When Worlds comes around, there are always a few select champions that manage to squeeze into the viable meta. And at the top of the list is Lee Sin. It seems no matter how nerfed he gets, his strong early game and playmaking potential always provide exactly what these world class junglers need to impact the game.
This year is of course no different, and by just the fourth day of the Play-In Stage, Lee Sin had an 86% presence and 83% win rate. Out of the seven games played today, Lee Sin won five of them. The single game he lost was when RYL locked him in against DWG at the start of the day - and even the Blind Monk could see a perfect score for the day already looked nigh impossible.
The best thing about Lee Sin is he looks really cool for all the spectators while simultaneously providing everything a jungler needs to be successful. The worst thing about Lee Sin is sometimes the enemy team locks him in before you and you have to play the game on hard mode. Throughout the day, various C-named Play-In junglers used Lee’s kit to maneuver small skirmishes and catch out key members of the opposition. DWG's Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu, HKA's Lee "Crash" Dong-woo, and RYL's Can "Closer" Çelik were the three to put the mobile monk to use.
For those unfamiliar with the term “Insec,” one of Lee’s most popular mechanics is landing his Q, Sonic Wave, on an enemy, diving in, and then either ward hopping or flashing to reposition and roundhouse kick a squishy to their certain death. It’s a mechanic that was originally a sign of ultimate champion mastery but that has now become a staple for junglers at the Worlds level.
Whereas the first three days of groups only saw six total Lee Sin games, this final day equalized that, and brought him squarely back into the jungler meta. The big question will be whether or not he is prioritized as teams move to the Best of Five format. Now that the group stage is finished, teams will no longer battle in rounds of single games, but rather will set up drafts that favor them in this game and future games. While Lee does everything to a certain degree, in a five game series teams may instead forgo this Jack of All Trades style champion for others that specialize in ways that enhance their team’s strengths.