The kingdom runs through mid.
With a fresh format, a talented class of contenders, and a new city to call home, the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational is ready to kick off in London this coming May. As all regions come together for the first time this year, this tournament remains the perfect litmus test for every league to see how they stack up against the worlds finest.
The mid lane, for example, has always been a massive point of contention across the best teams in the world. Many of the greatest rosters in LoL esports history boasted reliable mid lane stars who were either flexible with their champion pool, steady in the early game, and were late-game threats to explode in a game-deciding teamfight.
Related: Heres the full schedule for MSI 2023
When the 13 teams headed to MSI 2023 collide, the fulcrum of the map will remain the mid lane as they rotate to jump into skirmishes across Summoners Rift. From key battles for the Rift Herald to exciting bottom lane dives to swing the game into their favor, here are the five best mid laners at the tournament this year.
After outplaying Faker in the 2023 LCK Spring Finals and taking home his second regional trophy in a row, Chovy is ready to take these successes to the international stage with Gen.G. The 22-year-old has evolved ever since his debut with Griffin, becoming a world-class star respected by all his peerswhile still evoking the same amount of fear as one of the most talented players in the role.
This season, Chovy led all LCK mid laners in kills and KDA while flexing against the competition with the second-highest average damage to champions in the league, according to professional LoL stats aggregate Oracles Elixir. He has a wide champion pool with picks for any occasion, whether you need a playmaker like Ahri, a burst threat like Akali, or a zoning expert like Taliyah.
With back-to-back LCK trophies under their belt, Gen.G will look to carry the momentum into a tournament where they are expected to push for a finals appearance at the very least. Even though they have a couple of tournament newcomers on the docket, Chovy, Peanut, and Doran have plenty of experience to help lead them to the promised land.
An underwhelming loss to Gen.G in the LCK Finals might have stymied their hype for the moment, but T1 still remain an MSI favorite to many fans around the world. And in a similar vein, even though he had a disappointing performance against Chovy, Faker will always be a name to bring up at an international event as long as hes playing.
The legendary mid laner might be down right now, but dont get things twistedthe GOAT will return with a vengeance. He has vast knowledge from his decade-long career, and even this past regular season, he was right behind Chovy with the second-most kills and some of the highest damage numbers among LCK mid laners, according to Oracles Elixir.
An even scarier fact is hes putting up these numbers with the lowest average gold share of any mid laner in the league. With most of the teams resources headed to their superstar AD carry Gumayusi, Faker can still put up impressive numbers, but when he does grab some gold for his coffers, we get glimpses of the fearsome star once more.
Knight could be considered one of the best mid laners in LPL history after taking home his second championship this past Spring Split. Not only does he have a pair of trophies for his collection, but he also has five finals appearances, two MVP awards, and eight All-Pro nominations. Now, all he needs is to win an international tournament to silence any remaining doubters.
The 22-year-old has only attended two official international tournaments and has been eliminated from both in spectacularly tragic fashion. With Top Esports, he lost to an underdog Suning Gaming squad at Worlds 2020 and crumbled out of the group stage at Worlds two years later. But with a new chapter and team supporting him, this superstar is ready to finally make a mark at MSI.
Look for teams to hone in on a few of his top picks throughout the tournament, including champions like Ahri, Syndra, and Jayce. He has yet to lose on Syndra this year, his Ahri pick was an undefeated force during the playoffs, his Jayce dominated during the regular seasonand seeing as these champs should remain in the metagame, hell be primed to continue crushing the competition. With reliable powerhouses in the other lanes like Kanavi, Ruler, and 369, this could be the year Knight finally joins his peers at the summit of global success.
Put some respect on Yagaos name. No longer can we ignore how well the 24-year-old has performed through his four-year career in the LPL, and even though he might have stumbled during the finals, theres no doubt hes an essential piece to Bilibili Gaming after helping them claw from a decent 10-6 record in the regular season to a finals appearance against JDG.
He has evolved into BLGs perfect firestarter, with champions like Veigar, Annie, and Galio ready to kick off a teamfight for his team. He had a whopping 191 assists during the 2023 Spring Playoffs, consistently serving up kills to his other teammates during the later stages of his matches.
Although his early-game play isnt as strong as some of the other players at MSI, his ability to alley-oop great teamfights to his squad with smart decision-making makes him a standout in his field.
After a miraculous run through the 2023 Spring Playoffs, MAD Lions stood tall and silenced the non-believers by blazing a trail to become the LECs No. 1 seed. A feat like this would not have been possible without their talented mid laner Nisqy.
In a similar way to Yagao for BLG, the 24-year-old veteran enables his other teammates to succeed, usually by finding perfect angles to start a teamfight. During the playoffs, for example, he played a handful of games on Gragas, and went undefeated on the champion. He was always jumping into the fray to knock up multiple enemies, or landing a perfect Explosive Cask to displace and isolate the enemy carries.
Like the rest of MAD, Nisqy leveled up as the season progressed, racking up the most assists of any LEC mid laner through the group stage and playoffs, according to Oracles Elixir. He might not deal as much damage as other flashier mids, but he is always willing to sacrifice himself for a win, whether thats an early trade, a turret dive, or a game-deciding teamfight.