By Frank 'Riot Mirhi' Fields - Tue 09/30 from lolesports.com
Earlier this month, we ran down our list of the Top 20 players to watch at Worlds. But not all respond to the lights and eyes of the Worlds stage in the same way. Some of these players have risen above, while others have not yet hit their stride. Let's take a look at who's playing out of their mind, and who needs to start showing up if they hope to keep their Summoner's Cup dreams alive.
Imp - Samsung White
While Imp has a propensity for risky plays, questionable decision-making, and aggressive team-fight positioning, none of that has mattered because of his near-perfect mechanical play. (And, of course, there's the fact that he plays with the best support in the World, Mata). Nevertheless, he's looking much better now than he did throughout OGN Champions. The question before us now is whether Imp is hot, or if he's just benefiting from the relative weakness in his Groups opponents.
GorillA - Najin White Shield
Simply put, GorillA is responsible for most of NaJin White Shield's wins last week. While top, mid, and jungle garnered most of the bans throughout the tournament so far, few teams have been singling out any support other than Zilean. However, GorillA has finally begun to draw Thresh bans because of his prowess on the champion. In several games, it was GorillA's playmaking that set up Shield's initiation. On top of that, his roaming in the early game, not to mention great vision control, has led to his team getting ahead.
Uzi - Star Horn Royal Club
Like Imp, Uzi is a high-risk ADC who only has one mode--GO IN! But that fact isn't coming back to bite Star Horn Royal Club yet. Even in Royal Club's loss to TSM, Uzi looked extremely solid in his decision-making and positioning -- something that other ADCs have struggled with at times.
Gogoing - OMG
In a Worlds meta where top laners have struggled, Gogoing has been consistent throughout. Despite being camped repeatedly and being subjected to heavy pressure, he's still managed to scale up on late-game champions like Ryze and output heavy damage in team fights. Perhaps even more than Cool, Gogoing has been the most important player on OMG -- performing even while being targeted in champion select.
Dade - Samsung Blue
Let's just get this one out of the way. Yes, Dade remains one of the best mid laners in the world. But thus far, he has given us very little evidence to justify our naming him the best player at Worlds in our Top 20 list. He has been outplayed in several duels (most notably against Fnatic's xPeke), and had really bad decision-making in their one loss. Even in Blue's wins, he has not carried nearly as hard as Cool, Ggoong, or even Bjergsen. Dade will have to refine his mechanical play and his decision-making if he hopes to carry his team past Cloud9 in the Quarterfinals.
Hai - Cloud9
...that is, so long as Hai manages to show up as well. Hai has been instrumental in Cloud9's success. It is his shot-calling that has led Cloud9 to the Quarterfinals. So why is he on this list? His champion pool. Thus far, Hai has only looked good on Zed and Syndra -- and Cloud9 has shown they aren't willing to pick Zed into Zilean. As such, Cloud9's champion select phase has become a huge thorn for the team. When his two champions weren't available, Hai defaulted to Talon; it was ugly. Hai will need to find his feet on another champion, such as Orianna or Ahri, if Cloud9 hopes to get past Samsung Blue.
NaMei - Edward Gaming
In NaMei's defense, he went into and made it through the Taiwan Group stage while being extremely sick. Though we can presume, we're still waiting to see if it was that illness that had the team-fighting god playing well below his station--or if it was just the Worlds stage jitters. Either way, NaMei needs to perform in the Quarterfinals to show why he carried teams to three straight LPL titles. While Star Horn Royal Club looked like the better team, largely behind the play of Uzi, it is NaMei and EDG who has repeatedly gotten the better of Royal. NaMei will need to improve upon both his laning phase and his team-fighting if his team is to make it to the Semifinals.