League of Legends

Lucian and Urgot Standing Strong - Picks and Bans of the Four Major Leagues

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One of the reasons why League of Legends is fun is that there are many different champions to play; with Sylas’ recent addition, there are a total of 143 champions in League of Legends, each with their own unique combination of skills, stats, and playstyle.


However, not all of them have the chance to be picked in an official professional match. Riot patches the game periodically so that the game can stay exciting and balanced. Of course, the patches aren’t always perfect, and there are always champions that appear more often than others, especially in the pro scene.


In the 2019 Spring Split, there were some champions that were very strong and consistently banned; most of the other champions that were picked were also strong, but still manageable to play against. Meanwhile, champions like Garen or Teemo were never picked nr banned.


Curious about which champions were popular in each region, I had a look at the picks and bans of the four major regions: the LCK, LPL, LCS, and LEC. Sure enough, there was a clear trend among the regions. The picks or bans usually mean that the champion is thought to be strong in the current meta, but a high pick or ban rate didn’t guarantee a high win rate. Let’s have a look at each regions’ picks and bans.

※ Note: The data is as of February 27th

 

LCKConsistent results for frequently-picked champions

Lucian had a 100% pick or ban rate in the LCK. Compared to his 90 bans, he was picked only 25 times and had a win rate of 56% which doesn’t actually seem too strong. However, he is said to be unbelievably strong in scrims. LCK commentator Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-woo once said during a broadcast, “The players have been saying Lucian is completely broken in the current meta.”


Like Lucian, Cassiopeia was banned a lot more than the other champions. She appeared in the Rift only 15 times. Unlike Lucian, her win rate was at only 40%. It seems that the reason she was banned so much is that Cassiopeia can be flexed top, mid, and bot; when she appears, it’s difficult to determine which lane she’s going to and it makes selecting the matchup confusing.


On the other hand, Urgot faced the opposite situation. He has been picked 81 times, banned 27 times, and has a 58% win rate. In the scene, Urgot is seen as the most balanced pick; players agree that Urgot is a champion that’s alright to pick when the matchup hasn’t been determined so he appears very often as the first pick.


Other than these three, Ezreal, Galio, Tahm Kench, and Aatrox appeared often during the drafts. What’s noticeable in the LCK is that the win rates of these common picks are above 50%. It can be inferred that the LCK teams value data more than the other regions. An interesting point is that none of these champions are jungle champions, except Aatrox who can be flexed top, jungle, and mid.


Most picked champions per position

Top: Urgot
Jungle: Lee Sin
Mid: Lissandra
Bot: Ezreal
Support: Tahm Kench


LPLKai’Sa, 2nd most picked after Urgot, Zoe a with 83.3% win rate


In the LPL, Lucian and Urgot were at the top, each with 114 and 113 appearances in the picks and bans out of the 122 games. Urgot was picked 89 times while Lucian was banned 75 times. Aatrox and Akali have a noticeably high ban rate; this is mostly because the LPL hasn’t yet moved on to the 9.3 patch where those two are nerfed.


Like the other regions, Cassiopeia had appeared often in the draft but wasn’t seen often on the Rift. She was picked or banned in 100 games but made it to the Rift only 7 times, which is a lot less than the number of times Lucian appeared. Kai’Sa was exactly the opposite of Cassiopeia in China. She was picked in 72 matches but was banned only 17 times. Her win rate was at 56% which is quite strong.


Although not on the list, there was a champion that appeared quite often and also had an extremely high win rate in the LPL. Zoe was banned 57 times while being picked in 30 games. Out of the 30 games, the bubble gum chewing cute little monster ended up destroying the enemy Nexus 25 times. Her win rate was at a whopping 83.3%.


Most picked champions per position

Top: Urgot
Jungle: Xin Zhao, Lee Sin
Mid: Lissandra
Bot: Kai’Sa
Support: Alistar



LCSCassiopeia, very rare but undefeated


The LCS and LEC haven’t played as many games as the eastern regions because of the Bo1 format, but the two leagues’ champion selection wasn’t that different. The LCS teams included Lucian and Urgot in the picks and bans the most; Lucian was picked or banned in all 50 matches up to week 5, and Urgot in 49 matches. However, despite the rumors about Lucian stomping all the scrims, his win rate was 22.2%, winning only 2 games out of the 9 he appeared in. Urgot’s win rate was below 50% as well, but not as bad as Lucian’s.


A noticeable record in the LCS was Cassiopeia. She was included in the picks and bans in 48 games but appeared on the Rift in only 5 matches. Not only that, she managed to win all 5 matches that she appeared in. Cassiopeia appeared in the top, mid, and bot lanes, having an overall KDA of 11.17. It seems that she is a must-ban champion against some teams in the LCS.


Ezreal has always been a reliable pick in the recent League of Legends scene. He appeared more often than not and had a high win rate of 64.5% - one of the highest win rates among the champions that were selected more than 10 times. Sion, Aatrox, and Alistar were popular picks in this region as well, having a decent win rate of above 50%.


Besides the frequent champions, the LCS was the only region that didn’t have Lissandra in the top selections. This is likely because the LCS started later than the other regions, having played only one week on the 9.1 patch before Lissandra was nerfed.


Most picked champions per position

Top: Urgot
Jungle: Lee Sin
Mid: Lissandra
Bot: Ezreal
Support: Braum

 

LECLeague of Karthus jungle


Being one week ahead, the European league played ten more games than the LCS. Like all the other regions, Lucian and Urgot were at the top of the list, being picked or banned in all 60 matches. Compared to other regions, Lucian made it through the ban phase more often and appeared 22 times, but had a win rate of below 50%.


Cassiopeia was the third most-picked or banned but had only 8 picks. Out of the games she was picked, she only won 1 game. The many bans might make her seem like a strong pick, but her win rate says otherwise. Other than these champions, the usual appeared often: Aatrox, Alistar, Ezreal etc. Braum showed up more often than the other regions but his win rate wasn’t very high.


There’s a unique champion that appeared a lot more often here than other regions: Karthus. He was banned 26 times and was played 13 times, with a 61.5% win rate. The jungle Karthus has been quite popular in this region. His appearances were mostly in the jungle with one exception at mid lane played by Vitality’s Jiizuke in Week 1. Most of the bans were targeted at Splyce jungler Xerxe. Karthus was picked or banned in every single match of Splyce, indicating that Xerxe’s Requiem may be gloomier than others’.


Most picked champions per position

Top: Urgot
Jungle: Sejuani
Mid: Lissandra
Bot: Ezreal
Support: Braum

 

Looking at the stats of the picks and bans in the 2019 Spring Split, it’s pretty clear that Lucian and Urgot are the champions that are considered the best choices in the recent meta. Cassiopeia and Ezreal are quite reliable as well, along with Aatrox and Alistar. Aatrox had been nerfed with Akali but is still appearing in a decent amount of games.


While there are champions that appear often in all positions, there aren’t many champions in the jungle. Karthus and Camille are popular in the LEC and LPL, and Aatrox is quite often flexed to jungle, but that’s about it. Among jungle champions, Lee Sin was picked the most around the world.


Many champions come and go over the season with the patches. In the recent league, champions like Yorick started to appear more often and the new champion Sylas has also been seen on the Rift. Even Rek’Sai started to get more focus with the recent buffs on her. However, there still are some champions that haven’t been seen in pro play for a while. The next patch will hit the scene soon enough and you’ll never know which champion will shine next.

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