Hello everyone and welcome to the Empires of the Ascended Seasonal Top 32 Power Rankings! The curtain is being lifted again as it is I, TheBlevins, who is taking all of the credit (and blame) for this list. As per usual, there’s a good mix of players who I’ve interacted with or seen a bit as well as players who I’m not as familiar with. With that said, I’m basing this list on my knowledge of the competitive community as well as the player surveys that were sent out. As always, I would love to hear any feedback on Twitter. With that being said, let’s jump in!
Underl1ght is a relative newcomer to the competitive LoR scene. He doesn’t really have any competitive experience, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know what he wants to play. Underl1ght loves Targon. Almost every question we asked looped back to Targon in some way. Favorite deck? “Targon invoke.” Best performing card? “Hush.” Why did you make your deck choices? “I like Targon.” There really isn’t anything wrong at all with liking one particular region, especially when that region is one as strong as Targon. Shadow Isles was the most represented region on the Swiss, but if Underl1ght has anything to say about it, Targon will be the most represented from the winner.
Northturtle comes into the Top 32 with a bit of mystery behind them. They’ve listed no competitive experience and really didn’t give much detail on the player survey. There is nothing compelling players to put a ton of detail on the surveys, and in fact, some may even view it as an advantage to be shrouded in mystery leading up to the event. What I could glean from Northturtle is that he enjoys playing Deep. When a player picks their decks because those decks "play the cards with the biggest numbers” and “Stall until I can play the big monsters” Deep is probably a great choice for that person as a player. Luckily for NorthTurtle, Deep is in a pretty decent spot right now in terms of putting it in a Seasonal lineup. There is at least one other prolific Deep player in this Seasonal playoff, but NorthTurtle has a shot at making their name in this event.
Alphacake is another player who I don’t have a ton of information on. That of course doesn’t really have any bearing on the success of a player in the seasons. In fact, I didn’t have particularly much on Puyshpii before he won the very first Seasonal. What I do know about Alphacake came from the player survey, and there are a couple of interesting things there. The first is that he describes himself as a player who is willing to take risks, but won’t fully over commit. The first part of that statement is one that we’ve seen really pay off. Last Seasonal we saw Majiinbae take a relatively risky line in the finals that ended up paying off. Being the type of player who not only knows when to take a risk but also isn’t afraid to take a risk can really pay off in a tournament like the Seasonal. The other cool fact about Alphacake is that they’ve been playing Riot games since the League of Legends Beta. Having someone who has been a fan since the very beginning is great, and I would love to know what it feels like to come this far since the Beta of League over 10 years ago.
Hawk is one of the few players in our Top 32 that come from a chess background. As many know, chess can be one of the most intensely competitive games and ecosystems out there. The ways that chess is taught can really be beneficial in regards to preparation and success in other games. Even outside of the game of chess itself, just learning how to learn through chess is something that can be invaluable later on and in other games. Chess players are players I keep an eye on. The other interesting thing of note is that Hawk makes a cheeky reference to Nightfall “midrange” being his favorite deck. This is a nod to a well-known player and streamer in the community, NicMakesplays who is known for being one of the best Nightfall pilots. I know I personally got better at Nightfall from watching Nic’s stream, so it stands to only benefit Hawk if he decides to bring the deck to the Top 32.
28. sin of kira aka Pasquale
Pasquale aka Sin of Kira is the other player with a chess pedigree in the Top 32. I won’t repeat what I said about Hawk in regards to chess, but I will reiterate that it is definitely a help. Another potential positive when going into the Top 32 is not having to play against decks that you don’t like. Pasquale specifically mentioned hating Demacia on the player survey, and while there certainly will be some Demacia decks, this meta, in particular, doesn’t have the same volume of Demacia decks as others. Generally speaking, you can expect to see Targon splashing Demacia, Scouts, or Bannerman aggro decks are few and far between. There is definitely something to be said about not only being ready to play against the field but also knowing that it’s unlikely that you’ll queue up into that annoying matchup.
Because Australian players are on the Americas shard, their Seasonal tournament lines up to be at a rather awkward time. This did not stop two of our players from qualifying for the playoffs. Morpice is one of those players. Morpice is a streamer who has played in a handful of community LoR events. While that’s not the most impressive competitive resume in our Top 32, having any amount of LoR tournament experience is definitely helpful. That coupled with the fact that he was able to qualify through nine rounds of swiss starting in the middle of the night and going through the morning his time, is nothing short of impressive. Morpice also made reference to loving Swain as a champion, and while Swain is not the most played champion right now, I do believe that there are some Swain builds that could come through and do well in the Seasonal.
Lee Sin has been a highly played and hotly contested champion since he rose to prominence many patches ago. Santa has adopted Lee Sin as “Both his best friend and favorite champion”. I speak to having Lee Sin as a friend, but having him as a favorite champion can definitely be a good thing. I will say that I was expecting a Nasus deck to Santa’s favorite considering Santa should like a Slay ride…aaaaaannnnnyyyywwwwaaaaayyyyssss…. Dumb jokes aside, Lee Sin as a Champion and an Archetype rewards a player’s skill more so than many others. Santa has demonstrated this skill by getting 2nd in the official LoR discord tournament that ran a while ago. While it wasn’t the largest tournament, it did have some top players also in the event, so high-level LoR is not a new endeavor for Santa. We saw Lee Sin be part of Majiinbae’s Seasonal winning lineup last season, and we could definitely see it win another.
It’s always interesting to see competitive LoR players who come from other games. Most commonly, as you may imagine, they come from other card games. Bluegod, however, comes from the world of competitive Soul Calibur 6. In fact, he is an EVO (the world’s largest FGC tournament) champion. If you’re unaware, Soul Calibur is a fighting game with, as far as I know, absolutely nothing that would lead one into competitive card games over anything else. That’s not a bad thing, as evidenced by the fact that Bluegod has secured his spot in the Top 32, but in fact, speaks more to the devotion of Bluegod to LoR. He even mentioned that he hopes that this run in the Seasonal might lead to being a LoR Streamer. Having a competitive pedigree in any game or sport is certainly a benefit going into a high-stakes tournament like the Seasonal, and I’d say that being an EVO champion certainly qualifies.
24. Critical Veins
CriticalVeins is the only player in our Top 32 from Jamaica. The beauty of having the Seasonal and the Legends of Runeterra servers set up the way they are is that we have an expanded community that is the Americas Shard. If the event were only North America, I truly believe that the community wouldn’t be as great as it is today. All that being said, to my knowledge there isn’t a giant LoR community in Jamaica so it is really cool seeing a player from that region in the Top 32. I don’t have much else on Veins other than they pushed to the top 50 on the Leaderboard recently with over 500 LP. I’ve talked in the past about 1000 LP being a really watermark of Ladder dominance, but even 500 LP is nothing to sneeze at. That much LP takes time and dedication to learning the Meta to achieve.
We continue on to another Country who only had 1 representative this Seasonal playoff, Mexico. The Americas Seasonal, of course, is no stranger to Mexican players, as our very first champion Puyshpii is Mexican. I will reiterate how great it is to see varying regions represented in the Top 32 as it will only grow with the community over time. In regards to Damian as a player, the one thing that jumps out is flexibility. Damian describes himself as a player who will play just about anything, but when he finds a deck he likes he will stick with it. We actually caught a great match between Damian and another player in the Top 32, Sqweeby, in the swiss rounds. There was a very intense game where Damian was actually able to fend off not 1 but two Watcher attacks via Draven’s Whirling Death and Ezreal’s Mystic shot which bought him enough time to close out the game. Being able to make those types of heads up plays could certainly lead to Mexico taking home its second Seasonal title.
Kazuichi is the first of a handful of Brazilian players that made the Top 32. Many players in the competitive scene know just how strong the Brazilian community is, but even if you’re not as entrenched in the competitive community as I am, you don’t really need to look further than the finals of the last Seasonal tournament. Iannogueira of course made it to the finals last season, and is one of the strongest players in all of LoR. From the players I’ve spoken with in the scene, there is a sense of comradery within the Brazilian community, and I would imagine that many of the players who have made it this Seasonal will have worked or at least consulted with each other. Kazuichi himself is actually in the Brazilian Air Force, which potentially limits the amount of time he is able to train for the event. However, a lot of legwork can be done through the collective community, so I would definitely not count Kazuichi out if he has the support of the community.
21. Cure the Living
A lot of the time that we talk about competition and esports, we think of what other games or even sports players have played competitively. In the case of Cure the Living, LoR is his first competitive game. That obviously hasn’t stopped him from hitting the highest level of competitive play here in the Seasonal, and that is perhaps because this isn’t actually their first taste of competition.Cure has done Music competitions in his past, and while there may not be direct crossover between playing music and playing LoR, the competition aspect may certainly have come in handy. Like I’ve mentioned before, being conditioned to perform in high pressure scenarios will absolutely come in handy for this event regardless of whether those scenarios were previously in the world of music.
Teneryx has a background that I’m personally a bit biased towards. He has played basketball competitively, and while I know that the hard skill of basketball don’t particularly help you in the game of Legends of Runeterra, I will say that my personal competitive drive was originally bestowed upon me from playing basketball growing up. An interesting note that came up in the player survey was that Teneryx actually views Lee Sin and an overrated card. Lee has been a hotly debated champion for quite some time, and the general consensus is that its winrate from ladder are actually much lower than it would be at higher levels of play. The fact that Teneryx’s opinion is essentially the opposite of the general consensus means one of two things. Either he’s dead wrong, or he knows something that other folks don’t. I can say one way or the other, but if the latter is true, Teneryx may very well be on to something.
Mendes is another member of the Brazilian community who made the top cut of the Seasonal. Mendes has another similarity to last season’s runner up, Iannogueira, and that’s an affinity for Ezreal Draven. Taking a look at Mendes’ recent ladder deck shows that he’s been playing it a bit. In the player survey, he also mentions that his top performing card is Tribeam Imbrobulator. Being proficient with one deck or another isn’t necessarily a rare thing, but Ezreal Draven in particular is in a unique position to do well against most decks in any given field. Yes it has better matchups and worse, but overall I would say that it has game against just about anything. In an event where you don’t necessarily know exactly what you’ll be playing against, having an all around good deck can definitely be a plus. Not to mention that there are many varying decisions and lines that can be taken in any given game, so the deck really rewards experience on it. That coupled with seeing one of the best in the game perform with it last season really gives Mendes a shot at the title.;
We got a chance to see KevinLOR’s win and in match on stream during the swiss rounds. They won the match during game three with a relatively explosive Overwhelm deck. That deck was not on the radar of a lot of players coming into the deck, as it has mostly been a tier 2 or so ladder deck. With so many decks focused on either Thresh Nasus, TLC or Lee Sin, this opened up an opportunity for Aggressive strategies to really shine. KevinLOR actually describes their deck choice style as one that is trying to specifically counter the Meta. The Overwhelm strategy certainly points to that being the case. With the deck breakdown from the Swiss now being public information, I’m curious to see what KevinLOR brings to the Table this Saturday.
Hexenwitch is one of the handful of streamers in the Top 32. As someone who’s dabbled in being a streamer over the years, I know first hand what kind of environment streaming can create. Some of the greatest memories can happen, and you can also get much better at a game by streaming it. On the flip side of that, streaming can really wear you down if you’re not mindful about controlling burnout. Despites the potential hurdles of streaming, Hexenwitch has managed to perform well in the Seasonal Swiss rounds and of course is now here in the Top 32. Their recent deck on ladder is a potential meta slayer in Ezreal Sejuani. The deck certainly can perform if you have a good read on the meta, but if you’re wrong, it can easily get 2-0’d. Definitely a risky strategy if that’s a deck that he’s considering for his lineup, but one that could pay off with a great finish.
One of the questions we asked all of the players is what card do they think is the most underrated right now. There were a slew of different answers across the board, from Dragon Chow to Baccai Reaper to even a single Poro Snax. Fogacinha’s answer was Leblanc. Leblanc has been a card that has really gone on a roller coaster ride of impressions. When it was revealed many were calling her unplayable, but we’ve seen her slowly find her way into a few different decks. Coming into this Top 32, I believe Leblanc and some of her associated decks to actually be very well positioned. If Fogacinha is a true believer in Leblanc, he may be able to counter the meta in a way that many players aren’t expecting coming into the playoffs.
15. FNX GreedVy
I’ve mentioned the playstyles of a few of the players already as I find it very interesting to see how high level players approach the game. Greedvy described themselves as a consistent player who plays reactively. What this says to me is that they favor more controlling style decks over aggressive ones. This is a commonly held view at high level card games, as it generally gives your opponent more opportunities to fall into a cleverly laid trap. Playing more controlling decks also allows players the ability to flex their planning skills more so than some other decks. It’s yet to be seen in Greedvy can get the most out of their lineup, but their strategy going into the event is definitely solid.
Erigby is one of the many players in our Top 32 who comes from a competitive Magic: The Gathering background. He has qualified for Worlds Twice, representing Canada, and even qualified for a Pro Tour. Considering the caliber of players we’ve seen in the Seasonal playoffs previously and even this season, qualifying for a Pro Tour is far from the most impressive feat comparatively. However, as someone who played MTG semi competitively for many years, qualifying for even one Pro Tour is absolutely a feat in and of itself. An interesting LoR fact about Erigby is that he mostly plays expedition, and even calls for a more competitive ‘limited’ format for LoR (I’m right there with ya bud!). This did not stop him from climbing to the top 50 on the ladder, and certainly won’t stop him from making a great run in the Seasonal playoffs.
13. Niño aka Kevxe
Niño also known as Kevxe is another player on the list with an MTG background. He has represented Guatemala at MTG Worlds three times. He has also pushed up to rank 39 on the ladder as well as having played in a variety of other LoR events. Niño mentioned that their top performing card has been Lissandra because of the Watcher combo, and also that he brought his decks because they were his most practiced. Being practiced on TLC (Trundle Lissandra Combo) can really be a big factor coming into this event. It’s definitely the target of many bans, or at least it was in the Swiss rounds, but when you do get to play the deck it rewards matchup knowledge greatly. Even playing against the deck, you have a huge advantage if your knowledge of the deck is higher than the opponent. In a format where TLC may very well be at the center, being well practiced on the deck is certainly going to pay off.
12 . TippyTipz TTV YT
Tippytipz is a player that many may know from their stream and Youtube content. They have also been known to play is some of the open LoR events in the past. What I found most interesting about Tippytipz’s player survey actually comes from their competitive background. We’ve already talked about former CCG players, a competitive musician, some chess players, and even an FGC world champion, but the former rank 1 Super Mario Strikers player was absolutely not on my Top 32 players bingo card.The fact that the Seasonal can bring together such a diverse cast of players from a variety of competitive backgrounds really speaks to the beauty of the event and the community.
Realkey is another Brazilian player who has had a presence in the competitive scene for quite some time now. We have had him on our Fight Night Americas broadcast previously, and if you follow any of the weekly Brazilian tournaments or leagues, you’ve definitely seen Realkey before. What’s really crazy is that Realkey is only 17 years old, which I believe puts him as the youngest competitor in the Playoffs this season. There’s certainly something to be said for a young player having success at the highest levels of Legends of Runeterra. Of course, age doesn’t really matter in the game, it’s much more about experience. Realkey may be the youngest competitor in the event, but he is absolutely not the least experienced.
We introduce another player who has competed at the highest levels of another game. The game this time is Pokemon VGC. Floppymudkip peaked at ran 3 in that game and has competed at the highest levels in the scene. Like I’ve said multiple times throughout this power rankings post, previous experience in other competitive games is always a boost and can even give you a different perspective on things with the game. Floppy actually believes that TF / Fizz is still a top tier tournament deck despite the nerfs it incurred. This is certainly a hot take, as much of the competitive community has moved away from the deck that dominated the last Seasonal. It’s a wildcard call like that which can either help spike an event, or make your run go up in flames. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Jtamonda is another relatively large streamer in the community. Not only that, but Jtamonda was sitting atop the ladder earlier on in the season. If I recall correctly, he was actually at rank 1 for quite a while. I will note that while Jtamonda was at the top of the ladder earlier in the season, he was not very high on the ladder right before the Seasonal. When writing the Top 10 players to watch for the Swiss rounds, Jtamonda was on my shortlist to include. When I checked his LP, I was shocked to see that he had fallen almost all the way back to 0 LP. Of course given that, Jtamonda goes ahead and qualifies for the playoffs, completely showing me that I should have just stuck with my gut. Regardless of perceptions or even recent results, Jtamonda has shown that he is a top tier contender, and is one that you should absolutely have your eye on.
The top 10 gamer himself has ascended to become a top 8 gamer! Sqweeby was the first player on the Top 10 players to watch list that I had this season, and he was the first to make me look a little smart. All jokes aside, Sqweeby really has had a meteoric rise in the competitive scene. Sqweeby was known mostly as a streamer and a content creator, but in the past few weeks has won a Legendary Giantslayer Fight Night where he made the full loser’s bracket run, as well as pushing to just about top 50 on the ladder. That second partis actually quite relevant, as he finished the Swiss at 7-2 and was actually high enough rank to be the final person seeded to make the Top 32. Everything’s been coming up Sqweeby lately, and he’s showing no signs of stopping.
7. Jascended aka Jasensational
Number 7 on the list here is our first repeat Top 32 representative. Jascended, who went by Jasensational in the Monuments of Power is making his second appearance in the Top 32. We got a chance to talk to Jascended before the event, and he actually had a really interesting story. No, it was not a story about how he brought Yasuo to the Top 32 or how he was one of two players to qualify for the Top 32 who came from the gauntlet. Ok, we definitely did talk about those two things, but what I found really interesting was the fact that he actually came into Legends of Runeterra relatively casually. He didn’t really have any intentions to be a top competitive player, but instead sort of fell into it. The fact that someone can come into the game because it looks fun, perhaps even from something like Lab of Legends, and actually...Jascend… to the highest ranks of the game is really inspiring. You don’t have to have a former pro career to do well in LoR; it really is open to anyone who’s willing to put in the work.
Random7 is the second ‘called shot’ that I had from the Top 10 players to watch article I wrote last week. As I mentioned in that article, Random is arguably the best Deep player of all time. Many of the old school LoR folks will remember the name Windinggod and their reign of terror. Random7 was the player to really knock them down a peg in some tournaments back them, and it was regularly on the back of Deep. We’ve definitely been seeing Deep make a resurgence in the meta recently, and for what it’s worth it’s always been powerful. But now we may see Deep in the perfect spot: powerful enough to actually contest some of the other top decks, but not so powerful that it gets targeted by anyone. Having your pet deck be positioned well is really all you can ask for when coming into a high stakes tournament like the Seasonal playoffs.
Void is a player who myself and Casanova have been casting for many many months now. Void has always been a top player in the scene, and it’s nice to see him finally make the Playoffs. Void is another player who we got a chance to talk to before the event. Void’s Swiss run is actually insane. He has not 1 not 2 but 5 separate power outages during the event, and still finished 8-1. In fact, his only loss was to another qualified player who I’ll be talking about soon, and it was because the power outage caused him to auto ban a deck he was targeting. Perhaps the craziest part of his run was that during one of the power outages he had to run down 9 flights of stairs and run 10 blocks to a nearby park to use the wifi and had to redownload the game on his phone.... He won that game. Here’s hoping for stable internet for the playoff rounds, but maybe the park internet buff is enough to push Void over the top.
If you’ve followed the competitive LoR scene for almost any amount of time, you’ve definitely seen TheBlackBoss. TheBlackBoss’ competitive success really speakers for itself, but he is also commonly considered the best player in the Brazilian community by the Brazilian community. I’ve already talked about the strength of the Brazil community, so you can imagine the level of player needed to win over the favor of that community. There really isn’t much else to say on TheBlackBoss other than the sheer power he has as a player. He absolutely is one of the favorites to win the entire event coming into it.
Storm has a few interesting talking points. First and foremost, he was the third player from my Top 10 list to make the Top 32. 30% prediction rate ain’t too bad in my book! The second is that Storm was actually the player who beat Void in the aforementioned post about him. So a storm caused a power outage against a player named Storm. Definitely a funny coincidence. The third and honestly most impressive thing is that Storm is the other player in the Top 32 from Australia. So Storm qualified for the Playoffs, and will be playing the playoffs, at some unholy hour of the night/morning. I would definitely put this as a disadvantage, but hey if he’s already done it once, why not again? This of course is on top of the recent Giantslayer Fight Night win and consistent top 3 Ladder placement throughout the season.
If you’ve read any of my write ups from previous Seasonals you will see many references to WhatAmI. He was in a bit of a slump leading up to the Swiss rounds, which was honestly the only reason I didn’t include him on my Top 10 list this season. Yet another qualified player gets to make me look silly for not including them. It really is silly because WhatAmI is another one of the few players to qualify for multiple Seasonal playoffs. Not to mention Fight Night Victories and a veritable Bevvy of other community tournaments. What is really endearing about him is his approach to the game. We got to speak with WhatAmI before the event and he reiterated a few things to us. The first was that his lineup was made up of “9x Starshaping and a bunch of other cards”. The second is his commitment to an ideology about the game. “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about playing a beautiful game”. That’s been the title to his stream since he started streaming, and it continues to be his guiding philosophy when approaching Legends of Runterra.
The number one player on the power ranking list really should come as no surprise to anyone. He was the number one player on my top 10 last season, and the number two player on the power rankings. If you’re unfamiliar with Wraptero, who is better known by his real name via the MTG community Josh Utter-Leyton, then the fact that he is in the MTG Pro Tour Hall of Fame should speak for itself. If that isn’t enough, how about the fact that he is the only player in the Americas to qualify for 3 Seasonal Playoffs? Yes, that’s 3 for 3 which is absolutely unheard of. I spoke with Josh a bit before the event to get his thoughts on the community and Lor competitive in general. A really interesting insight that Wraptero had was actually pretty contrary to the community perception. He says that the LoR scene is a lot like the MtG scene was before the prominence of the Internet. He thinks that the community has not found the best ways to hyper optimize decks and strategies in the same way that MTG does with its many different competitive events, communities, and teams all incentivized to find the best strats. This makes LoR very fun for Wraptero as the discovery is one of the most fun aspects of the game to him. Wraptero is by far the most accomplished and experienced player in the Top 32, and as always, for any game really, is a favorite to take down the event.
And that’s it for the Top 32 power rankings. As always you can send me any feedback on Twitter. Make sure to check out the Live broadcast at Twitch.tv/LegendsofRuneterra!