The Five Ring Bearers

At 1:24 of the LCS hype video, coreJJ states that “there are five players in the LCS that hold the World Championship ring.” Five different world champions on separate squads makes for interesting LCS drama as I am sure each one of them would love nothing more than to make it back to worlds and snag an additional ring this year. Plus, the team to do so would be the first North American team to ever be named world champs, which is an impressive achievement to say the least.

But who exactly are the five ring bearer of the LCS? Let’s take a look at each player starting with the earliest world championship.

Impact – Season 3 World Champ

The strong top laner was once on the first SKT roster (you know, faker’s team) that claimed victory in the third season of league. As with all top laners who are on SKT, he soon got replaced by SKT so he made his way over to the states to join Team Impulse in 2015. After some team shuffling over the following two years, he plays for Team Liquid who is currently the premier organization of the LCS after having won both splits in 2018. Impact is known for playing tanks with TL as their strategy revolves around a strong tank front-line that allows doublelift to fire away from the back-line.

Impact’s chances of making it back to worlds: 5/5 – 100% certain that he will be there with the addition of Jensen and CoreJJ to TL.

Piglet – Season 3 World Champ

Speaking of that dominant SKT roster, piglet was there alongside Impact and Faker to claim one of the world championship rings. And just like impact, he too was replaced by SKT. Team Curse picked him up at the end of 2014, but he ultimately spent the most time on Team Liquid where he struggled for many years to do well. Due to his struggles, TL opted to sign doublelift when the NA LCS was franchised, and Clutch Gaming picked up the washed up Piglet. However, Piglet might not be washed up as many once thought because CG started out the split with an impressive 2-0. I am extremely interested to see how CG and Piglet do during the split because almost everyone believed CG to be at the bottom of the totem pole.

Piglet’s chances of making it back to worlds: 3/5 – Although CG is looking stronger than people believed, they still have a long way to go to become as solid as TL or C9.

Bang – Seasons 5 + 6 World Champ

Although SKT did not do well during the fourth season of LoL, they came back strong in the fifth season with a solid roster that had bang in the bot lane as ADC. The first and only team to claim back to back world championship titles, Bang contributed to the success with his strong and consistent mechanical plays. While several players that played for the power house Korean organization fizzled out after a season, Bang had a steady head and hand when it came to his play style and team (faker) synergy. But, his time would come to an end on the squad only last season when he was picked up by 100T – and it is clear that the LCS team is proud to have signed him considering all the interviews they have done about the ordeal. Was their prideful boasting misplaced though? Starting the split 0-2, 100T has positively squashed the hype that they had preseason because they looked absolutely terrible – lost, indecisive, disconnected as a team. To be fair to Bang, their early failures cannot be blamed on him as he farmed well and stayed alive the entirety of the two games (with the exception of one death at the end of the TSM game). But they have a lot to improve if they want to do well as a team, and I honestly think they have the potential to do very well.

Bang’s chances of making it back to worlds: 3/5 – I am giving the same chances as Piglet because 100T’s roster is super solid and the season is long. We need to see weekly improvements though for his chances to be realistic.

CoreJJ – Season 7 World Champ

CoreJJ played support for Samsung Galaxy for three years. They were beat by SKT in the sixth season 2-3, but then they came back in season 7 and went 3-0 against the former champs. Their rivalry was fun to follow during those two seasons, but it would come to an end in season 8 when Samsung Galaxy did not make it out of the group stages at worlds (SKT didn’t even make it). Because of this failure, CoreJJ  found his way to Team Liquid who was more than happy to sign the former world champ support to accompany doublelift in the bot lane. Considering how strong TL was before this addition, I would consider them the super team of the LCS – I expect them to go unbeaten this split after their 2-0 start. It was also really interesting to hear doublelift say that his mic could be muted and it would not matter, implying that CoreJJ already feels comfortable to shotcall and make the majority of the decisions in the bot lane. With such an amazing duo, Team Liquid is on the fast track for worlds.

CoreeJJ’s chances of making it back to worlds: 5/5 – If TL does not make it to worlds, I will cheer for TSM for an entire season.

Crown – Season 7 World Champ

The premium mid laner was also on Samsung Galaxy during their years doing mortal combat with SKT. Same as with CoreJJ, Crown also made his way to the states where he was signed by Optic Gaming during this year’s offseason. Although it would seem like an incredible move by OPT, Crown seems to have two versions of himself: one is a dominant, world-tier legend, and the other is an inconsistent, questionable player. So, which version of Crown has Optic signed? The 1-1 start was a decent way to begin things, especially considering that the academy played during the first week of the LCS. But will the starting roster actually be better than the academy? These two questions fuel the question marks that surround Optic and the drama throughout the league. One way or another, we are going to find out if OPT is the real deal or if the team will contribute to the fiestas.

Crown’s chances of making it back to worlds: 2/5 – Considering the rest of the talent in the region, Crown has a difficult journey to make it back to the big stage.

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