A few days ago I Ranked the Mid Laners and now its time for the Top Laners. Competitively speaking it has the potential to be strong but its still weak when comparing it to international teams. The top four are all relatively close in skill while the same goes for the bottom four. Just remember this is just my opinion and I am sure many people have them in different orders. As always your opinions and feedback is always welcomed.
- Balls – Cloud 9. Balls has only been in the LCS for one split and has already proven himself to be one of the best top laners that North America has to offer. Balls has a strong understanding of the current meta and only plays champions that are currently strong. This is clearly shown simply by the fact that half the champions that he has played this split have also been nerfed this split. Balls has played seven champions this split with the most common being Rumble, Ryze, Kennen, and Elise. These four champions also happen to be his most banned with Rumble being the main priority. The only perceived weakness that one can have about Balls currently is his lack of international experience. Also keep in mind that NA has a relatively weak top laners so it’s hard to compare him to someone like Shy, Flame or Reapered.
2. Dyrus – TSM. I actually debated for a long time whether I wanted to put Dyrus at two or three but decided at the last minute he deserved to be two. Dyrus is very consistent in his top lane and during laning phase he tends to prioritize not feeding. This is simply because TheOddOne is prioritize getting Reginald or Wildturtle fed over him. This causes Dyrus to play safe. This split Dyrus has made a bigger emphasis on carrying which is easily seen because his most played champions are Jayce and Rumble closely followed by Shen and Renekton. Also an interesting thing to note is he has yet to play Malphite whom has always been one of his most played champions. Even though TSM has had a less than stellar record against Korean teams, CJ Entus’s Shy has considered him to be one of the best top laners in the world. The biggest weakness I currently see with Dyrus revolves around his emphasis to carry. Personally I like the idea but Dyrus plays very safe in lane so it’s hard for him to get fed in terms of kills.
3. Sycho Sid – Vulcun. Some people may be surprised by this pick but Sycho Sid has been vastly improving each week in the LCS. Last split I probably would have ranked Sycho Sid around 6th or 7th but since the start of the new split he has impressed me a lot. His play style is similar to Dyrus in the sense that he is very consistent and typically plays safe because his jungler is often times trying to snowball MandatoryCloud. Sycho Sid also has a good understanding of the meta and has played ten different champions this split. His most played are Shen, Kennen, and Jayce. Most teams will try to ban Shen and Jayce away from him. Vulcun is sitting at 15-8, largely due to his reliability and just playing smart. My biggest concern is if he can carry if Mancloud is having a bad game. Vulcun is the 2nd best team in North America currently but I question if he can compete against some of the best international top laners.
4. Voyboy – Curse. Voyboy will always be a strong top laner despite the fact that his style is currently not in the meta. Voyboy excels on aggression in the top lane by mostly playing stealthy assassins. Unfortunately most of these champs are no longer strong so this split he has been working on refining his champion pool. Elise is one of the few champions that is still currently strong that he can perform on. Most of this split Voyboy has been trying to find champions that he can succeed on. Recently he has discovered Zac and has performed quite well on him, showing that he can play more than just stealthy assassins. Also Voyboy understands almost every match up and claims he can play a champion at a high level after a few games with him. The biggest area of concern is if he can find another champion to add to his pool because currently he is still lacking in that department. Also Voyboy is a high risk/ high reward kind of player. In some games he can carry hard and in others he will feed. Due to his playstyle he will often receive a lot of help from his jungler SaintVicious.
5. Nientonsoh – CLG. Honestly as a CLG fan it’s hard to rank Nien. Nien performs well during laning phase but often times is behind his opponent. Out of all the top laners however he might be one of the best team fighters. This is probably due to the fact that he has played both Mid and Adc. Playing multiple roles has allowed for Nien to develop good mechanics. One of the best things about Nien coming into top lane was that he sucked with almost all of them when he started (Trust me, I use to stalk his Lolking). Now the reason why this is a good thing is that it meant he could play any champion at the same level. He had no particular play style in the top lane since he had never played top lane. For example it’s hard for someone like Voyboy to play Rumble because it’s not his play style. Nien has shown his ability to try and learn as many champions as he can possibly can which this is clearly shown by the fact that he has played twelve champions this split. His most common picks tends to be Elise, Shen, and Malphite. His biggest weakness lies still in his lane mechanics because in almost every game he comes out of lane behind.
6. Cris – Velocity. Despite spending time as a sub for Velocity, I have to say he is probably one of the best top laners in terms of laning phase. Just recently against Cloud 9 he got five kills against Balls all during laning phase. He has been playing a lot of champions that are currently strong in the meta. His most common picks are Kennen, Elise, and Rumble. Most teams will try their best to not let him get Elise because he has basically mastered that champion. While Cris might be one of the best 1v1ers in the LCS currently he does however have many areas of concern. The primary area is he plays like a SoloQ player and not a LCS player. This means his communication can often be poor with the team (hence why the replaced him), often time his decision making is flawed, and his teamfighting is not that great either. Also despite the fact that he killed Balls five times in lane, Balls still managed to keep himself useful and kept up in farm which means his last hitting can always be worked on as well.
7. KiWiKiD – Team Dignitas. KiWiKiD is an interesting player in the sense that he doesn’t have a specific play style nor does he have specific champion pool. Last split this worked out quite well for him and his team. This split it has punished him causing him to have the most deaths in the NA LCS. For the most part it seems KiWiKiD picks up a new champion and that will be all he plays for the next two weeks and then he will pick up a new one. His most played champions are Kennen and Twisted Fate. He actually has a 4-1 record with Kennen so it’s interesting that he hasn’t gone back to him. KiWiKiD just seems to be lost at top lane and sometimes I wonder if he should be playing mid. If you look him up on LoLking you will see that he will basically play whatever, when he should be working on playing top lane and finding champions that he likes or that he can actually master.
8. Even his teacher calls him ZionSpartan – Team Coast. Coming into this split I fully expected him to be a top three top laner. Since then I can clearly see that this is no longer the case. Zionspartan has one champion that he excels at and another champion that he is okay with. Other than that he has no champion pool. Riven has been a permaban since week two. He has an impressive 5-0 record with her. Zion has been a part of eight of the nine wins that Coast has. Zionspartan currently is 0-4 with Elise, 0-2 with Renekton, and 0-2 with Rumble. Since Riven is essentially permabanned his fall back champion is Shen which he has a 2-3 record with. Last split Zion was known for his Jayce play which he has yet to play this split which I find is odd. Also one of the biggest problems he has is not controllable. He is an aggressive top laner which is fine but his mid is also aggressive. When you think of top teams they typically balance an aggressive top laner with a passive mid laner and vice versa.