League of Legends is commonly played in the five versus five format, but Red Bull Solo Q throws this out of the window. In Red Bull Solo Q, players face off against each other in the top-lane – one versus one. With no jungler interference or roaming mid-laners and supports, it all comes down to raw laning power and mechanics to come out victorious.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best 1v1 players in the world get paid for playing League of Legends, they're the professionals of their craft. Every single one of these four players has a different style of play – some are so legendary that they've since retired, but luckily they still have plenty of video material online that you can study in order to improve your skills.
Top of the list is Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, the Unkillable Demonking, mid-laner for the LCK’s T1. Even if you’re not an avid watcher of League of Legends Esports, the name Faker will still ring a bell. With multiple Worlds titles under his belt, Faker is the true GOAT of League of Legends. Other than his incredible talent and work ethic, Faker brings a different mindset to the game, which makes him stand out from his peers.
In the past, Faker’s team-mates have said that he’s the type of player that can bring any champion into the mid-lane and dominate with them. In 2015, he even picked Master Ji versus CJ Entus (and won!). Even if you’re a Rek’Sai one-trick or play Annie top, there's a big chance that Faker has played your champion on Stream or in a professional game at some point. Just watching your champion being played in the hands of Faker should give you plenty of valuable insight into how he plays certain match-ups or decides on trades.
While G2’s Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther didn’t qualify for Worlds, he's still a perfect example of a gifted mid-laner. There's a reason that fans and players used to call him baby Faker, but he’s outgrown that nickname because his skills have grown much closer to Faker himself. Caps was in the Worlds finals twice, with two different teams and won MSI in 2019 – enough international accolades to make him one of the West's greatest players.
Like Faker, Caps has a massive champion pool, ranging from assassins to mages in the mid-lane. If you’re struggling to understand wave manipulation and lane positioning, make sure to watch some G2 LEC games of this year. Caps knows exactly when to freeze and when to push – all while positioning his creeps right where he wants them. This allows him to build massive creep score advantages, even in (on paper) losing match-ups.
Jian ‘Uzi’ Zi-Hao is one of the most mechanically gifted ADCs to ever play League of Legends. While he officially retired in 2020, as an MSI and LPL winner, his legacy will live on. Uzi was so good that RNG, the team that he spent most of his career with, built an entire play style around him. Getting Uzi fed, and letting him carry the late game on signature hyper carries like Vayne and Twitch was their strategy to overcome the world’s best teams.
Watching Uzi play doesn’t only give insight into his decision-making as one of the best ADCs, but also his positioning in lane and other micro mechanics. If you’re planning on playing ADCs in Red Bull Solo Q, definitely spend some time watching older Uzi replays. He also still uploads daily videos on his YouTube channel – where he still mechanically outplays the best players on the LPL super server daily.
Cloud9’s Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković stands next to Caps as a candidate for the greatest Western player of all time. Perkz dominated Europe as both an ADC and a mid-laner – two extremely mechanically demanding roles. Perkz showed that it was possible to stand on top of the world playing two completely different roles with a different champion pool.
What makes Perkz such a good player is that he’s always calm in his play. Sure, he’s not as flashy as other players in this list, but keeping a cool head and making clutch plays when needed is maybe just as valuable as having pop-off moments every other game. If things are tough, Perkz can carry games. Watch a few games where Cloud9 (or his old team G2) were on the backfoot and Perkz creates a miracle comeback from small incremental advantages he created elsewhere. Understanding how to keep a cool head is difficult – even more so when you’re behind – and watching Perkz play will teach you that.