The 2022 Mid-Season Invitational has been notable for several picks that defined the changed meta. From Wukong becoming near-100% pick/ban after being invisible during most of the domestic playoffs to Kalista, Ezreal, and Tristana dominating the ADC role, champion picks have shifted on the MSI patch. Of course, many of the long-standing meta picks like Nautilus, Leblanc, Viego, and Ahri remain popular and strong choices. But which picks have been the best and worst at MSI 2022?
Best: Ahri Mid
Not only is Ahri one of two champions to have a 100% pick/ban presence along with Lucian, but she is a dominant pick in the mid lane role. Ahri has been picked 21 times at MSI 2022 with 13-8 record. Her 6.2 KDA is the highest among all champions with over a 25% pick/ban presence, but what makes Ahri so special is the fact that she appears to be strong across all tiers of players. Obviously, you’d expect Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, Rasmus "caPs" Winther, and Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao to play Ahri at a high level, but even for players like Bùi Hải "Froggy" Minh and Park "Bay" Jun-byeong, Ahri has been one of their strongest picks.
Worst: Nautilus Support
Nautilus is the third most-picked support at MSI, but that hasn’t stopped him from having only a 2.2 KDA. On the one hand, that’s sort of to be expected from a team’s primary engage champion, but the 2.2 KDA is a far cry from his performance in the LCK playoffs when he was 80% pick/ban with a 2.6 KDA.
Now Nautilus hasn’t been terrible in terms of team play, with a 13-12 record, but it’s hard to imagine that the pick has been more effective than a champion like Leona or Alistar. However, RNG’s Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming appears to be the only exception to this rule, as he’s gone 5-0 on Nautilus with a 4.64 KDA.
Best: Kai’Sa ADC
After a year of watching Jinx and Aphelios dominate the ADC role, League fans are no doubt excited to see a new class of champions filling out the bot lane. Even though champions like Tristana and Kalista have a higher pick/ban rate than Kai’Sa, at a 43% presence she is still very much a meta pick.
On top of that, Kai’Sa is also the winningest AD Carry to have been picked at least 10 times at MSI and she’s posted an impressive 5.0 KDA in games where she has been featured. For teams playing G2, especially, Kai’Sa should be in consideration for first pick or ban. ADC Victor "Flakked" Lirola Tortosa has played her six times at MSI with a 5-1 record and a 6.5 KDA.
Worst: Viego Jungle
Viego’s 2.2 KDA is on par with Nautilus for among the lowest among the most picked champions. Unlike Nautilus, however, Viego doesn’t have the team success to justify this high pick rate. Viego is 10-19 at MSI, a winning percentage of only 34%, which is the lowest for any champion that has over a 50% pick/ban presence. While RNG jungler Yan "Wei" Yang-Wei has made Viego work, he’s the only player at MSI with a positive win rate on the Ruined King.
On top of all that, Viego has the lowest damage per minute of any non-support champion that has been picked at least five times at MSI. For a champion that should be taking advantage of resets to help mop up fights, that’s not a ringing endorsement.
Best: Wukong Jungle
Even though he’s mainly been a top laner since his mini-rework back in Season 10, Wukong has made a resurgence at MSI as one of the most-picked junglers, but he’s also been one of the strongest. Posting a 68% win rate in 19 games, Wukong has shown he’s not just a pocket pick. Every jungler in the knockout round has a 100% win rate on Wukong, with a KDA over 7 except for G2’s Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski (though a 3.4 KDA and 4-1 record on the Monkey King isn’t exactly terrible). His 5.1 KDA is also indicative of a champion who has proven to be an incredible asset in teamfighting comps.
Worst: Kennen Top
Kennen hasn’t been dominating the meta in his role (only a 15% pick/ban presence), but of champions that have been picked at least five times at MSI, he has the worst win rate at a measly 1-5 record (17%). Although this isn’t the biggest sample size, along with Kennen’s low KDA (1.2) there is ample evidence that Kennen top isn’t the strong pocket pick some top laners seem to think it is. On the plus side, though only two of the top laners going to knock-outs — EG’s Jeong "Impact" Eon-young and T1’s Choi "Zeus" Woo-je — played Kennen at MSI, and each only played him once. So it’s unlikely we’ll see Kennen picked going forward in MSI, at least if teams know what’s good for them.
Diamond TFT Player & esports watcher.