It's the second day of the The World Championship and it's definitely going to be hard to match the hype of that first inaugural day. If you missed it, worry not because we got you covered as well.
If you're a more casual viewer, or you simply live in an unfavourable timezone such as Europe's, there's a little too much content to watch--and that's where we come in!
We're covering every single game of the group stage, including highlights of some of the best plays from each game.
We're also giving 2 x $10 RP cards, check the bottom of the post to see how to enter!
SK Telecom vs Cloud9
The draft showcased the clear priorities for each team. SKT picking a very pick-heavy composition that relies on catching and bursting single targets while C9 picks champions with teamfights in mind.
The early game started going in SKT’s favour. An early gank from Bengi secured first blood for Faker but C9 continue to farm with Meteos generating a farm lead over his counterpart. Using his level advantage he invades and stole SKT’s second blue buff. Not to be outdone, Faker outplayed Jensen and grabbed a solokill, allowing him to team up with Bengi and take away C9’s blue in response.
The game became a lot more about jungle control than early kills. Meteos with a successful dragon secure as Faker zoned Jensen from behind his own tower spelled a worrying start for C9 as Faker continued to snowball his lead
With full control of mid, SKT looked to take advantages elsewhere. Bengi abused the lack of vision in the topside jungle to kill the often ignored Impact and allows Duke to take the first tower gold.
Almost immediately later, SKT set up a fight in the bottom lane with Duke teleporting in and giving SKT access to the dragon, all while Wolf roamed to midlane, ganked Jensen, giving him his fourth death of the game.
All was not lost for C9. An interesting brush camp from Meteos allowed him to secure a 1 for 1 trade in the toplane, killing Duke and picking up C9’s first tower with the help of Jensen.
At this point, C9 started looking to take as many skirmishes as they could. With Bang, Wolf and Bengi pushing the bottom lane inhibitor tower, C9 sent Meteos and Impact to repeatedly gank Duke, securing a kill and even managing to pick up another one, outplaying Faker as he looked to try and 2v1.
With their 10k gold lead SKT turned their eyes towards ending the game. Pushing the vision deep inside C9’s jungle and denying all jungle camps, SKT managed to pick up both the midlane inhibitor before backing out and securing Baron.
With the Baron in hand, SKT made their final push and ended the game.
Flash Wolves vs IMAY
The second match of the day and of Group B featured LMS champions Flash Wolves against the 'Cinderella Story' of the LPL, IMAY who qualified to Worlds one split after being promoted from the LSPL.
The Taiwanese side drafted a very lane heavy focused composition, with strong winning side lanes in Gnar and Lucian/Karma. On the other side, we see a very strong poke and siege composition with Varus and Jhin, with a strong frontline to peel for them (Alistar, Ekko and Zac).
The game started in a really odd fashion. Flash Wolves quickly figured out Avoidless' jungle pathing and caught him out in the enemy jungle. A teleport to Zac's blobs stopped the first blood, albeit temporarily as strangely enough, AmazingJ cancelled the channel, leaving his jungler to die.
IMAY answered with a dive bot lane to pick up a kill and quickly translated it to a drake, but the Flash Wolves saw the flashing health bars and collapsed on them right after. What then followed was an extremely extended trade of kills. From it, Flash Wolves cemented a three thousand gold lead for several minutes.
So far, one of the constants of this worlds has been teams not being able to use early game pressure and advantages to cement leads. Teams have picked for early dominance and to get leads, but not knowing how to extend them means scaling picks also have a lot of value.
The Flash Wolves had a solid gold lead for a very extended period of time, but struggled to translate it into anything as IMAY had very strong waveclear. The Taiwanese side never set up dives or successfully managed to bait Baron and they wasted too much time, allowing IMAY's poke comp to come online.
Eventually, Flash Wolves had danced around Baron for too long, and their opponents decided it was enough. IMAY engaged and took the fight and then baron.
Now behind in the game, the Wolves turned to Elder Dragon to get back into the game, but Avoidless was around to contest it and attempt a steal...
TSM vs Samsung Galaxy
With Samsung drafting a full poke comp and TSM opting for the pick comp, all eyes were on Doublelift and whether he could fix his issues as Jhin vs strong Alistar players.
Much like in their domestic games, TSM opened with an early push in the bottom lane allowing Biofrost to move towards the enemy blue buff and put a ward down to enable Svenskeren to invade and take the first buff. After a skirmish, Ambition as Elise tried to respond by invading towards TSM’s blue buff but times it slightly wrong as he arrives just as Svenskeren begins taking the camp. Through expert intuition, Svenskeren successfully deduced that Ambition was hiding in the brush behind Hauntzer’s tower and outplay Ambition and CuVee in the 2v2 to secure the 2 first kills.
Things did not look good for Samsung. After a trade in midlane Bjergsen went all-in and managed to solo kill Crown completely uncontested. Smelling blood, Svenskeren capitalised on the advantage and followed up with a well-executed gank giving Bjergsen a 2-0-2 score at 10 minutes.
TSM were in full control and looked to follow through on their style of invading with Svenskeren looking to take another blue buff from Ambition. A skirmish resulted with Biofrost’s death but the 1 for 1 kill trade and the buff secure meant that TSM were happy with the play.
The next few minutes were just TSM pushing all 3 lanes and taking control of the vision & camps inside the jungle and translating that into the infernal dragon. Despite the lack of skirmishes, TSM were still accumulating a bigger and bigger gold lead by forcing SSG to lose minion gold to their towers and collecting almost no gold from jungle camps.
By 24 minutes, TSM had forced SSG entirely into their base and began sieging the bottom and midlane inhibitor towers, backing off only to take the second infernal dragon.
TSM finally found a way to open the SSG base with a clever baron bait forcing SSG to facecheck with no vision. TSM picked up 2 kills and immediately capitalised by taking the SSG midlane inhibitor.
Royal Never Give Up vs Splyce
Royal opted to take a different strategy vs Splyce than they did vs TSM, choosing to pick a double ranged bot lane and an early aggressive jungler compared to their scaling jungler and melee support - telegraphing a desire to get inside Splyce’s jungle early and start to deny Trashy’s Olaf.
Splyce meanwhile had gone for a full scaling teamfight comp. Picking Olaf and Cassiopeia with a double speedboost bottomlane, Splyce were hoping that Sencux could recreate some of the individual performance he showcased vs SSG.
RNG’s bottomlane came out swinging. Mata going hyper aggressive at level 1 with early trades and Mlxg pathing towards the bottom lane to secure the crab and looked for a gank but ultimately nothing happened.
Mlxg continued with his early lane pressure, counterganking Trashy’s attempt on mid before heading to bottom to try and secure Kobbe who’d recently narrowly escaped a 2v2 all-in from the superstar RNG bottomlane duo.
Things heated up around 9 minutes as an RNG invade turned sour as Splyce’s counter-engage secured Sencux enough gold to recuperate a little from the savage beating that Xiaohu had put on during the laning phase.
Despite the hiccup, Mlxg was not phased. Off the back of some deep wards secured by Mata, Mlxg moves to invade Trashy at his gromp, and turns to take dragon after an impressive display of Lee Sin mechanics to grab the kill.
Having completely dominated the bottom side of the map, RNG sent their bottom lane to top in order to convert their lead into total map control. A quick skirmish results in an easy tower for RNG.
With RNG securing kills from outplays in both the sidelanes and later the midlane, RNG had sent a message that their win over TSM was no fluke. For the next few minutes, RNG put on a slideshow of skirmish kills across the map as SPY found themselves punished for overextending in a way that they had never experienced during their domestic success.
RNG decide that enough is enough and move to end the game. With 3 items on the hyperfed Uzi RNG take the bottom inhibitor and immediately aftewards the midlane inhibitor before the nexus.
H2K Gaming vs INTZ e-Sports
After the biggest upset at Worlds coming out from INTZ, beating chinese powerhouse EDG and considering H2K's rather poor performance on their debut, a lot of fans had hope for the Brazilian side to upset once again.
This time around, Gnar was banned from Yang and he had to go for Rumble instead. The rest of the composition featured two very scaling oriented champions in Orianna and Ezreal.
On the Europeans' side, we saw a draft tailored towards lane dominance. Alongside the early Cassiopeia pick came the Karma and Caitlyn bot lane and H2K's goal was simple, to snowball off of leads created during laning phase due to a combination of better early game picks.
First blood didn't come in until 18 minutes in. Before that, H2K slowly choked out INTZ, gaining CS advantages in all three lanes and especially mid lane was incredibly suspect, with Revolta having to constantly visit the lane to make sure Tockers could survive Ryu's Cassiopeia. H2K built their lead slowly but steadily, relying on Skarner Flash + Ult combos to pick off a target and then siege turrets with a number's advantage.
There isn't really much to say about the game. INTZ drafted too many scaling elements and were beaten by H2K's early game dominance, the game just kept snowballing and INTZ slowly bled out until a final teamfight broke out, with 3 kills going towards H2K's side with none in response from the Brazilians.
EDward Gaming vs ahq e-Sports Club
After their loss to wildcard team INTZ, the big question coming into the match was EDG’s draft and whether or not they would pick another risky matchup for Mouse. EDG had apparently learned from their mistakes and locked in the much safer Poppy and going for a very AD Carry-centric comp, relying heavily on their star player Deft. On AHQ’s side, there were an equal number of questions about starting Chawy who had not seen any professional play in many months.
Many of the questions about draft were immediately silenced as the initial stages of the game were filled with a crazy skirmish in the bottom lane resulting in many summoners burned on both sides.
Despite the action in bot lane, the first blood was actually in mid lane. Clearlove pulled off an unusual level-3 gank on Hecarim and they grab the first blood onto Chawy. He did not stop there, after ganking mid he almost immediately headed towards bot and secured a second kill onto AN.
Due to the summoner and matchup disadvantage AHQ were going to be struggling and so they made one of the ballsiest calls in the tournament by swapping their duolane into top and pushing the toplane tier 1 as 4 people securing the first tower gold, before returning back to standard lanes.
After the action packed early game, the game calms down until Clearlove punishes Ziv for a massive overextension in the topside while AHQ were trying to push mid. AHQ answer back with a kill on Pawn but lose Mountain in the process resulting in an even further kill and gold lead.
Other than a dragon take from AHQ and a failed attempt at picking off Meiko, the midgame was comparatively slow until EDG pull the trigger and an impressive culling from Deft forces summoners from AN. Clearlove follows up and secures a kill onto AHQ’s jungler and in typical EDG style they just instantly rush the baron. A good Rumble ultimate from Ziv looked like it might spell doom for EDG but a great Poppy ultimate from Mouse knocks the Rumble away and EDG take the Baron and despite a chase from AHQ - make it out unscathed.
As AHQ try to stop the inevitable bulldozer of a heavy waveclear comp with Baron, they look to make an engage. Ziv, often touted as the major carry for AHQ steps up and executes an impressive equalizer as EDG steps up to siege AHQ’s bottomlane tier 2. AHQ pick up an immediate kill onto the Lucian, neutralising the only real carry threat from EDG.
A few minutes of attempts from EDG to start a fight and they eventually give up and turn around to take the elder drake. A catastrophically poor call from AHQ is made for them to attempt to trade for the Baron but they underestimate the speed it would take for EDG to finish the Dragon. AHQ only have time to clear a pink ward before having to back out and EDG find a way to collapse on them inside their own jungle, pick up a few kills in the resulting skirmish and take the baron followed immediately by a winning push.
A reminder that today we're also giving away two $10 RP cards, simply leave a comment in the comment section below telling us which was your favorite match or a specific play that you saw on the second day of Worlds 2016.
Whether it was Faker's absolute mid lane dominance, the return of Uzi to form or TSM bouncing back and taking the win, let us know which was your favorite moment!
We will select two random comments and announce the winners after the first part of the group stages and contact you via the email connected to your LolKing account.
Good Luck Summoners!
The World Championship has just begun and the first day in San Francisco was as entertaining as most viewers could hope for, with many close matches and plenty of upsets! If you're a more casual viewer, or you simply live in an unfavourable timezone such as Europe's, there's a little too much content to watch--and that's where we come in!
We covered every single game of this first day of the groupstage, including highlights of some of the best plays from each game.
We're also giving 2 x $10 RP cards, check the bottom of the post to see how to enter!
G2 Esports vs Counter Logic Gaming
G2 and CLG both came in with clear plans. With G2 drafting a poke/siege composition and CLG answering back with a composition that relied on pressuring G2’s superstar bottom lane. With CLG leveraging the pressure on the bottom side to allow them to safely scale into the midgame; G2’s plan to snowball their questionable talent Expect in the toplane fell short.
G2’s Trick opened with impressive pathing to take advantage of Darshan’s poor warding habits, allowing Expect to pick up an easy first blood. CLG responded in kind with a dive of their own onto G2’s bottom lane, exploiting the fact that Expect greedily used his Teleport to further capitalise on his first blood, resulting in it not being available to counteract the dive.
Trick, in a desperate attempt to recover the game attempted a gank in the midlane but was once again outdone by Xmithie’s superior pathing resulting in a favourable skirmish for CLG, as well as the mid lane tier 1 tower.
The game continued in that fashion with CLG successfully executing on a heavy pushing strategy and utilising the Caitlyn traps to limit G2’s potential answers to the constant pressure imposed on their towers.
As CLG pushed G2 further inside their own side of the map and through impressive vision control they managed to secure a clean Baron take despite G2’s entire team being alive.
CLG continued slowly choking G2 out of the map. Taking their jungle camps and denying them vision until eventually CLG found an opening onto G2’s mid lane inhibitor turret. In a fight that almost cost CLG, G2 overcommitted to an extremely poor teleport play from Expect, resulting in a teamfight win for CLG and the game.
ROX Tigers vs Albus Nox Luna
The ROX Tigers came in as heavy favorites to win the game and even the whole tournament but Albus Nox was adamant in making them fight for the win.
From the draft we got to see 3 of ANX’s favorite picks with Graves, Jhin and Bard all being locked in for the CIS side.
ROX drafted a strong skirmishing side that is also versatile enough for teamfighting, with Rumble’s Equalizer and Jayce’s strong initial poke with the Accelerated Shock Blast. As for ANX, they have strong pick off with Shen, Jhin and Bard. Shen and Vladimir can dive well with Jhin and Graves contributing to execute damage and open up fights with early kills by picking off targets.
The game started off differently than anyone would have expected with ANX grabbing 2 early kills after over aggression from ROX’s Jungler, Peanut. The Koreans clearly didn’t learn from history that you don’t invade Russia and paid dearly for it.
While the Russian side managed to get some early picks, ROX managed to start equalizing the gold through farm advantages and throughout the rest of the game we saw the koreans punish Albus Nox’s overaggressive plays time and time again.
After solidifying a gold lead, it was smooth sailing for the Tigers as they aced their opponents time and time again, further chipping down the base from the wildcard side.
H2K Gaming vs ahq eSports Club
Both teams draft as expected given their playstyles. H2K picks a strong ganking jungler with strong laners while AHQ opted for a more scaling teamfighting composition.
The game began with Jankos attempting to gank for his superstar bottom lane underneath the enemy tower which ultimately results in nothing. Meanwhile Mountain paths towards top to help out the Ahq carry Ziv. Mountain comes out the more successful jungler, securing first blood onto Odoamne underneath his tower.
Despite the early gank, Mountain went back to his unimpactful early jungling habits and H2K’s superior laners take a strong lead and full control in both mid and bottom lane.
H2K looked to capitalise on this by sending Ryu and Jankos to dive Ziv. Mountain predicted this and went to help, but ultimately got caught out leaving Ziv to manage to secure a lucky pick, resulting in a 2 for 1 trade for H2K.
H2K slowly pushed ahq in and take towers but relinquished the pressure on AN who quietly sat in sidelanes, farming and takeing down turrets - uncontestedly scaling into midgame.
H2K showcased the same systematic issues where they are unable to force teams into macro errors, instead resulting to brush camping on vision and weak baron baits in an attempt to get enemies to facecheck.
As H2K fail to capitalise on the lead they have, the next 20 minutes of the game is a dance of H2K finding a catch and trying to set up around Baron, but ultimately failing. Eventually ahq secure a baron off a catch onto Jankos. They use this to take down H2K’s remaining sidelane towers.
H2K themselves find a pick and try to set up for Baron again, but ultimately cannot pull the trigger and eventually Ryu gets caught giving control back to ahq.
Ahq showcase a much better understanding of how to bait Baron, by stacking in a brush, killing Jankos and Ryu and subsequently taking the Baron and killing the 3 remaining H2K members without dropping a player and push to end the game.
INTZ e-Sports vs EDward Gaming
The second match of group C put head to head chinese powerhouse EDG against the underdogs INTZ e-Sports, who qualified via the international Wildcard. Going into game, most viewers had no doubt that this was EDG’s game for sure, but Wildcard teams have been getting stronger year after year and ANX’s display earlier had shown exactly that.
INTZ drafted a strong pick off composition with Ashe and Syndra, that easily prompts a follow up from Gnar, Braum and Lee Sin. The composition also doubles down as a decently strong teamfight comp and if Gnar is ever ahead it’s easy to set up a 4-1 split.
EDG on the other hand drafted much more towards favourable lane matchups. Ezreal/Nami to gain advantages early on and Vladimir to be able to hold the Syndra. In the top lane, Irelia can beat Gnar if she ever grabs an advantage.
The game started rough for the Brazilian side as Deft and Meiko manage to 2v2 kill both members of INTZ with only one kill in return. In the meantime, Revolta showcased great jungle pathing to avoid 1v1 confrontation with Clearlove on Graves, as he would lose any duel. Seeing that EDG’s bot lane overstay he visits to grant INTZ some kills but with an immediate response from the Chinese side. Equal kills and a slight gold lead for the Brazilian team at 10 minutes.
Then the top lane camp began. Seeing that Yang was slightly head of his lane counterpart, Revolta visited EDG’s Mouse and got him killed over and over again, opening a huge lead for his top laner. The Revolta+Yang synergy kept going as the duo set up more kills and it eventually led up to a baron for the brazilians.
From there, the game slowed down. INTZ played patient, but never careless. EDward Gaming tried their best to stall the game, but INTZ’s pick off potential really started showing up and after back to back successful engages with Enchanted Crystallized Arrow, the Brazilian side managed to pull off the biggest upset yet at the World Championship.
Samsung Galaxy vs Splyce
The first thing that pops out in the draft phase is that Splyce willingly gave over both Viktor and Nami to Samsung, both Crown and Wraith’s best champions respectively, so one has to assume that Splyce consider themselves to have an answer.
Regardless, Splyce open with some early mistakes with Trashy ignoring that Wunder was being poked down under his turret and reacting late to the impending dive resulting in Ambition getting first blood.
Ambition continues his proactive jungling and sets up a dive in the bottom lane but Sencux manages to collapse in time and Splyce pick up a 3 for 1 trade.
After a few back and forth skirmishes in the midlane, Splyce find themselves struggling to utilise the Kled at all. A number of failed engages and mechanical misplays result in Splyce having a 6k gold deficit at 20 minutes and Samsung start looking to the Baron.
Splyce begin to fight back. As Sencux goes all-in blowing all summoners to outduel CuVee in the toplane SSG look to collapse but an incredible Tahm Kench ultimate by Mikyx manages to turn the fight as he brings in Trashy and they manage to hold on until the rest of Splyce can collapse ultimately resulting in a won fight for Splyce.
The stalemate eventually ends when SSG set up some impressive vision denial inside Splyce’s topside jungle allowing Ambition to set up a pick. SSG win the ensuing fight and secure the Baron, despite Splyce’s feeble attempt at stopping it by suiciding the Kled and Tahm Kench.
From here, SSG systematically close out by securing picks in a sidelane and taking all 3 inhibitors and the game all in 1 push.
Team SoloMid vs Royal Never Give Up
In the final game of day 1 we saw RNG throw down the gauntlet for TSM. With TSM having taken away Mlxg’s preferred jungler due to a re-make of the game, RNG switched up their strategy of having a double-ranged botlane in favour of Mata picking Alistar.
The game opened with Mlxg ganking the midlane only to be counterganked by Svenskeren but with both midlaner blowing their flash. As the game reset, Mata moved from bottom lane and invaded Svenskeren with the help of Mlxg and Xiaohu, securing first blood.
This lapse in pressure did not phase Svenskeren. Due to the overwhelming push advantage in the midlane, Svenskeren used the pressure to consistently invade Mlxg’s jungle taking both the second rotation of buffs and securing a kill on Mlxg as he tried to recuperate the loss by invading Svenskeren’s blue.
This trend continued until TSM managed to secure absolute control over the river, punishing any RNG member that dared to encroach upon Svenskeren’s territory. Despite Svenskeren and Bjergsen’s oppressive control over Mlxg’s jungle, the bottom lane was a different story. With Mata on Alistar he was free to control the pace of RNG’s gameplay, allowing him to not only win fights in bottom lane but also secure the necessary engages for RNG to win fights across the map.
As RNG had finally secured a gold lead, their low-ranged composition still had to be wary of the flank engage potential from Hauntzer’s Kennen. As a World Championship MVP would be expected to do, Mata had this covered also. With a very economical strategy, Mata ang the rest of RNG would ensure that the inside of their jungle only would be free of wards. Not wasting precious resources trying to place deep wards where they would not be used.
As TSM continued trying to pressure without adequate vision on their flanks, Mata found a way to create another disastrous fight for TSM which ultimately lead to a Baron secure by RNG. A systematic and methodical closing of the game by RNG is all she wrote for TSM.
A reminder that we're also giving away two $10 RP cards, simply leave a comment in the comment section below telling us which was your favorite match or a specific play that you saw on the first day of Worlds 2016.
Whether it was INTZ's Revolta impressive Lee Sin play, PraY's strong showing on Lucian or Mata's Godlike Alistar, we want to know which one was your favorite performance of the day.
We will select winners after the group stages and contact you via the email connected to your LolKing account.
Good Luck Summoners!
As part of our world coverage, we decided to briefly introduce INTZ e-Sports and Albus Nox Luna, the two Wildcard Teams in this year's League of Legends World Championship
There are 8 Minor Regions whose champion qualifies to compete in Wildcard Tournaments in order to qualify for Worlds and also the Mid Seasonal Invitational.
While Wildcard teams are far from favorites, their performances have been getting better year after year.
This year, the Wildcard representation includes the Brazilian Team INTZ e-Sports and the CIS side Albus Nox Luna.
Be sure to subscribe to LolKing's YouTube channel for upcoming stat videos and other League of Legends coverage!
Worlds is right around the corner and one of the biggest questions is who will show up at worlds. Most teams last played on 6.15 (aside from International Wildcard teams who played their qualifier on 6.16) and the patch we will see at worlds is 6.18.
In between those 2-3 patches a lot of small nerfs and buffs were given to multiple champions, which in professional play can be enough to tip the scales for some changes to champion pools.
There’s also a lot of interest to see what is going to show up after what happened last year. The Juggernaut patch came right after teams qualified and it was a gigantic set of changes that completely shifted pick priorities.
This year’s changes pre-worlds have been much more mild, but with no teams playing competitively in these last two patches, a lot of testing has surely been done by a lot of teams and those paying more attention to rumors might have heard of some new champions showing up once more.
The Flex Pick
Probability to show up: Very likely
We covered Jayce last week, who started showing up much more after his 6.17 patches:
Jayce is a hybrid type of fighter, who can poke from afar and then use the movement speed to close the gap, go melee and finish off a target. Changing stances to hammer form grants resistances which encourages going melee without getting blown up.
Right now, he’s seeing play in both solo lanes. In the top lane, he can outrange and poke melee matchups. Ranged auto attacks are also very useful to deny Gangplank’s Powder Kegs.
Top Lane Jayce skips Tear of the Goddess and rushes Black Cleaver, as trades and all ins are more frequent in this lane. He also runs Stormraider’s Surge, to allow him to close the gap as melee after landing an accelerated Shock Blast from afar.
In the mid lane he plays a more poke oriented style, usually with Tear of the Goddess and Thunderlord’s Decree as his Keystone Mastery.
Probability to show up: Low
Kled was released back on 6.16, so he hasn’t seen his competitive debut, but slowly, professional players that are attending the world championship started to slowly pick the Cantankerous Cavalier.
Kled is an incredibly strong duelist and deceptively tanky with his mount Skaarl. Bursting him down is next to impossible, as his dismount animation completely stops full damage combos from killing him. With ‘Chaaaaaaaarge!!!’ he can always start a fight, on his own or with his teammates. The movement speed given is immense and functions very similarly to a sivir ultimate, allowing everyone to quickly engage a team or a straggler.
Once Kled completes Black Cleaver his cooldowns are low enough to string ‘Beartrap on a Rope’ time after time again, as he can continuously stay close by using ‘Jousting’ as well.
Probability to show up: Average
Skarner’s last appearance at worlds wasn’t that great... Regardless, leading up to this year’s event he’s been seeing quite a lot of play. With Rek’sai and Gragas nerfed and if drafts tend towards banning top tier junglers such as Elise and Nidalee, there’s a chance we might go into the tier 2 champions and the Crystal Vanguard is one of them.
Skarner farms fast and has very good lockdown with Impale and Fracture. He’ll never be super high up in priority mainly because he’s incredibly dependant on flash and needs to get into melee range to dish out a lot of damage, so he’s dependant on facing less mobile compositions or with champions that can enable him.
Honorable Mentions: Olaf, Kindred, Evelynn
Probability to show up: Likely
Ryze has gone through too many reworks, but it doesn’t seem like that will ever stop him from being a contested pick. The first rank on his ultimate is admittedly very poor, but come mid game his damage really starts ramping up.
Initially, players were still going for the double stacking build of Rod of Ages and Seraph’s Embrace, but recently the build has shifted towards going for a Morellonomicon right after Tear of the Goddess and grabbing a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter next to make up for the health he doesn’t get for not picking up RoA.
Ryze is deceptively mobile. He usually has Ghost and Flash at his disposal as his summoner Spells and with Stormraider’s Surge as his Keystone he can swiftly get out after going in for a trade or reposition until he unleashes his low cooldown highly potent burst once more.
Probability to show up: Low
Jinx isn’t really priority right now and it’s very likely we will see about at least 6 champions above her in priority in the AD Carry role. That said, she’s still an absolute late game monster and will take over games if they stretch out long enough past the 35 minute mark. Most teams will prioritise Lucian, Jhin, Ashe, Sivir and even Tristana, but Jinx still has this strong niche of a strong late game teamfighter with a deadly reset and some teams might rely on her as a comfort pick.
As you guys probably know, LolKing exists as a free resource thanks to the ads on our website. Every few months we run surveys regarding market research here and it's that time again--this month we've been fortunate enough to run two! Remember that you are under no obligation to participate, so if giving out information is not your cup of tea, we totally understand.
As thanks for answering this survey, we'll be picking twenty people who reply to our survey to win $20 RP cards:Click here to fill out the survey! This giveaway will run until this Friday (9/30) at 11:59PM PDT. Twenty winners will receive a $20 RP card. Any region LolKing supports can win. Thanks everyone for participating!
Mid Lane is traditionally the place where 1v1 duels happen often and junglers usually visit for ganks. Support roams are also frequent, everyone is constantly trying to swing the matchup for their mid laner, so it’s a very dynamic lane that gets a lot of attention, as the mid laner who is ahead can then translate an advantage to roams and invades to further amplify said gain.
So it’s no wonder that especially in ranked games we see a lot of assassins and burst mages in this lane, constantly trying to cement a lead through solo kills. Naturally, Ignite is ideal pick for these situations.
However, buffs to other spells and some assassins falling out of favor, throughout seasons we have seen more diversity in summoner spells. While competitive league is a completely different game from ranked matches, some strategies and tendencies tend to cross over and be adopted as players watch professionals pick up new things.
Season 5 - The Double Teleport Meta
In season 5 and even for a good part of season 6 (until patch 6.13), Teleport was the go to summoner spell for mid lane in competitive and it crossed over to solo queue too. Even a champion like LeBlanc, known for her extremely high potential for solo kills and all ins with Ignite, was frequently running Teleport, since it allowed her to have incredible map presence with TP ganks to either side lane.
Teleport was nerfed in the end of season 5, but this wasn’t enough to deter the summoner spells popularity, albeit reducing its dominance slightly in the middle lane.Patch 5.22 - Teleport
- Cooldown on Turret Cast - 240 seconds ⇒ 300 seconds
Finally on 6.13, Teleport finally got another nerf that was the nail in coffin for the double TP meta.
Patch 6.13 - Teleport
- Channel Duration - 3.5 seconds ⇒ 4.5 seconds
Late Season 6 - Flash/Ghost Mids
The channel was simply too long for TP ganks and flanks to be effective with most mid lane picks. With Teleport being out of the picture, Ghost started to show up as one of the staple summoner spells in the mid lane, allowing mages to enhance their chase and kite potential in skirmishes and teamfights. The Spell was buffed back on Patch 6.10 and the buff was very significant.
Patch 6.10 - Ghost
- Cooldown - 210 seconds ⇒ 180 seconds
- Movement Speed Bonus - 27% at all levels ⇒ 28-45% (at levels 1-18)
Ghost on mid laners was not unheard of on picks such as Twisted Fate and Viktor for example, but with teleport out of the way, many more champions started picking it up as their second summoner spell, let’s have a look at some of them, from more common to more situational and obscure.
The reason behind the popularity of Ghost on most mages nowadays can be described with one word: Control.
With Ghost as a second summoner spell, these mages get a lot of extra control in fights. Most mages throw out a combination of spells and then have a downtime until they can contribute again. Ghost allows them to kite back or flank around, looking to position themselves ideally for their follow up spells. Most mages nowadays also use Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. When paired with Ghost it just allows them to chase and kite endlessly.
Popularity: 24.6% (3rd most used)
Guide: The Malzagod by Peaceman
Malzahar is one of those Teleport mid laners I was talking about. He just pushes the lane, backs, teleports back to lane. Rinse and repeat.
With Teleport nerfed most of his roaming potential was gone. The channel time is just too long for him to use it to gank, as he then has no mobility spells to reach the back line.
With Ghost and the eventual Rylai’s Crystal Scepter pick up, Malzahar becomes a fearful control mage. With Ghost you can move back and forth during teamfights to land Malefic Visions and Call of the Void on key targets and the slow coming out from Rylai’s allows for Voidlings or even teammates to easily follow up. This iteration of Malzahar is much less about the 100-0 burst with your ultimate and more about controlling the battlefield with crippling AoE damage.
Popularity: 36.8% (2nd most used)
Cassiopeia might not be able to buy boots, but she sure is a swift snake, able to slither back and forth through fights with movement speed gained from hitting her Noxious Blast. While Ignite might be good for a surprise all in at level 2 or 3 with surprising burst, with ghost she can do much more in a teamfight setting, allowing her to move around the outskirts of a teamfight, flanking around reach a target with Noxious Blast followed by consecutive uses of Twin Fangs.
Ghost also gives her extra safety in lane. Cassiopeia is infamous as a champion that is somewhat easy to gank early on, with Ghost she has an extra escape tool to evade ganks, provided her initial position is good enough to allow her to increase the distance between herself and the ganker.
Popularity: 14.4% (3rd most used)
Guide: Syn City by DJ Chrispy
Syndra quickly rose from a pocket pick to a must on every professional mid laner’s champion pool. This is mainly due to the standard lane meta, allowing junglers to give much more attention to their mid laners and an aggressive jungler paired with Syndra can easily set up kills. Ignite is tempting on Syndra. Laning against her becomes even more problematic as a simple combo pre 6 can easily lead to a kill and post 6, the potential of a 100-0 combo coming out is even higher, with the burn slowly ticking away as the opponent tries to run from the Dark Sovereign.
With that said, Syndra can still easily kill carries without Ignite, especially after completing core items. Replacing Ignite for Ghost results in losing some early lane dominance in exchange for a massive teamfighting upgrade. Ignite will guarantee you that opening first kill on a carry for sure, but Ghost will give you that extra mobility to move around and land consecutive Dark Spheres, and reposition to get good angles for stuns with Scatter the Weak.
Combined with the rising popularity of Rylai’s Crystal Scepter on her, Syndra is transformed from a pick off oriented mage whose main job is to blast one target to a strong teamfighting mage, that still has good burst, but isn’t totally zoned out or too far to go for more targets once she uses her first spell rotation. Similarly to Cassiopeia, she uses Ghost to move around the outskirts of a fight and find opportunities to land strong damage on multiple priority targets.
Usage: Very Situational
Guide: Wrecking Ball by EssiXr3i
Now this is probably the one you will find super weird to be on the list, but Orianna actually does pretty well with Ghost. In later stages of the game, Orianna might be seen as that champion that has an extremely strong combo that can wipe out teams with Shockwave and Dissonance, but before she gets to that point her burst isn’t that great. Ghost allows her to consistently move the ball around and it’s been a pretty annoying combination when ran together with Rylai’s, as her Command: Attack and Command: Protect will now also slow while she moves the ball around from enemy to teammate.
If I can’t convince you, maybe Cloud9’s Mid Laner Jensen can.