Throughout this past year, the competitive League of Legends scene thrilled fans all across the globe, boasting incredible new champions, brilliant storylines, and one of the greatest tournaments in the history of the esport. But even though fans witnessed the bright lights and trophies of each event, there is an equal amount of shadows left in their wake.
Many teams and players sat in the background, watching the confetti fall as they were left behind to ponder one of the most haunting questions in professional sports: what if? What if they played a teamfight differently? What if they picked a different champion for game five, or chose another strategy before their series? What if they pressed their ultimate a second earlier?
It’s hard not to dwell on the past—especially with how heartbreaking certain losses can be—but sometimes, all you can do is learn from one’s mistakes before facing the future. Before the year ends, here are all of the storylines that many people wish had come true in professional League in 2022.
Back-to-back for Evil Geniuses
For many LCS fans, Evil Geniuses’ young squad represented a new era of growth in the NA League scene. Along with experienced players like Impact, Vulcan, and Inspired, the organization fielded two of the most promising prospects in the region and helped them blossom into the youngest rising star duo in the league.
Over time, Danny and Jojopyun improved their knowledge of the game and individual skills to match the firepower found around the LCS, thrusting EG into the limelight and into the champion’s circle with a 2022 Spring Split championship. The future looked bright for the young squad, but after dominating the following regular season, NA’s golden children struggled to find their form in the playoffs.
It was a disappointing drop-off that led to an early exit against 100 Thieves, along with the sudden departure of Danny from the team’s starting roster. Although they were able to qualify for Worlds this year—and eliminate MAD Lions in the process—a back-to-back trophy run would have really locked in their rise as the new kings of the LCS.
Uzi makes a triumphant return
Uzi’s departure from professional League was heartbreaking for many longtime fans of the scene. The 25-year-old superstar was forced to say goodbye to pro play due to health issues that accumulated over his eight-year career. But at the end of 2021, Bilibili Gaming announced that he’d be returning to stage play for the first time since his retirement.
Fans were ecstatic when they heard the legendary AD carry would be returning to pro play, but people quickly realized that he could never return to the same form as his old self. He ended up only playing nine games total through the year and the organization relied on its true starting marksman Doggo for a majority of the year.
Although many people kept their expectations realistic about Uzi’s return, supporters couldn’t help but feel disappointed that the Mad Dog couldn’t make one last run at the one tournament he has yet to capture: the World Championship.
T1 complete the most dominant split in League history
When T1 became the first team in history to win the LCK without a single loss this past spring, people were rightfully hyped up and ready to jump on the Faker bandwagon once again. The perennial world champions looked like the strongest team in the world and were shoo-in contenders for the Mid-Season Invitational title—especially after barely breaking a sweat during the event’s group stage.
If they were able to continue their hold over the competition all the way to an MSI trophy, it would have been the most dominant split in the history of professional League. Instead, they dropped three games in the rumble stage against EG, G2 Esports, and Royal Never Give Up, before losing to RNG in the finals.
Rogue avoid the dreaded Nasus incident
When the first week of the 2022 World Championship group stage concluded, the hopes of European League fans were still very much alive, especially with how dominant the LEC’s defending champions looked. After three games, Rogue sat at the top of their group with wins against Top Esports, GAM Esports, and DRX. It was a great start and an even better sign that the boys in blue were in form for the rest of the tournament.
After a win against GAM in the second round robin, Rogue’s place in the knockout stage was locked. But this also gave the team a chance to try out one of the most unorthodox picks of the event: Nasus support. The pick ultimately failed, but more importantly, it stifled their momentum and led to two straight losses as they stumbled into the knockouts.
These back-to-back losses seemed to snuff out their confidence and they were eventually swept in a lopsided series against JD Gaming. If they hadn’t picked Nasus, and instead drafted an easier champion and team composition, they could have kept the ball rolling and their conviction strong while taking on the LPL’s tough representative.
Faker finds four
Although DRX’s Cinderella story made Worlds 2022 arguably the greatest tournament in League history, Faker was on pace to acquire his fourth Summoner’s Cup. If DRX fell to the Unkillable Demon King, no one would bat an eye as the greatest of all time added another achievement to his extensive track record.
But this fairy tale was already written among the stars. Deft and his underdog squad were never going to be denied a chance at greatness and glory. But it’s clear that Faker hasn’t given up on his quest for gold since he’s re-signed with T1 for another three years.