From Froggen and xPeke to Bjergson and Jensen; Europe has always been known for exporting the best mid lane talent, significant exceptions being Faker and Rookie. There are many candidates who could vie for the title of EU’s greatest mid laner. A short rundown of names on the prestigious list: Froggen, xPeke, ocelote, Bjergsen, Jensen, Alex Ich, nukeduck, Febiven. Before we take a look at Caps and his performance throughout the year, let’s find out something about a couple of these names!
Most of these names are notorious for various reasons:
Froggen: known as the farming mid laner. He would farm up to a late game teamfight in which he could win through superior team fighting.
Alex Ich: Known for playing assassins such as Evelynn and Kha’zix and carrying from early kills.
xPeke: known for backdooring, and the “fnatic bush”.
Bjergsen and Jensen: exports who went on to become the greatest mid laners in NA.
However, none of these can compare to EU’s greatest mid laner: Caps.
He eventually settled into Fnatic in December 2016, after spending a long time bouncing around rookie teams. By the time he left for G2 in November 2018, he had shown he could play multiple styles. He played utility champions when his team needed them, or hard carried in the early game with Irelia or Akali. Fnatic had just reached the World Championship final, the first European team to do so since the Season 1 World Championship, where Fnatic had won the final.
Caps has since gone on to dominate the European region with G2, and also has gone on to win MSI 2019, having shown the ability to play many champions and play multiple roles within the team.
The one thing that cannot be assessed yet is longevity. Caps has only been playing at a high level since 2016. However, as far as the champion pool goes, the final series vs Team Liquid shows how Caps can act both as a carry and a team facilitator when required.
In Game 1 of the series Caps played Morgana, often used in the support role, to offer CC protection with Morgana’s E, and to help facilitate the carrying potential of his teammates.
Then in Game 2, Caps was on Sylas, and subsequently carried the game, often stealing ultimates which helped his team to win the game, showing excellent decision making and awareness of his own abilities.
And in Game 3, Caps played Irelia, again carrying the map with his technical prowess on the champion.
In terms of achievements competitively, since his induction into the LEC in 2016/17, Caps has remained in the top 3 of every LEC season; and to further this point, since Spring split in 2018, Caps has been on the winning team of each LCS split. Caps is also the first and only mid laner to reach 2 international finals consecutively. He reached the finals of worlds with Fnatic finishing 2nd place, and the final of MSI 2019, finishing 1st with his new team, G2.
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I can say with confidence that even though Caps has not yet shown the ability to play at a high level over many years, he has peaked higher than any mid laner in the history of Europe. Add the accolades to his high performance levels and you have the case for Caps, Eu’s greatest ever mid laner.