Welcome to the League of Legends World Championship positional power rankings. Today we're looking at the mid laners. Be sure to check back each day this week for our top lane, jungler, AD carry and support power rankings as well. For complete 2017 League of Legends World Championship coverage, click here.
Without further ado, let's jump right in.
Each panelist cast a vote for their top five players. First place was worth five points, second was worth four, third was worth three, fourth gave two points, and fifth gave one point.
1. Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok - SK Telecom T1
20 points - 1st (Erzberger), 1st (Rand), 1st (Torres), 1st (Moser)
Who else could it be? Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, regardless of his team's loss in the most recent League of Legends Champions Korea final, is still the best mid laner and overall player in the world. He's won three world championships in four years, and if SKT can win it this year, it'll be a historic three-peat that will take Faker's legend into a whole new stratosphere.
This year has been one of the rougher ones for the greatest of all time. Where last year was victory after victory, trophy after trophy, this year has had some of the lowest points of his career. At Rift Rivals, when South Korea was expected to dominate the tri-region event, SKT was on the losing end of things, getting upset by Team WE on the final day to give victory over to Team China, which had prepared far more than the overconfident Korean sides. Faker had to endure the criticism from the home fans, and things even got worse when the team went on a historic losing streak, dropping four matches in a row in the LCK all by the scoreline of 0-2.
Faker bounced back, though. SKT would defeat KT Rolster twice -- once in the regular-season and once in the playoffs -- to block its rival from reaching the World Championships, and it would power through the postseason to get into a final with Longzhu Gaming. Though SKT did lose in the final, Worlds is a whole different beast. The mid lane position is as stacked as its ever been going into the biggest event of the year, and everyone, including Longzhu's Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong, will still be staring up at Faker, knowing they'll have to eliminate him at Worlds if they hope to take a seat on the throne he's occupied since his debut four years ago.
2. Kwak "Bdd" Bo-seong - Longzhu Gaming
15 points - 2nd (Erzberger), 2nd (Rand), 2nd (Torres), 3rd (Moser)
After a small relegation hiccup and a split without starting, the hyped former CJ Entus prodigy is now one of the best mids in the region. Kwak "Bdd" Bo-seong controls the mid lane with a mastery that would be expected of an experienced veteran, not a player who has only started for two splits.
3. Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg - Team SoloMid
11 points - 3rd (Erzberger), 4th (Rand), 4th (Torres), 2nd (Moser)
Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg has just won his fifth NA LCS title and fourth MVP award, further cementing his legacy as the best player in the history of North America. Bjergsen has occasionally had troubling international performances, but that doesn't change his class as a mid laner. Bjergsen is still top-tier internationally, and his performances will define the volume of success that Team SoloMid can truly attain.
4. Li "xiaohu" Yuan-hao - Royal Never Give Up
10 points - 4th (Erzberger), 3rd (Rand), 3rd (Torres), 4th (Moser)
Though Li "xiaohu" Yuan-hao disappointed after hitting No. 1 on the Korean Challenger ladder and nose-diving at Worlds last year, Royal Never Give Up underwent a massive change this split to become a mid-centric team. When the roster constantly shifted around him, xiaohu took the initiative to carry, and his impressive Corki both clamped the lid on the League of Legends Pro League's run at Rift Rivals and clinched RNG as the first team to qualify to Worlds from China by winning the Summer Split semifinal against Team WE.
Tie - 5. Luka "PerkZ" Perkovic - G2 Esports
1 point - 5th (Erzberger), NR (Rand), NR (Torres), NR (Moser)
It's going to be an interesting tournament for Luka "PerkZ" Perkovic. Last year, G2 Esports, came into Worlds seeking redemption from a poor performance at the Mid-Season Invitational but faltered once more. He did come around at this year's MSI, where the European king came alive in the knockout rounds and made the final of the tournament against SKT. But Worlds is where great players become legends. If PerkZ wants to live up to his full potential, advancement from the "Group of Death," alongside Samsung Galaxy, Royal Never Give Up and a Pool 3 seed still to be determined, is a necessity.
Tie - 5. Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang - Flash Wolves
1 point - NR (Erzberger), 5th (Rand), NR (Torres), NR (Moser)
Talk of Flash Wolves inevitably trends towards the duo of jungler Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan and mid laner Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang who, along with support Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Jie, create the backbone of FW. Unfortunately, this has been an off-split for Maple, but there's still no denying his talent, even in a pool of strong mids.
Tie - 5. Su "Xiye" Han-Wei - Team WE
1 point - NR (Erzberger), NR (Rand), 5th (Torres), NR (Moser)
Su "Xiye" Han-Wei isn't a top mid laner in the traditional sense, but shares similarities with Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyun in his ability to control minion waves. This also translates to his strong Galio player and supportive play of Team WE's bot lane, which should play into his hands this meta.
Tie - 5. Nikolaj "Jensen" Jensen - Cloud9
1 point - NR (Erzberger), NR (Rand), NR (Torres), 5th (Moser)
The race for fifth became excruciatingly close in part because every mid bidding for it has fundamental flaws. Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's instability under pressure is his, but when Cloud9 needed him most in the Gauntlet, his heroic Cassiopeia ultimates saw them into the World Championship and secured his spot on the list of top mids heading to Wuhan.