a League of Legends analysis blog
Whether you prefer the Summoner Spell “Ignite” over Zedd’s version of it, or have opinions about Riot’s official list of Top 20 Players, or you simply love the exciting storylines that have come out of the opening day of Worlds 2016, I’m definitely indulging in the hype with you.
What got me most excited after 1 month of silence however was the unveiling of what teams have put together post-Patch 6.18. What strategies and tactics were revealed on Day 1? What picks and bans came up tops? Are there any trends that have been established that we could see going into Day 2?
Here’s a snappy rundown:
No one is partaking in this year’s mating season because Nidalee was 100% banned and we can expect her to remain a staple. After the shift away from carry junglers and moving into an enforced standard lane meta, Nidalee and Graves made it through because their clear speed and damage is still tops. Our bestial huntress in particular was nerfed then tweaked and overall a beast that no one wants to contend with at pro-level.
(Source: Patch 6.15 http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-615-notes)
But wait. What’s worse than being denied entry because you’re too OP?
Having a 0% win rate for Graves at the end of Day 1. None of the teams 3 teams who picked him, ANX, EDG of SPY succeeded in clinching victories. His opponent junglers Elise, Rek’sai and Lee Sin have been doing much more work across the map, impacting lanes and creating picks.
Similarly in the jungle, it is totally unsurprising that the spider and void queens have a 100% pick and ban presence in this standard lane meta. The ‘first-pick Elise’ we saw last Worlds has come full circle. Olaf made 2 appearances today by CLG and AHQ, both of whom won with the manly man. As long as Nid, Elise and Rek continue to be pinched into oblivion, we’ll be sure to see other junglers (eg. J4 with the buff to E in patch 6.15) rise.
Meanwhile, Karma was steadily banned in 4 out of 6 games, and would have made an appearance if not for the TSM vs RNG remake. A buff to her shield means she’s an even more viable support pick since Patch 6.15.
So who actually had presence at bot? Nami, with a 66% pick rate as she dominates laning phase. Teams responded with Braum, Bard and in the RNG Mata show, Alistar. I predict we will see more beef as the competition toughens up. Tahm Kench only made an appearance once today, and theoretically his cross-map ports comboed with Ryze will be entertaining. (A girl can dream, yeah?)
In the third wave of appearances, Jayce’s recent buff in 6.17 led G2 picking him top. CLG responded with Poppy who made cross-map plays while Jayce…well…didn’t do much after. Split push effectively? Teleport in the middle of a fight? We didn’t think so. Anyhow, Koreans certainly wouldn’t run him top, and it was great to see ROX Kuro show how Jayce is really played in the mid lane.
“Eyes on the horizon.”
Finally, sound the trumpets! This day would not be over without Kled debuting on the international stage by SPY. Spotting a 0% win rate so far, he’ll definitely be played again in the future so we’ll keep our eyes peeled.
ANX and INTZ aren’t called Wildcards for no reason.
Though ANX had a low chance of beating ROX, they revealed some practical ways teams can play against Peanut. Similar to how SKT prepared Blank for the finals of LCK Spring 2016, 3 early game tactics stand out:
a) Expect wards in your jungle, expect Peanut to immediately counter-jungle—and use that to your advantage
b) Gank before he does, over, and over, and over. Be that much faster.
c) Ward ROX’s jungle to keep track of Peanut all the time. ALL the time. Counter-jungle or gank in response.
ANX dared to take that step forward ahead of Peanut. ROX were the ones reacting as Peanut was not at the right place at the right time. That’s rare.
“I’ve got no time for games.”
As if the first quarter of that game wasn’t enough, Brazil brought the house down when INTZ beat the #1 China LPL seed EDG. It wasn’t just ‘EDG has a poorer team composition with no engage’. This was INTZ working the map and punishing Mouse’s Irelia repeatedly. Talk about giving Peanut a run for his money, for Clearlove was a non-factor this match. Yes INTZ’s game could have been tighter, but much credit goes to Yang and Revolta who double-teamed better than any Pokemon could, completely shutting down EDG’s top laner.
My most favourite play has got to be INTZ making the first move in their tussle for vision around Baron. Watch Ashe’s arrow, her subsequent repositioning and HP bar in all of this:
Despite power in poke, Day 1 proved that drafting hard engage to create advantages—not just conditional engage by putting all eggs into a Bard ult—is still very important.
Here’s to Day 2!