Is Gnar a 'versatile' trap card in the LCK?

Image via Riot Games

 

Gnar is a champion that’s been the talk of the LoL Esports community.

 

Gnar retained a 0% win rate in the 2021 LCK Spring split, until it was finally broken on Jan.14th. The respective top laners for Nongshim Redforce and DRX, Lee “Rich” Jae-won and Hwang “Kingen” Sung-hoon finally got a win with Gnar in their matches. However, before that, Gnar had a win rate of 0%, so it arose as one of those, ‘It may look like meta, but is it actually a trap card?’ discussion in the community.

 

One of the common perceptions (or perhaps misconceptions) on why Gnar is highly contested, is because he’s a champion that’s good to pick into any match up. So far, Gnar has been the most contested top champion in the LCK, yet despite how some teams make it work, the discussion about this champion ensues.

 

During the laning phase, this champion has a fair advantage against most of the meta picks. Whatever the team’s game plan for a certain match may be, Gnar is a pick that’s used to counter pick and blind pick as well. This stands true, as his stat for gold lead @ 15 minutes retains a fairly high number.

 

Some think that the reason for Gnar’s such low win rate is due to his frequent appearance. According to the data gathered up until January 15th, Gnar appeared eight times in the LPL with a 100% win rate. However, he has a 31% appearance rate (9 out of 29 games), while he has a 81.8% appearance rate in the LCK. From this data, it can be deduced that compared to the LCK, the LPL’s usage of Gnar is more efficient, yet ranks him lower on their competitive champion tier list.

 

During a recent interview with DWG KIA’s top laner, Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, he shared with us what he thinks about Gnar. He comments, “I feel that he’s a bit shy from being perfectly balanced. His laning phase, teamfighting, and split-pushing overall is a bit weak, but because of the champion’s versatility, our team internally ranks him pretty high on the list. However, this champion isn’t that hard to play; there are limits to the champion’s functions. Players will eventually figure out countermeasures against Gnar, so I don’t think that his win rate isn’t going to get better. I predict that he’ll slowly fall off the meta.”

 

While Gnar is a champion with fantastic functions, it doesn’t seem to be a champion that fits into every team composition. Especially for the LCK teams, the most important thing here seems to be the ability to avoid traps disguised as versatility.

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