Will Faker surprise us with Azir again? - The Pick Predictions of the LCK Finals by Probuilder

The 2017 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split finals between SKT T1 and KT Rolster will be held on April 22 (KST).

The match will be between SKT, who has already claimed a few victories against KT during the regular season, and KT, who had consecutive victories in the postseason. Fans are as excited to see the battle between each team’s mid laner as they are to see the actual match.

Wonseok “PawN” Heo became famous after defeating Sanghyuk “Faker” Lee at WCG Qualifiers Korea. Of course, Faker is predominant over Pawn with his match history and career, and there were matches where he took relatively more action than PawN. However, both of them have shown great capability in laning and teamfights against Afreeca Freecs and Samsung Galaxy, so it is not surprising that there are high expectations of them in the finals.


On the other hand, Faker had a bit of down time after his place was determined as number 1 in the regular season. Although some say that his sense of play may have deteriorated a bit over the course of other teams’ matches, he had enough time to practice with his own scrims. He is also known as a pro player who regularly runs solo-ranked games.

What we need to predict is the champion he will select in the finals. Although he is known for playing well with standard OP champions, he picked mid Galio in KeSPA last November, and he has even picked mid Zilean and still carried the match he was in.

▲ Zilean of Faker against KT Rolster on March 5


While it isn’t certain to be what he picks in the actual match, it may still be worth it to use the Probuilder to check out the player’s preference and predict what champion he will select.


◈ Faker’s preference based on solo-ranked history in Probuilder

When you have a look at the recent matches from April 8 to 15 by Faker, you can see that he ran quite a lot of solo-ranked games compared to other pro players. Of course, he sometimes picked jungle or ADC positions, but let’s have a look at the match history of mid plays only.


Out of 48 games in total, the majority is LeBlanc, picked 12 times and showing an 83% win rate even though the champion has been nerfed. Cassiopeia and Vladimir was the 2nd most picked champ, but the win rate is not as good. Faker picked Taliyah 3 times and claimed wins from all matches. Azir, Ekko, Jayce, and Syndra show moderate results with 2 wins and 1 loss each.

An interesting fact is that the most used champions by Faker; Oriana, Corki, and Ryze, were not used during this period at all. Oriana and Ryze are endgame-oriented champions who are not suitable in solo-ranked, so we can assume that he preferred assassin champions that can crush the opponent almost instantly.

▲ The champion preference differs between LCK and solo-ranked


However, LeBlanc is not showing as much power as she did before the nerf, and is easier to be countered since all of her tricks have been well-documented in pro matches. Therefore, it is possible that she will not be used, even if she does not get banned due to her lower damage.

Faker seems to prefer champions with CC that allow for a wider variety of plays in the match - Ahri, Syndra, Orianna, and Cassiopeia. These picks usually bring about good results. These days, there is one champion who has proven to be capable of performing different plays and good at making a comeback during the endgame phase. That champion is Azir.



◈ The worst mid champion in solo-ranked, but what about in the pro league?

However, the win rate of Azir in Season 7 is horrible. Not only is he weak against assassin champions, he also lacks snowballing potential during the laning phase due to his weak firepower in the beginning.

▲ The match probuilder of Faker can be found at here


Comparatively, the champion performs a bit differently in pro matches. In the match between KT Rolster and Samsung Galaxy on February 11, PawN picked Azir and flawlessly defeated Minho “Crown” Lee’s Ryze. When the game progresses to the end, his poking capabilities, cumulative firepower, and play potential really shines.

In particular, KT is known to be quite strong leading the beginning of the game but becomes weak once late-game comes around. SKT is a team capable of winning late-game teamfights, so it is possible that we might see Azir in the pro match this time.

Moreover, Haneul “Sky” Kim of SKT frequently picks Azir in solo-ranked as well, possibly indicating that he believes the champion is not as useless as people think he is.

▲ Despite the win rate, the pick rate of Azir by mid laners of SKT T1 is increasing


Will Azir once again claim the glory of being called the emperor? Will the pro players pick the Emperor of the Sands, and if so, will he bring them to victory? It will all become clear in the finals.


▣ 2017 LoL Champions Korea Spring Split Finals Schedule

SKT T1 vs KT Rolster: 5:00 PM, April 22 (Sat) 2017 (KST)



Note: If you see any errors, have opinions or something to add on in relation to the Probuilder, leave your thoughts in the designated forum post please.

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