A look at Top lane talent in the NA LCS in 2017

Flame

A trend we saw over the last few years was an increase of imported talent into the LCS in North America and the European Union. While sometimes expensive and risky what with all the Visa related mishaps delaying team members from actually being able to play or practice eventually it seems things have settled down and we have less disastrous starts to seasons for teams who are importing players. As things have smoothed out we now teams have used to fill the gaps that the local talent wasn’t sufficient for.

First lets look at NA’s top lane talent as a whole

Currently NA has the following starting top laners in the LCS : Looper, Flame, Ssumday, Zig, Impact, Seraph, Lurlo, Hauntzer, Balls, Darshan. We have 5 top laners that started out in NA, 6 if you count Seraph.  4 top laners that started in Korea. Out of the 4, 2 are previous world champions.

While NA’s homegrown top laners are solid players the Korean talent that has been imported is just too good to downplay. Though Impact has been here for a while and has had some not so great moments hes always been a top tier laner. Now however we have Looper, Flame and Ssumday who are some of the best top laners in the world.

The new Korean talent

Since Impact has been here for a while, he is not on this list.

Ssumday

Probably the most impressive top laner in NA right now and who ill be taking notes of. Just watching him play in the LCS yesterday was a treat. His decision making and ability to find a play in a fraction of second makes him in my opinion the best top laner in NA right now. Ssumday now plays for DIG

Flame

Flame a well known top laner from Korea since his days on Azubu Blaze, he has established himself as one of the most dominant top laners. Ever hear a caster refer to a snowballing top laner’s CS lead as reaching the “Flame Horizon”? The flame they are referring to is this guy. He is known for his ability to dominate top lane so hard he often has an over 100 CS lead on his opponents. Flame now plays for IMT

Looper

A world champion. As if that wasn’t enough he’s considered the best Mundo in the world and is responsible for the Samsung White Singed skin. Like the other Koreans listed he has been playing in Korea for years. Looper now plays for FOX.

As much as id love to say the best top laners in NA are homegrown, this is no longer true. I think the best top laners right now are actually these three. Not simply because they are Korean as many often over simplify these things but because they really are some of the best top laners in the world and outclass their opponents in NA. Despite the current standing of some of these teams in the LCS, I think all three of these guys are going to be factors pushing their team up the ladder or maybe even keeping them at the top.

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