I decided with the two week break from the LCS, I would do some rankings. The biggest thing to note with the Mid laners is the rise of new talent and the decline of old talent. As a whole this group is competitively weaker when comparing them to the international scene. These are just my opinions so no one should take them too harshly. I will add that the top 3 are all very close in skill and the other five are very close in skill as well. Also I had to trim down the information tremendously because it ran like six pages on a word document so my explanations might not be as clear as I would have liked. Feel free to respond in the comments below on who you believe to be the best/worst mid laners in NA. Any feedback is welcome as well. I think if there is any interest I might do Top Lane next.
- MandatoryCloud – Vulcun. I’ve always considered him to be an extremely underrated player. I remember a few months back when I said he was one of the top Mids in NA I got downvoted hard on reddit. But this season MandatoryCloud has led Vulcun to an impressive 15-8 season and no one considers him to be underrated anymore. They have realized his capabilities. Some of MandatoryCloud’s strengths are that he has a vast champion pool which is clearly shown simply due to the fact that he has picked 11 different champions to play this split. He has never played a champion more than three times. His most common picks are Ryze, Twisted Fate, and Jayce. These also happen to be his most common bans as well. He is one of the few NA mid laners that can play Twisted Fate at a high level. Some of his weak points would have to be his little international experience which could very well change when Worlds start. Although Mancloud has a vast champion pool it doesn’t appear that he has a mastery of a certain champ that makes him the best player with that champ..
- Link – CLG. One could make a good argument as to why Link should be ahead of Mancloud but at the moment I have to give an edge to Mancloud. Link has slowly progressed from last season to this season as a top mid laner in NA. Last split Link performed consistently well but never did he carry games. He is one of the most mechanically skilled players in NA. He mostly prefers to play AP champs with the exception of Zed. Like Mancloud he seems to be one of the few players that can play Twisted Fate at a high level. He has played nine different champions this split. His most common picks are Orianna, Twisted Fate, Ahri, and Karthus. The most common bans against him are Twisted Fate (high pick/ban rate) and Karthus. His biggest weak point in his play is his decision making (Common CLG theme). There have been times he has been caught off split pushing while his team loses. There are times where it looks like he is unsure as to what he wants to do, causing them to miss out on important objectives.
- Hai – Cloud 9. When most people think of Cloud 9 they often forget its team captain Hai. This is mostly due to his selflessness. Hai does not have the most impressive KDA despite his team’s record. People always tend to talk about Meteos’s KDA instead but if you analyze how the team fights play out its easy to see why Meteos lives so much. Hai typically follows up on Meteos’s engages which leads to him dying but at the same time it also leads to his teams victory. Hai will literally be the first player on Cloud 9 to die in teamfights 90% of the time. So far this split he has only played seven champions. Hai mostly plays Zed, Jayce, Kennen and Twisted Fate this split. These four champions also happened to be his most common bans as well. It’s hard to find weak points for a team that performs as well as Cloud 9 but the biggest mistake that Hai has that most aggressive mid laners also have is sometimes he will misplay something resulting in an early death. Hai also gets a lot of help thanks to the skill level of his teammates.
- Shiphtur – Team Coast. A lot of people thought it was questionable to replace Jintae after he had a fairly successful split. But Team Coast knew Shiphtur was a top mid because they had trained with him for a while. Shiphtur is more on the lines of an aggressive Mid laner. He has played nine champions this split but his most played are Zed and Ahri by a mile. Zed is by far his most banned champion as well. The biggest problem with Shiphtur is it does not look like he is comfortable with champions that are not Zed and Ahri. One of the hardest parts for Shiphtur is that he is an aggressive player and his top lane is also an aggressive player (albeit he is also very good). When you think of most top teams they typically have to have balance between the top and mid. One is aggressive while the other is passive. Having two aggressive laners who pick aggressive champions can allow you to carry hard or struggle throughout the game. On an unrelated note, I’m still waiting for Renekton or Darius mid.
- Ecco – Team Velocity. I think this one might surprise some people because there is a lot of big name mids that are still left on the board. The thing I like about Ecco is he always performs consistently well. Despite the record of his team he almost always plays his lane well and ends the game positive. He is relatively passive mid laner who mostly plays Twisted Fate, Ahri and Orianna. His Twisted Fate at times looks to be the best in NA and at other times it looks like a typical SoloQ Twisted Fate who makes a few poor decisions. I have always believe him to be a pretty underrated player even back in his Mrn days (I have no idea how that team didn’t become successful with the talent they had). Also I like how Ecco seems to be the only player that’s innovative in NA. He runs Twin Shadows on TF allowing him to chase people down easily. Also he runs Lich Bane on Ahri which shows his confidence with his autos in between his spirit rushes. The biggest problem with Ecco is sometimes his play looks to be that of a SoloQ game and often times he doesn’t try to abuse his opponent’s mistakes.
- Scarra – Team Dignitas. Last split I had Scarra as the 3rd best mid laner in NA. I have had two big complaints with him. His champion pool was small and he mostly only plays aggressive mid laners but he plays passive with them. Since then he has expanded his champion pool which you would think would allow Scarra to rise in my favor but unfortunately it hasn’t. The new champions that Scarra added to his pool are high risk, high reward champions. Unfortunately for him he tends to lose a lot with them. Also Scarra had always been known last season for his Zed and Diana play. Since then it looks as if his skills on these two champions have deteriorated. He has losing records with both of which. Scarra has played nine champions this split. Even though his skills seem to be not up to par with what they were last split he still plays consistent and is probably one of the best roamers. I think Scarra is one of the few old Mid laners that has the best odds of coming out of his slump.
- Reginald – Team SoloMid. Surprisingly I actually had Reginald as the best Mid laner last split due to his solid champion pool, shot calling, and being able to make plays despite the fact that he isn’t the strongest mechanical player. This split he seems to only perform consistently well on one champ which is Karthus as for the rest of his pool it seems to be pretty weak at the moment. If I see another Twisted Fate game from him I am going to throw up. Obviously with TSM sitting at its current position the shot calling has been weak. A problem Regi has is he is a shot caller which tends to make split pushing or farming a side lane difficult for himself and his team. This will lead to problems because the enemy might group and take an objective like baron, turret, or dragon and his team will not know how to react. Reginald has always been one of my favorite players because he was aggressive and could make plays happen during laning phase but lately things tends to go in favor of his opponent. One thing to note about Regi is when he is ahead he typically wins. I think Reginald could get back to his former glory if they could figure a way to get all of their shit settled.
- NyJacky – Curse. When the question gets asked “Who is to blame for Curse’s struggles at the moment” most people point their fingers at Saintvicious. While I agree he has been underperforming most of his team has been as well. Recently Voyboy has picked up the slack and is starting to look a lot more comfortable on champions that are not stealthy assassins. NyJacky however has been playing abysmally and in my opinion he is the player on Curse that is playing the worst. He consistently loses lane, gets caught out, and has no champions that he is strong with currently with the exception of Jayce. Jayce is one of the champions that he plays at a high level, most of his other champions have been very mediocre this season. NyJacky consistently finds himself at the bottom of the standings in terms of KDA since the start of the split. He has been in the bottom four almost every week except for one week. Three times he has appeared at the very bottom of the KDA standings among Mid laners. Two times he was the 2nd worst. If you want to point your finger as to why Curse is struggling, start with its Mid lane first.