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LoR Regional Worlds Qualifiers: Top Ten AM Players to Watch

These are Boulevard's top ten Americas players to watch in the upcoming Legends of Runeterra Regional Worlds Qualifiers.

This is it, folks. We’re embarking on the final act of 2022 Legends of Runeterra. The World Championship Regional Qualifiers, taking place next November 18 and 19, are the first phase of the most important competition of the year, with many heartbreaking stories falling short of this final stretch toward glory. 

But for the sixty-four Americas players who made it to this stage, the story goes on a little bit longer. A few more games of LoR to be played, a few more chances to make it just a little bit further before the book closes on the year. Sixty-four will enter, but only six will be able to keep their stories alive next month at the Legends of Runeterra World Finals, where they’ll join the best EMEA and APAC players.

Everyone has their part to play in the final act – as for my role, part of it is making some predictions.

#10 Squallywag / Ranked Points: 7th Place / Team: Breaking Bandle

It’s been a long year with a lot of events, so let me recap a few things for you: seven Seasonals have taken place since last year's LoR World Championship, but only the most recent four count for this coming Worlds Qualification. While Squallywag started off the year on an absolute tear, most of his success was during the three Seasonals that count towards this Worlds.

While it was quite the feat, Squally’s success slammed the breaks once we actually got into the 2022 season. His 9-0 run at the Worldwalker Seasonal (Winding Light meta) was impressive, but it was also his only top cut counting toward Worlds. In fact, going into the back half of the year the frequency of grassroots tournaments significantly declined and Squally seemed to go down with the ship. 

Without those important milestones to measure continued success, Squally and many players on this list are going to have to be judged primarily on their Seasonal performances; an area which Squally has been lacking as of late. It’s impossible for me to know if Squally has gotten rusty without grassroots events to tide him over, or if he simply took it easy most of the season since an early Rank #1 all but locked him in for Worlds months ago. But while the question hangs in the air, it’s hard to put him much higher than this. 

#9 Rogio / Seasonal Points: 1st Place / Team: Always Be Gaming

Rogio is sitting pretty solidly at the top of the AM Seasonal Tournament Points leaderboard with 56 points – a rather substantial 4 points ahead of the runner-up. That said, if we collected a global leaderboard, he’d find himself in a three-way tie for 9th place. 

The explanation is pretty simple: players who play more games earn more points, and the way to play more games is to make more top 32s and go as deep into them as possible. Whoever sits at Rank #1 for Seasonal Tournament points is someone who has made multiple top 32s, but has failed to make it all the way to the top 4. Rogio actually only has two Seasonal tops under his belt from this year, gaining a few extra points by never qualifying at 7-2.

All this to say that Rogio has been fairly consistent throughout the year, though not as consistent as one might expect for the seasonal point leader. This has landed him a little lower on the list than his title may suggest, but only because we’re stacked with so many heavy-hitters.

#8 Kevor24 / Seasonal Points: 9th Place / Team: Mastering Runeterra

After a less than ideal situation in LoR Worlds last year regarding his spot on the waitlist, Kevor is solidly within the competition this time around. 

While many (correctly) finger Kevor as an Ionia one-trick, it’s arguably the easiest region to expand out of when the time comes. Many of the best players in the game are pink region aficionados, and consistently thrive within any meta. 

Alongside his demonstrated proficiency in both Seasonals and ladder this year, Kevor has another secret weapon up his sleeve: his team. In both of his tops this year, Kevor brought a few expected meta staples followed by a third deck that would catch many off guard. At the Curious Journey event (during the Afaelios & Pantheon meta) he was one of the brave souls rewarded for breaking out the last-minute addition of Tristana Fae. At Awakening, he and fellow MaRu teammates would break out Viktor/Karma to round out their Ionia trifecta.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, there’s yet another powerhouse in Kevor’s arsenal: spite. Many CCG players have gone unthinkable distances thanks to a little salt, and after being removed from the WCQ last year over a mess of miscommunication, Kevor’s likely eager to show everyone it was for their benefit he didn’t get to play.

#7 TomasZamo / A Curious Journey Top 4 / Team: All Knights

While I’ve spoken very little about the meta for this event so far, there is some context we’ll need in order to fully appreciate a rather fun little tidbit about Tomas. You see, in the most recent week of competition for the Aegis Esports League (a grassroots team league many top players compete in weekly), the most played deck was Jayce/Heimerdinger – a deck many people expect many other people will bring this weekend.

The deck isn’t particularly bannable and the mirror will likely be rather common throughout the day, leaving players with more tenure on it at a slight advantage. TomasZamo, as it would happen, was the first Jayce/Heimer player to top a Seasonal all the way back when he secured his spot at Worlds with it.

As for his seemingly low placement on this list, Tomas suffers from the same issue as Squallywag – most of his success was loaded into the front of the year. He continued an impressive string of top cuts leftover from the previous year and cemented his place amongst the greats by tying with BlackBoss at six top 32 appearances, but after securing his Worlds spot at the first Seasonal of the 2022 season, Tomas took his foot off the gas. 

He would return to top 32 form at Forces From Beyond (Kai’Sa meta) again with his trusty Jayce/Heimer, giving me hope that Tomas might be Piltover's champion this weekend, and move on to the main stage.

#6 4LW / Forces From Beyond Champion / Team: Hydra

Consider this something of a called shot, as I was a bit surprised looking back at the year 4LW has had. As far as the Seasonals are concerned there’s nothing to mention outside of his win, although it is really worth mentioning that he won a Seasonal.

4LW’s biggest strength has always been his superb deck-building, being arguably responsible for a few of the metas we found ourselves in this year. While the new standard of a 10-day turnaround from a balance patch to major tournament has left some players fumbling, Runeterra's most innovative deck builder has been thriving. Er, at least his decks have. 

There is something to be said about 4LW winning the event they topped, as closed environments have always been where he thrives the most. Fight Night: Legends, an 8-person invitational tournament, has on many occasions been a bit of a playground for 4LW to show off his latest and greatest innovation while claiming titles. With the Worlds Qualifiers being a tight-knit, 64-person environment of seasoned players, 4LW is likely more at home here than he has been in Seasonal swiss rounds.

All of that said, he did announce he’d be playing less Runeterra after his Seasonal victory as some real-life events took priority. While he’s back to give it his all on the Worlds stage, let's hope he can find his footing after a brief step back.

#5 MajiinBae / Awakening Top 8 / Team: Mastering Runeterra

My AM player of the year for 2021 has returned to the world stage once again, though this time he is juuuust barely squeaking into my top 5. It’s been a busy year for the Cosmic Creation Seasonal champion – many of his Seasonal runs this year have been played out on his phone while he was attending other events. Heck, he even sat one out to get on the desk with me.

It’s not as if Majiin’s skill has faltered, but every time he’s gotten a chance to prove himself this year the conditions have been less than ideal – from losing a win at 4am in France while at a Flesh and Blood Pro Tour, to losing out in the top 8 of Awakening from the floor of TwitchCon. That said, Majiin is doing what a lot of people dream of while he’s off doing other shit that they dream of. If this were a list of top 10 LoR Rockstars, Majiin would be #1 without hesitation.

But when we’re looking at MajiinBae's actual tournament success in 2022, we’re left wanting. We know he can do better. We want him to do better. While it’s a nice thought that Majiin finally playing an event from his own computer will push his already tremendous power level over 9000, it’s a rather fanciful claim. With this year's Worlds more stacked than the previous, there just wasn’t enough tangible evidence for Runeterra’s main character to push past # 5 – but that's more than enough for one of our returning 2021 competitors. 

#4 XxWhatAmIxX / Ranked Points: 4th Place / Team: Mastering Runeterra

Coming in right in front of Majiin is fellow teammate and 2021 Worlds 4th-place finisher, WhatAmI. Qualifying this year through the ranked ladder as opposed to Seasonal Points, I don’t want you to get the idea that he was slacking in that department. Sure, his Seasonal résumé may not be as impressive as last year, but he really didn’t leave much room for improvement.

The reason there are four Xs in WhatAmI’s name is because that’s how much X factor he’s managed to fit inside one player. Whatever it is that it takes to top a Seasonal tournament, WhatAmI has the formula patented. Of the four Seasonals of the season (kinda proud we made it this far before I had to say that), three of them have had WhatAmI’s name plastered within the top 32, even finishing first seed in swiss during Awakening. 

There’s not much that hasn’t been said before about the top finishing AM player from last year's worlds. His deck diversification is near unparalleled, his gumption for deckbuilding a clear advantage in a quick turnaround environment and, as mentioned previously, he’s got one of the best teams in the game helping him in the background. One of the best, but perhaps not the best. After all, they may have been a late-stage entry, but there’s a new top dog in town this year.

#3 Thecupismine / Double Top 4 / Team: Red Pup Games

Sometimes marriage and starting a family is something successful players pursue in lieu of card game success. In the case of Thecupismine it was the opposite – after tying the knot earlier this year, he used his marriage buff to make it to the finals of the Forces From Beyond Seasonal. Using his newfound marriage insight he decided everything is better with a partner, and paired this appearance with a top 4 at the very next Seasonal as well. 

With so many players front-loading their success early this year, it was a breath of fresh air to have a player decide to save all their luck for the final few events. And, if his pattern of going down two spots persists, then my math says Cup should be moving on to World Finals from 6th place this weekend. Time to see exactly how much luck he has saved up for the end of the year.

About Cup as a player, however, there’s no real flashy fun facts I’ve got up my sleeve. He tends towards meta staples and simply plays them well. For a few more fun facts, though, you can check out the player profile that StaYUnwoked did on him last month.

#2 Ptash / Double Top 4 / Team: Red Pup Games

You may remember Ptash from any number of things – from being #2 with FloppyMudkip on my Top 10 Players To Watch for the most recent Awakening Seasonal, or perhaps you recognize him from a Seasonal Top 32 post from this year. Which one, you may ask? Why, all of them!

You heard me right: Ptash has topped every 2022 Seasonal. If anyone has gotten Legends of Runeterra down to a formula this year, it’s the owner of Red Pup Games. Like his teammate Thecupismine, Ptash's success isn’t tied to any specific deck or archetype, and there’s quite a few examples of him reaching deep into the coffers of the meta to find the right deck for his lineup (like playing Ezreal Kennen through swiss at Forces From Beyond) or even creating a unique list to suit his needs (like playing Piltover & Zaun TF Nami at the same event). 

Ptash hands down has had one of the most insane years so far, and almost certainly would have been my #1 pick if not for…

#1 FloppyMudkip / Awakening Champion / Team: Red Pup Games

While I was able to pair Floppy and Ptash together on the Awakening Players To Watch list, I can’t condone using the same cop-out twice. I could have used a different one and lumped my three Red Pup players all together, but I wanted to commit to an order. 

Sitting at the top of a list of players who front-loaded their success, ironically none of them did it as well as FloppyMudkip did. I know it seems like an eternity ago at this point, but earlier this year Floppy mentioned in an interview that he felt like he wasn’t taken super seriously as a competitor. That people knew he was good, but he was determined to show them he was one of the greats. So, to solidify his position, he went to the pinnacle of competition at the time, Fight Night: Legends.

There he would break multiple records for both most wins as well as most back-to-back invites to the prestigious event, mostly scrapping with fellow Worlds competitor AK Jta every week. Once the Seasonal season started, he slipped in the beginning and failed to top the Curious Journey event – yet after that, he would go on to top every Seasonal with a near-identical lineup to Ptash.

It’s been my pleasure this year to follow along with Floppy's story. His declaration of greatness, his glory in Fight Night, his testing partner constantly right next to him in the standings with the same decks, it’s almost been like something out of a fairytale. It’s more than just a prediction that Floppy is going to move on to the World Finals, it’s a want to see this young competitor succeed. 


I hope you enjoyed my final Americas Top 10 article of the 2022 season, and I’d like to wish all competitors the best of luck heading into the weekend… and I’d like to wish some additional luck to every player on this list, so that I may look that much smarter and be allowed to continue to do this in the future.

About the author:

Boulevard is a National and World Champion CCG player turned caster and analyst with the release of Legends of Runeterra. You can find them on Twitter and YouTube.


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