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OGN Summer Qualifiers: Results and statistics

This week was marked by the Korean OGN Summer Qualifiers, in which 16 teams were divided into 4 groups and battled it out for the 8 remaining slots for Champions Summer. The competition format for each group was the “double-elimination” one, which is very popular in Korea and China. The core principle of this system is that one team is not eliminated after the first loss, but instead gets another chance when they face the loser from the other game of the group and the winner of that match-up will go on to face the loser from the winners’ game. Basically, it all comes down to this: you can afford to lose once, however if you lose a second time, you are out of the tournament. By the same logic, you need two wins out of two or potentially three games in order to qualify.

OGN Champion Summer Line-up

Before I get into the statistics section of the article, I thought you might be interested in the results: Incredible Miracle #1, Incredible Miracle #2, JIN AIR Falcons, JIN AIR Stealths, SKT T1 S, Najin Black Sword, MKZ and Bigfile Miracle all made it through and will part-take in the Champions Summer Draw, which will happen on Wednesday, alongside the already qualified “favorites”: Samsung Blue, Samsung Ozone, CJ Frost, CJ Blaze, KT Bullets, KT Arrows, SKT T1K and Najin White Shield.

Now, it’s time to dive into some juicy statistics! There were 20 games played this week and for those of you who watched the games live, you had the pleasure of seeing all kind of “odd-ball” picks. Overall, 41 champions descended into the Rift (Riven and Sona were not picked, just banned away) and we could admire some “outside the meta” picks like top-lane Kassadin (hybrid tank-bruiser), top-lane Kayle, top-lane Soraka (after the nerf), top-lane Hecarim (don’t ask), mid-lane Anivia (it was not Froggen playing it) or mid-lane Katarina (not Scarra!). Of course some were more successful than others, but all in all it was a treat to watch these underdogs trying to reach their potential. We will break it down for every map section, but before we do that, let’s take a look at how the Korean teams decided to divide their bans.

OGN Qualies Bans against

1. Top-lane overview

The diversity in the top-lane was at an all time high and this situation was not triggered by an excessive “ban-wave” against the popular top champions, but the way the respective players envisioned the game. In fact, the top-lane champions only received 19 bans, making the “island on the Summoner’s Rift” the second least banned section of the map. As is the trend in both Europe and NA, Shyvana dominated the top-lane in Korea as well with a 70% pick-rate, almost double than Jax and Renekton, who share second place with 40%. The Grandmaster of Arms also accumulated 67% of the bans against the top-lane champion, being by far the most banned out top-laner. Apart from these three champions, another eight were picked for at least one game, creating a huge diversity in the top-lane. Riven was the only champion who got banned, but never picked. You can see more detailed info in the graph below (as always be sure to click on every image to enlarge it!)

OGN Qualies top-lane picks and bans

Jax shows why he received so many bans against him, as he parades his 87% win-rate around to secure first place among the top-lane champions after only dropping one single game out of the eight he was involved in. In second place, Renekton ends the week with a sub-par win-rate of 37% and in third we have Shyvana with 29%. Huge difference between the two and Jax, although both of them have the ability of harassing him in the early game as well as withstand the pressure of a 1v2 lane better than the Grandmaster of Arms.

OGN Qualies top-lane Win-rates

2. Jungle overview

The story of the jungle is completely different than the ones of the top and mid-lane, the diversity here is close to nonexistent, as the gap between the “fantastic four” and the rest is pretty big at the moment. Lee Sin, Kha’zix, Evelynn and Elise were picked by 39/40 teams, the only other picked jungler was Nunu with one odd appearance on the Rift. Among the four, Kha’zix was the most picked (60% pick-rate) and Lee Sin was the most banned champion (55% ban-rate) and the Blind Monk was also one of four champions (the other ones were Lulu, Kassadin and Thresh) who were picked or banned in every single game, having a flawless combined pick and ban rate of 100%.

OGN Qualies jungle picks and bans

Similar to the win-rates in the top-lane, one champion dominated the jungle this week with an 80% win-rate – Evelynn. In second place, we find Lee Sin with an average win-rate of 44%, followed by Kha’zix with 42% and Elise with 37%. Evelynn has a bigger impact in the “standard” 1v1 and 2v2 lanes and there were quite a few of those match-ups this week, which might explain the dominance of the Widowmaker.

OGN Qualies jungle win-rates

3. Mid-lane overview

The mid-lane – the place where the magic happens – was both the most entertaining section of the map to watch and the most banned out one. That is nothing new in itself, but the amount of bans (55%) that were poured into the mid-lane however is slightly bigger than the usual. Kassadin (18), LeBlanc (14) and Lulu (11) were the recipients for most of these bans. In fact, the Void Walker was only allowed to play in two games this week, once in the mid-lane and once in the top-lane (interesting Tri-force, then tanky build). With so many bans focused on the above-mentioned trio, a plethora of champions made their way towards the mid-lane of the Rift, no less than 14 heroes got to play at least one game this week. Among them, Nidalee, Lulu and Ziggs were the predominant figures being able to play in five or more games.

OGN Qualies mid-lane picks and bans

In case you have not noticed a pattern by now, you will for sure after taking a look at the win-rates of the mid-laners. Another huge difference between the first place, Lulu (75% win-rate) and the next in line, Ziggs (40% win-rate, while in third place, Nidalee only managed to achieve a 37% win-rate. The Fae Sorceress dominated the mid-lane in a very convincing manner, winning 6 out of the 8 matches in which she was chosen.

OGN Qualies mid-lane win-rates

4. AD-Carries overview

The marksmen were divided in Lucian, Twitch and the rest of the pack. The Purifier and the Plague Rat got the most picks this week, 14 and 11 and were the only AD-Carries to receive bans against them. In third place, Kog’Maw was the most popular pick when the first two were unavailable, gathering a total of 6 picks, while the people who did not favor him went for Caitlyn (2), Corki (2), Ezreal (2), Jinx (2) or even Varus (1). The current gap between Lucian, Twitch and the rest is well known and respected by the Koreans, who were also the first ones to bring Kog’Maw to the table, as a late game hyper-carry with a huge sieging potential and his win-rate speaks for itself.

OGN Qualies ad-carries picks and bans

The marksmen are the only ones who do not fall in line with the rest of the win-rates trends across the map and first place Lucian only has a 64% win-rate, compared to second place Kog’Maw’s 50%. That is referred to as an “adequate difference” and an even smaller one occured when comparing Kog’Maw and Twitch, in third place, with a 45% win-rate. All in all, a balanced win-rate score-card from the three champions who played in more than 25% of this week’s games.

OGN Qualies ad-carries win-rates

5. Supports overview

The big name in the Korean support scene is without a doubt, Thresh. The Chain Warden was picked 6 times and banned 14 times, bringing his combined pick and ban rate to a flawless 100%. As mentioned before, he is only one of four champions to be picked or banned in every game. On the other hand, the most usual match-up we got to see this week was Nami (13 picks) versus Leona (12), with Morgana also making her presence felt in 5 games. “Odd-ball” picks for supports included Fiddlesticks, Alistar and Annie, a noticeable presence in the early start of the season. A very important fact to highlight is the absence of both Karma and Zyra, the two poke-heavy supports, who surprisingly were never picked by any team.

OGN Qualies supports picks and bans

Unlike their lane-partners, the supports fit right in this week’s trend of having a very dominant first place, in this case Thresh with his 83% win-rate, showing us that the 14 bans cast against him, had a solid reasoning behind them. In second place this week we find Leona with a 58% win-rate, followed by Morgana in third with a 40% win-rate and Nami in fourth with a disappointing 31% win-rate. Although she struggled quite a lot, being the most picked support this week, the Tidecaller could only swing the balance in favor of her team in 4 out of the 13 games she played.

OGN Qualies supports win-rates

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LiNk (Cloud 9): player’s analysis and performance break-down

One of the most heart-breaking stories before the All-Star event in Paris, was Cloud 9 losing their captain, shot-caller and mid-laner (in that order) Hai, due to an unexpected medical condition. Despite of the huge set-back for Cloud 9, they rallied their forces and teamed up with CLG, who immediately agreed to loan their mid-laner, LiNk to the North American champions for the All-Star event. LiNk’s play-style and champion pool was very similar to the one of Hai and all things considered, that made him a perfect pick for Cloud 9. There was still the issue of shot-calling left and Meteos and crew had to decide who would try to fill in Hai’s big shoes, will it be a certain individual or more members pitching in at different times of the game? LiNk himself had some shot-calling experience, as CLG uses a 2 man shot-calling system with him and Aphromoo dictating their every move in the late-game, but was it realistically something that could be expected from him, after roughly one week of practice with Cloud 9? Most likely not.

Cloud 9 choose Link to join them in Paris

Instead, when they partnered up with LiNk, Cloud 9 were looking for a solid mid-laner, who would just do his thing, farm up and be relevant in the mid and late-game, while Meteos would help out Balls and/or Sneaky get going in the early game, dominate the mid-game and carry the team to success in the late-game. Being left to fend for himself most of the games, LiNk did a good job and averaged 76 CS at the 10 minute mark and 164 CS at the 20 minute mark. The numbers are not particularly impressive, but given his world-class opposition and the fact that he received little help from his jungler, they are not too bad either. In fact, the average would have been considerably higher, if we disregard the game versus OMG in the Group stage, where both the enemy jungler and support roamed multiple times to the mid-lane, to make sure that Xiyang would not have a hard time in lane, because their entire mid-game strategy was relying on that. In the first game of the Semi-final series against OMG, LiNk’s Nidalee was 12 CS ahead of Xiyang’s Lulu at the 10 minute mark, which should normally not happen and is a testament to his strong laning abilities, who were also praised by the mid-lane king himself, Faker.

The supportive mid-laner role that LiNk got to play for Cloud 9, basically means that you take more of a back-seat role and provide some support for your team, while others have the flashy KD ratios and the glory that comes with it. That being said, an average KDA of 2.50 over three wins and three heavy defeats is pretty respectable and if we break it down, one can clearly notice how clear the three defeats were for Cloud 9 and LiNk, who totaled 11/6/27 while winning and 5/12/2 while losing. A night and day difference, especially when we look at the assists. While it is true that Cloud 9 only dropped matches to SKT T1 K and OMG, the games were very one-sided, except for the first one of the semi-final series against OMG, where C9 had a real shot at winning, but were unable to keep their early game lead, due to a couple of bad decisions in the mid-game. Same conclusion can be drawn when looking over LiNk’s kill participation numbers, he averaged a decent 62,5% not standing out from the rest and doing what was asked of him. In all the six games played, he never got First Blood, or First Blood Assist and gave away First Blood only once, in the group stage game versus OMG, where he was heavily focused by the enemy team.

Link's most played champions at All-Star

Link did not get a chance to show more than three of his mid-lane champions, playing mostly Lulu and Orianna, two supportive mid-lane champions and a comfort pick, Nidalee, in the first game of the Semi-final series vs OMG. He had a 3.4 KDA on Lulu, 2.1 on Orianna and 1.0 on Nidalee. Asked about it, LiNk confirmed that this was the plan discussed with Cloud 9 all along and although he would have liked to play more aggressive champions like LeBlanc or Twisted Faith, he decided together with the team against it. Below, a table that pretty much sums up his entire performance

Link's performance breakdown at All-Star

Overall, both Link’s and Cloud 9’s performance at All-Star was above average and certainly above expectations, as many dooms-day scenarios threatened to unfold before the competition had even started. With the very limited time at hand, Meteos and crew have done North America proud finishing 3rd/4th, but more importantly, gaining the valuable international experience, which will help them out tremendously in both the upcoming LCS Summer Split and the World Championships that will take place in September, where the team is looking to have a better showing than last year and prove that North America has come a long way in terms of attitude, preparation and organisation. As the Korean teams have shown it time and time again, there are more factors to the success of a League of Legends team, than the five players, the staff that is behind them is equally important and relevant. If you are interested, you can check out Link’s and Lemonnation’s AMAs on Reddit, where they mostly talk about the All-Star experience. LeagueThoughts will also do a sum-up of those later on.

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EU & NA LCS Week 11: Champion analysis

The final week of the regular season is over in both NA and EU and now it’s time to crunch the numbers. First of all, remember this was a super-week, meaning double the amount of games for both regions. Luckily for us, the guys in the EU LCS were kind enough and avoided the six-way-tie dooms-day scenario, that would have implied several tie-breakers and many more games 🙂 As it stands, we have 16 games from each region, 32 in total, to analyse. A record-breaking total of 55 champions were picked or banned on both sides of the pond, with some specific champions for each region, many similarities, but a lot of differences. Kassadin and Aatrox were still unavailable for both regions and following the CLG loss to CRS, Shen was also disabled due to him bugging out. As you go through the list below (click to enlarge) you can see the numbers for Europe in red and for North America in blue, the specific colors for the two LCS regions in League of Legends.

LCS Week 11 Champion Analysis

Top-Lane 

Renekton’s reign of terror is close to an end, his numbers are slowly dropping and with the upcoming nerfs to his early game in Patch 4.5 they will probably continue to drop, but he is still the Alpha-croc for now, with a combined 66% pick and ban rate across the two regions. His win-rate varies a lot, while in NA he has a staggering 80% win rate, he dropped a lot of games in Europe, managing to win only 38% of his matches. However, since the 4.4 patch, the top-laners were faced with the enemy bot-lane more often then not, so the importance of these numbers is only marginally relevant, take them with a grain of salt. Same as the weeks before, in 2nd and 3rd place we find Ryze and Shyvana, who had a place swap for this week, as Ryze manage to climb in 2nd spot, with a 57% combined ban and pick rate in both NA and EU. In Europe, the Rogue Mage continues his poor results, averaging a 33% win rate over 6 games, while in NA he only played 4 games, but managed to drop only 1, netting him a 75% win-rate. Shyvana on the other hand, has a very stable win-rate over both regions at 43%-44%.  A surprise appearance was made by Lee Sin, as he was used a fair amount of games this week in the top-lane, allowing Kha’zix and Evelynn to fight for solo dominance of the jungle. He is something to watch out for in the future. Other picks for the top-lane this week include Trundle (10 picks or bans across both regions), Heimerdinger (7), Jax (4), Shen (2), Jayce (2), Nidalee (2), Yorick (1) and Irelia (1).

Top-lane podium

Jungle

The rumble in the jungle had the same outcome as in previous weeks, with Kha’zix just out-edging Evelynn. The Voidreaver and the Widowmaker went head to head in Europe with 8 picks and 8 bans each, but Evelynn lost her edge in North America where she only got 8 picks and 6 bans, compared to Kha’zix’ 4 picks and 12 bans. Overall, a 100% combined pick and ban rate for the jumpy bug and “only” 94% for the stealthy lady. The win-rates of the two champions also differ on the two sides of the pond, they are both much more successful in Europe, 75% Kha’zix and 63% Evelynn than in North America, 25% Kha’zix and 38% Evelynn. In third place, we have the Blind Monk. Although used a lot in the top-lane as well, Lee Sin‘s main contribution is still in the jungle, with a 100% pick and ban rate in North America and  63% in Europe. With the nerf to his “W” in the recent 4.5 patch, his numbers are likely to fall, but he will still be a force to be reckoned with.  Speaking of champions who recently received a major nerf, in 4th place we find Elise roaming around. Although her early game power was reduced significantly, the Spider Queen still got 7 picks in EU and 10 in NA, averaging a combined 60% pick and ban rate and a 46% win-rate across the 2 regions. Not too shabby for someone who was just nerfed in the current patch (as a reminder, although we are now live on 4.5, the LCS games were played on the 4.4 patch). Other junglers used this week by the pros were: Pantheon (6), Vi (2), Wukong (1), Udyr (1), Nocturne (1) and Fiddlesticks (1).

Jungler podium

Mid-lane 

After almost perma-banning Lulu in the previous week, some of the teams have forgotten her power and the Fae Sorceress managed to play a whooping total of 7 games this week, being banned in the rest of them. While her combined pick and ban rate over both regions is still untouched at 100%, her win-rate is very different. In Europe she somehow managed to lose all the 4 games she was allowed to play, netting her a big fat 0%, while in North America she has only achieved victories and a deserving 100% win-rate. Night and day differences between the two regions! In second place, with a considerable amount of bans against her, we find LeBlanc. The Deceiver has a combined pick and ban rate of 88% in Europe and 75% in North America. Her win-rate is not really relevant because she got to play a total of 5 games last week, 2 in Europe and 3 in NA. Sitting pretty comfortable in 3rd place, Nidalee managed to gather an impressive 88% combined pick and ban rate in Europe and 57% in North America. The Bestial Huntress is another good example of how things are done different in the two regions, while she only dropped a single game out of 4 in Europe, Nidalee managed to only win 1 out of 6 games in NA. The reasons behind these results might be a combination of the EU mid-laners landing more spears and the opponent’s better ability to hard engage on the poke-team-comp before getting harassed, in North America. In 4th and 5th we find Gragas and Zed, with Europe favoring the Rabble Rouser, while the Master of Shadows was more popular in North America. Other champions we enjoyed seeing in the mid-lane were: Orianna (9), Ahri (3), Yasuo (2), Kayle (2), Soraka (2), Syndra (2), Talon (1), Xerath (1).

mid-laner podium

AD-Carry

The favorite ADC for both regions remains, as before, Lucian. The Purifier averages a 91% combined pick and ban rate and continues to be the first pick for most ADCs, but as you have probably guessed by now, his win-rates differ greatly, as he dominated North America with a solid 73% win-rate and only managed to get a 31% win-rate in Europe. In second place, Caitlyn has had more success this week, at least in Europe, where she achieved her highest win-rate up to date, 50%. Caitlyn is used as a faithful side-kick to Nidalee in all the siege-compositions and we have established earlier that these had a bit more success on the old continent, than in the new world. In third, a familiar, but menacing face resurfaces, Jinx! The Loose Cannon is seen by many as a better alternative to Caitlyn, especially in the 1v2 scenarios, where she can get away with a clean laneing phase and can continue to out-scale her counter-parts as the game enters it’s later stages. Although playing only 6 games in Europe and 3 in NA, Jinx has managed to get the same impressive win-rate in both regions, 67%. As for our fun-fact of the week, you should notice that except for these 3 AD-Carries, who were used in both regions, the Europeans and the Americans have slightly different preferences when it comes to their marksmen. In North America, Sneaky & co favored Corki (6), Draven (3), Ezreal (2) and Kog’maw (1) while over in Europe, Rekkles and crew preferred  the likes of Vayne (2), Sivir (2), Twitch (2) and Varus (1).

ad-carries podium

Support

Thresh, the uncontested King of the Bot-lane, hangs on to his crown for another week, with a 100% combined pick and ban rate in North America and only a 44% one in Europe. Almost all Support players in the NA LCS favor Thresh and are feared Thresh players, which was the reason for 6 Chain Warden bans last week. As with most “op champions” this week, he also had a weaker win-rate in EU (29%) than in NA (60%). In second place, same as the week before, we find Leona with a combined pick and ban rate of 63% in EU and 37% in NA, but with a win-rate that would make even Thresh jealous, 50% in EU and 80% in NA. In the race for second place, Karma has fallen a little short this week, ending in 3rd place with an average pick and ban rate of 47% and a win-rate of 53% across the two regions. She remains the go to support when building a poke-comp, as her synergy in lane with Caitlyn is unparalleled. In 4th place, Morgana still looks to put an end to Leona’s popularity, but even though she fell short yet again this week, she is still one of Leona’s biggest counters due to her Black Shield. Other popular supports used in the super-week were Annie (4), Nami (1), Blitz (1) and Zyra (1).

support podium

This wraps up the super-week and the spring split of both the EU and NA LCS. Don’t forget about the upcoming Challenger Series play-offs starting on Thursday, 1oth of April for EU and on Saturday, 12th of April for NA and of-course the LCS play-offs starting on Tuesday, 15th of April for EU and on Friday, 18th of April for NA. We will be of course covering both events, so if you know you will miss the games, or just feel the need for a good read, be sure to check our game reviews.

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EU & NA LCS Week 10: Champion analysis

Week 10 has come to an end for both the EU and the NA LCS and as we get ready and hyped for the super-week, it is time to take a look back at who and why was picked and banned by the pros on both sides of the pond. This week we had a total of 17 games played, 8 for each region plus the controversial remake of the SK – GMB match, due to the referee not giving SK the possibility to remake the game because of an Aatrox bug. 42 champions were picked and banned this week and an unlucky two only got banned, but never got a chance to shine on the Rift, Heimerdinger and Jax. As you go through the list below, you might notice some odd picks, as we have seen the likes of  Xin Zhao and Nautilus jungling, Vel’koz support, Xerath, Soraka and Lux in the mid-lane, Rumble in the top-lane and Twitch on AD-Carry. It is also very important to note that Aatrox (after the bug) and Kassadin were disabled for both regions. Let’s have a closer look at the chart:

Banrate W10

Top-Lane 

Summoner Rift’s island of solitude crowns Renekton as the top pick of the week yet again. The big crocodile still holds a big lead over his competitors with 15 appearances this week, which translates into a 88% combined pick and ban rate. Make no mistake about it, he is still as deadly as ever before. Same as last week, Shyvana was the 2nd favorite beast in the top-lane being considered by most, the viable counter-pick to Renekton, as long as one gets out unharmed from the laning phase. In fact, due to the croc also being banned a couple of times, the Half-Dragon was the most actual played top-laner in the LCS with 11 appearances. In third place, coming on board of the hype-train all the way from Korea, we have Ryze. The Rogue Mage had a combined ban and pick rate of 65%, but only managed to play in 4 games and his performance wasn’t very convincing either, a sign that the Western teams need a little bit more practice with this champion. Trundle came in forth this week, being the unlucky victim of the upryze (too soon?). Surprisingly, except for Balls bringing out his Rumble once again and Darien picking Aatrox and revealing his bug, there were no other “odd” heroes in the top-lane.

Jungle

After a hard fought battle, Kha’zix reigned supreme once again over the jungle with a flawless pick and ban rate of 100%. His win rate did go down a little bit, but expect it to rise again as more and more junglers pick him up and get used to the new play-style of the hero. Just missing out on first place, with her 94% combined pick and ban rate, we have Evelynn. Always a threat to the enemy team even when she is simply farming her camps, the Widowmaker remains one of the top contenders in the jungle, more so as Elise has received a big nerf to her early game, making Evelynn the only popular AP-Jungler choice. In third, we find Lee Sin with a combined 76% pick and ban rate. Despite rumors of an imminent rework, the Blind Monk continues his rampage in the early game and secures enough advantages for his team to nail him a 50% win rate on both sides of the pond. Other popular heroes used in the jungle this week were Pantheon, Elise, Xin Zhao, Nautilus and Fiddlesticks.

Mid-lane 

With Kassadin disabled for the entire week, Lulu has almost managed to get perma-banned, as the Fae Sorceress was only allowed to play in 1 out of 17 games this week. Naturally, she won that game and has both a perfect pick & ban rate and a win rate of 100%, simply amazing! 🙂 Same as last week, we have LeBlanc in second place with a combined 88% pick and ban rate. However, she had a very rough week, managing to secure only one win out of 8 games. The reason for this may well be the fact that people have learned how to deal with it and/or her team was very behind and the enemies could secure the Banshee’s Veils faster, thus minimizing her threat. Do not get fooled though, she is still one of the deadliest mid-laners out there and can still one-shot you if you lower your guard. In third place, sneaking in from the shadows, is Zed. With a combined pick and ban rate of 64% he managed to get in front of more popular picks such as Nidalee, Ziggs or Gragas. The Master of Shadows might also be one of the reasons behind LeBlanc’s plummeting win rate, as he rarely drops any game when the two meet. Other champions used by the pros this week were: Ahri, Kayle, Lux, Orianna, Soraka, Xerath and Yasuo.

AD-Carry 

Lucian still means serious business in the bot-lane with his 94% combined pick and ban rate and an amazing 69% win-rate. No one decided to contest his supremacy this week, as Caitlyn’s popularity has gone down and the players are looking for the next op carry to choose from between Jinx, Sivir, Twitch and Varus, who all got a decent amount of picks and bans, making it very hard to pick a second and a third spot for this week. Vayne also got 1 pick to conclude a very one-sided week for the ad-carries.

Support 

Thresh keeps his crown for another week with a combined pick and ban rate of 76% and Leona climbs her way into 2nd place, as teams were looking to capitalize on her immense engage potential and were rewarded with a victory in 67% of the games. Karma has dropped one spot and is now in 3nd place with a 53% p&b rate and an impressive 63% win rate. The Enlightened One is still considered to be the best poke support out there and offers a huge utility to the rest of her team with her Mantra and Focused Resolve. With the rise of Leona, comes a slight increase in popularity from her counter-part, Morgana, who shares 4th spot with Annie. Other odd picks for supports this week include Sona, Alistar and an absolute first, Vel’koz, with his very mana efficient slow.

That was it for this analysis, as we get ready for the super-week with a minimum of 32 games + the possible tie-breakers (*cough* EU LCS *cough*)coming up. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday for another insightful analysis on what the pros favor in both the EU and NA LCS.

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EU & NA LCS Week 9: Champion analysis

After 16 hard-fought games in both Europe and North America, week 9 comes to an end and it is time for statistics and analysis. A total of 42 champions were picked or banned this week on both sides of the pond and only 40 of these actually got to enter the Rift, as both Irelia and Vi received some bans, but were never picked. As you go through the list below, you might notice some trends from the IEM World Championships last week, making their way in the LCS, like the Karma support, the Ryze top/mid or the “new” Kha’zix jungle, with his evolved ultimate at level 6.

Champanal LCS W9

Top-lane

On everyone’s favorite “island” we find the big crocodile once again dominating the scene. Renekton was picked 13 times this week and as he culled through his opponents, reaching a staggering 62% win-rate. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is the alpha dog (or croc?) up there and as Wickd said in an interview, you have to know how to play Renekton if you want to call yourself a top-laner. In second place, same as last week at IEM, Shyvana is the only real contender to the croc with 9 appearences and a 56% win rate. Her great initiation in team-fights and the fact that she can dash out so much aoe damage while being very tanky are the main reasons for her success. After the recent buffs on the range of his Q, Ryze starts to crawl his way back to power in both the top and the mid-lane, with 4 picks and 2 bans as people relearn how to play him. Other top-laners used this week include Aatrox, Jax, Jayce, Nidalee (no, HotShotGG did not come out of retirement), Shen and Trundle.

Jungle

The unofficial title of king of the jungle goes to Kha’zix this week, with a combined pick and ban rate of 94%, the bug made a spectacular come-back thanks to the buff his ultimate received. With evolving his R first, the Voidreaver was able to adapt and go from an early game assassin that needed to get some early kills to remain relevant in the game, to this very tanky bruiser who can still dish out a lot of damage. While his winrate is not that impressive with 4 wins and 4 losses, teams would always fear his assassination potential combined with his new-found tankyness. In a close second, we find Elise, who has been picked or banned in 87% of this week’s games and is still a very powerful jungler. A quick note is in order here, the LCS games were played on patch 4.3, before the nerfs that the spider-queen would receive in the upcoming patch, that is now live. Evelynn rounds up the podium with a combined 69% pick and ban rate. While it is true, that teams have a better understanding of Eve now and have learned how to ward effectively against her, she still has a tremendous success, for example, this week she was picked in 6 games and has won all of them. Some might call this a flawless victory 🙂 At the other end of the spectrum, Lee Sin, was just a shadow of his former self being picked in only 5 games and losing all of them. Other junglers roaming around and killing monsters this week were: Pantheon and Kayle.

Mid-lane

The mid-lane was the focus for the majority of the bans this week and thus the top-threat champions were rarely seen on the Rift. Nevertheless, in first place we find Lulu with 5 picks, 11 bans and thus a 100% pick and ban rate. The Fae Sorceress tops the list yet again as no one wants to lane against her and when she does get a chance to descend in the Rift she usually comes out undefeated, as was the case this week with her 80% win-rate. LeBlanc was a close second, with another 100% combined pick and ban rate, but she just missed out on too much action, being able to play in only 3 games. Other champions with a huge ban rate were Kassadin (11 bans) and Nidalee (7 bans). Kassadin is still considered to be a pain even after his re-work, while Nidalee spears are hard to defend against especially when the enemy team is ahead. With the high ban-rate on the above-mentioned champions, we got to see more Gragas, Ziggs, Zed and Kayle on the Rift. The Rabble Rouser, came out on top and with his 5 picks, 4 bans and a 60% win-rate, he secures himself the 3rd spot in the standings. We also got to see Ahri, Orianna, Ryze and Yasuo at work in the mid-lane.

AD-Carry

With no relevant changes to the ADCs in the 4.3 patch, the holy trinity remains intact, with Lucian leading the charge once again due to his impressive stats. The Purifier has a 81% combined pick and ban rate, having missed out on only 3 games this week and a mind-blowing 78% win rate. In second place, we have Caitlyn with a 69% combined pick and ban rate. Sadly for the Sheriff of Piltower her win-rate is among the worst with 20%, while her laning phase is pretty strong, if she does not get ahead early, she tends to fall off in the late-game. Sivir rounds up the podium with a 56% pick and ban rate and a 60% win-rate. Sivir is a more supportive ADC with her ultimate providing a great deal of utility to the entire team and if left alone, she can deal a bunch of aoe dps from the back line with her Q and W. Jinx has also seen some popularity this week with 5 games played, despite her low mobility, she scales very well in the late-game, can harass from afar and has a game-changing ultimate. Ezreal, Vayne and Quinn all had 1 appearance each this week.

Support

The poke heavy supports saw a come-back this week following the 4.3 changes to gold generation items. We got to see some very good Zyra, Sona, Nami and especially Karma plays this week. Karma was the most dominant poke support out there and managed to climb all the way in second place with 6 picks and 1 ban. She shares the second place with Annie, but her 33% win-rate is double than that of the Dark Child. A very interesting fun-fact, Xpecial, the MVP of the week in NA, was the only one to win a game on both Annie and Leona. He succeeded where 7 other players failed and even more impressive than the fact that he was awarded MVP, he managed to receive the award while playing champions with a non-existing win-rate. Back to the champions though, in first place, regardless of the current meta, we find none other than Thresh. The support-play-maker gathered a 69% combined pick and ban rate and has a monstrous 67% win rate as it looks like nothing can stop him, especially in the hands of a pro-player, landing death sentence after death sentence to bring his team closer to victory. The antagonist duo, Morgana and Leona have also seen a bit of love this week, but as Leona and Vi are not used as much as before, there is no real reason to pick Morgana.

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IEM Katowice: Champion analysis

As the players quietly await their flights home, it’s time to look back at the past three days of League of Legends action from the IEM venue in Katowice, Poland. We had some amazing plays during the 18 games this week-end and we got to see 46 (actually 45, because Kayle was never picked, although she got banned 3 times) champions on the Rift. Here is the detailed list with all the champions picked or banned away this week:

Picksbans

Top-Lane

The biggest name up there was Renekton, with a combined pick & ban rate of 100%, that means he was either picked or banned in all 18 games. Huge achievement for the Butcher of the Sands who confirms his dominance in the top-lane once more. Although his 55% win-rate is far from impressive, his early lane dominance, bullying ability and snow-ball potential make him the most wanted top-laner at this time. Shyvana was by far the second choice with 10 picks and surprisingly no ban. No one feared the dragon-lady enough to ban her, but almost immediately picker her if she wasn’t. Other options for the top-lane were: Trundle, Aatrox, Olaf, Mundo, Shen, Ryze, Malphite or Jax.

Jungle

With a combined 83% pick & ban rate, Elise comes out as this tournament’s favorite jungler. The spider queen was feared by everyone as she got more bans than picks and with good reason, out of the 6 games she was involved in, her team only lost 1, which nets her an astonishing 83% win rate, the highest of the entire tournament for champions who were involved in four or more games. While Lee Sin was a close second with a combined pick & ban rate of 72%, it was actually Kha’zix who turned heads this week-end. Being mostly played by InSec, the Voidreaver managed to sneak through the ban phase, only gathering one single ban in the entire tournament, despite him turning the tide around in many games and achieving a phenomenal 70% win-rate. Other junglers used this week-end include Evelynn, Wukong, Pantheon, Nocturne, Vi, Hecarim and Fiddlesticks.

Mid-lane

Lulu was definitely the mid-laner no one wanted to lane against, with a combined 94% pick & ban rate and the highest ban-rate of the tournament (72%), the Fae Sorceress only got to play 4 games, because teams were afraid of her immense team-utility, chasing potential and dominant lane presence. The fact that she received more bans than Kassadin (61%) should say it all 🙂 With those two banned most of the time, the players turned their attention towards Gragas and LeBlanc. These two have seen most of the action on the Rift and despite going up head-to-head most of the times, they both have a 60%+ win-rate. Other mid-laners used include: Ziggs, Nidalee, Yasuo, Ori, Zed and Karthus. With the mid-lane having such an important role in the current meta, it is fair to say that people who tried to bring new champions in this lane, like Karthus, Orianna, Yasuo or Zed often struggled in their lane and allowed their opponent to help other lanes as well.

AD-Carry

The holy trinity in the bot-lane was lead by Lucian, with 11 picks and 4 bans and a combined 83% pick & ban rate, the Purifier was the favorite ADC this week-end because of his mobility, high burst potential in lane and a great multi-purpose ultimate. Coming up in second, Sivir, with a combined pick & ban rate of 72% had the biggest win-rate out of all AD-Carries (64%) due in part to her great ultimate which allows for easy engages or disengages. Rounding up the podium we have Caitlyn. The Sheriff of Piltower is regarded by most pros as a very good counter in lane  to both Sivir and Lucian and despite a good escape ability and a long-range snipe ultimate, her win rate plummeted at 29% during the IEM World Finals. Vayne, Varus, Jinx and Ezreal were the other ADCs used in this tournament.

Support

Finally, as far as supports are concerned, Thresh was undoubtedly the king of the hill. The Chain Warden had a combined pick and ban rate of 88%, being picked in 8 games and banned away in another 8. While his win-rate is not impressive (50%) he remains the ultimate play-maker with a huge contribution for the team both when ahead and when behind, his hooks and lanterns can mean instant death for enemies and a saving grace for allies in need. In second place we find the Drak Child herself, Annie with 7 appearances and 3 bans, she was not very impactful this week-end as her team only secured 1 win in the entire tournament and that was the back-door from KTB against GMB. In third place we find the antagonists, Leona and Morgana, with around 40% combined pick & ban rate. Other chosen supports were: Karma (the only champion with 100% win rate out of the ones that played more than 1 game), Sona, Zyra and Zilean.

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