With the groups for the 2016 World Championship set in stone, fans are now counting down the days to the opening ceremony at the Bill Graham Civic Audiorium. The primetime match-ups have been quickly identified and ringed in red pen on the League of Legends eSports calendar: SK Telecom T1’s Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok vs Cloud9’s Nicolaj Jensen battle in the mid lane is bound to put on a show. But for all the exciting prospects at this season’s championship, which top talents from across the globe will not be showcasing their talents?
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho – KT Rolster
Ssumday flattered to deceive at last years World Championships with KT Rolster, leaving fans hoping for a more successful run in 2016. Ssumday has been one of the most consistent Korean top laners throughout the season. But after upsetting SKT, KT suffered their own shock defeat at the hands of Samsung Galaxy.
Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon – Immortals
Ah Huni, one of the brightest talents to play in the western League of Legends scene, simultaneously, one of the most frustrating. Huni has not reaped the same success he experienced with Fnatic as part of the all-star Immortals roster, painfully missing out on Worlds after two consecutive defeats to Cloud9.
Go “Score” Dong-bin – KT Rolster
There's a temptation to put every KT Rolster player on the list, but in the case of Score, you felt like he couldn't possibly have done any more to get his team to Worlds. Score is arguably the best jungler in the world right now, it's a crying shame that one of the worlds best players won't be showcased on the greatest stage.
Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin – Immortals
The NA LCS Spring Split MVP, Reignover has evolved his jungle game to offer the complete package following his move from Fnatic. Reignover's performance certainly dropped towards the end of the season, but not enough to suggest he doesn't deserve a spot on the list.
Song “Rookie” Eui-jin – Invictus Gaming
On a mechanical level, Rookie is undoubtedly one of the best mid laners out there. Unfortunately, his talents are wasted on an Invictus Gaming roster without a hope of reaching the finals.
Gu “Imp” Seung-bin – LGD Gaming
Last year, everyone was hyping Imp as one of the best players in League of Legends history, (in)famous for his aggressive style and potent trash talk... I mean, you saw Piglet cry right? LGD Gaming were a complete car crash at the 2015 World Championship and never got out of second gear to reach this year's competition. Imp still earns himself a mention, based almost entirely on his reputation.
Adrian “Adrian” Ma – Immortals
Of all the Immortals players missing out on Worlds this season, you have to feel for Adrian more than most. Despite his consistent performances and stand-out play through the NA LCS playoffs, Adrian remains the only member of Immortals' roster never to have experienced a world championship.
Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov – Unicorns of Love
Notably the only EU LCS talent to be included on the list, Hylissang and the Unicorns of Love narrowly missed out on the opportunity to don the pink at Worlds. After looking like a mid-tier team for most of the season, UoL emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The majority of Hylissang's performances went under the radar, but his ability to adapt comfortably to a number of supportive styles would have been a joy to witness at Worlds.