Credit: Jaxon

Jaxon’s League of Legends 2021 Season MVPs

The 2021 season was full of surprises. Once promising teams, like the dominant FunPlus Phoenix, crumbled when it mattered most. Others, like LNG Esports and Hanwha Life Esports, emerged into the World Championship out of seemingly nowhere.

However the motions went, the following players showcased rock-steady performances, anchored their teams at the forefront of competitive League of Legends, and shined above others on their pursuit of excellence and Worlds glory.

They are Jaxon’s 2021 Most Valuable Players, without whom their teams would have crumbled.

Source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

1. ShowMaker, DWG KIA

ShowMaker’s contributions to DWG KIA’s almost-Worlds title bordered the unreal as he survived the mental strain caused by international events (particularly MSI in Europe) and pushed his teammates forward when they were down. His sheer consistency and his weight on his team’s fortunes earned him the top spot ahead of players from World Champions EDward Gaming.

From his dazzling Akali plays during the 2021 season (before she fell out of viability at Worlds) to the hilarity of his stint in the bot lane, ShowMaker pulled all the stops to ensure that DWG KIA were a force throughout 2021, no downtimes included.

Source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

2. Viper, EDward Gaming

Viper would not be denied—not after he earned it after an unrewarding 2020 season. The best AD carry in 2021 was the most instrumental part of EDward Gaming as bot lane skirmishes and late game team fights unfolded, all the way to lifting the World Championship trophy.

Considering the AD carry role’s high-risk, high-reward spin in 2021, Viper’s 2020 campaign and constant limit-testing came in handy. A year removed from missing Worlds, he was ready to conquer the world. Now, he stands as the sole member of the 2019 Griffin to lift the most coveted trophy in League of Legends esports.

Source: Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

3. Xiaohu, Royal Never Give Up

Although Xiaohu’s passage in the top will end in 2022 as he returns to the mid lane, he has marked top laners worldwide in 2021, quickly becoming the top laner to beat. Beyond dueling other top laners on their champions, his previous role’s champion pool caused major problems for opposing teams, particularly in the spring split as RNG lifted the Mid-Season Invitational trophy.

In the absence of mid lane pressure, Xiaohu faced the attention of opposing teams at every turn, sometimes securing leads across the map on that alone. Ultimately, RNG’s fall to eventual World Champions EDward Gaming was not to his discredit.

Source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

4. Faker, T1

Early League of Legends fans used to reminisce of a time when Faker set the mechanical bar of all mid laners worldwide, but they have reasons to rejoice in recent days as he performed at his best in 2021—this time as the leader of his young team.

Faker survived roster instability in Daeny’s coaching days, then played around his teammates as assigned. Beyond fending off pressure from younger and mechanically sharp mid laners (e.g.: ShowMaker, Gori), he facilitated (and was facilitated by) Oner throughout their collaboration in the 2021 summer split—one that will grow in 2022.

Source: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

5. Jiejie, EDward Gaming

EDward Gaming sports two players in the MVP rankings for good reason: Viper, Scout and Flandre survived and thrived throughout 2021 primarily because Jiejie had their back. For that to happen, he eventually ramped up his level of play to match DWG KIA’s Canyon—and surpass it.

Jiejie was instrumental to the team’s game plans on the Rift, particularly as he managed three players with their own levels of threat at any given point. As he countered enemy pressure on specific lanes, and as he made the picks that won them important games, EDG eventually celebrated a much-awaited Worlds triumph for the first time in the organization’s history.