After the Play-In Stage, I broke down specific champ pick metrics, draft trends, counters, etc. and made some predictions for how the Group Stage would go. So once again, let's check in on champion presence and make some predictions for the Knockout Stage.
Starting off with the ban list seems to make sense since that's how draft works anyway. As expected Pantheon continued to be banned the rest of the Group Stage, and never saw a single game outside of that once during the Play-Ins. Other popular bans have remained steady as well, Qiyana coming in second, Syndra third, followed by Renekton, LeBlanc, and Kayle.
Note: The graphs leave off the least picked/banned portion, but those aren't worth much for analysis.
Now, let's look at the picks, and then start adding things together!
Moving along, we can catch up with the total picks. These also remained decently constant, with Kayle seeing the biggest rise in play. As much as people talk about mages, Garen, and Yasuo? in the bot lane, Kai'Sa and Xayah have been the two most picked so far. They're followed immediately after by Lee Sin, and despite the rolls-of-redditors'-eyes, it's always fun watching the best in the world on a playmaking, early game champ like Lee.
But let's take a look at some of the interesting trends we're seeing when combining information from both graphs, as well as examining some winrates.
With most of the bans falling on the powerful mid/top picks, the largest percentage played champs are bot, support, and jungle. Mid and top still have dominant meta picks, but they're a bit more spread out than some of the other roles.
A lot of this has to do with the increased focus on solo laners and flex picks thanks to teams like IG, G2, and DWG. That's also why the top four junglers are all mobile, early game, bursty, CC champs - Lee Sin, Gragas, Elise, and Rek'Sai.
There are a few really interesting champs to talk about though, specifically with pick vs ban disparity. First we have LeBlanc. She is banned in almost half the games, but only picked in six. This type of data tells us two things:
- LeBlanc is a strong pick that counters certain other meta picks.
- LeBlanc has a hard time being blinded, so she is a late pick, but is often banned away by teams who already locked in their mid.
Then there are those like Lee Sin and Kai'Sa, who sit at 6 bans/29 picks and 6 bans/31 picks respectively. This tells us the opposite of LeBlanc.
- Lee/Kai'Sa are just generally strong and versatile picks.
- They are safe being blinded and work in multiple team comps, so they're often picked before they can be banned.
- They aren't banned in the first round often because there are other picks (Pantheon, Qiyana, pockets) who fill those slots.
And then there is Syndra, who has a 72% presence and only an 18% win rate. Here's what that tells us:
- Pros need to stop early picking Syndra just because it's a "flex" bot unless they have a very legitimate need for it.
- Stop banning Syndra! She's a bait pick.
- Syndra is the Morellonomicon of Champions.
One thing the pros did learn, however, is that Tristana is also a bait. With a 1-7 record, she went completely unpicked over the last 23 games. (She received a smattering of bans though, which should drop off more in the Knockout Stage.) Two other picks to avoid are Lucian and Sion, both sit at a 0-5 record.
Camille, however, sits at a 4-0 record! None of these champs have high presence, but their stats are beginning to become significant. Expect to see some more Camille in the Knockouts, especially as teams work to adapt and prepare pocket picks.
To touch back on Renekton, he is currently sitting at an 83% win rate from 12 games played, and also drew 29 bans. Considering how strong he is, especially when paired with these meta early game junglers, he should remain a constant presence throughout the Knockouts.
Twisted Fate, on the other hand, has only one single pick in the Group Stage, but drew 14 bans. Many of the bans are pointed at FNC, as it's one of Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek's pocket picks, but it will be interesting to see if TF becomes a more prioritized pick in the Knockouts as teams occasionally revert to more global heavy comps.
What's going to happen now that we have Bo5 series instead of singular games?
- Pantheon (and Qiyana) bans
- Xayah + Kai'Sa bot
- High tempo, early game skirmishing junglers
- Rakan + hook supports
- Renekton, Akali, and Ryze presence
- Vlad for comfort (Kang "TheShy" Seung-lok, Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon)
- Leblanc as a counter, or third pick red side (to ban her weaknesses)
- Camille Mid/Top flex
- Twisted Fate (expect ban on Nemesis)
- Rumble (strong matchup into Gangplank)
- Taliyah Jungle
- Ornn (weak side top against non-klepto user)
- Irelia (only as last pick
- Ekko? Will he return?
- Kayle (either banned or actually countered)
This has been the most diverse Worlds so far, as we close in on almost 100 champions present. That means nearly 2/3 of the total champion pool has seen the stage at Worlds. Knockouts always change though. Teams form their own mini-metas, and some of the Bo1 stompers fall off priority.
What is most surprising to you about these champs, and are there any you have further questions about? Let me know in the comments, or reply to our Twitter @InvenGlobal.