With Worlds officially being underway, all the hype is directed towards the players that have qualified for this prestigious tournament. Although these are the best players from each region, let’s take a moment and look at some of the players that didn’t manage to qualify but whose performances were outstanding and deserved some praise. We limited the amount of players to two per region, as a list fully made up of Koreans simply wouldn’t be as much fun. Enjoy!
9. Gabriel “Revolta” Henud:
The Brazilian jungle prodigy that played a major role in INTZ success and an upset win against Edward Gaming at last year’s World Championship. Revolta has been leading the role as best jungler in Brazil since 2015 when INTZ started their dominating run in Brazil. Even though the jungler was able to keep his individual skill, his team Keyd Star struggled to find a working team identity throughout the whole year and didn’t even make playoffs in the second split. Team One has a talented Jungler to watch, however he still miles away from being at Revoltas level.
8. Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun
The player formerly known as “The Aurelion Sol-One Trick” or “What do you mean he’s not French?” has gone through some of the most impressive career improvements in recent League history. Huhi, who used to be a burden for his Botlane in the past, gradually became the core and centerpiece of all things CLG. By widening his champion pool massively and outplaying his Midlane opponents consistently, Huhi only barely missed out on making it to Worlds once again, with C9 taking the third NA spot. Despite being a late bloomer, Huhi will definitely be a force to be reckoned with once the American teams return to their home in January.
WHAT IS HIS NAME?
HIS NAME IS SAMUEL FERNANDEZ FORT!
When Samux originally joined the Unicorns, many were filled with doubt. The Spaniard had little experience as an ADC and given that he only was a sub for Giants!Gaming didn’t spark many hopes amongst the UoL fans either.
Alas, over the course of the past season Samux eventually became the key player of the Unicorns, with fantastic team-fighting abilities and the ability to escape even the most dire of situations. Samux collected more Player of the Series-awards than any other EU LCS player during the last Summer Split and has shown Europe and the rest of the world how much people doubting him were in the wrong. He is without a doubt Europe’s third best ADC as of now, only being trumped by Zven and Rekkles, two legendary players.
6. Chu “FoFo” Chun-Lan
The young Taiwanese midlaner FoFo is a name that we hear more often every season since his early days in Taipei Assasins. In the spring of 2016, the midlaner got the best rookie award and summer brought the MVP title. Despite the good performances and all the awards, FoFo was still rated the second best midlaner in Taiwan with Maple consistently outplacing him as the undisputed number one. It was mostly due to Maple’s performing better in playoffs and Flash Wolves winning LMS time after time. In the summer of 2017 Maple was not up to his usual tricks and had a downswing in form. FoFo on the other hand didn’t crumble and kept his performances tight becoming arguably the best midlaner in Taiwan. Despite J Team’s failures in playoffs and the gauntlet, which meant that the team wouldn’t qualify for the World Championship, FoFo was definitely a player to watch and is one of the best players that won’t attend Worlds 2017.
5. Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten
When you think of the contributing factors of H2k not punching their tickets to this year’s iteration of Worlds, there are quite a few: Choking during playoffs, individual mistakes from their Botlane, Jankos missing a Consume & Smite-Combo against Trick. Febiven, on the other hand, was one of the very factors keeping H2k’s Worlds hopes well and alive: The Dutch Midlaner outplayed Caps, Sencux and Exileh before his team eventually fell in the rematch against Fnatic and was even able to take a kill or two off the Midlane King Perkz.
Febiven was voted as the EU LCS Midlane MVP for good reason, as his consistently amazing performance and creativity when it comes to Champion picks, such as successfully introducing Lucian Mid to the League, was rivaled bar none. The “Faker Slayer” will be missed at Worlds.
4.Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
Ssumday is one of the most legendary players in this list. The toplaner made a name for himself back in KT Rolster, beginning in the KT Rolster Bullets, then moving onto the Arrows to finally become a main toplaner for the joint KT Rolster squad. Ssumday was one of the best performing players in the squad and has been named amongst the best toplaners of all time. In season 6 he was known for his split pushing ability and laning phase prowess, as well as his bruisers and tanks mastery. Not qualifying for Worlds was a big dent in team’s psyche and as Ssumday was released from his contract, he almost instantly joined Team Dignitas. There were some struggles at first, but in the NA LCS Summer Split, the toplaner has been getting all the attention from opposite junglers, yet still remained a huge threat, becoming a cornerstone for his team. The fact that we won’t get to see Ssumday matched with CuVee or Khan is a shame.
3. Go “Score” Dong-bin
Score shares a little bit of history with Ssumday, but his story is different. The player started his career as a toplaner, switching to the AD Carry position later. Known for his passive style he mostly played Ezreal and Corki, the latter becoming one of his signature champions. As the rule banning sister teams became reality, KT Rolster was forced to make one squad out of two talented lineups, choosing Score to remain on the ship as a jungler. The role swap wasn’t easy but Score was quickly reckoned as a great jungler and after a year, he was considered to be the best jungler in the world. Despite changing rosters, Score stayed in KT Rolster and was always one of the best performing players in the squad. The latest lineup with Deft, Mata, and PawN coming back from China was supposed to be built around him to create an SK Telecom T1 killing machine. Unfortunately, the players didn’t pass the test. Even though KT failed to qualify for the Championship two years in a row, Score is still one of the smartest junglers out there.
2. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho
Despite Ssumday being one of the best, there is one toplaner which the World Championship 2017 will miss even more. Along with Score, the main carry for the new super team squad of KT Rolster was ex-ROX Tigers toplaner Smeb. His ability to play literally any champion at competitive level and being able to be a huge factor no matter which role he serves, Smeb is one of the greatest. A very universal, all-around style is what makes the toplaner so tremendous. Throughout the 2017 Smeb seemed like the best performing player of KT Rolster and it’s a sad day where the undisputed MVP of LCK 2016 is not able to go to Worlds.
1.Song “RooKie” Eui Jin
Similarly to the three previous places, the player from the first spot also started his career in KT Rolster. RooKie joined KT Rolster Arrows in 2013, but failed to qualify for Worlds, losing to NaJin White Shield. He chose to seek his fortunes in China and moved to Invictus Gaming with KaKAO a year later. Things weren’t as pretty and despite performing well, iG couldn’t find their beat. The team qualified for World Championship 2015 where it failed miserably, finishing 13-16th. Despite poor team performance, RooKie was seen as a top 3 midlaner in 2015, continuing his legacy in the following years. Being voted best midlaner in China in 2015, RooKie stayed on top of his game and entered 2016 with high hopes. Once again, the team struggled but the midlaner was considered to be the best in China. This year was supposed to be a breakthrough for Invictus Gaming with Duke joining the squad and the organization creating a strong roster overall. Unfortunately, the team fell short in the Gauntlet and RooKie is going to miss Worlds once again, but this time he’s definitely up there amongst the best midlaners on the whole planet.
The problem with lists like this one is that you usually want to put almost only Korean players in them, as they are simply the best. It’s not fair to do that though, considering the fact that every region has had different storylines and there are many players that deserve recognition for being outstanding in their own regions. Those are the best players that won’t attend Worlds – maybe not when compared one to another but considering their growth, stories, individual performances in their own leagues.