On the 24th May, 5 teams comprised of the best players of each region will clash at the All-Star tournament in Shanghai. Riot put the power in the hands of the fans and you all voted en masse for your all-stars of each position. In this series, I will take a look at each of the lane matchups, compare the styles/champions/stats of each top laner to give you guys as much information as possible.
So let's take it from the top...literally.
The top lane position was by and large the closest position in regards to fan votes. In North America, TSM Dyrus and Crs Voyboy were pretty much dead even, right up until TSM defeated Curse in an LCS match. After that win by TSM, the votes started to swing in Dyrus's favour, eventually landing him the All-Star spot by 10%.
Europe was quite possibly the closest region of all when it came down to the top lane. EG Wickd and Fnc sOAz were tied right down to the 0.01, This led to a top lane BO5 1v1 between the 2 to decide who would take the spot. sOAz was able to come out on top winning 3-2 and pulling out the famous AP Nunu top.
In the south east of Asia, top laner for the world champions, Taipei Assassins Stanley absolutely swept the voting, comfortable leading the entire time. Other Asian regions were not so clear cut however. In Korea, fan favourite Maknoon was leading the voting right up until the very final hours until CJ Entus Frost top laner Shy was able to overtake him and claim the spot. Finally, in China, Invictus Gaming top laner Pdd took the All-Star spot.
Let's start off with probably the most well known top laner on that list. Of course I am referring to TSM Dyrus. Quite possibly one of the most popular players in the competitive League of Legends scene, It'll be interesting to see how he can perform vs the Asian top laners. In particular, it will be interesting if North America were to meet Korea at some stage in the tournament. As some of you may remember at worlds, Shy was able to destroy Dyrus in the top lane, thanks to some phenomenal Singed play.
Dyrus key champions include :
Renekton - 7/8 winrate and 6.2 KDA
Rumble - 3/6 winrate and 3 KDA
Shen - 4/5 winrate and 6.1 KDA
As far as Dyrus's playstyle goes, it's fairly well known that he is more than happy to sit back and farm his lane, get a slight lead over his opponent, and then wreck face in the teamfight phase. Team NA play vs China in the first round, I expect Dyrus will be heavily relied on to survive the lane phase to ensure a transition into the mid/late game. The beauty of the All-Star game is that every member of the team is a threat, therefore it is less likely that Dyrus will be target banned or jungle camped like he is in most LCS matches. The downside of this, is that if Dyrus is target banned and forced onto a weaker pick, he will struggle against the aggressive style of Asian teams. They key for Dyrus to win in the top lane is to soak up all the pressure that gets thrown at him, and then show off his amazing team fight play and positioning. It is the nature of the North American team that they may end up having an extremely strong teamfight. Both Dyrus and DoubleLift are always good in the late game if they aren't bullied out in the early.
Next up on the list, is the European now famous for destroying low elo solo queue by demonstrating AP Nunu solo top during his live streamed all-star 1v1 vs Wickd. I am referring to the Fnatic top laner sOAz!. Much like his NA counterpart, sOAz tops the top lane stats ( see what I did there? ). Sitting comfortably at the top of the KDA charts, his strength comes from his extremely varied champion pool. His top 3 champions played in the LCS, are 3 completely different styles ( Shen, Elise, Kha zix ) proving that he has the ability to mould his playstyle into anything the team requires.
sOAz key champions include :
Shen - 3/5 winrate and 6.6 KDA
Elise - 4/4 winrate and 4 KDA
Kha Zix - 1/3 winrate and 2.2 KDA
There is a real problem with pinpointing sOAz's top lane playstyle...he doesn't have a particular style. This could of course work in a good and bad way for the European all-star team. While it makes it nearly impossible to ban sOAz out, it also means that while he is good at playing aggressive or defensive, he is not the best. If he tries to go aggressive vs Shy in round 1, he will have an extremely tough time outplaying him. Whereas if he plays passive, he may struggle to have a large impact in the late game. sOAz is a bit of a wildcard here, but I think if he's on his game, he can match the attacking style of Asian top laners. If sOAz can keep his cool and not go too H.A.M he could be the surprise key to a European victory.
Moving across the world to the home team now, let's take a look at how Team China top laner Pdd will fare. Similar to a few other players in the all-star tournament, Pdd qualified because of the rule allowing only 3 players from 1 team to attend. Many casual fans may not recognize the name, despite iG defeating both CLG and SK Gaming at worlds. Since then iG have gone on to win StarsWars season 2 ( similar to the LCS but involving multiple Asian teams ) which includes defeating World Elite 3-2 in the grand finals. certainly no easy feat, iG were always the 2nd team in China up until very recently, where they now challenge World Elite as the number 1. There's no doubt that Pdd's incredible top lane play has been a key factor.
Pdd key champions include : ( struggled to find actual figures here, but looking through recent matches I gathered his most played )