The mayhem ensues in the LCK, as the top teams of the 2021 LCK Spring split have fallen off to a certain extent, while the mid-low tier teams continue to show improvement. Teams like NS RedForce and Afreeca Freecs have vastly improved from Spring, while DRX continues to struggle in the bottom of the standings, as they’ve failed to pick up a single match victory thus far.
However, there are teams that are also slowly regaining their form; Hanwha Life Esports won both of their matches against their respective opponents, and DWG KIA returned with their original starting five, to put a halt on Gen.G’s undefeated streak.
This week's 'Quest’s Musings' will focus on the interesting champion picks of week 4, and some of the things that the viewers can expect in the LCK, as the league will be played on patch 11.13 and enters its 2nd round robin of the regular split.
The Return of the Kings: DWG KIA halts Gen.G’s undefeated win streak with their original starting five
The starting bot laner for DK, Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun, was benched from June 17 to 25; this resulted in their starting jungler and mid laner, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and Heo “ShowMaker” Su role-swapping to mid and adc respectively, while their sub jungler, Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong filled the vacant jungle position.
This gave enough time for Ghost to get more practice in and regain his form; he returned to the starting roster against NS RedForce on July 2. DK lost to NS 1-2; I personally thought that the team still couldn’t overcome their flaws because not only were some of their drafts seemed very behind in the meta [Renekton-Nidalee shouldn’t be allowed to be picked in 2021], it just seemed like ShowMaker trying to 1 vs 9 in the games that they lost. However, when they swept Gen.G 2-0 in the following match, it was very surprising to see how DK managed to turn things around quite quickly.
One champion that stood out to me while watching DK was Maokai support. He was picked by DK’s support, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee twice against NS [win in game 1, loss in game 3]. In KR Platinum+ solo queue, Maokai has a 53.46% winrate with a 5.38% pick rate. Seeing Maokai was interesting to me because he basically fell out of the meta after his nerfs in patch 11.2. As the LCK enters patch 11.13, I expect him to be picked up more by teams, especially due to nerfs to Shurelya’s Battlesong affecting utility supports.
As round 1 of the Summer split comes to an end, DK’s next opponents are Liiv SANDBOX and Hanwha Life Esports. Their match against HLE will definitely be the match to keep an eye on, as both teams are looking much better than the beginning of the split.
Blowing up the bot lane meta
In patch 11.12, Ziggs received a huge buff to his kit; the base damage on his Q, Bouncing Bomb, was increased by 20 at all ranks, and the missile speed of his R, Mega Inferno Bomb, was increased from 1550 to 2250. These buffs were enough to push him into the competitive meta, as he was picked in the series between NS vs HLE. Both the bot laners, Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Seo “deokdam” dae-gil played him, and they both won on the champion.
Riot’s balancing team thought that the buffs were a little bit too much, so he’s scheduled for a nerf on patch 11.14, where he will get his mana cut down from 480 to 420. However, patch 11.14 won’t be for a while in the LCK, so I’m personally excited to see how many teams will pick up Ziggs.
Patch 11.13 in the LCK. Finally.
Speaking of patches, week 5 will be played on patch 11.13. Notable champions in the LCK meta, such as Lee Sin [lost damage on his E] and Rumble [cooldown and movement speed nerfed on his W] have been nerfed, while champions that still were in the competitive meta such as Olaf and Xayah were buffed.
I think the biggest change in this patch has to be changes to the items. Stridebreaker no longer gives dashes to champions, but slows for 90% [which is scheduled for nerfs in patch 11.14], mythic AP items [Luden’s Tempest, Liandry’s Anguish, and Everfrost] had their costs reduced, and Divine Sunderer was nerfed for ranged champions.
I don’t think that the champions that are high priority in the competitive meta won’t fall off, but we will see more additions to the competitive champion pool. I predict that Ziggs will be even better in patch 11.13 with the AP mythic items being cheaper; especially with Ezreal being indirectly nerfed from the Divine Sunderer changes. Also, due to the cost reductions on the AP mythic items, champions like Sylas and Leblanc will look to rise even higher in the tier list.
Speaking of new additions, I hope that I’ll get to see the reworked Dr. Mundo in week 5. I know that pros such as the top laner for Afreeca Freecs, Kim “Kiin” Ki-in, have been practicing him. The consensus on Dr. Mundo by pro players and experts are pretty divided; some say that his kit is broken due to his passive basically being a Banshee’s Veil + better Zac blob that gives him more health, while others say that his early game is way too weak. He also received buffs so he could also be viable in the jungle during 11.12 [mid-patch update]; as champions that can be flexed in draft thrives in the competitive meta, I'm also excited to see this champion, whether it may be in the top lane or in the jungle.
On top of that, the two new items, Anathema’s Chains [I think tank champions will love this item] and Hullbreaker [return of the splitpushers?] have been added in patch 11.13, so I cannot wait for all these changes will shake up week 5 of the LCK.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports