Team Vitality Alphari Ranks Best Kennen Plays Made In LoL Esports History
Two of the major League of Legends esports regions – China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) – have already begun their respective Summer splits and the North American league and the European one are gearing up to kick start theirs.
Ahead of the start of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Team Vitality’s top-laner Barney “Alphari” Morris popped up on the LoL Esports YouTube channel as part of the Ultimate List series. In this particular episode, Alphari ranked some of the best Kennen plays in the history of LoL Esports.
Riot Games wrote, “Welcome to Ultimate List, the home of LoL Esports’ biggest and boldest moments of all time. This week Alphari ranks the greatest Kennen plays, featuring highlights from Rekkles, Nuguri, and more!”
Heart of the Tempest Kennen
Kennen as a champion and a solo-laner is a really good initiator for the team since his ability kit provides a ton of crowd control (CC). Apart from that, the yordle also has a reliable form of poke, which can be used to whittle down enemies. He is also a lane bully since he can use his ranged advantage to take down melee champions.
On the question of why top-laner like to play Kennen, Alphari said, “A lot of top-laners like to play Kennen because it’s always consistent in what it does, and he’s a pretty safe laner.” He added that Kennen has the potential to side lane and team fight at the same time and that is why he pops in and out of the meta all the time.
What were the clips that were ranked by Alphari?
Nuguri’s Kennen 1v1 against Hanabi’s Lulu
This clip was taken from Worlds 2022 Group Stage Day 3 where PSG Talon went up against Damwon Gaming. At 15 minutes in the game, Damwon’s top-laner Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon decided to take things into his own hand as he tower dove Su "Hanabi" Chia-Hsiang’s Lulu. At first it seemed like the Kennen was going to die after tanking tower shots and also getting hit by the minions, however, with a stellar outplay, Nuguri killed the tanky Lulu. In 2020, Nuguri’s Kennen was so iconic that when he won Worlds alongside Damwon, he decided to opt for a Kennen skin.
Soaz’s great Kennen escape
This clip from the 2015 World Championship is still a very iconic one where Paul "Soaz" Boyer had an insane teleport play on Kennen. The match was between SK Telecom T1 (SKT T1) and Origen in the Semis of Worlds 2015. Soaz on the Kennen was getting ganked by T1’s jungler and he instantaneously flashed away and walked back into the duo only to Teleport back to his inner tower. This move caught everyone by surprise.
Rekkles’ Kennen Quadrakill
Fnatic’s attack damage carry (ADC) player Carl Martin Erik “Rekkles” Larsson almost got a pentakill on Kennen at Worlds 2015 in the Group Stage while playing against Invictus Gaming. Unfortunately for him, his support Braum kill stole the penta and Rekkles managed to secure only four kills.
Kiin successfully defends base
This particular clip is very famous in the Korean league where Afreeca Freecs’ top-laner Kim "Kiin" Gi-in teleported back into his base against four players from the Jin Air Greenwings’ side and successfully fended off the attackers.
Smeb proves he is the best
Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho who was playing for ROX Tigers showed how valuable the Kennen pick is by instantaneously turning around a team fight against G2 Esports in Worlds 2016’s Group Stage. Smeb used his Ultimate on four members of the G2 roster and completely wiped them off Summoner’s Rift.
According to Alphari, the following are the ranks for each of the Kennen plays:
SSS: Smeb's outplay
S: Kiin successfully defends base
A: Soaz's great escape
B: Nuguri 1v1 Kennen kill and Rekkles Kennen quadrakill
Alphari ranked Smeb’s outplay in the SSS tier and called it an ideal Kennen play. Every Kennen player dreams about pulling something off like this and to this day, it is still one of the best Kennen performances the League of Legends community has seen in the esports scene.