League of Legends has produced some of the most iconic esports players in history. From Faker to Uzi, several players have made their mark on League with dominating performances at the highest level of competition.
Worlds has proven to be the culmination of talented players, upcoming rookies, and seasoned veterans. But there are some players who don’t get to show their true potential on the biggest stage in League.
Perhaps these players don’t deserve it. Perhaps they didn’t earn the right to play at the highest level of international competition League has to offer. Others could’ve gotten unlucky with poor performances from individuals on their team. Whatever the case may be, Worlds is a place for the best and only the best.
It’s no secret that some of the best players in League’s history are missing from Worlds 2020. The 2019 world champions FunPlux Phoenix were knocked out of Worlds contention following a loss to 2018 world champions Invictus Gaming in the the LPL Regional Finals in August. Invictus Gaming also lost to LGD Gaming, the fourth Chinese seed at Worlds, in the second round of the Regional Finals. It was clear that the veterans of the game and proven winners had fallen flat just before the biggest tournament of the year.
Top lane: TheShy
But the most obvious top laner missing from Worlds 2020 is TheShy. Arguably one of the best top laners of all time, TheShy has a proven history of winning. The Korean top laner won Worlds in 2018 alongside the rest of Invictus Gaming after sweeping Fnatic in a historic final.
To the surprise of some fans of the LPL, TheShy was named the No. 1 top laner on the All-Pro team following the conclusion of the Summer Split earlier this year. Some argued that JD Gaming’s Zoom should’ve been the top pick, but only one of them went to Worlds—and it wasn’t the league-picked best top laner for the Summer Split.
In terms of storyline potential, Schalke 04’s jungler Gilius from the LEC is toward the top of that list. The miracle run by Schalke will go down as one of the best comeback stories in League history. After being at the bottom of the LEC with little hope left, ‘God Gilius’ stepped up to the plate.
But Gilius and the rest of Schalke lost to MAD Lions in the 2020 LEC Summer Playoffs, effectively killing the dream of attending Worlds for the roster. Perhaps Gilius could’ve performed under pressure at the biggest tournament of the year, but even gods have to be struck down once in a while.
Mid lane: Faker
The most historic player to miss out on Worlds this year, however, is T1’s Faker. Widely considered the best League player of all time, the unkillable demon king will miss his second World Championship since he began his professional career in 2013.
But this season was different for League’s seasoned vet. Faker didn’t start every game in the recent LCK Summer Split and was occasionally replaced by newcomer Clozer, who performed exceedingly well considering the circumstances of his arrival and the shoes he had to fill.