A whopping ninety games have been played thus far and, with the playoffs being around the corner, we think it’s the right moment to talk about the biggest frontrunners for the MVP award — the highest form of recognition any player competing in the 2022 LEC Spring Split can get.
It is a highly coveted accolade, one that is incredibly hard to attain and is, therefore, “reserved” for the absolute best player any respective region has to offer. The fact that only two such awards are handed out per year makes them all the more invaluable, precious, and, above all, prestigious.
The players listed below are not only incredibly talented but they’re also vital to their respective teams. And, well, they’re all worthy of the MVP award in one way or another. We really cannot stress that enough.
But, as they say, there can be only one, and in this piece we’ll go over who’s the most deserving and how the MVP voting is most likely to pan out! We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin!
1. Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov — Fnatic [Support]
We simply have to start off with Fnatic’s shotcalling genius; we’re talking about an absolute legend here and a player most folks (rightfully) consider as the best Western support of all time. That’s… quite high praise given his many talented forerunners, some of whom have left an indelible mark on competitive League of Legends.
Hylissang, however, is a “beast” unlike any other.
Calling him a veteran wouldn’t even begin to cut it; he’s aged like fine wine — this has been his best split yet, and that’s quite incredible given the fact that he’s been competing on the LEC stage for about seven years (give or take).
He has persevered through many a meta and has shown no signs of regression whatsoever. He is still somewhat of a “feast or famine” kind of player, but you can’t have the good without the bad, it seems like.
He’s always ahead of the curve and has a far greater understanding of the game and its many intricacies than most folks expect. He’s also an astonishingly confident laner and can dominate on a wide range of champions including Thresh, Rakan, Rell, Pyke, Zilean, Leona, and was even the first support in the world to bring out the newly released Renata Glasc.
The moment he got paired with Elias “Upset” Lipp was the moment Fnatic successfully assembled the best bottom lane duo in the West. It’s really that simple.
His stats tell the same tale as well. He’s third in KDA (3.9), second in K+A@14 (2.4), first in FWD% (a whopping 44.6%), and first in GD@14 (+240). He’s been downright incredible in every single facet of play and, frankly, it feels like he hasn’t even reached his peak. He’s always experimenting, trying to conjure up some new and elaborate strategy and, using it, to give his team an even better chance at emerging victorious.
Without him, Fnatic wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. There’s no two ways about it. And, frankly, he’s our number one pick for this split’s MVP award. He’s not the only one who’s deserving, but his stature and reputation will almost surely give him the edge over the rest of his well-performing peers.
Is Vetheo the best mid laner in LEC right now?
— Christian Rivera (@IWDominateLoL) February 18, 2022
2. Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié — Misfits [Mid]
This kid blew our minds. In fact, he’s the one player we’d instantly give the MVP award to, but he’s not as popular or renowned as Hylissang, which is why we have him pegged as our second biggest favorite.
He is the quintessential MVP candidate: consistent, flexible, and capable of pulling off the most mind-blowing plays one can imagine. And the fact that he’s done so incredibly well in a region stacked with mid lane talent only further solidifies his case for MVP.
His jaw-dropping numbers serve as proof: 5.8 KDA (second best), 73.7% Kill Participation (second best), a whopping 34.7% Kill Share (first, by country mile), 12.9% Death Share (absolute best), and a very impressive 548 Damage Per Minute (second best).
He does have the highest gold share amongst his mid lane peers but at least he always puts those resources to good use — he’s been remarkably effective and impactful even with the smallest of leads.
Players like Vetheo are few and far between. He’s the leader and poster child of the youngest team in the LEC by average age but he’s very young and fairly inexperienced himself! And yet you’d never be able to tell based on the confidence with which he plays and the immense success which he’s been able to find.
Vetheo is this split’s breakout star and is rightfully one of the biggest frontrunners for MVP. Will his accomplishments and mind-blowing plays be enough to snatch away the spotlight from Hylissang? They very well could.
In any case, it’ll boil down to the two of them.
— LEC (@LEC) March 6, 2022
3. Elias “Upset” Lipp — Fnatic [ADC]
Hylissang’s a “one in a million” kind of support, but much of the same can be said for Upset as well, his trusty lane partner. He’s not as seasoned or grizzled, but you’d never be able to tell based on his incredible play. Upset is the perfect AD carry. And no, it’s not up for debate.
His numbers speak volumes: 14.8 KDA, 68.8% Kill Participation, 6.2% Death Share, 406 GD@10, 265 XPD@10, and a whopping 7.0 CSD@10. Upset is an absolute beast and his laning is second to none.
And his statistics — awe-inspiring though they are — don’t even paint the whole picture. It’s his mid and late game teamfighting that have earned him so much praise and reverence. His positioning, too, is out of this world. He’s always teetering on the edge of danger, close enough to dish out tons of damage and yet far enough to never really get in harm’s way.
And just because he’s going to get fewer votes than his seasoned support doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of a shout-out. We don’t think he’ll win, but he’ll no doubt end up getting a ton of votes.
4. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski — G2 Esports [Jungle]
A hypothetical LEC Mount Rushmore would not be complete without Jankos on it. We cannot stress that enough. The man’s a legend and, much like Hylissang, he’s only gotten better and better as time went on.
The most amazing thing about Jankos isn’t that he’s still somehow relevant, but rather that he’s still so much better than basically all of his jungling peers. You’d have to search far and wide to find a jungler worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence.
Moreover, he’s been competing at the highest of levels for what feels like eternity. Where does he find the motivation, the strength, the drive to keep on grinding? There’s nothing left for him to prove! He is, quite literally, the best jungler the West has ever produced.
He’s G2’s biggest and most important early game catalyst. He’s the one setting things up and getting his laners ahead. They don’t necessarily live and die by his sword, but he is their most vital performer, and the one player who absolutely needs to deliver for G2 to stand a chance of winning against the best teams in the LEC.
Interestingly enough, Jankos has already won MVP — twice. He knows what it feels like to get showered in confetti and be proclaimed as the most valuable player of them all. This time around, however, some of his peers are simply more deserving. It’s as simple as that.
— LEC (@LEC) March 6, 2022
5. Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus — Rogue [Support]
Trymbi has grown in a multitude of ways, but because of the role he plays, he wasn’t able to be as flashy as, say, Vetheo or even his own lane partner Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos. But make no mistake: Trymbi’s one of the very best and most impactful supports in the LEC, and that’s really saying something given whom he has for opposition.
He’s one of the biggest reasons as to why Rogue were able to not only weather the proverbial storm but even blossom in ways we never thought were possible. He’s a shotcaller, a playmaker, and has showcased an incredible understanding of the game and its many nuances. His growth has been astounding, and it’s fair to say that his best days are yet to come — he’s nowhere near his skill ceiling.
And his champion pool? Out of this world. He can play enchanters, tanks, and basically everything in between. One quick glance at his match history is all you need to understand what kind of player we’re talking about here: Galio, Lux, Rakan, Tahm Kench, Nautilus, Yuumi, Janna, Nami, Blitzcrank, Lulu, Braum, Thresh, Leona — you name it, he can play it!
Supports rarely get the credit they deserve, but Trymbi has managed to get on everyone’s radar. His shotcalling and ability to think three steps ahead of his opponents have also been well documented, and if he’s this good in just his sophomore year in the LEC, we cannot even imagine how great he’ll become in a few years’ time!
We don’t think he’ll get the MVP nod this time around, but the sheer fact that he’s even a part of the conversation bodes extremely well for his future.
— LEC (@LEC) March 6, 2022
6. Emil “Larssen” Larsson — Rogue
It’s time we put some respect on Larssen’s name. Now sure, he did drop the ball many a time in the playoffs, but that should in no way cloud our judgment. The reality of it all is that he’s one of the best and most capable mid laners in the entirety of the LEC.
He might not be the flashiest, but he sure is the most consistent and most dominant. That is a lethal combination that is seldom seen.
He has the absolute best KDA amongst all mid laners (7.7), along with the second best Kill Share (26.9%), and best-in-role damage numbers: his 626 DPM and 28.3% Damage Share speak volumes. He’s also the best laning mid laner in the LEC as well — as if all of the above wasn’t enough; on average he’s up 10 CS and a whopping 183 XP at the ten-minute mark.
These are mind-blowing numbers. His positioning is perfect no matter the context and situation, and he’s consistently able to dish out insane amounts of damage without ever really endangering himself.
And yet no one’s really talking about him. He’s been wrecking house on a weekly basis and has gotten very little praise for it. He’s been one of the best performing players in the 2022 LEC Spring Split and is, therefore, more than worthy of the highly coveted MVP award.
That, however, is almost surely not going to happen. He’s yet to be given his due, and that’s the only reason why he’s not really a part of the MVP conversation — despite being a prime candidate. The numbers don’t lie and neither do his performances, but the way in which he is perceived by the community plays too big of a part in his overall “narrative.”
He was neither as flashy as Vetheo nor did he play any “4D chess” like Hylissang, and so, therefore, he’s not being talked about. Hype’s important, and he has very little of it — for various different reasons.
7. Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek — Team Vitality [Jungle]
You have to feel for Selfmade. He’s been playing like a man possessed, like a player fully aware that this is the best shot he’ll ever have at etching his name in history. And yet things haven’t really gone his way.
One would assume that getting paired with the likes of Barney “Alphari” Morris, Luka “Perkz” Perković, and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság would result in him getting winning the LEC, but all signs are pointing towards that being a dream far out of reach.
“Superteams” almost never pan out, and by the looks of it, Vitality’s obscenely expensive line-up isn’t going to be an outlier to that “rule.” They’ve barely made the playoffs cut. It was too close for comfort, and at no point of the split were they even remotely impressive or as dangerous as we expected them to be.
His stats are all over the place, but he does stand out in a few key areas: isolated jungling performance and sheer damage. He’s first in DPM (402) and DMG% (19.5%); he also leads all junglers in average share of team’s damage to champions post-fifteen minutes.
In other words: he’s the one making the plays and getting Vitality ahead. He’s doing the heavy lifting, wrecking house and taking people down like his life depends on it.
And we’re extremely sad that he’s probably not going to get recognized for it. Ending the regular portion of the split in sixth place and getting the MVP award simply don’t go hand in hand.
Selfmade has been amazing thus far but he’s probably not going to have much to show for it.
MVP voting is no popularity contest, but it is affected by numerous different things including community perception, split-long narratives, and last but certainly not least, hype. These factors don’t define the voting process but they do influence it in small and yet incredibly vital ways.
The more something (or someone) is talked about, the more it stays and lingers in the back of our minds. And that, when it comes to voting, is of the utmost importance. Hylissang and Vetheo are two of the biggest frontrunners, but they’re not the only ones who are worthy of this oh-so-prestigious accolade.
In the end, though, we’re certain that it’ll all boil down to the two of them. Vetheo, we feel, is ever so slightly more deserving, but we’d still give Hylissang the edge.