Hello everyone, and welcome back to our Top 32 Players Power Rankings for the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal. I’m Blevins, and I'll be ranking all of the qualified players. As always, if you have feedback about the order of the list or if there’s something I missed, feel free to tweet at me or GiantSlayerLoR on Twitter. As we’ve seen in basically every other Seasonal so far, the list of repeat players is increasing. Having covered the Seasonals since they started, it has really been an amazing experience seeing the growth of players in the scene. With all that said, let's jump into my rankings for this Seasonal.
We start the list off with a player who describes themselves as a newbie. I dontca1 mentions that he hasn’t really gotten into competitive games at all before LoR. This is actually a relatively rare case in the Top 32 of a Seasonal. Many of the players in the Top 32 have varying levels of competitive experience ranging from MTG Hall of Famers to players who are consistently hitting Master in LoR. The fact that a player who is a newbie making the Top 32 can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but for me, it’s always reassuring. There is always a shot to make it to the top level of competition even if you aren’t a Pro Player. Now, as we’ll see throughout the power rankings, there is a lot of consistency when it comes to top players making it. We see a large majority of the Top 32 being top players who do well in other events or games. Being a newcomer can certainly be daunting at the highest level, but considering that he got this far, I would not count out Idontca1.
CameronHanzo is another player who has mentioned that they don’t have a ton of competitive experience. One specific difference that I'll point out between our previous player is that CameronHanzo has been at least a bit on my radar because of their performance on the Americas Ladder. They were almost always near the top 20-50 of the ladder or higher the times I was checking during the season. That alone makes me think that they may have been a bit modest with their claim that they aren’t a competitive player. Outside of that, he has listed himself as a combo and control player. I would normally not recommend playing either of those archetypes in a tournament setting if you’re not a competitive player. Those decks are generally very taxing and require a lot of experience on the decks to play to success. We see that Cameronhanzo has in fact done that which again points towards my previous thoughts on his modesty in describing his own skill. If you are looking for a dark horse or upset potential player to keep an eye on, I believe CameronHanzo may be the player to look at.
Metal claims to not have a ton of competitive experience but does have a secret weapon in his arsenal: Luck. He describes himself as a lucky player, which was likely meant as a meme, but I of course will run with it as a serious statement. Ok, only semi-seriously, but I actually do think that it’s worth looking into. There are a few ways to win a match of LoR or even win a tournament. For many of the players in the event, the strategy will be to prepare a lot and use that prep to have an edge at a macro meta-level and their skill to leverage the micro-decisions in a game. That’s definitely the ‘traditional’ route to win. That obviously won’t work for everyone, and as we see from looking at the mix of Top 32 players there are varying levels of skill. When you don’t have the most amount of experience, you shouldn’t try to lean on that, and instead should lean into other ways to win. One of those ways to win is to play very swingy strong decks that can auto-win or auto-lose. Sometimes you’ll get a win against a player who may be more experienced than you, and if you lose to your own deck’s luck, well, you were unfavored anyhow. Again it seems like a meme but I truly believe that embracing your best options to win, even if it’s relying on luck, can pay off for some players.
Raspyn is the first player on the list who comes with a bit more competitive experience. He played in local MTG tournaments as well as traveling to Grand Prix events (which were basically in-person Seasonal sized events). While I’m not sure what level of success he had, even just playing in events of that size shows a level of commitment and competition that many people who play card games don’t have. Raspyn also had a very targeted approach to his lineup build. He built the lineup to target Gangplank / Sejuani which he expected to see a lot of. I’ve talked before about how having a lineup plan is very important when going into a Seasonal, and it obviously worked out well for Raspyn. We’ll have to see this Saturday if Raspyn’s strategy for the Top 32 meta is as good as it was for the open rounds.
Tatsu describes himself as a control player. In LoR there are a variety of control strategies that depending on how strict your definition of control is, may or may not actually qualify. Draven Ezreal, for example, may meet some player’s requirements to be classified as a control deck, while it may not for others. One deck that is undeniably a traditional control deck is Anivia Shadow Isles, and that’s the deck that Tatsu said was one of his favorites. It’s a deck that we’ve seen fall in and out of favor depending on the meta, but Tatsu saw it as a good call. It’s a deck that seems relatively straightforward, but its lines are actually pretty complex, and the deck really rewards matchup knowledge. All of your removal spells need to be used to the utmost effect, and you need to know when you just need to turn on the jets and try to beat down with Anivia. Anivia control is certainly the type of deck that can serve as a pillar of a format, and having experience on the deck will help play with and also against the deck. Tatsu’s knowledge of the deck certainly bodes well for his chances this weekend.
Dustybunz is another player who doesn’t claim to have a lot of competitive experience. Unlike some of the other players on the list without a ton of competitive experience, DustyBunz has actually leaned into the strategy that I would generally recommend to players who aren’t necessarily pros. That strategy is Aggro. I say this not because aggro is easy to play, but rather because it can result in free wins. You need to play well, but with many aggro decks, there are draws that are not beatable by any deck regardless of their draw. If you’re going to be playing into players that you think may be higher skilled than you, you definitely want to sometimes just take a game because your deck drew the nuts. I have no idea what DustyBunz plans on bringing to the Top 32, but I would always have the aggro plan ready to go just in case.
I’ve played a lot of games in my life. One that I constantly reference is, of course, MTG, and while that has likely had the biggest impact on my life as a gamer there is another game that arguably has had a bigger impact on my outlook on gaming. That game is Poker. Having studied the game and what it takes to be successful for a while really shaped how I look at gaming and even life in general. I won’t go into all the details here, but I bring this up because GoldenRule played competitive poker years ago. To say the least, poker is a grind. The mental fortitude and skill required to do well are daunting compared to other games. A 9 round Seasonal open round isn’t really all that bad when you compare it to the slogs of some Poker events. The skills aside, having cashed at relatively high stakes poker events also helps relieve the high-stress situation that the Top 32 can be for some players. For GoldenRule, the Top 32 is just another day at the office.
25. A Z
I had not really heard much about AZ coming into the event. I did, however, get a bit of insight on him based on the player survey. Two things really jumped out at me. The first is that he described himself as a risk-taker, and the second is that his favorite champion is Jinx. If this were a year ago, this might actually be pointing to AZ playing casino (someday we’ll revive that deck NolaGold!), but since we are where we are it could mean a few things. The deck that has been a bit of the flavor of the month lately has been Lulu / Jinx. It’s a deck that is all about taking risks, as it may in fact be the epitome of “Unbeatable high roll, unwinnable low roll”. The other deck that comes to mind is the classic Discard Aggro. Discard Aggro is not necessarily a high-risk deck, but if you’re committing to a triple aggro strategy, that could be seen as taking a risk especially in the Top 32. As with most risks, they can go amazing or they can end up blowing up in your face. I’d argue that there’s not a better time to take a big risk than the Top 32 of the Seasonal, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what AZ brings and how he performs.
We come across another player who is competitive in multiple games. Aikado mentions that he has routinely hit Diamond in every Riot game (except Wild Rift) among other games. While Diamond obviously isn’t the highest rank in any of the games, the fact that you hit the level of Diamond in many unrelated games is actually very impressive. Sure, LoR and TFT are somewhat similar in terms of skills, but League and Valorant are almost completely different sets of skills. Generally, min-maxing a skillset is rewarded heavily in games like LoR, but I actually like the idea of being above average at many skills. I wouldn’t doubt Aikado’s ability to pilot any deck to at least a proficient level. Aikado will truly be a testament to whether you can be well-rounded to perform well in a Seasonal Top 32 or if you need to just be good at exactly one thing.
Lipe is another player who described himself as a risktaker. I don’t know that I’d classify him that based on his deck choices though, as he brought Sivir Akshan, GP Sejuani, and a Viego deck. Those decks are quite possibly the opposite of taking a risk. Despite that, those decks are definitely great choices for the event. The first two decks are just two of the most powerful decks you could bring to the event. Viego has a lot of different builds that you could put him in but is definitely powerful regardless of the rest of the shell. Perhaps Lipe leaves the risk-taking side to his styles of play, which could really work well in a tournament like the Seasonal Top 32. This is because players will certainly be expecting a certain style and level of play out their opponents, but when that doesn’t happen it can throw a player off. Perhaps taking a few high-risk high reward plays can really pay off because the commonly accepted style of play at high levels is to play conservatively. While I’m not expecting anything insane from the deck choice side out of Lipe, I’m very excited to see how he pilots the decks he does bring.
Unlike some of the other players that have been profiled so far, Faurreira is taking a much more measured approach to deck choices and play style. He mentions that he likes to play a deck that can adapt to what’s happening in the game. Being able to be aggressive or more controlling based on what the opponent’s deck is doing. This of course takes a lot of skill to master. We saw Faurreira play in a recent GiantSlayer Fight Night where he brought an Akshan combo deck and an unconventional GP/ TF deck. Both of those decks really exemplify exactly that mindset. The combo deck needs to know where to pick its spots. Sometimes that deck just needs to attack with elusives and finish a game, where others just need to stall to get the combo. The GP / TF deck can be anything from a very aggressive Noxus style deck, to a more controlling midrange deck that wins with a leveled TF. Being the type of player who can not only play multiple styles but also knows when to swap between the styles bodes very well for Faurreira.
Vivo is a player who many may know from the site he runs, Runeterra.ar. It’s basically a site that has deck and player data from the ladder. As someone who’s personally used the site a bunch, I can say that it definitely gives me a better understanding and perception of what the meta actually looks like. If you base your perception on the meta off of Twitter, Reddit, or even a small sample size of your own games, you’re inherently going to be running into skewed numbers and/or bias. Those factors can really be harmful when testing. It’s no surprise to me that the person who runs the site had a great read on the meta. If you come into a tournament having a good understanding of what you’re likely to play and build decks and a lineup to beat that, you’re going to be in a great position. All you really have to do at that point is pilot your decks well enough, and execute on what your lineup is meant to do. Vivo did exactly that and has landed in our Top 32. The question now is how that macro view of the meta will translate into a much smaller scope tournament.
Roxas is a player who routinely makes the rounds in the Brazil tournament scene. If you’ve paid any attention to the LoR scene or read any of my other writeups, you will know that Brazil has one of the strongest and most dedicated communities in LoR. Roxas also happens to be a part of one of the most competitive teams in the world, Team Hydra. I’ve mentioned multiple times that having a team to test for events like this is a major advantage coming into an event like the Seasonal Top 32. Being able to get high-level testing against a variety of decks as well as just having different perspectives on decks and metas can just put you over the top. Pair that with the fact that Team Hydra has some of the best players not just in Brazil but the entire world, and Roxas is definitely going to be one to keep an eye on at the top of the leaderboard this weekend.
This Seasonal we’ve seen more players opt for the combo life. Previously, the only ‘combo’ deck, if you can really call it that, was Lee Sin. Now we live in a world where there are true combo decks as well as Lee Sin, and we’ve seen players start to embrace it. LuserBeam is one such player. He prefers both Lee Sin and traditional combo and even went as far as to say that his least favorite card is another player’s Deny. You know you’ve met a combo player when all you really care about is interaction out of your opponent. He also mentioned that a favorite champion to play, even when not the best, is Zilean. We’ve seen a resurgence of Zilean in, you guessed it, combo decks. I don’t really know if we’ll have any shortage of combo decks this Seasonal, which is great for me as a viewer, but I’ll definitely be keeping a keen eye out for Luserbeam and the combo shenanigans that he brings to the event this weekend.
Many folks who are familiar with the competitive scene of LoR likely have heard of Glop. He has been a dominant force on the Americas ladder as well as the early tournament scene of LoR. He’s also been a successful LoR streamer. In recent months, Glop has taken some time off of streaming to focus on school, but that hasn’t kept him away from LoR. Glop quietly stayed atop the ladder this season, and for good reason: he ended up qualifying at 7-2. Regardless of whether Glop is streaming every day, or if he’s playing offline, he is a force to be reckoned with. He’s the first player on the list to have made multiple Seasonal Top 32s, and despite me putting him rather low on the list (this Seasonal is stacked by the way), he’s definitely still a strong pick to win the entire event.
We have another player who has made a Top 32 previously, and another player who has embraced Control + combo. He has also embraced a lineup strategy that was relatively common which was 2 ‘meta’ choices + 1 comfort pick. In NoTapper’s case, the two meta picks were Lee Sin and Anivia, and the comfort pick was Frozen Thralls. I bring this up because Frozen Thralls is a very interesting deck to bring as a comfort pick. As someone who has played the deck, it’s definitely a very powerful pick. I will also say that it feels a lot like the type of deck that will lose to itself because of its draws. I suppose you can live by the sword and die by the sword, but when that sword (in this case the sword is a Frozen Thrall) never shows up it feels like you barely got to play a game. It’s possible that NoTapper’s version of the deck is more consistent than the one I played, but inherently the strategy has some high rolls and low rolls. The good news for NoTapper is that he doesn’t need to completely rely on 1 deck given the format, and sometimes he’ll end up with multiple 8/8 overwhelms out on turn 4 or 5 and just win.
Lazyguga is another player that followers of the competitive scene have certainly heard of. Like Roxas, he’s another player on Team Hydra. I won’t go into depth about the advantages of that again, but just keep that in mind when thinking about Lazyguga’s tournament strategy. He actually says he really doesn’t have a preference in regards to deck style. He just wants to win and will adapt to whatever deck he needs to perform well in the meta. I’ve talked a bunch already about how being adaptable in your strategy in game is very important, but when you can be flexible in your deck choices, that’s arguably even better. Compounding this with the fact that he has access to one of the best testing teams in the world is a recipe for a top finish for Lazyguga.
Trivo is another top Brazilian player. Trivo has pretty consistently been in the top 25 on the Americas ladder the entire season, and is generally at the top of the ladder at any given time. He’s also another streamer and avid tournament player in the BR scene. Trivo is part of another top Brazilian team, Sultans, which as I’ve said earlier is a huge advantage coming into this weekend. He even admits to not being the best deck builder, but when you have a team behind you, that’s ok. Trivo can spend his time honing his skills and practicing matchups rather than trying to brew the next best deck. Being able to maximize your strengths and offload some of the spots that you’re weaker in is a great way to really get the most out of your testing time which is definitely going to be great for Trivo.
Oneiric is a player whose name pops up all the time in competitive circles. You see him on the leaderboard, you see him in chats, you see competitive players mention him all the time. He’s one of those players that everyone knows and whose opinion everyone respects. Now it’s time to push that a step further and compete in a Top 32 himself. I know prior to the Season, he was testing a lot with Briguy, so I’m curious if they’re continuing the testing together to try to improve both of their finishes or if they are going their separate ways and hoping to meet in the Finals. He describes himself as a patient player, which can certainly be strong when you know exactly when to pick your spot. I’m very excited to see how Oneiric performs on the big stage this weekend.
Mati has been floating near the top of the ladder for most of the season. That in and of itself is not unique on this list, but one thing that is at least interesting about Mati’s ladder experience is that it has been done with Lurk for a decent amount of it. Lurk is definitely a strong deck, but many argue that it is inconsistent. If that were the case, wouldn’t a player tend to lose LP over a long enough period of time? Playing a deck like Lurk at a high level and doing well with it might arguably be even harder than some control or midrange decks. You need to be able to maximize what you have, and you can’t waste any resources or damage that you otherwise could have dealt. I played the deck rather briefly when it was first released and even playing just a couple hours gave me tons of insights and ways to improve. I can only imagine what playing it over the course of a season would be like. Luckily I’ll only have to wait a bit longer to see the results of that, as well as the other decks that Mati24mayo has brought to the Top 32.
A few Seasonals ago, Kevor was one of my top picks to watch going into the Seasonal, and in fact ended up being my number one ranked player going into that Top 32. In terms of play skill, I don’t imagine much has changed. Kevor is still absolutely one of the top players in the world. The only thing that really changed for me, was the amount of playing that was being done publicly. Much like Glop who I talked about earlier, Kevor has still maintained their competitive drive and skill, but as with most people, real life things come up and time has to be devoted elsewhere. This just opens up an opportunity for Kevor to show the world once again how much of a powerhouse he still is. Many are calling the death of Lee Sin when Bandle City is released, so I imagine that one of the original Lee Sin masters will give Lee his last hoorah in this Seasonal.
Who actually is this Moe guy? His takes are awful and has probably never played in a tournament in his life.
I told Moe that one of his viewers stole that copypasta from my draft of this article, so I’m following through with the bit. In all seriousness, Moe is essentially a household name for people in the LoR scene at this point. He was dubbed 9-Moe last Seasonal swiss with the impressive undefeated run with the triple aggro lineup. I didn’t have him in my Top 10 players to watch article, because I honestly thought he was taking a break from competition for a while. Welp, I was once again proven wrong. Moe has had back to back impressive swiss round performances, and certainly is one of the favorites to take down the event. Moe has a huge personality and is certainly one to meme, but when it comes to high level competition, he really doesn’t joke around.
Of all of the players in the Top 32, BBG is the one who needs the least introduction. He has been one of the most prolific streamers in LoR essentially since LoR came out, and is a beloved part of the community. One of the things that folks might not know about BBG if you didn’t follow him in the early days is that he was arguably the best tournament player in all of LoR during the Beta days. IIRC, BBG had the most tournament wins/ top cuts for a very long time and was a dominant force in the weekly tournament meta back when Duels of Runeterra and Jamfests were still happening. The tournament scene in the Americas has certainly changed since then, and BBG has focused mostly on ladder. He’s always been within a win or so of making the top cut of a Seasonal (except that one Seasonal where he didn’t check in), and I’m honestly just surprised that this is the first he’s made. Tournament BBG is one of the scariest players in all of LoR and I for one am excited to see him in his element again.
This season, we’ve seen a real rise of Gangplank Sejuani. Many players in the Top 32 mentioned that they built their swiss rounds lineups targeting the deck. If we look back in the LoR tournament history books, we will see that 4LW was one of the original founders of the beatdown Bilgewater Freljord deck back when Bilgewater first came out. It definitely looked a bit different back then, but it was the original innovation of players like 4LW that paved the way for the current iteration that is rampant in the meta right now. I’m not sure that 4LW is still on the deck going into the Playoffs. It honestly doesn’t really matter at this point. 4LW did the initial innovation, and what’s done after that point has no bearing on what 4LW does or plays. I am interested to see if he has brewed anything new or spicy for the Playoffs, but we’ll have to see on Saturday if he has.
The first player, of many, that made the Top 32 from my Top 10 players to watch list. Nalkpas, better known by his irl name Allen Wu, comes from the world of MTG. I’ve written about him multiple times now, but the tl;dr is that he is the most accomplished competitive player from another card game of any LoR Seasonal player with the exception of Wrapter. His resume in other games speaks for itself, but even the LoR resume is quite good. He has top 32’d a previous Seasonal, and is routinely a top Americas Ladder player. I know many players, including myself, eagerly awaited Nalkpas to hit master at the beginning of the season to see what deck is the best. Rank 8 seems low for Nalkpas if i’m being honest, but this is one of the most stacked Top 32s we’ve had yet.
7. Maykon Jaxson
Maykon is another player who I’ve written about a few times now. He was in one of my original top players to watch a few Seasonals ago. Since then, Maykon has been a consistent ladder player and has done well in weekly BR events. I definitely believe Maykon to still be a dominant force in this Top 32, and I think he’ll find his success in consistency. He mentioned that he brought the decks in the Swiss because they were decks that he had success with prior and was comfortable with. There's a certain clarity that comes when you just know your decks through and through. They may or may not be the perfect meta call, but that almost doesn’t matter. Maykon is going to be playing the decks he knows, and he’ll be playing them well. That consistency I believe can be a recipe for a top finish this weekend.
Another player that I had on my Top 10 list… even though I kind of cheated by lumping him with his brother FilthyGamerWeeb. Unfortunately, FGW did not end up making the Top 32 this time around, but this is Zorig’s second shot at a Top 32. In the time since that first Top 32, Zorig has really established himself as a top player in LoR. He’s done very well in our GiantSlayer Fight Night tournaments as well as being a top player on the Americas ladder. While Zorig and FGW tend to not really play similar decks all that often, it has to help having your literal brother to at least consult with on the game, especially when your brother also happens to be a top LoR player.
There are a few names that come up when talking about the best players in Brazil. Stan is absolutely in that conversation every time. As I’ve mentioned multiple times already in this post, Brazil is one of the strongest regions in the world for competitive LoR. When one of the strongest communities rallies behind a single player like Stan and comes to at least a semblance of an agreement that he’s one of the best players, it really does mean something. Of course, if you’ve followed the scene at all, Stan is all but a household name at this point. Despite having tanked a lot of LP right before the Seasonal Swiss, Stan still rallied through and qualified for the Top 32. Being able to keep your composure in the face of adversity like that is a very important skill to have for high level tournaments. Taking a key loss or getting a bad beat can really throw a player off, but Stan has ice in the veins. I know it can be said of basically every player on this list, but I really do think Stan is a top pick to win this Seasonal.
Henneky and one other player on our list are the only remaining players in the Americas to have qualified for all of the Seasonal Playoffs but 1. Henneky has gone a step further and Top 4’d multiple times. He is low key one of the best players in the world, and I hope for the sake of him and the community at large that it becomes more high key. Henneky is a player that more people should know about. We have a Worlds Player Profile on Henneky because, guess what, he’s been qualified for months. Seriously, check him out. He is among the top players in terms of consistency and Top 32 conversions, and really the only thing he has left to do is win one. This weekend may be the one.
This Seasonal was the first time that my top 3 players to watch all made the Top 32. Tomaszamo was obviously a large part of that. I mentioned in that post that I got called out for not rating him high enough in my power rankings last Seasonal, and I adjusted accordingly. Well I won’t be making that mistake again, especially after Tomas has absolutely shown up in force not only in the Top 32, but also consistently on the ladder throughout the Season. I highly doubt that my underrating him has had any impact on his performance at all, but if that’s what it takes to motivate a player to reach the level that TomasZamo has the past two seasons, I’m happy to serve as that motivation.
If you looked ahead to the end of this writeup, you may have thought I just copied my Top 10 players to watch. Briguy has been on an absolute tear recently in our GiantSlayer Fight Night events. We saw a similar situation coming into the previous Seasonal with FilthyGamerWeeb, but unfortunately for FGW, that run ended without a Top 32 finish. Both even started with a Top 32 in the previous Seasonal. Briguy is now defying that expectation. Briguy’s run has continued on to the Seasonal so we’re in uncharted waters now. Briguy has been making this run with his signature deck, Karma Ezreal, which he even admits might not be the best pick for the meta. At this point, I'm starting to doubt him. If I’m being honest, if it weren’t for my number 1 player, Briguy would be number 1 on this list. Regardless of that, Briguy is no joke in this event. If you’re looking to root for a player that’s been in the competitive scene since there was one, look no further than Briguy.
It’s becoming a bit old hat to have Majiin as the number one pick for things, but I gotta call ’em like I see’em. Yet another player I had in the Top players to watch list, but really at this point Majiin’s reputation precedes him. He again is the only person in the Americas to have a shot at being a two time champion. He’s also part of the short list, a list that’s getting shorter every event, of players who have qualified for 4 of the 5 Seasonal top cuts. It’s a boring pick on my end only because I’ve been making it for quite a while now, but I’ll give the spoiler alert now: Majiin is going to be my top pick to win any tournament he’s in for the foreseeable future.
It’s great to have been covering the Seasonals since the beginning, because now we really start to see these players’ stories develop. With three previous Seasonals, we are now starting to really start seeing trends of amazing players. The beauty of Runeterra is the duality of its competitive tournaments. Anyone can show up to any given tournament, play well, and then potentially win the entire tournament. Being great on one single day can pay off. At the same time, we are also seeing consistency pay off. Players like Majiin, Henneky, WhatAmI, and others are putting in the work consistently at every Seasonal as well as the grassroots tournaments, and that consistency is also paying off. With Runeterra, we get to reward consistency without completely shunning the chance of a great finish if you aren’t competing in every single event. As the events and community progress and evolve over time, I’m confident that we’ll see even more familiar faces top-cutting these events. But I’m just as confident that we’ll see new stars born in them as well.