Minions Have Spawned

a League of Legends analysis blog

Hello, Summer! Picking on Bans: SKT vs CJ, Opening match

This 1st week of Summer was exactly how the world envisioned SKT to open Spring 2016: Dominantly. We know that didn’t happen. They struggled to adapt to the meta, and took some time to fit Blank into the lineup while easing Duke into his role at top, working on teleport timings and overall team coordination.

SKT profile(Source:

Then MSI materialized and a bunch of mid-season updates. What’s changed?

1) The overall meta: Apparently the original dragon bred with 5 different breeds and now we’ve got 4 Elementals plus one that aged much faster than the others. Or maybe that’s the Daddy. Who knows. Objectives are important enough to go to war over, hence vision-control from junglers have grown in importance


2) Mage updates, patch 6.9
3) Rito still buffing top lane champions: Maokai, Ekko and Trundle continue to be power-picks. Add Swain, Vlad and tank Fizz into the mix
4) Because of changes to the meta & the importance of objectives, instead of pick comps, team-fighting comps are more effective (think sustain from supports as teams go back and forth dancing around terrain)
5) Other tweaks that didn’t have such a large impact on the meta but worth mentioning especially in the context of LCK
QSS no longer removes Zed & Trundle’s ult
-Rift Herald only spawns once + buff lasts much longer
-Goodbye Devourer

Carry junglers no longer farming up 20 minutes of the game to get sated?
Early objectives #1 on the list?
Vision control and team fighting now a crucial exercise? Did someone say…

bengiHis godly hand


Welcome back to Worlds 2015 where The Jungle himself terrorizes with either of the 2 Queens, Elise and Rek’sai, making it puzzling why CJ banned Kindred rather than Azir in Game 1.

CJ bans

Ryze Power + Target ban
Kindred ???
Ekko Power ban

SKT bans

Thresh Targeted ban against Madlife
Nidalee Power ban
Zed Targeted ban against Bdd

Bans in Game 1

If SKT wanted to run Kindred, Blank would have shown up. Even in the off chance they randomly decide to put bengi on her, Faker’s Azir poses a much larger threat.


Contrast this with SKT’s make-a-statement 1st ban Thresh and last ban Zed coupled with the much expected Nidalee injunction. As long as Nidalee isn’t prioritized for Blank in any given matchup, we should expect SKT to apply a ban on her most games this season to allow bengi to comfortably set up vision control in the enemy jungle without losing out on his own.

Another occurrence that showed SKT was fully prepared to play into CJ’s tendencies for late game was their 2nd pick Ezreal. Mind you, Maokai was open so not picking him on a team that sweeps up power-picks should raise some alarm bells.


After falling the trap of allocating Maokai to Untara, SKT responded with Trundle who can no longer be stopped once ahead because when you get Subjugated, you get Subjugated.

“C’mon, entertain me.”

Did we also mention that Azir should also be banned from Faker? I think we did. Yet going into game 2, it’s a first-pick Azir for SKT again with another questionable ban from CJ. Even in Spring when other teams ran Varus mid successfully in poke comps, the most SKT did was ban him.


CJ bans

Trundle Power ban
Ekko Power ban
Varus ???

SKT bans

Nidalee Power ban
Kindred Power ban
Thresh Targeted ban against Madlife

Bans in Game 2

Moving forward into the season, it’s clear that between Ryze and Azir, opposing teams are going to have to decide between which of the 2 to ban and which to deny. On the telecomm’s end, we can anticipate more bans on Nidalee and Kindred which aren’t just to protect bengi but also empower him to play out his vision game to great effect for the team.

Will the summer sun shine brightly on SKT as they attempt to snap up their 4th straight LCK championship? We’ll find out!


What pick and ban trends do you think will emerge going into the Summer? Talk to me about it! 


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This entry was posted on June 11, 2016 by in Picks & Bans and tagged , , , .
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