Originally published at: 2020 Best Junglers in LEC and LCS - The Deep Dive - Esports One
The LEC is full of jungle talent, starting with G2’s Jankos and Origen’s Xerxe and continuing with upcoming challengers like Shad0w of the MAD Lions and Razork of Misfits Gaming. But one player has risen up to overtake them all as the best Jungler in the West today: Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek, a Polish player who entered the LCS with SK Gaming in 2019 before joining Fnatic this year.
In the LCS, only one Jungler truly stands out, with Cloud9’s Robert “Blaber” Huang inserting himself into the conversation alongside the Europeans, while European adoptees like Santorin and Closer have been doing their best to keep pace as former claimants to the North American throne, like Svenskeren, have slipped behind, and a newer arrival like Broxah has yet to truly distinguish himself.
For longevity, flexibility, and legacy, Jankos is clearly the greatest Western Jungler, and there are probably many chapters left to write in the book of his career. At this moment, though, Selfmade stands above him as a truly special player. Blaber is worth discussing not only as the LCS’s strongest representative, but also as literally the only actual North American on the short list that I just shared in the paragraph above.
Let’s look into what sets these two Junglers apart.
Let’s start with this: in every statistical category shown in the table below, Selfmade ranks number 1 among LEC Junglers so far in the Summer split.
Selfmade Stats, 2020
|Summer 2020, Weeks 1-2||13.0||73.6%||8.0||357||+928||60%|
Stats reflect regular season play
Understandably, Selfmade’s numbers from the Spring split are more moderate, with much weaker pathing numbers but still the second-highest DPM among Junglers, after Jankos. Part of the reason for his statistical explosion in Summer is the greatest trust Fnatic has placed in him, drafting him onto Graves and Lee Sin twice each and empowering him to carry, even to the extent of placing Rekkles on Soraka to back him up. Spring saw much more Gragas duty, with some Rek’sai, Lee Sin, and Elise. Ironically, despite the Spring champion pool being so much more conducive to early ganking, Selfmade only achieved an 11% First Blood rate (FB in two of eighteen games). With three FBs in his first five games, Selfmade has already improved on that stat for the entire Summer split.
Shifts in the balance of the jungle, with greater opportunities and rewards for farming, have definitely placed Selfmade into more of a comfort zone. And not only has he evidently felt more comfortable in his pathing, but he has also been using those resources to thrive as a primary damage threat, earning the kind of high-kill, low-death, big-CS scorelines that would make most Top laners jealous.
Selfmade’s 8.0 CS per minute leads Junglers from all major regions. (Look who’s second!) And only Beishang of Team WE leads Selfmade in Jungler DPM, with 359.
Highest Jungler CSPMs
Summer 2020, as of June 24
Selfmade’s ganking, team fighting, and overall game influence have been a joy to watch throughout 2020, and especially in the early goings of the Summer split. Fnatic may be struggling a little as a team, but Selfmade has been individually great.
Over across the Atlantic in the LCS, Blaber is picking up his Spring MVP award right where he left off, running laps around his opponents with shocking early gold and XP leads and farm and damage numbers that rival Selfmade.
Blaber Stats, 2020
|Summer 2020, Weeks 1-2||6.5||77.6%||7.5||352||+1,359||50%|
Stats reflect regular season play
A comparison between Blaber and Selfmade has to come with the asterisk that the overall level of competition in Europe is higher, but Blaber’s ascendancy over the LCS is so convincing that it pretty much wipes out that distinction. Note that Blaber’s early Summer stats have been generated against most of the LCS’s strongest Junglers: in his four games so far he has faced Santorin, Meteos, Svenskeren, and Closer.
Blaber’s partnerships with Nisqy and Vulcan are an important part of his success. Just as Selfmade benefits from the self-sacrificial play of Nemesis, Blaber succeeds, to an even greater degree, with the highly map-mobile play style of Nisqy. And just as Hylissang is always ready to pull the trigger on a play (often too ready) alongside Selfmade, Vulcan is eager (with a bit more discernment) to set up Blaber with a roam and an engage.
Neither Blaber nor Selfmade could have this level of success without the teams around them, but both players have become fulcrums of their teams. These are not supportive or enabling junglers; they are powerhouse players who directly drive their teams’ success.
I can’t wait to see what these guys do next.
Pick Jankos, Xerxe, Blabber or Selfmade for your Fantasy League of Legends Roster: Play Here