Which player do you think will come out on top in the MVP race?
Only five players remain in the LCS Summer Split MVP race as the 2023 season nears its end in North America. Representatives from Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, and Golden Guardians are all fighting to be crowned the most valuable player in the LCS. Esports.gg is here to break down the five remaining candidates, explaining how each player has a claim to the crown.
River - Golden Guardians
Kim "River" Dong-woo continues to grow from strength to strength in North America, with some of his peers even labeling him as the best jungler in the LCS this split, and has a shot at winning the LCS summer MVP. River has been fantastic and is a huge reason why Golden Guardians for the first time in the organization's history has reached the international stage. Despite faltering in the summer playoffs, Golden Guardians is one of the best teams in the LCS in terms of how they play the game and River plays a big role in that.
River has the second-best first-blood percentage across the junglers at 53%. The South Korean star pairs well with both his solo lanes, with GGS having arguably the best jungle-mid-support trio in the league. River has expanded his champion pool from the spring split, going from seven unique champions played to ten. Sejuani remains River's best pick, winning all three games on the champion this split as well as it being his joint most played at three during the regular season.
Blaber - Cloud9
Robert "Blaber" Huang is one of the two frontrunners to win this split's MVP award. And while it has not been the "flashiest" split from the defending LCS champion, Blaber continues to grow as a player and was consistently Cloud9's best player throughout the regular season. Blaber has an extremely large champion pool and that was on full display in the summer split.
At the start of the split, Blaber was allowed to have his signature Kindred pick, the opposition was soon reminded why this pick is so deadly. Blaber had a 4-1 record on Kindred this split along with a continuation of his undefeated Maokai streak, which he constantly brags about on social media. Here is where Blaber fairs amongst junglers on Oracle's Elixir:
Jojopyun - Evil Geniuses
Joseph Joon "jojopyun" Pyun is the second clear frontrunner to hoist the LCS Summer MVP trophy this split. There were many questions regarding one of NA's rising stars heading into the summer split. By his own standards, jojo did not have a great spring split. The former LCS champion failed to make any of the all-pro teams as his EG side struggled. And with Evil Geniuses gutting their entire star-studded roster, jojo could have easily written off the season knowing he was going to receive many offers in the post-season.
The eighteen-year-old rose to the occasion however and leveled up his game even more. Jojo cited that during the regular season, he was putting a huge emphasis on being the leader of his team. And this showed in their gameplay with a lot of plays living and dying by jojo's success in-game. In the spring split, jojopyun found it harder to get on the same page with Ssumday, a player who was far less communicative with jojo than Impact was. In an interview with Vulcan last split, the support stated it was on Jojo to take on more of a role for the team. It definitely seems that the mid-laner has taken his learnings and applied them to his new EG roster.
Berserker - Cloud9
Although Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol is unlikely to retain his MVP status, the Cloud9 ADC is easily the most skilled player in the LCS and by a significant margin. When MarkZ wanted LCS teams to "find the next Chovy", this is exactly the reason why. Berserker continues to dominate the LCS and while statistically he has not had one of his best splits, his playoff run proves why he is arguably the best player in the league.
The Korean ADC has won back-to-back player of the series, helping Cloud9 go 6-0 in their opening two best-of-fives to not only qualify for the grand finals but also Worlds 2023. Berserker has only died eight times across six games thus far and putting out the most damage possible. Despite Cloud9's 6-0 record, there have been a few times when the defending champions have been on the backfoot and likely to lose. This is where Berserker steps up and puts the team on his back, with a damage per minute of a monstrous 876.
Huhi - Golden Guardians
There is no denying anymore that Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun is the best support in the LCS. Huhi is proving why it was a big mistake for 100 Thieves to let him go during the offseason. Huhi is one of the key components in the Golden Guardians comms, with the spring finalists having some of the cleanest communication in the league from the snippets we have gotten both during the game and on the broadcast.
It is hard to believe at one point Huhi was one of the better mid-laners in the LCS, having both international and domestic success in the role. But now, he is full-time support and looks like he has been playing the role for years when in reality it has only been a couple. And while Huhi is unlikely to win the LCS summer MVP, he has definitely earned the title as the best support in the league. Huhi works well around his jungler in River, who is also in contention to win MVP. The pair work well setting up their laners for success with smart plays around the oppositions summoner spells. If you have no flash, expect Huhi to be in your lane very soon.