and Cloud 9 managed to take down the Korean team, Afreeca Freecs, and make it to the 2018 World’s Semifinals.
Since the 2020 Spring Split, however, I’ve always considered Licorice overrated. Every time I watched Cloud 9’s games from last year, I thought Licorice was irrelevant no matter what he was playing. Now that he’s on FlyQuest, it’s showing.
FlyQuest is not performing that well, with a “spring split” record of 6 and 12 sitting in 8th place. When I watch FlyQuest’s games, it always looks like Licorice makes a ton of bad decisions and mistakes. The most recent memory I have is FlyQuest’s game against Dignitas, where Licorice missed pretty much every Shen taunt.
Many people will say that because Licorice is on a bad team, he’s trying harder to carry. I think he’s not that good. Comment below if you feel differently!
Fudge, the weak link of Cloud 9. On a superteam such as 2021 Cloud 9, Fudge is definitely looking like the weaker player out of everyone. Other than a random solo kill he got on Fakegod as Renekton and one of his Irelia games in the 2021 Lock-In Finals, Fudge has looked lost no matter what he was playing.
When you watch Cloud 9’s Brain Check videos, you can listen to the comms and hear that Fudge doesn’t really know what he should be doing or saying. He’s just following whatever his team is doing, which isn’t necessarily bad. It’s just that his follow-up plays aren’t executed well and make him look like a mediocre top laner.
I will say that Fudge is relatively young and has lots of potential to develop as a player. He is actively looking better with every passing week, so putting him at 8th place on this list was quite a difficult choice for me.
Seventh and eighth place was between Revenge and Fudge. Truthfully, Fudge probably deserves the seventh spot on this list much more than Revenge. Fudge has looked pretty versatile, being able to play anything, while Revenge has looked pretty bad on supportive and tank champions.
But Revenge gave me such a good impression when playing carries such as Irelia. He has looked excellent in lane. However, the inexperience does show when it comes to mid-to-late game macro and decisions. Revenge reminds me a little of BrokenBlade. Strong laning on carry champions and bad on everything else.
A lot of people have been hyping Fakegod up, especially with how Dignitas has been playing. Dignitas has been looking good, with Dardoch and the bot lane playing out of their minds while their solo laners play consistently.
That’s what I like about Fakegod. He’s very consistent. Unfortunately, I don’t think he deserves the hype people are giving him. Fakegod isn’t really setting up a lane kingdom on anyone or solo carrying Dignitas’ games. But he’s pretty much never the reason Dignitas loses either.
Fakegod is just consistently solid. Not particularly special, but not bad either. That’s why he’s here at sixth place in my top lane power rankings.
Finn has looked impressive on CLG. I’m particularly impressed by how he’s looking mechanically. His plays on champions such as Irelia show how good his mechanics are.
Finn just needs to clean up some of his mid-to-late game macro decisions, and he’ll be looking like a top-tier LCS top laner.
I’m going to give Ssumday the benefit of the doubt and put him in fourth place. People always talk about how Ssumday is often the sole good player on a bad team. With four of the 2020 Golden Guardians members swapped to 100 Thieves, people said Ssumday finally has a good team. Now he can win the championship! Right?
At the beginning of the season, it certainly looked like 100 Thieves was pretty good. Unfortunately, it seems like 100 Thieves has been getting worse and worse, and that includes Ssumday. Ssumday’s good, but how good?
The top three top laners in LCS were the easiest to list down for me. At number three, we have Impact from Evil Geniuses. Impact has been playing very well, but his weaknesses are still the same.
For most of his career, people knew Impact for his ability to play weak side and be useful for his team. He was always consistently good. However, the major weakness he has is not being able to play strong side and carry champions.
In 2021, Impact has been trying to change the narrative around him on only being a weakside player. While he has been a monster playing strong side with Renekton, he’s still the same. He hasn’t played a single game of Irelia, Camille, Jax, or champs of similar style.
So while you can expect Impact to play very well on a weak side champion, it’s very predictable that that’s what he wants to do. If you pick something like Gnar, you can expect that Impact will not pick Irelia. And if teams are smart about drafting, they can pretty much always prepare something that will put their team on the winning side of the match-up because they know precisely what Impact is going to do.
Despite being only able to play one style, Impact has shown that he’s terrific at what he does, consistently winning or going even in lane, getting advantages for his team, and playing well in team fights.
At the beginning of the season, TSM fans, including me, were outraged that TSM chose Huni over Impact and Licorice. After all, Huni had just been on multiple teams where he looked like a complete coinflip player who, more often than not, was inting. It seems like TSM knew something we did not know.
After the Lock-In Tournament and the first week of the regular season, Huni and TSM have completely turned it around. In the past couple of weeks, Huni has shown that he’s consistently good and versatile. It’s a huge surprise that one of the most coinflip players in the league has become one of TSM’s most consistent players.
For the most part, Huni has been an excellent weakside player. He has been going even in lane and being useful playing champions like Gragas and Gnar (after the first few weeks). So what makes Huni better than Impact?
Although I would consider Impact’s weakside play better than Huni’s, Huni has shown a ton of versatility recently. He has shown a ton of success on Renekton and is always looking to try new things with picks such as Lulu. Huni is also one of the only players in the league willing and successfully pulling out the Jayce counter pick.
Huni’s versatility and consistency he has shown this split are why he’s ranked number two for me.
At number one, we have Alphari from Team Liquid. Alphari can play basically everything. He has shown that he can get leads playing both weak side and strong side, which is crazy. Alphari is the undisputed best top laner when it comes down to laning phase in the LCS.
Alphari has also shown that he can consistently snowball these leads into wins for his team, making him even better.
My Top 10 LCS Top Laners Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs
And that does it for my top 10 LCS top laners going into Spring 2021 Playoffs. Agree or disagree with this list? Tell me in the comment section below!
Want more posts like this? See all my top 10 players going into Spring 2021 playoffs in every role below:
- Top 10 LCS Top Laners Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs
- Top 10 LCS Junglers Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs
- Top 10 LCS Mid Laners Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs
- Top 10 LCS Bot Laners Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs
- Top 10 LCS Supports Going Into Spring 2021 Playoffs