With the conclusion of the 2021 Season in League of Legends the Inven Global team (as well as some other strong League of Legends minds) got together to reflect on the standouts throughout the year. It was a great season of entertaining casts, memorable games, and stellar play. What better way to celebrate than with some end-of-season awards?
We’re excited to present the second year of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the editorial crew of Inven Global, along with some other experienced journalists and analysts, the IGA’s celebrate the many strong facets of League of Legends in 2021 — the best teams, players, talent, and stories.
The color casters that made the biggest impression on the League of Legends esports scene throughout the 2021 season were a mixed bag of new and old in terms of experience. Fans can also vote for the player who they think deserves it the most, and the winners will receive the IGA Community Award.
Since his LCS debut in the spring of 2016, Azael has impressed as a color caster. However, the former World of Warcraft champion’s prowess as a LoL esports analyst, regardless of his role, has only grown. Azael’s analysis has always been a strength, but year after year, the Canadian continues to improve his diction and delivery during games and has developed an uncanny ability to link plays back to previous iconic moments.
Perhaps more impressive than anything is Azael’s proficiency to gel with his co-casters on a quicker and more consistent basis than almost anyone else in the business, often providing perfect segways from the intensity of Clayton “CaptainFlowers” Raines, the goofiness of David “Phreak” Turley, and everything in-between in the way of play-by-play casting.
In 2020, Caedrel was on the fence about whether he would continue his career as a professional jungler for Excel Esports in the LEC or if he would go all-in on casting after an impressive slew of appearances on the broadcasts for the 2020 LEC Summer Playoffs, EU Masters 2020, and Worlds 2020. One year later, it’s impossible to imagine he would have ever chosen anything but casting.
Caedrel has established the perfect balance of by-the-book analysis and showmanship, and best of all, he has the perspective of a recently professional player. When it comes to weaving in one’s professional playing experience into analysis, no previous player-to-analyst converts have come close to Caedrel’s charisma and fluidity in conveying his points. Each time Caedrel relates to or backs up a point with his own professional experience, it only enriches the point instead of coming across as ego-inflating or a qualifying statement to back up the analysis it precedes.
Kobe hasn’t changed much in the past half-decade, but there’s a good reason for that: he’s been top of his class for the entire time, if not longer. Kobe’s infectious style of fan-like enthusiasm in his reactions and devastatingly accurate analysis has made him a mainstay color caster for the entirety of the scene’s existence, and in 2021, he continued to be the most consistent and reliable of any color caster, oftentimes flipping to play-by-play in the event that a crazy chain of events went longer than the breath length of his casting partner.
There have been many casters that possess Kobe’s knowledge and recall, but the list of those who can maintain those attributes for the amount of time Kobe has is a blank page.
Before becoming a caster, Lyric — known at the time as Grey — casted multiple minor region teams, most notably CBLoL squad Flamengo Esports during the 2019 season.
After less than a full year of getting used to the color casting position throughout the majority of the 2020 LPL season, Lyric took center stage amongst the LPL analysts in 2021 and backed up his sound analysis with eloquence to match, earning himself a decent amount of broadcast time during Worlds 2021.
2021 was just another year in the books of elite color casting and succinct analysis byVedius. Vedius doesn’t let his personality leak onto broadcasts in the form of childlike enthusiasm like the infectious Kobe, but his ability to convey excitement within his in-game analysis is second to none and his showmanship is arguably the best in the world amongst his color casting peers.
A true veteran of the esports scene, Wolf’s entry into top level League of Legends as LCK’s new color caster made deep impressions. A true master of his craft, Wolf missed the top 5 by an inch in what’s been a hotly contested, narrow race in the category.
Best top laner
Best mid laner
Best minor region player
Player of the year
Best coaching staff
Best play-by-play caster
Best color caster
Best story of the year (Dec. 17)
Biggest controversy of the year (Dec. 18)
Best in-game moment (Dec. 19)
Best content piece or series (Dec. 20)
Off-season winner (Dec. 21)
Awards announcement: Player categories (Dec. 29)
Awards announcement: Caster and community categories (Dec. 30)
Inven Global Awards panelists:
Nick Geracie /// @NickGeracie
Daniel “Quest” Kwon /// @LoLQuestKR
David “Viion” Jang /// @David_Viion
John “OddBall” Popko /// @OddballCreator
Kim “Haao” Byung-ho /// @Inven_Haao
Jang “Irro” Min-young
Carver Fisher /// @Carver_Fisher
Josh Tyler /// @joshtyler
Andre Gonzalez Rodriguez /// @Vulv_
Tom Matthiesen /// @TomMatthiesen
Adel Chouadria /// @AdelChouadria
Yohan Markov /// @Esports_Person
All images via: Riot Games
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