Just like the LPL, the LCK has its own off-season tournament at the end of December, the KeSPA Cup. It concluded a couple days ago, with a surprising victor in Afreeca Freecs and Sandbox coming in second. Also like in the Demacia Cup, the KeSPA Cup had a rapidly developed meta based on all the changes in the off-season after Worlds.
With the KeSPA Cup starting later than the Demacia Cup, they played on the most recent patch, 9.24b. Aphelios and Diana were disabled, so we won't get to see any preview on them, but there were plenty of other surprises and differences in this LCK mini-meta from the recent LPL and Worlds meta.
Champs from Worlds/Demacia Cup
Just as in the Demacia Cup, Akali's presence for the KeSPA Cup was 100%, and only played in three games. Miss Fortune had a 98% presence, only slipping past one game. She was still played alongside Nautilus and Leona, but also saw a bunch of games with Braum as well, who had an 83% win rate, the highest of all champs played more than 3 games.
Oddly, even though the tournaments were at roughly the same time and only one patch different, that's about where the similarities between champ pools stops. Qiyana was considerably lower in the KeSPA Cup, though she had the second highest win rate behind Braum at nearly 80%. And other picks like Nautilus, Olaf, and Ryze all saw ~50% presence, unlike the 70% + presence from before.
Unique Champs in KeSPA Cup
The most surprising unique champ for the KeSPA Cup is Lucian, who was tied with Miss Fortune at a 98% presence. The most interesting part, however, is that he was banned in all of those games but one, where he was played top lane instead of bot.
Lucian has not received any buffs since Worlds, but somehow managed to become an incredibly contested pick, presumably because of the nerfs to Kai'Sa and Xayah. The KeSPA Cup also saw a smattering of Quinn, Ezreal, and Vayne top, so there are more ADCs finding a place on the other side of the map.
Right behind Akali, MF, and Lucian were Syndra, Aatrox, Varus, and Irelia. While Syndra had a high Worlds presence, her Demacia Cup presence had considerably fallen off. Irelia doubled her presence in the KeSPA Cup, and Aatrox and Varus rose from almost no presence at all to being in the top seven most contested.
While Senna saw a ton of play in the Demacia Cup, her various nerfs in the last patch dissuaded the LCK to pick her up much, perhaps just replacing her with Varus instead. Over the 46 games throughout the KeSPA Cup, there were 15 unique bot laners. That's more than half of the unique picks from Worlds in only a little over a third of the games. The "Xayah + Kai'Sa only" days are over.
With only a week left until the 2020 Season starts (for the LPL) expect to see a lot of these champs remain in high contention for the first few weeks. And in the meantime, try them out in your soloqueue adventures, especially as we gear up for the 2020 ranked season starting in just a few days. Otherwise, follow us on Twitter for more esports news.