With the possible incorporation of eSports into the Olympics in the future, it would only make sense to have the most viewed game headlining the first eSports events. With a system that is already helping to develop talent in 13 different regions (as can be seen in this season’s Mid Season Invitational), League of Legends has developed into a global phenomenon with players from across the globe. While many teams are formed by players from multiple countries, we take a look at which countries may perform the best in an Olympic tournament.
In the current professional sphere of League of Legends, many teams in regions such as EU and NA find themselves with players from varied nationalities. An national limitation could create many new and exciting rosters, no longer limited by contracts or budget. As we have seen eSports grow at different rates across the globe, this could also create bigger disparities between the regions, with some becoming significantly weaker when limited to players of their homeland.
When forming these teams, we limited the number of players from a single team to a maximum of three, considered historical performance instead of just their recent play. For many of the teams, there were plenty of reasonable options where any number of players could be chosen. A great example is the Danish mid laners where you could make an argument for any of Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, or Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
League of Legends Olympic Rosters
Top: Ke “957” Chang-Yu
Jungle: Ming “Clearlove” Kai
Mid: Wei “Godv” Zhen
ADC: Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao
Support: Tian “Meiko” Ye
For China to be successful they will likely need GODV to be the star of the show. While Uzi has consistently been a top performer, this field is flooded with mid lane talent and GODV will need to step up. Although heralded as one of the top junglers in the world, Clearlove has failed to live up to expectations when on the international stage. A poor performance again, might see China exit much earlier than they would like.
Top: Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell
Jungle: Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
Mid: Hai “Hai” Du Lam
ADC: Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
Support: Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
When it comes to the American team, the word that comes to mind is “shot-calling”. With Hai, Aphromoo, and Doublelift all on the same squad, there should be no shortage of calls in game. The American team is composed quite nicely, with solid lanes that will allow Dardoch to be the one creating action around the map. Do not be surprised if they are able to pull of multiple “upsets” throughout the tournament.
Top: Felipe “Yang” Zhao
Jungle: Gabriel “Revolta” Henud
Mid: Thiago “TinOwns” Sartori
ADC: André “esA” Pavezi
Support: Caio “Loop” Almeida
Brazil would likely not come to this tournament with very high expectations. As we saw in the World Championships though, having little to lose can make Brazil a dangerous team. Revolta has proven he can compete with the World’s best, the only quest is “can the rest of his team?” Do not expect Brazil to be able to win many games, but as a country they should continue to grow stronger as the years go on.
Top: Lennart “SmittyJ” Warkus
Jungle: Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen
Mid: Fabian “Exileh” Schubert
ADC: Elias “Upset” Lipp
Support: Lewis “Noxiak” Felix
The German line-up is underwhelming when considering their size and the development of eSports in their region. With only two players currently on an LCS roster, the expectations could not be high for this team as they enter the tournament. While one of the best mids currently in Europe, its unlikely that Exileh would be able to carry this German roster to more than a few wins.
Top: Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho
Jungle: Go “Score” Dong-bin
Mid: Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok
ADC: Junsik “Bang” Bae
Support: Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan
The clear favourites to win the tournament, South Korea boasts a world-best talent at almost every position. With the best player in the world on their roster (notice I haven’t named whom), anything less than Gold would be a massive disappointment. Looking at the field as a whole, there are few teams who could even threaten to take a game off of this squad.
Top: Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek
Jungle: Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski
Mid: Marcin “Selfie” Wolski
ADC: Paweł “Woolite” Pruski
Support: Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan
This Polish squad is built around one player, Jankos. A leader on H2K, he will have to be that and more for Poland to be successful in this tournament. With a surprisingly deep roster, Poland may be able to surprise a few teams. Still, they are unlikely to make any type of deep run.
Top: Derek “Zig” Shao
Jungle: Rami “Inori” Charagh
Mid: Danny “Shiphtur” Le
ADC: Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
Support: Vincent “Biofrost” Wang
With a stronger mid laner, this Canadian team could have a lot of potential to make a deep run in the tournament. Once one of NA’s best mids, Shiphtur’s play has consistently declined to the point where his value as a native to the NA LCS is overshadowed by his play. The Canadian squad does bring two LCS duos to their roster, with TSM’s bot lane and the top-jungle combination of Phoenix1. If that previous chemistry is able to pay off for Canada, they could challenge for a place near the top of the tourney.
Top: Yi “Ziv” Chen
Jungle: Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan
Mid: Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang
ADC: Bo-Wei “BeBe” Chang
Support: Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Jie
Taiwan could be a dark horse to win the entire tournament, led by their talented mid and jungle combination of Maple and Karsa. On Flash Wolves, they have been able to consistently find success against Korean teams and will need to bring that level of play to this tournament again to challenge for the gold. On the heels of IEM, Taiwan as a region looks very strong. Expect that trend to continue as we move through this tournament.
Top: Olof “Flaxxish” Medin
Jungle: Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi
Mid: Felix “Betsy” Edling
ADC: Martin “Rekkles” Larsson
Support: Johan “Klaj” Olsson
The Swedish squad has looked a lot stronger as the season has continued with the rise of ROCCAT and the revitalization of FNATIC. Rekkles will be the clear leader of this team, and for them to be successful in the tournament it will be necessary that he is the dominant force he has shown he can be.
Top: Martin “Wunder” Hansen
Jungle: Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
Mid: Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg
ADC: Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
Support: Jesse “Jesiz” Le
The Danish team is likely Europe’s best hope for a medal, and easily has the deepest talent pool to draw from. With a mix of NA LCS and EU LCS players on their roster, they are able to draw some of the top players from each league. The comfort of having mid Bjergsen and jungler Svenskeren together should make them the point of emphasis of the team, and their success will likely determine how far this team can go.
Here’s how we predict the League of Legends Olympic Tournament would pan out…