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League of Legends Column: The Importance of LoL All-Stars

By Michael Bitton on April 03, 2013

With League of Legends’ Season 3 mid-season fast approaching, Riot Games has kicked off voting for the upcoming All-Star game. The short version of it is this: each region votes on their preferred player for each of the game’s roles (AD Carry, Mid, Jungle, etc.) and the top voted players are assembled into an all star team representing their region at the tournament. The winning team’s region is then granted an additional spot at the Season 3 World Championship.

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TL;DR? The All-Star game is a huge freaking deal!

This is especially true for the North American scene, which is what we’re going to focus on today. The NA scene has been noticeably lagging behind their Asian counterparts for some time, and this was reflected clearly in the Season 2 World Championships, where NA trailblazers like Team SoloMid were quickly defeated. Fortunately, it seems the NA scene has really picked up its collective game in Season 3, with the LCS (League Championship Series) tournaments showing some strong play and competition from the various teams.

Still, I don’t know if we’ll be fully ready by the time the Championship rolls around. For this reason, securing a third spot in the tournament to bump up our chances of winning is crucial. Even if you believe the NA scene is ready, why give either of the other regions a better chance at winning?

Voting will continue for about two weeks (you can vote once every 24 hours) and at the current rankings it’s become abundantly clear that for better or worse this has become a bit of a popularity contest. This isn’t a huge surprise, of course, but given the seriousness of the matter, many of the pros have come out and set team allegiances aside to offer their own picks and encourage fans to vote based on who would be best to represent North America. Obviously, these players would love to see their entire team roster voted in as the All Star team, but that is highly unlikely to happen.

Today, I’m going to be offering up my own list of picks and explain why I’ve picked each player, so let’s get started.

TOP LANE: DYRUS

I just mentioned popularity contests and I’ve picked Dyrus, arguably one of League of Legends most well-known and adored players. Well, guess what? Dyrus is also an incredibly consistent and strong player in Season 3. Sure, in the past Dyrus may have stood out simply for his quirky personality (trolling too!) and monotone voice, but as someone who has been a fan of Dyrus for some time now, it’s been great to watch him grow and truly embrace what it means to be a professional League of Legends player.

Long gone are the days of Epik Gamer, where the notions of a true practice regimen were something of a joke. Dyrus has been talking the talk and indeed walking the walk since Season 3 began and despite his admittance of having issues with nerves, I believe he’d be able to get himself together and compete with the best of ‘em.

Why not Voyboy? Voyboy is an incredibly strong top laner and could easily be considered the best top lane in North America, but his particularly aggressive play style isn’t a fit for every team. Curse, on the whole, is generally comprised of aggressive players and so Voyboy fits within that team, but that aggression could work against Voyboy in a team that can’t properly harness it. With that said, if Voyboy does end up winning out here, I think he’d still make a solid pick.

JUNGLE: SAINTVICIOUS

Saintvicious may joke about being unable to out-smite some of the younger junglers out there, but he’s one of the most veteran players of League of Legends, and has been a consistent and strong jungler throughout Season 3. While TheOddOne is my personal favorite in the jungle, Saintvicious has had a considerably stronger showing in Season 3. My apologies, General, but Saintvicious is my pick.

The All-Star team is also going to need a shot-caller, and since it's become pretty clear now that Reginald isn't going to be picked (more on that later). Saintvicious would be crucial in terms of ensuring the team has a strong player to make calls during the matches.

SUPPORT: PATOY

Xpecial may be running away with the vote on this one, and we’d certainly be in good hands to have him on our All-Star team, but numbers don’t lie. Team Dignitas’ Patoy is one of the strongest players of Season 3, bar none. He’s the only player anywhere close to Cop’s ungodly KDA ratio, and as a support, he ranks far above Xpecial in all pertinent statistics. I realize I’m taking a more clinical approach when it comes to Patoy, but I’ve been really impressed with his play (and playmaking!) throughout the season and the numbers back it up.

MID LANE: SCARRA

If you were to ask me who belongs here based on raw skill and veteran status, this would easily go to TSM’s Reginald. When Reginald’s morale is high and he’s focused, he is capable of playing an amazing mid. Unfortunately, both morale and focus seem to be a bit shaky for Regi; he’s just been incredibly volatile as of late.  His play has been aggressive to a fault, nearly throwing or outright throwing games for TSM in a number of recent matches.

Scarra, on the other hand, has been an impressive, though a somewhat overrated mid lane player in the past. Fortunately, Dignitas has really picked their game up all around in Season 3, and this includes Scarra. Scarra's highly analytical understanding of the game and raw performance in Season 3 has been solid. He may not be as aggressive as Reginald, but he is much more consistent and less volatile. 

As it stands, Scarra’s wild popularity as a likable pro and Reginald’s near-HotshotGG level of hate (especially given the recent TSM shakeup) will all but seal Scarra as our All-Star team mid lane, so I’m basically preaching to the choir with this pick.

AD CARRY: DOUBLELIFT

This one was probably my toughest pick of all. Stats wise, Cop is by far the strongest player in NA for Season 3. However, if I could sum up Cop’s play in one word, I’d call it consistent. He’s not flashy or overly aggressive, but he simply does his job as a carry. He’s constantly putting damage out in a team fight and racking up kills and assists in the process. That’s generally what you want from an AD carry, so why am I picking Doublelift? Well, it’s kind of a similar situation to Voyboy. Curse builds their team in such a way that they sort of meatshield for Cop, so he tends to avoid dying in situations where he may have died otherwise. Cop is set up to do his job, but hasn't really shown a tendency to take risks and make things happen. I realize CLG basically does the same thing for Doublelift, but Doublelift is known for being able to turn around situations in which he gets caught with just raw mastery of game mechanics. In fact, that's where we've seen some of his best plays.

I’m not trying to excuse Cop's play, but sometimes there's more to it than the story the raw statistics tell. Simply put, we need someone as seasoned and mechanically skilled as Doublelift, who has shown us some incredibly impressive plays when at the top of his game.

Even so, this decision was tough because in Season 3, Doublelift has been in a serious slump. I don’t really know what’s going on with Doublelift, but his performance (along with the rest of CLG) has been sorely lacking this season. Doublelift’s champion pool is also sort of questionable. Sure, he’s strong on a number of other AD carries, but Doublelift is really known for his hypercarry play on champions like Vayne.  If Doublelift gets the chance to play Vayne, even in his current slump, you’d better watch out if you let things roll into late game. He really comes alive when playing that champion. Unfortunately, this isn’t a secret, and any teams that face Doublelift at the All-Star game would definitely target him for a Vayne ban.

Still, I believe Doublelift has what it takes to pull out a strong performance when push comes to shove, and I think he’d manage to get himself out of this funk in time for the All Star game.

Have you voted on the All Star team yet? Who were your picks and why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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