posted by EskayDota,
Saahil 'Universe' Arora will be the first answer anyone gives you if you ask them the question “Who is the best offlaner in the world?”. Having attended every single TI, and winning TI5, Universe is easily considered the most consistent, highly skilled offlaner. One of 5 people to have attended every International, Universe hardly ever seems to go through a spell of poor performances.
His performance at TI5 is often attributed to one of the big factors that allowed Evil Geniuses to win. Whether it was consistently good performances, filling the role that was always needed or simply the big plays that counted; no viewer will ever forget the echo slam Universe pulled off to take the TI title.
It’s hard to describe a legend in a few words, but Universe is considered the full package of an offlaner. A wide hero pool, big plays, consistent in performance and always in the top tier of the game, it’s hard to match the man that sets the precedence for how the role should be played.
Daryl 'iceiceice' Koh is another player who’s career stretches back to the early days of the game. There’s only a handful of players that can say they’ve consistently been in the top tier of the game, and Iceiceice is certainly one of them.
Many remember team DK* as one of the greatest teams to have ever formed. They were the all star line-up, and the team featured Iceiceice in the offlane. Playing amongst the best of the best was probably a lot of pressure for all members of the team, but Iceiceice shone through. One of the only plays still to be playing in the top tier, Koh sits amongst the legends.
A good player understands the limits of their heroes. Iceiceice takes that perspective to a new definition. Known for his huge plays on Timbersaw, Clockwerk and Tidehunter, there are few who can match his skill. With all this being said, he isn’t just known for incredible plays, but Iceiceice is loved for his on screen personality too.
Some might argue that Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov is a recent addition to a list of legends, but none would argue whether he belongs there or not. Coming onto the big stage with style, MinD_ContRoL didn’t just solidify his place as one of the best in the world, but one of the best of all time.
It took just a year and a half of playing professionally before MinD_ContRoL found himself on a team with Kuroky. It took even less than that for MinD_ContRoL to show everyone his skill. Teams might have thought they had figured out how to play confidently, but he showed the world what it actually looked like to play with confidence.
Not only is he beyond talented in skill, but he also plays any position needed, sometimes stepping in and playing mid or safelane for Team Liquid. If versatility wasn’t enough, MinD_ContRoL also seems to have an endless hero pool, playing any hero, in any core role necessary. One of the greats isn’t enough to describe just how good this player is.
Zhang 'Faith Bian' Ruida. TI winner at the age of 18, with his the first professional team he played on since he was 16. He came from being off the radar to being the talking point of all offlaners.
Wings were characterised by their style of play being sporadic, unpredictable and genius. They relied on both ridiculous team combinations, but also superb individual performances, something all of their players brought to the table. Faith_Bian just impressed consistently at the tournaments running up to TI6, and of course at TI6 itself.
When Wings were around, the clips of Faith_Bian’s plays didn’t stop coming. 5 man RPs, 6HP escapes, quotes from other professionals saying not to mess with him, he was both feared and revered. One of the best in the world, and on Wings easily one of the best of all time.
An honourable mention in this list has to go to Gustav 's4' Magnusson. Spending most of his career as a midlaner but instantly becoming one of the top competitors in the offlane is a thing that few players have both done and succeeded at.
“To master one role at that kind of level is inspirational, but to master two while remaining one of the best players in both of those roles is pretty unthinkable. But for s4, anything seems to be possible” – SirActionSlacks, from the TI Lowdown profile on EG.
You would think that winning TI would be the peak of any players career, but s4 has always remained on top, winning competitions and competing amongst the best of the best. Not many people could ask for a more illustrious career than that of s4. One of the most quintessential things that s4 brought to the offlane wasn’t just his style of play but his hero pool.
Puck was traditionally a midlane hero, but as a result of s4 moving to the offlane and simply playing the hero in that role, Puck’s entire style of play was changed. To be able a new role with a hero that traditionally doesn’t fit the role, and to have other teams in the top tier of the game copy you says quite enough about the skill level s4 plays at. Not only is he a legend in the mid, but he’s carved himself a legacy in the offlane too.
Who do you think is the best offlaner of all time? Have your say in the comments below!
Teaser credit: ESL One