Fans got a taste of how the Worlds 2021 meta might play out thanks to the play-ins matches.
Worlds 2021 has been here for a while now, and the League of Legends meta is at one of its most diverse points of the season. More than half of the champions on the game’s roster were chosen during the 38-game play-in stage, laying the groundwork for one of the most intriguing World Championships in the game’s history.
During the play-ins, 80 champions were chosen at least once, with 75 of them being banned but never seeing playtime on Summoner’s Rift. That is an increase from last year’s play-in stage, which featured only 78 champions.
From the champions who were chosen only once to those who dominated the play-ins, the first stage of Worlds 2021 provided fans and analysts with a sneak peek at what the meta would look like in the coming weeks. Here are some of the most influential League champions from the World Championships 2021 play-in stage.
At Worlds, Irelia is the most dangerous flex pick, and players have been taking the champion into both the top and mid lane thus far. Irelia participated in 36 individual drafts during the play-in stage, missing only two games. According to League stats site Games of Legends, she was the most banned champion at the play-ins by a wide margin, accruing 26 bans over the course of 38 games. If the first wave of games this week is any indication, it wouldn’t be surprising to see many teams forced to sit Irelia for the rest of the tournament.
Jungle: Lee Sin
Lee Sin, League’s classic jungler, reclaimed the position’s apex at the Worlds play-in stage. Lee Sin was a priority pick in the season’s first international tournament, the Mid-Season Invitational, earlier this year. The Blind Monk, on the other hand, was mostly used in the top lane at that event. He’s been the most contested jungler on the roster at Worlds 2021, with 21 picks and 15 bans across the play-in stage, and he’s unlikely to leave once the group stage of Worlds 2021 begins.
The mid lane meta at Worlds 2021 is one of the tournament’s most diverse positions. Even so, when things look shaky for mid players, they’ll usually fall back on tried-and-true picks like Ryze and others of a similar caliber. Control mages such as LeBlanc, Zoe, and others have resurfaced at Worlds, but none has been more active on the Rift than Ryze.
Ryze has been one of the game’s most relevant mid laners in the last week, according to Games of Legends, with nine picks and 17 bans at the play-in stage. Furthermore, when some of the Worlds’ best Ryze players, such as Doinb, Faker, Scout, and others, begin to get their hands on the champion during the group stage, it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the near future.
ADC: Miss Fortune
Miss Fortune, the undisputed queen of the AD carry role, dominated the Worlds 2021 play-in stage and will most likely continue to do so throughout the tournament. Miss Fortune competed in 37 of the 38 games played during the play-ins, the most of any champion in the competition, according to Games of Legends. Miss Fortune players went 16-13 with the champion in the 29 games she was chosen for, demonstrating her effectiveness as a dependable choice.
It’s not too far-fetched to say that Leona is currently dominating the World Championship. According to Games of Legends, the champion was contested in 87 percent of the games at the play-ins and was chosen in 24 individual contests. Leona players won 19 of the 24 games they played, only losing five to the champion. If Leona continues to have such a strong chokehold on not only the support position, but entire games in general, her ban numbers could rise, despite the fact that she was only scratched off in nine games at the play-ins.
Honorable Mention: Amumu
The Sad Mummy returned to the professional League stage with a vengeance at the Worlds play-ins after going seven years without seeing any playtime at the support position in a major region. Amumu was one of the most common champions at play-ins, with 11 picks and 11 bans. Despite his meteoric rise in popularity, he only managed three wins in the first round of Worlds 2021.