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NA LCS MVP: Updated winners list

CoreJJ joins a prestigious group

Riot Games

The NA LCS has been running since 2013, but the MVP award only started with the Spring 2014 Split. TSM mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg has won a record four times.

Every single winner of the NA LCS MVP award was an import until Spring 2018, when 100 Thieves support Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black became both the first North American and the first support to win the award. That being said, if the award was given out during Season 3, homegrown Cloud9 jungler William “Meteos” Hartman would have likely won.

Without further ado, the full list of NA LCS MVP award winners. This post will be updated as more names get added to the list.

Spring 2014:

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Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Team SoloMid mid laner

Stats: 22 games (17-5), 155 kills (7.05 per game), 41 deaths (1.86), 104 assists (4.73), 6.32 KDA, 8.25 CSPM, 66.6% kill participation

Bjergsen’s first MVP award came in his first NA LCS split, after previously playing for multiple years in Europe with the Copenhagen Wolves and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The Danish mid laner led TSM to second-place finishes in the regular season and playoffs, making waves with his LeBlanc (4-1), Zed (3-0) and Nidalee (3-0).

The 2014 Spring Playoffs also included Bjergsen’s second professional Pentakill, helping lead TSM to a comeback victory against CLG in the semifinals.

Summer 2014:

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Yu "XiaoWeiXiao" Xian, LMQ mid laner

Stats: 28 games (18-10), 114 kills (4.07 per game), 62 deaths (2.21), 162 assists (5.79), 4.45 KDA, 9.62 CSPM, 69% kill participation

Where to even start with XiaoWeiXiao and LMQ? After a sixth-place finish in the 2013 LPL Summer Regular Season, the team up and moved from China to North America, before the LCS had import limits. The team won the 2014 Spring Challenger Split with ease, earning promotion to the LCS for that summer.

LMQ made that transition pretty easily, relying on the excellent play of its mid laner to finish in second place in the round robin and third place in the playoffs. In 28 games, XiaoWeiXiao picked 14 different champions, and was especially dangerous on Twisted Fate (4-0) and Yasuo (3-1). He picked up his only career Pentakill to-date on that Yasuo, getting all five of his kills in a loss to TSM in one frantic play:

The team rebranded to Team Impulse the next year, and XiaoWeiXiao was suspended in August 2015 for Elo boosting.

Spring 2015:

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Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Team SoloMid mid laner

Stats: 18 games (13-5), 92 kills (5.11 per game), 31 deaths (1.72), 118 assists (6.56), 6.77 KDA, 8.6 CSPM, 76.4% kill participation

Bjergsen’s second MVP campaign was even more impressive than his first, leading TSM to its second straight NA LCS title and third total, tying Cloud9 for the most ever. After two straight 3-0 sweeps at the hands of C9 in the final, TSM won two straight finals against their bitter rivals, and Bjergsen’s play on damage dealers like Ahri (4-0) and Zed (3-1) was no small part of it.

You’ve already seen a Bjergsen Pentakill here, so here’s an incredible escape:

Bjergsen led all NA mid laners in essentially every category, including kills, deaths, assists, KDA, kill participation, damage per minute and earned gold per minute. He topped that off with a fantastic set of playoff series, posting a 7.8 KDA and beating his opponents by an average of 8.6 CS at 10 minutes.

Summer 2015:

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Lee "Rush" Yoon-jae, Team Impulse jungler

Stats: 19 games (13-6), 75 kills (3.95 per game), 56 deaths (2.95), 190 assists (10), 4.73 KDA, 57.9% First Blood participation, 77.7% kill participation

XiaoWeiXiao wasn’t the only MVP in LMQ/Impulse’s history — after the team rebranded, it brought over South Korean jungler Rush and the rookie took the league by storm. After a solid spring that saw him average 2.39 kills and 8.17 assists per game, Rush’s production soared in the Summer Split as the team committed to playing around his Lee Sin.

He ended up 5-3 on Lee Sin, averaging over 10 assists per game on the champion, and added a 4-0 mark on Nidalee (with over five kills per game) to boot. This play, where Rush simply ignores a CLG pink ward to walk up and kill Darshan (then ZionSpartan), was pretty representative of what it was like to play against him that split:

Rush’s 75 total kills far dwarfed any other jungler — next best was Team Liquid’s Christian “IWDominate” Rivera’s 45 — and his average 10-minute gold lead of 261.9 and 57.9% First Blood participation were also by far the best in the league.

TIP finished in third in the regular season split and fourth in the playoffs, but Rush’s split left enough of a mark to earn him the MVP award.

Spring 2016:

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Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin, Immortals jungler

Stats: 18 games (17-1), 51 kills (2.83 per game), 26 deaths (1.44), 166 assists (9.22), 8.35 KDA, 61% first blood participation, 71.1% kill participation

After Rush became the first jungler to win the MVP award in Summer 2015, Reignover followed up by winning the award in his debut NA split. After making his mark domestically and internationally in Europe while with Fnatic, Reignover and top laner/best friend Huni made the trip stateside to join Immortals.

The brand-new team put together one of the best regular season splits in NA LCS history, going 17-1 in large part because of their unbelievable strength on the top side of the map. Reignover was going to pay attention to Huni’s lane, and everyone knew it — but there was nothing anyone could do to stop it (until the playoffs, at least).

If you take a look and compare Rush’s MVP split to Reignover’s, the difference between the two is pretty neatly spelled out. Rush was a way more aggressive jungler, earning significantly more kills, but Reignover has always been an excellent team player, dying far less frequently and being involved in more First Bloods. This dichotomy was represented in champion choices, too: while Rush picked playmakers like Lee Sin and Nidalee, Reignover played Rek’Sai (5-0) and Gragas (3-1).

He was also an absolute terror on Olaf:

Summer 2016:

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Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Team SoloMid mid laner

Stats: 41 games (35-6), 166 kills (4.05 per game), 62 deaths (1.51), 275 assists (6.71), 7.11 KDA, 8.77 CSPM, 72.9% kill participation

The first MVP winner, the first two-time winner and the first three-time winner: there’s no doubt Bjergsen is the most accomplished player in NA LCS history. After two MVPs during best-of-one splits, Bjergsen won the first MVP after a best-of-three split, helping lead the team to its fourth title and first since his second MVP win.

After showing his ability on high damage dealers and assassins in previous seasons, Bjergsen showed the capability to adapt to a control mage meta in Summer 2016. He went 8-1 on Azir, 7-0 on Zilean and 4-0 on Ryze, playing in total 12 champions over the course of the split.

His kills per game were lower than his usual mark, as a result, and it was a crowded MVP field. But what set him apart from the other candidates is how infrequently he died, allowing him to keep up the damage in team fights and be an invaluable presence for his championship-winning team.

Spring 2017:

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Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, Phoenix1 AD Carry

Stats: 41 games (26-15), 161 kills (3.93 per game), 78 deaths (1.9), 251 assists (6.12), 5.28 KDA, 8.41 CSPM, 70.7% kill participation

The first AD Carry to win the award, Arrow dominated the position during the 2017 Spring Split after arriving as one of the most highly-touted imports ever. Arrow played with KT Rolster in the LCK for three years, where he made one Worlds quarterfinal and two LCK finals before making the move to North America.

Once in NA, Arrow quickly separated himself from his peers at the position, leading the league in almost every category. In a meta that heavily favored utility AD Carries, Arrow showed himself as one of the most capable Varus (his 637 DPM was best among all NA Varuses) and Jhin (4.4 kills per game, 7.1 KDA) players in the league. But it was his Ezreal that shone brightest, going 8-2 with 4.3 kills per game and an astonishing 10.7 KDA.

Here are five of his best plays of the split, as selected by Riot:

Arrow’s 5.28 KDA was by far the best among NA ADCs — next-best was 4.2, jointly shared by FlyQuest’s Johnny “Altec” Ryu and Cloud9’s Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi. He also had by far the least deaths of any ADC that played the full year (after his 78, next-best was Altec’s 91), and he led all NA ADCs in kill participation and damage per minute.

Summer 2017:

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Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, TSM Midlaner

Stats: 41 games, 193 kills (4.7 kpg), 67 deaths (1.6 dpg), 261 (6.4 apg), 6.8 KDA, 78% kill participation

The fourth MVP win for Bjerg, Summer of 2017 wasn’t his most dominant split. He played a high number of supportive champions, helping put his team in the best place to win, and still managed to rack up the second most kills in the league, and the second highest KDA.

While not factored into the MVP voting, Bjerg also helped carry TSM to a hard fought victory in the Summer Split Finals against Immortals.

Spring 2018:

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Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, 100 Thieves Support

Stats: 20 games, 9 Kills (.5 kpg), 40 deaths (2.1 dpg), 131 assists (6.9 apg), 3.5 KDA, 73% kill participation

For the first time in NA LCS history a support player won MVP during the 2018 Spring Split. In his first split for his new team, themselves new to the league, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black helped lead the team to a fantastic and consistent regular season where they took home first place during a tie-breaker during the last day of the split. While his own stats may not have dominated the league’s supports, a large part of Black’s win has to do with his impressive shot calling and his ability to put AD Carry Cody Sun in the perfect place to the succeed in every game the team played.

Summer 2018:

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Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, Team Liquid AD Carry

Stats: 18 games, 68 kills (3.78 per game), 25 deaths (1.4), 73 assists (4.05), 5.6 KDA, 10.2 CSPM, 522 DPM, 72.7% kill participation

When you’re the best player on the best team, an MVP trophy usually follows. Doublelift led Team Liquid to a 12-6 regular season, and its second consecutive NA LCS crown with a 3-0 sweep of Cloud9 in the Finals. He was by far the best laning AD carry in North America, and the focal point of the unquestioned best team in the league.

Spring 2019:

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Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, Team Liquid support

Stats: 18 games, 18 Kills (1 kpg), 29 deaths (1.6 dpg), 158 assists (8.78 apg), 6.1 KDA, 74.9% kill participation

After two consecutive NA LCS championships, Liquid looked to upgrade their roster this year to compete on the international stage. One move they found domestically, replacing mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park with Cloud9 star Nicolaj Jensen. But perhaps even more importantly was the upgrade made at the support position, bringing in former World Champion support CoreJJ over from the LCK. Many years ago, CoreJJ was an AD carry for Team Dignitas in the NA LCS, but reinvented himself as one of the top support players in the world. His skill and shot-calling ability were instrumental to Team Liquid’s third straight championship, and he was awarded by becoming the second support player ever to be named LCS MVP.