Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

NA Champion Select

Some picks, like Renekton/Mundo/Shyvana top lane, are pretty dominant across both scenes. But what champions have been hot picks and bans in North America? Find out after the break!

Top Lane

Bans

In top lane, few champions were banned.

Renekton – 5
Shyvana – 3
Mundo – 2

Yasuo was also banned 5 times, but it’s hard to aim that at top or mid.

Picks

However, those bans were right on the money:

Shyvana – 9
Mundo – 9
Yasuo – 3
Renekton – 2

No other top laner saw more than 2 picks; Renekton is only included because of his high ban rate, suggesting he was a high-priority pick.

Results

So who was the best top laner?

Renekton saw a 100% win rate and 0 deaths over both games, with C9’s Balls going 4-0-7 and XDG’s Benny going 3-0-9. However, both of these wins were against less dominant mids: Nasus and Yasuo. Hard to draw too much of a conclusion from that, but we can assume that Renekton hasn’t fallen from favor since being one of the dominant top picks at Worlds.

Shyvana, went 3-6 (3.93 KDA), while Mundo went 6-3 (4.19 KDA).

This is pretty interesting, as Shyvana has been touted as the counter to Mundo, being able to bully him and push him in early on. However, while Shyvana was 2-2 vs other champions, with wins vs Warwick and Lee Sin and losses vs Zac and Karthus, Shyvana ran a 1-4 record vs Mundo. One more interesting thing to note: Shyvana started with Doran’s Shield 6 times (going 3-3) and Doran’s Blade 3 times (going 0-3). Moreover, Shyvana’s 3 wins were in the hands of Balls and Dyrus, dominant top laners on dominant teams, both of which went 3-1 in Super Week.

Mundo, on the other hand, beat Trundle, lost to Nasus, and went 1-1 vs Yasuo, while going 4-1 vs Shyvana.

Finally, Yasuo went 1-2 (top) with an overall KDA of 1.0, hardly anything to write home about.

The Trundle and Warwick picks were likely mirroring the sOAZ and Darien picks in EU, but they went a combined 1-4 in the North American scene.

CruzertheBruzer also took his famous Lee Sin top, although could not net the win.

Finally, we had a surprising Karthus top from Quas.

Conclusions

Basically, Mundo dominated top lane, both in picks and performances. This is likely due to the fact that Mundo can take Teleport over Shyvana, giving better presence in the laning phase and mid-game, with better split-pushing late-game. Renekton was also a strong pick who faces heavy bans for a top laner, but relatively few picks. Why Mundo and Renekton over Shyvana? They bring more to 1v2 ganks, whether it be a stun or a perma-slow.

Jungle

Bans

3 junglers took the majority of the jungle bans:

Elise – 8
Olaf – 5
Vi – 2

Picks

These matched up nicely with the top 3 jungle picks:

Elise – 10
Vi – 6
Olaf – 5

No other jungler received more than 2+ picks.

Results

So who was the top jungler?

Elise – 4-6 (2.67 KDA)

Vi – 3-3 (3.38 KDA)

Olaf – 5-0 (8.25 KDA)

Conclusions

It’s hard to see anybody but Olaf as the top jungler at the moment. The meta isn’t orienting around hard engages at the moment, so he serves as a backup top laner. Moreover, his axes can make for great 1v2 ganks in conjunction with either a stun from Renekton or a perma-slow from Mundo, or can clear under tower just fine, and in a 3v1 situation, he can push a tower extremely quickly.

Mid

Bans

Mid ate the majority of the bans in North America, drawing 61 of the 96 bans

Kassadin – 15
Kha’Zix – 8
LeBlanc – 6
Kayle – 6
Riven – 6
Yasuo – 5
Gragas – 5
Ziggs – 3
Zed – 2
Pantheon – 2
Nidalee – 1
Teemo – 1
Akali – 1

Pick

And if the bans were varied and diverse, so were the champion picks:

Riven – 5
Yasuo – 4
Gragas – 3
Kayle – 3
LeBlanc – 3
Riven – 3
Kha’Zix – 2
Zed – 2

What mids were dominant? The only mid champions with more than one game and a 50% win rate or higher are:

LeBlanc: 3-0 (12 KDA)
Nidalee: 3-2 (5.6 KDA)
Zed: 2-0 (3.5 KDA)

Conclusions

It’s hard to draw too much of a conclusion from this data, however, as 2 of the LeBlanc games were Bjergsen (who has dominated mid all week), 3 of the Nidalee games were HotshotGG (who doesn’t play top and was picking his old best champion), and the other two Nidalee games were Shiphtur, who went 18-2-9 all week. Basically, unlike the other lanes, mid seems to have more correlation with who is playing, not what champion.

ADC

Bans

Jinx – 2

Picks

The three main ADCs in recent patches have been Jinx, Sivir, and Lucian. Of course, Ezreal and Caitlyn have hung around as safe ADCs for awhile. Lucian’s nerfs haven’t hit his pick-rate that hard:

Jinx – 9
Lucian – 9
Caitlyn – 7
Sivir – 2

But looking at win rates, we see a much different picture:

Jinx – 6-3 (5.41 KDA)
Caitlyn – 5-2 (6.38 KDA)
Sivir – 2-2 (5.17 KDA)
Lucian – 1-8 (2.00 KDA)

Jinx and Caitlyn were definitely the go-to ADC picks, although WildTurtle put up two spectacular performances as Sivir.

Conclusions

Now, you may be saying that Lucian is simply a bad pick at this point. But it’s hard to say with bot lane, because it’s a bit of a chicken and egg question. Why? Because most teams that picked Lucian didn’t pick Thresh. Of the teams who picked Lucian, they picked 4 Annies, 3 Leonas, and one Lulu. Given Thresh’s 9-3 win ratio, it’s hard to say whether or not the lack of Thresh picks are hurting the Lucian pick, or the lack of Lucian picks are helping the Thresh pick

Support

In Korea, supports have been eating up nearly half of the bans for awhile, with Annie, Leona, and Thresh bans almost constantly. North America prioritizes the same 3 supports, but far less harshly:

Bans

Annie – 6
Leona – 2
Thresh – 1

Picks

As far as picks go, Thresh is by far the crowd favorite, with Annie and Leona trailing slightly behind. Finally, a few Lulu picks snuck in:

Thresh – 12
Annie – 9
Leona – 7
Lulu – 4

Not only was he the most-picked champion, but Thresh also pulled in the only 50%+ win rate:

Thresh – 9-3 (4.59 KDA)
Annie – 3-6 (3.04 KDA)
Leona – 2-5 (2.2 KDA)
Lulu – 2-2 (2.25 KDA)

Thresh maintained a winning rate vs every support, going 4-1 against Annie, 3-1 against Leona, and 2-1 against Lulu.

Annie went 1-4 against Thresh, but 2-2 against the other supports, including a 2-1 record against Leona

Leona only had 2 victories, and both of them came in the hands of Xpecial.

Top Teams

So what are the top champs by lane in the North American meta?

Top – Mundo/Renekton

Jungle – Olaf/Vi/Elise

Mid – Kassadin/LeBlanc/Nidalee

AD – Jinx/Caitlyn/Sivir

Support – Thresh

Priorities

And where do priorities lie?

Support

Support saw a mere 8 bans, but 21 picks were accounted for by only 2 champions (and 28 by 3). There is basically one dominant support, and he’s not seeing significant bans. The team that controls Thresh without giving up significant pick control should see an increased win-rate in LCS; the only player with a losing record on Thresh is Krepo.

Jungle

Junglers saw 15 bans, and 21 of the picks were between 3 champions. But one jungler appears to have no answer in North America, and that is Olaf (5-0). But after that, there are two ~50% win rate champions, so your team comp won’t suffer as much as if you gave up Thresh.

Mid

Mid saw a whopping 61 bans. Even if you discount the 15 Kassadin bans, that’s 46 bans, nearly half of the total 96 bans. However, they were split among many champions. More than any other position, mid bans seem targeted, whether it be for/against team comps, or against certain players. Moreover, it takes 5 champions to account for 21 picks.

Sure, you probably should ban LeBlanc against Bjergsen and Shiphtur, but the other players are untested on her (although, personally, I think LeBlanc is going to be a dominant mid until people find an answer to her). Nidalee probably won’t need the bans now that HotshotGG is gone, and Zed has barely seen play. So pro teams can continue doing what they’ve been doing: banning and picking mids based off of circumstances.

ADC

ADC has seen few bans, and 25 picks between the top 3 champions. However, there were 2 dominant picks: Jinx/Caitlyn. Right now, we haven’t seen any dominance between the two of them (with only one game played against each other). If it turns out that one severely out-classes the other, it may be time to prioritize them, but for  now, you can simply pick up the one your opponent leaves up.

Personally, I expect Jinx to continue to be dominant, but that’s just me. But if Olaf starts becoming a much more common pick, Caitlyn with her range and dash might seem more and more appealing. Then again, Olaf is 1-0 against both Jinx and Caitlyn, so who knows?

Top

10 bans were aimed at top lane, and 3 champions made up the top 21 picks. However, Mundo held the only positive win-rate of those champions, and most of the bans were aimed at Renekton, another dominant top. The way I see it, there’s no reason to focus hard on top lane. Yes, Mundo is strong, but:

  1. Renekton is going largely unbanned
  2. There are enough viable niche picks (Trundle/Warwick)
  3. Shyvana is good against non-Mundo champions.

Advice for LCS teams 🙂

  1. Go for Thresh/Olaf whenever you get the chance. If you have to choose, I guess go for Thresh. More teams play him, so he’s less likely to make it back to you, and there are better backup junglers than backup supports.
  2. Do what you want in mid. Try to counter-pick. LeBlanc looks good if you can swing that in your comp. But Zed isn’t that bad, and there are plenty of other mids available.
  3. For ADC, get Jinx if she’s still up, but if not, nothing seems wrong with Caitlyn.
  4. Top lane try and get Mundo or Renekton if they are unbanned, but have your top laners learn WW and Trundle just in case! Darien’s Sunfire Cape first build is pretty strong.

————————————————————–

Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.

You can see his other work here:

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