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The 2018 spring split will have, arguably, the strongest pool of midlaners NA LCS has ever seen, with four new players coming in to replace players that weren’t considered good enough by any of the ten teams. The players entering the LCS are Fly, PowerOfEvil, Febiven, and FeniX. The players they replaced were Keane, Goldenglue, Nisqy, and Froggen. All these players could be considered upgrades, the only thing that is surprising some people is that Froggen was replaced, as he was producing great stats every year. Having these four players joining the other six strong mids, in Huhi, Hai, Pobelter, Bjergsen, Jensen, and Ryu, makes this one of the most stacked roles in the league. Which will result in a great debate in who will be the best preforming midlaner.
My “dark horse” for a midlaner that might have a great season is FeniX, which is playing for Echo Fox. FeniX, formerly of Gold Coin United and Team Liquid, is a player that is know for having great laning stats, and being a consistent team fighter, while struggling at being proactive in the mid game, and providing vision control. In his three splits in LCS (Not including his rookie split) He was consistently top two in CSD@10, twice coming behind Bjergsen, and once having the best stat in the entire league. This was despite TL not being a top team. He also was top three in Damage per minute in those three splits. This shows that he has some huge upsides, and that he has the potential to being one of the best midlaners in the league.
But despite these upsides, there are some weaknesses in his game that can’t be ignored. He has been in the bottom two for wards per minute out of midlaners all three splits. There sometimes can be logical reasons for a player having low warding stats, such as switching to red trinket early in a game, or always playing from ahead as a team, which again would result in more wards cleared. But the thing is that FeniX have been the worst at wards cleared per minute every single split he has played in the LCS. This could be a worrying trend, and might be one of the reasons he didn’t play in the LCS last year.
What makes me think that he still will be a top three midlaner this year, is that he has players that might naturally cover up his weaknesses. Huni in the toplane is one of the most aggressive players in the entire world, and will require a lot of attention from the opposing jungler, which will result in FeniX not being punished as much for his lack of vision. At the same time, their support Adrian, is known for providing thorough vision control for his entire team, something that is a great compensation for FeniX’s weakness. He will be competing against great players such as Huhi, Febiven, Pobelter, and PowerOfEvil for being the third best midlaner in the league, but I believe that FeniX’s great laning and team fighting will make him a better player than the ones I mentioned, and that he will be the best midlaner except Bjergsen and Jensen.
TL; DR: FeniX is good at killing minions and champions, but not wards. Junglers normally kill FeniX, but they will be too busy killing Huni. And Adrian will kill and place wards so that FeniX won’t have to.