#5) Dardoch - Jungle
There are two big reason's for Dardoch making this list, one of them being his rank at #9 for KDA this split. While numbers don't mean everything, it's an impressive stat that shouldn't go unnoticed as a pairing to his overall stellar performances with a new team. The pressure was on his shoulders to performance at least competent, and he managed to shatter the expectations thrown upon him in great Zac-ish style.
Something that has been mostly forgotten, but shouldn't go unnoticed, is the improvement Dardoch has made in terms of his attitude. There was an overall feeling of doubt regarding whether the jungler made a good locker-room teammate and if he'd fit in an Echo Fox because of the rumours around him pointing to difficulty.
Maybe he's just matured, or maybe it's the fact that he's playing with a World's finalist on his team which has humbled him, but Dardoch's second biggest strength this season has absolutely been his ability to work with his teammates.
His achievements have been two fold, and for this he makes a great #5 most valuable players of the season.
#4) Licorice - Top Lane
Let's get the pink elephant in the room out of the way: Hauntzer and Huni, purely from a stats perspective, were way WAY better than Licorice.
A part of that is a poor performance towards the end of the season, and another part of that is, simply put, because Licorice just isn't as good as either of those players yet. So why is he on the list?
The Cloud9 top laner put up some solid performances all season and was able to help his team into a long standing contest for first place for the majority of the split. Time and time again (save for that embarrassment against Huni) Licorice managed to prove himself to be a valuable asset to C9's roster.
He did this all season, mind you, whilst being a complete rookie. Ask TSM's MikeYeung, settling in as a rookie isn't easy work. Especially when playing for a team that expects nothing but the best in the region.
The difference between the two, put in simple terms, would be that TSM are praying that Mike becomes a more consistent player within the next year, while C9 can expect Licorice to develop into a Hauntzer tiered madman within the same time frame.
Kudos to the Top Laner, onwards and upwards.
#3) Cody Sun - ADC
The 100 Thieves carry managed his KDA pretty well, marking himself at #3 in the overall rankings, which is pretty impressive considering he's playing with one of the teams that joined the league at the beginning of the split.
What's more is that, with the help of his teammates, Cody Sun managed to grapple his way to a first place regular season finish. It might not be valued in NA that much, but to me, that feat is more impressive than winning a first place playoffs match.
And with that, Cody Sun rightfully takes his spot at number 3. I look forward to seeing if the added pressure for next split strengthens his back, or breaks it.
#2) Aphromoo - Support
The unsung hero of the NA LCS. Aphromoo manages to outplay his opponents at the most macro-efficient times again and again, all while remaining in the shadows and staying as humble as can be. It's no wonder a team like 100T with a support like Aphro and the ADC listed above took first place this split.
It's not unlikely that a lot of Cody Sun's performance has something to do with the fact that he has one of the best supports in the world at his side, and we shouldn't let the men of the hour outshine those who dedicate their careers to lifting their team up.
As the saying goes, an ADC is nothing without his support.
I look forward to seeing his perfect hooks next split.
#1) Bjergsen - Mid Lane
There isn't anyone who would have loved to have been able to put someone like fenix or Jensen in this spot more than I, but I got to hand it to the legend himself, Bjergsen really managed to pull his team through this season.
The standings would have you believe that TSM were a 3rd place team this season, but these standings are incredibly misleading if you've paid any attention to this season. TSM were a mid-tiered team at best had the league leaders not fumbled their leads so late into the split.
All the same, we have to give credit where credit is due, and the Bjergerking managed to earn a lot of it. Ranking #2 on the KDA rankings, Bjerg managed to outperform even the most challenging of opponents such as Pobelter and Jensen on a team that really didn't give him too much help early on in the split.
Keep in mind, the mid laner would have made it to #3 on this list whether or not his team was performing well, but the fact that he was the best player in the mid lane with the added baggage of the season just makes the choice that much easier.
Here's to playoffs and another season of team strengthening. May our players continue to grow.