Top 10 League of Legends (LoL) Players of All Time

League of Legends Academy: 109

League of Legends is a huge body in eSports, a place where many talents have risen and fallen. This list is in no particular order because it showcases the greatest players throughout the entire history of the game.

1. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok

Faker

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

Born on May 7, 1996, Faker is a powerhouse icon of League of Legends. His career began in Season 3 of the competitive league when he was pulled from soloqueue, his skill already recognized, so that a team could be formed around him; he’s so masterful as a Mid Laner that all the team needed to do was get competent players for the other positions and success was almost assured.

After only his first tournament, Faker was exalted by experts and fans all over the world. There was something special about him, some flare of brilliance that could only be appreciated by watching him play. Of course, he is not undefeated. In events like the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational, opposing teams have specifically counter-picked champions to shut down Faker.

This titan of the game is as big a target as he is a role model. Faker advocates for training with specific champions like Twisted Fate because it emphasizes mini-map usage and Ryze because it demonstrates the importance of the order and timing of button presses. He currently plays for SK Telecom T1, and he’s astonishingly versatile when it comes to champions, yet his favorites are Ryze, Azir, Zed, LeBlanc, and Ahri. Faker is something of a Guru in the world of eSports.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryFeb 2014 - Nov 2014 SK Telecom T1 K
Nov 2014 - Present SK Telecom T1
Total Prize Money Earned$1,254,240.15

2. Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho

Smeb

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

From Bottom Laner to Top Laner, Smeb has shown that he knows what he’s doing. He was born in on June 30, 1995, and has been playing League of Legends for around seven years. On November 14, 2014, Smeb joined the newly formed HUYA Tigers. The team then renamed to GE Tigers. GE started out unarguably the top team in Korea at SBENU Champions Spring 2015 and earned themselves an invitation to the IEM Season IX World Championship in March.

There, they lost in the semifinals, a loss which has been said by many analysts and broadcasters to be the biggest upset to date in the history of League of Legends competition.
Smeb’s favorite heroes are Riven and Fiora. He was the 6th player to reach 1,000 kills which he performed with Camille in the LCK 2018 Spring Season. The rise to becoming one of the best players in the world was not easy for Smeb, as he had a slow debut.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryOct 2012 - Oct 2012 NaB
Mar 2013 - Sep 2014 Incredible Miracle 1
Nov 2014 - Nov 2015 KOO Tigers
Nov 2015 - Jan 2016 Tigers
Jan 2016 - Nov 2016 ROX Tigers
Nov 2016 - Present KT Rolster
Total Prize Money Earned$336,574.52

3. Ming “ClearLove” Kai

Clearlove

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

EDward Gaming’s (EDG) Jungler, this player has often been placed in situations where he would have been forced to play a position that he’s less proficient in. Fortunately, he’s had a great run of deferring the roles to more fitting players. ClearLove’s favorite champions are Evelynn, Lee Sin, and Jarvan IV.

His career with EDG has been a lengthy and successful one. Even in the events and tournaments where this team was not triumphant, ClearLove expressed optimism and heart rather than shame, reflecting on their loss at the 2014 Star Horn Royal Club with the words, “The end is also a new beginning.”

The variety of playstyles make him a very dangerous Jungler. There are times where he pushes relentless offense and times when aggression is the last thing he’ll do. Endearingly, during a period when he was unable to speak while streaming, he played love songs and “Ode to Joy” to express happiness, earning him the nicknames “Love Song Prince” and “Esports Beethoven.”

CountryChina
Team HistoryJun 2012 - Aug 2012 Team Phoenix
Aug 2012 - Feb 2014 Team WE
Feb 2014 - Dec 2016 EDward Gaming
Dec 2016 - Jun 2017 EDward Gaming
Jun 2017 - Dec 2017 EDward Gaming
Dec 2017 - Apr 2018 EDward Gaming
Apr 2018 - Present EDward Gaming
Total Prize Money Earned$471,086.78

4. Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu

Deft

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

A famous friend-maker, this player has been victorious on quite a list of events. His favorite heroes are Lucian and especially Ezreal. During his tenure on Samsung Blue, Deft favored skill shot-based AD carries over auto attack-based and was praised for his ability to react and dodge. In particular, he had a solid reputation as a Corki and Kog’Maw player.

Born on October 23, 1996, Deft has been nicknamed ‘Alpaca’ on account of his appearance. He accepts this amiably and, with good spirits, has befriended very many foreign professionals such as Rekkles, Cloud, and Clearlove.

At the 2014 World Championship, Deft was noted for doing an absurd amount of damage to champions per game. Deft is notorious for his high damage; he’s a butcher of champions, as evidenced by his three pentakills at LPL Spring 2016, Demacia Cup Summer 2015, and LPL Spring 2015 with Jinx, Vayne, and Sivir respectively. Moreover, he’s the first and only player to have reached 1,000 kills in two separate regions.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryFeb 2013 - Sep 2013 MVP Blue
Sep 2013 - Oct 2014 Samsung Blue
Nov 2014 - Nov 2016 EDward Gaming
Nov 2016 - Nov 2018 KT Rolster
Nov 2018 - Present DragonX
Total Prize Money Earned$536,356.96

5. Bae “Bang” Jun-sik

bang

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

A Bottom Laner, Bang’s favorite champions are Kalista, Jhin, Tristana, and Ezreal. He began his professional career as an AD Carry for Najin Shield, and since his rookie days, Bang has improved tremendously. It was a rough road for Bang in the early days. His time on the team Xenics Blast was finished with defeat at HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013. Then he joined SK Telecom T1.

That team struggled for a bit, only really turning things around at HOT6iX Champions Summer 2014, where they placed fourth after losing 3-2 to the KT ROlster Arrows and 3-0 to Samsung White. Bang then as a starting AD Carry helped his team win the SBENU Champions Spring 2015 championship, and that qualified them for the Mid-Season Invitational where they lost 3-2 to EDward Gaming in the finals.

Bang is another deadly player. Four times he pulled off a pentakill, first at Champions Summer 2014 Playoffs, then at Mid-Season Invitational 2015, then Champions Summer 2015, and finally at LCK Spring 2016 with Tristana, Lucian, Corki, and Sivir respectively.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryOct 2012 - Feb 2013 NaJin Shield
Jun 2013 - Oct 2013 Xenics Blast
Oct 2013 - Nov 2014 SK Telecom T1 S
Nov 2014 - Nov 2018 SK Telecom T1
Nov 2018 - Present 100 Thieves
Total Prize Money Earned$910,451.46

6. Han “Peanut” Wang-ho

Peanut

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

In late 2014, Peanut was picked up by the Najin organization as an official sub for Najin e-mFire. When he finally turned 17 in February, he played his first competitive match at SBENU Champions Spring 2015. In 2016, he played for the ROX Tigers, who performed excellently during the regular season but finished second in the Spring Split. A year later, though, they won the Summer Split.

Peanut was born on February 3, 1998, and has played the role of Jungler throughout his career. He’s well known for going 11/0/6 KDA with the champion Olaf during a match against SK Telecom T1 during the LCK 2018 Spring Season, boosting him into a place of fame. Earlier, he had attention brought to him after his team—ROX Tigers—won the KeSPA Cup 2016 in which he was a very effective Jungler.

Peanut’s favorite champions are Lee Sin, Elise, and Nidalee. In spite of this, his most famous play was one where he chose Olaf as his champion.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryDec 2014 - Feb 2015 NaJin e-mFire
Feb 2015 - Dec 2015 NaJin e-mFire
Jan 2016 - Nov 2016 ROX Tigers
Nov 2016 - Nov 2017 SK Telecom T1
Nov 2017 - Jan 2018 Longzhu Gaming
Jan 2018 - Nov 2018 Kingzone DragonX
Nov 2018 - Present Gen.G
Total Prize Money Earned$461,592.14

7. Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong

Mata

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

Mata was born on February 27, 1994, and first appeared on the competitive scene in Season 3. He joined MVP Ozone as a support in February of 2013—his first season as a professional player resulted in him winning OLYMPUS Champions Spring 2013 finals 3-0 against CJ Entus. This was one of the biggest upsets in the entire history of League of Legends; all bets were against Mata’s Support.

Later, though, his team dropped out of Worlds after losing a tiebreaker to Gambit Gaming. This was not too great of a setback, however, as the uneasy 2014 season was capped off with Mata managing to earn himself the MVP title for the Star Horn Royal Club after a 3-1 victory. His favorite champions are Zyra, Thresh, Fiddlesticks, and Blitzcrank.

Mata’s talent on Thresh is revered as comparable to MadLife, the best, and it’s said that fans of OGN hold that “If MadLife is God then Mata is Buddha.” He has multiple accounts in the Korean Challenger and each play a different role, such practice has undoubtedly contributed to Mata becoming one of the best players there is.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryOct 2012 - Feb 2013 BBT
Feb 2013 - Sep 2013 MVP Ozone
Sep 2013 - Oct 2014 Samsung White
Nov 2014 - Jan 2015 Vici Stand Gaming
Jan 2015 - Dec 2015 Vici Gaming
Dec 2015 - Nov 2016 RNG
Dec 2016 - Nov 2018 KT Rolster
Nov 2018 - Present SK Telecom T1
Total Prize Money Earned$548,979.44

8. Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho

Ssumday

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

Ssumday has been a Top Laner for his entire career, beginning in 2012 when he played for the team, PSW Ares. He was born on July 3, 1996. On October 7, 2013, Ssumday was picked as the starting Top Laner for KT Rolster Arrows. The Arrows went to HOT6iX Champions Summer 2014, where they beat the favorites, Samsung Blue, 3-2 to win the tournament in a mild upset.

His favorite heroes are Elise, Renekton, and Shen. In November of 2017, Ssumday joined 100 Thieves and was announced as one of their first three signings for the upcoming split. With this team, they won the inaugural split after a tie-breaker with Echo Fox. Unfortunately, they lost to Team Liquid in the playoffs of 2017 to earn second place. He’s renowned for his Tanks and Bruisers like Renekton and Shen, showing tremendous durability and high damage output.

In Champions Summer 2015, Ssumday scored a pentakill with Riven and finished the match with a KDA of 7/2/1.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryOct 2012 - Oct 2012 PSW Ares
Feb 2013 - Jun 2013 KT Rolster Bullets
Jun 2013 - Oct 2014 KT Rolster Bullets
Oct 2013 - Nov 2014 KT Rolster Arrows
Nov 2014 - Nov 2016 KT Rolster
Dec 2016 - Nov 2017 Team Dignitas
Nov 2017 - Present 100 Thieves
Total Prize Money Earned$126,233.64

9. Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon

GorillA

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

GorillA was born on November 18, 1994. His first tournament was HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013, where his team, NaJin White Shield, made it to the quarterfinals but lost 3-0 to CJ Entus Frost. This un-spectacular start was barely a problem for Shield as the very next year, they gained enough circuit points to qualify for the 2014 Season Korea Regional Finals. There, they pulled off a “miracle run” and survived the whole gauntlet, finishing with a 3-1 victory against SK Telecom T1 K. When that team lost in the Worlds quarterfinals, GorillA decided it was time for a change.

His favorite champions are Alistar and Tahm Kench. With both of those characters, GorillA is an effective Support—a solid enabler for his teammates even when his own commendable skill just isn’t enough. Like Deft, his appearance has been compared to that of a gorilla and also like Deft he’s a very amicable person. His broad Support champion pool has given him a complex understanding of the role and its application to various situations.

CountrySouth Korea
Team HistoryJun 2013 - Oct 2014 NaJin White Shield
Nov 2014 - Nov 2015 KOO Tigers
Nov 2015 - Jan 2016 Tigers
Jan 2016 - Nov 2016 ROX Tigers
Dec 2016 - Jan 2018 Longzhu Gaming
Jan 2018 - Nov 2018 Kingzone DragonX
Nov 2018 - Present Misfits Gaming
Total Prize Money Earned$333,960.50

10. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg

Bjergsen

Credit: https://lol.gamepedia.com

The only Western player on this list, Bjergsen, was born on February 21, 1996. He started his professional career at a young age. During the Season 3 European LCS, he was prevented from playing with his team, Copenhagen Wolves, until the third week of the Spring Split by the age restrictions set by Riot Games.

On November 2, 2013, Bjergsen joined Team SoloMid’s as a starting Mid Laner, making him the second player to move from the European LCS to play in the North American LCS. His debut was at the Battle of the Atlantic, a series which his team won 2-0 against Lemondogs. His favorite champions are Azir, Diana, Zed, Vel’Koz, LeBlanc, Ahri, and Syndra. He absolutely hates the champion Shaco, hates him more than any other champion in the game.

A testament to the greatness of this player, he is the non-ADC player with the most pentakills recorded. They happened at EU LCS Season 3 SPring, NA LCS Spring 2014 Playoffs, NA LCS Spring 2017, and NALCS 2018 Summer Playoffs with Syndra, Karma, Orianna, and Irelia respectively. He’s very popular among the community, pulling 70K viewers on his first stream after he had joined Team SoloMid.

CountryDenmark
Team History(Unkown) - (Unknown) Cruel Ultimatum
(Unknown) - (Unknown) LoLLeague
Apr 2012 - (Unknown) 2012 Western Wolves
Jun 2012 - Aug 2012 Team-LDLC
Oct 2012 - Jan 2013 Copenhagen Wolves
Jan 2013 - Feb 2013 Copenhagen Wolves
Feb 2013 - May 2013 Copenhagen Wolves
May 2013 - Nov 2013 Ninjas in Pyjamas
Nov 2013 - Present Team SoloMid
Total Prize Money Earned$219,972.70
  
I'm a Creative Writing-Psychology double major at Butler University, Class of 2021. My closest friends are the leaders of Butler's eSports Team, so I've become very interested in the subject and I'm excited to get involved in it myself. A lover of video games and writing, working with Lineups is the perfect opportunity for me to coalesce these two passions of mine and gain experience writing professionally.

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