The finals for the 2017 League of Legends World Champions is approaching. While winning the Championships grants the winning team a huge prize pool and an immeasurable amount of respect, each individual player also receives a skin for their respective iconic champion. This skin, will furthermore, remain in the game forever, giving even more of an incentive than there already is to win the Championships.
Out of the 6 Championships that took place, only 4 teams were rewards with the Worlds' Champions' skin. The rewarded teams go from Fnatic, TPA, Samsung Galaxy White (won 2014), and claiming the most skins was SKT T1 for winning 3 Championships in a row. On top of all this, SKT T1, in the 2016’s World Championships, was rewarded with a full roster of the Worlds' Champions' skin with also a ward skin dedicated to their coach kkOma.
So far, the Worlds' Champions' skin were made so no champion would have more than 1 Worlds' Champions' skin. Riot remained to only give skins to champions that were prominent in the tournament. However since Riot only uses champions prominent in tournaments, it is a very difficult task not to overlap skins for ‘competitively viable’ champions.
If this is the case, what are the champions this Worlds that are the most likely to gain a Worlds' Champions' skin? We looked into the champions that were iconic and most used by the sides of the finalists, SKT T1 and Samsung Galaxy.
■ "SKT claims half of the Worlds' Champions' skin" - Previous teams with skins
S1(Fnatic) - Karthus, Jarvan IV, Gragas, Corki, Janna
S2(TPA) - Shen, Dr.Mundo, Orianna, Ezreal, Nunu
S3(SKT) - Jax, Lee Sin, Zed, Vayne, Zyra
2014(SSG-W) - Singed, Rengar, Talon, Twitch, Thresh
2015(SKT) - Renekton, Elise, Ryze, Azir, Kalista, Alistar
2016(SKT) - Ekko, Olaf, Zac, Syndra, Jhin, Nami, kkOma Ward
In season 1 and 2, Fnatic and TPA both received their Worlds' Champions' skin. The very first Worlds' Champions' skin were awarded to TPA, and Fnatic later on got their skins added into the game. At the time of the TPA Worlds' Champions' skin, the unique touch and quality to the skins made them extremely popular.
In season 3, most of the SKT T1 members received the Worlds' Champions' skin for their most iconic champions. However unlike other members on SKT T1, Faker was awarded a Zed skin instead of of an Ahri skin he so desired. Because of the LCK summer split super play against Ryu on Zed, the super play put too big of an impression to not designate a Zed skin to Faker. Disregarding Faker’s most played champion at Worlds and his desires to have an Ahri skin, it almost felt like the quality of the Worlds' Champions' skin had dropped to a certain extent.
The next year the Worlds' Champions' skin for Samsung White in 2014, however, was turned up a notch for the definition of a Worlds’ Championships’ Skin. The colors and models of the skins were improved in detail drastically. For example, the Twitch skin especially had captured Imp’s traits perfectly and gave a lot of joy to the fans.
However in the next year (2015) SKT T1 Worlds' Champions' skin, problems arose yet again. Riot ignored yet again the player’s opinion on champion choice and lowered the quality of the skin. After the incident with the 6th member of SKT T1 at the time (Easyhoon), players and fans expressed their dissatisfaction towards the overall drop in skin quality. Players would comment saying “It makes sense the skins represent winning, but the overall quality of the skins are really falling”. Riot listened to the feedback and announced they will try their best to put in their best efforts into the next year’s skins, then the 2016 World Championships came around.
■ Which champion has the highest chance for a Worlds' Champions' skin?
Taking into consideration of the direction of the Worlds' Champions' skin so far, the skins are based on ‘no prior Worlds' Champions' skin on the champion’ and ‘a champion with deep history/impact in the tournament’. However this year, there are many champions (used frequently) that have overlapped each other (Gragas, Jarvan 4, Janna, and Twitch) which have prior Worlds' Champions' skin. This may suggest that even if a champion was not as prevalent in the tournament compared to others, there is a chance ‘that’ champion may receive a Worlds' Champions' skin,
Below are the list of champions used for each respective position.
▷ Top - A wide selection! The key to success in the finals
In the top lane, there are several contestants who are able to receive a Worlds' Champions' skin. Huni and CuVee both performed extremely well in the semifinals with Gnar. Cho’gath has been a highly contested pick this year as well. On top of this, Camille, Trundle, and Maokai are also a possibility.
If we were to look at the most played champions in the top lane, it would be Jayce for Huni and Shen for CuVee. Since Jayce does not yet have a Worlds' Champions' skin, it will all depend on how impactful Jayce can be in the finals.This will determine if Jayce receives a Worlds' Champions' skin or not. On the other hand, Shen already has a Worlds' Champions' skin therefore he is unlikely to receive yet another one.
In conclusion, the Worlds' Champions' skin for the top lane will depend on how big of an impression/impact a champion will have in the finals.
▷ Jungle - Let’s start with Sejuani...
Compared to the various options for top lane, the jungle really only has Sejuani. Especially in SKT’s point of view, Blank and Peanut only have Sejuani (disregarding other junglers who already have a Worlds' Champions' skin).
Luckily for Samsung, Ambition has 2 wins with Kha'zix. Rest of the champions such as (Gragas, Lee Sin, and Jarvan 4) all have prior Worlds' Champions' skin. Haru has played a lot of Ezreal, but Ezreal already has a TPA skin. If Samsung is able to win the Championships, Riot may make an exception and give Ezreal another Worlds' Champions' skin or use Haru’s LCK used champions such as Kha’zix or Graves. There is also a probability, Haru may have an option to pick a champion of his choice out of 3 given.
▷ Mid - 5x Galio vs Samsung’s Lissandra
Same as top, Mid has a multitude of choices. However looking back at the semifinals, the champion that is most likely going to receive a Worlds' Champions' skin for Faker is Galio. Although Galio does not have the highest win rate at Worlds, Faker did pick Galio 5 consecutive games in a row and engraved the global wreckage of Galio on the Summoner’s Rift to the fans.
Although the most likely contestant for the Worlds' Champions' skin for Crown are Taliyah and Malzahar, the fans wish Lissandra would receive the skin because of the quarterfinals performance. Lissandra does have a similar color distribution compared to the Samsung logo. The fans only pray that they will make Lissandra’s ult show the shape of Samsung’s logo (reason why it is the #1 suggested skin). Fans are saying that the Lissandra skin is almost a necessity if Samsung wins Worlds.
▷ ADC - Quarterfinals win- Semifinals loss, Tristana.
In the ADC position, both teams played Tristana the most. Up to the quarterfinals, Tristana has resulted in an almost sure win if picked and present outstanding results. However, both teams have lost with Tristana in the semifinals. The lowly rated champion, Varus, actually yielded better results in the semifinals compared to that of Tristana and is threatening Tristana’s place in tier 1 of ADCs.
Of course, there is still a probability a not so frequently used champion be picked for the Worlds' Champions' skin. After qualifying for the finals, Ruler was asked on his stream “If you win Worlds, do you think you will receive a Varus skin?”, and he replied with “If I win, I would prefer a Xayah skin”. This gives reason that there may be a possibility for an unusual champion to receive the Worlds' Champions' skin.
Related : SSG Ruler: "If I win the World Championship, I want a Xayah skin made for me."
▷ Support - If only you could give a skin to Ardent Censer...
This year’s Worlds was fairly violent towards the supports. Ardent Censer was so bad to the point all the players would shout in game “Kill the Ardent Censer first!” and even to the extent of forgetting the support champion’s name. In this meta, the most played picks are Janna and Lulu. However, Janna already has a Worlds' Champions' skin and Lulu has not been able to show a huge impression yet.
The support champions that received the most impression/impact was actually the unorthodox Ardent Censer users. Wolf and CoreJJ both showed a spectacular performance on Rakan. Their Rakan was so strong to the point, opposing teams will ban him against them. If Samsung are able to win Worlds, CoreJJ may pick Rakan for the Worlds' Champions' skin couple possibility with Ruler’s Xayah. If this were to happen, it would be a double blow for the SKT T1 coach kkOma…
Wolf could also ask for a Tahm Kench skin which was not given to him at the 2015 World Championships. The most dramatic play was the 5th game in the quarterfinals where Tahm kench would constantly eat and spit out Shen to stall the recall time. This was a perfect representation of Wolf’s image and gave everyone joy/laughter.
The League of Legends World Championship title not only gives the fame/respect and prize pool to the winners but also an added Worlds' Champions' skin. Will SKT be able to receive a 4th consecutive Worlds' Champions' skin? Or will Samsung obtain the glory of receiving their 2nd Worlds' Champions' skin? The result will be decided this weekend in the finals.