[Worlds 2019] Play-In: Day 1 Most Valuable Champion

In the first Play-Ins round robin, Groups A and B had quite a few overlapping picks. Disregarding the winless Ekko (who may actually be the MVP when on the opponents team), the lovers duo in Xayah/Rakan, Syndra, and even Heimerdinger created some impact, finding priority across teams in the Pick/Ban phase. Most notably, however, is the Tristana who has found her way into three different roles in three different games, each ending with a win.

▲ Image Source: Riot Games 


How the Worlds meta formed

The 2019 World Championship has finally arrived after a grueling month of silence from the professional League of Legends scene. And of course, as always, with both an international tournament and a brand new patch comes a new, quickly developing meta, defined and confined by the teams’ collective styles and champ pools. This meta develops in three parts, the latter two which cycle perpetually as teams continue to adapt and develop: 

1. Teams lock in what was strong in scrims, though teams don’t scrim every team.

2. Teams react to what has been picked on stage, and what has over/under performed.

3. The meta somewhat solidifies and teams find unique counter picks/adjust their specific style.

Before the end of the first day of the Play-In there has already been some solid development in the Worlds meta. Most notably, Ekko completely dropped in priority after four straight losses in the opening four games. Junglers started opting for more well known picks in Elise, J4, and Lee Sin, leaving the new flavor alone. Eyes should stay on Ekko as teams get more comfortable, and more teams make their respective on-stage debuts.



Ready, Aim, Fire

Tristana first appeared as a last pick by Unicorns of Love Mid Laner Lev "Nomanz" Yakshin into Clutch Gaming Mid Laner Tanner "Damonte" Damonte's Renekton in the opening game of the Play-In. Nomanz proceeded to dominate the ranged into melee matchup and wreak havoc in later stages of the game after accruing a hefty item and pressure lead.

Next, Mammoth then picked it as a flex with Syndra (yes, Sndra is a flex pick in 2019), but left it standard in Bot Lane to upset UoL, who had just used the Yordle Gunner for its own win. Lastly CG last picked it themselves in the Top Laner, to complete the death-triangle, defeating Mammoth, who had just defeated UoL, who had previously defeated Clutch earlier in the day.


Only time will tell in regards to whether Tristana becomes a first rotation flex pick in the Draft Phase or not, but what can easily be said is that she is a strong enough pick to upset teams and turn the tides. It thould be expected to see more teams flexing her around both solo lanes and her standard ADC position.

Xayah and Kai’Sa remain valuable picks, so with those potentially seeing more bans, Tristana becomes a more valuable first round pick, able to go to both solo lanes AND cover for bot if ADCs get 2nd round bans. Teams that show proficiency on the champ in solo lanes could use that to pick Tristana/Rakan in the first phase to either draw a Xayah ban, removing one ban from the enemy, or allowing for a late round Xayah pick if the conditions for Trist solo lane are met to win both lanes.

So far, only Group A has played the champ, but all three teams won with it and lost without it. Groups C and D play next, and all eyes will be on them to see who makes use of the Yordle Gunner, and who decides her charge isn’t quite explosive enough. 

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