Team Dignitas Pro Players' Analysis of the World Finals Champion Picks ft. Scarra, Crumbzz and Patoy
Thu 17th Oct 2013 - 8:31pm
In the 12 games of the semi-finals and grand final at Worlds, 30 different champions were played, but enough games were played that every champion could have been picked once. Evidently, some champions are much more valued than others. So the players of Team Dignitas' professional League of Legends squad is going to evaluate the champions that were played, and discuss why they're strong enough for the world scene.
William "scarra" Li, the midlaner for Team Dignitas for over two years now, is a master of game knowledge, and is our expert on the 7 different champions played in mid lane. He explains why the following mid champions were picked over others during the playoffs.
Ahri: Super strong champion. Extremely good and blind pickable. Highly contested due to her high mobility and roam potential.
Fizz: Very strong pocket champion for a lot of key players (nukeduck/hai). It has unfavorable lane matchups but scales disgustingly well with items.
Gragas: Rose up in power as soon as all the other assassins mid get banned, it comes down to Gragas/Ahri/Orianna available every game. It’s one of the most consistent champions that can wave clear. Incredibly tanky with initiation potential and can roam very well. He also has kill potential and can set up ganks and get away from ganks really well.
Kassadin: Extremely hard to lane champion but scales stupidly well. This is Peke’s known champion (also whitezz too). Highly destructive but has such a fickle laning phase that you really need an aggressive jungler and winning lanes to be able to pull off.
Kayle: Pretty much Zed's and Fizz' only counterpick. Incredibly strong against Fizz/Zed/Vi. Shuts down diving assassins extremely well and combos with any protection ADC (Twitch/Kog). Really good at countering dive heavy team comps.
Orianna: Super safe blind pick champion. Doesn’t have any real counterpicks but very skill based champion. Highly reliant on self positioning and ball positioning to excel at.
Zed: God champion. Probably the single best mid. Resourceless AD assassin that is too good at wave clearing, getting free harass, and deleting people off the map.
Alberto "Crumbz" Rengifo, as a former top laner and current jungler, gives his opinion on the following champions that were played in both top lane and jungle during the closing matches of season 3:
Aatrox: Aatrox was a jungle underrated by the Korean scene. China and Europe both knew it's potential and NA simply didn't play it. You see him as a snowball pick, primarily used by the chinese to tower dive early on because of his high damage as well as strong passive. Europe uses him as well because of their heavy gank playstyle. He is an early game monster, making him one of the most reliable early game snowball champions in the game.
Elise: Elise was a very strong pick during worlds. She offers a single target long range stun which is excellent in the pick-off meta. She offers insnanly high damage regardless of how you build her and will always be relevant in the game due to her build versatility, difficulty to kill and high damage. You see this pick become more relevant due to the increase of ad mids as well as top. Elise offers just enough magic damage to force the enemy to buy magic resist items, and if you build her AP out of the jungle, she can certainly pack a punch.
Jarvan IV: Jarvan is a less seen pick except when teams have a set strategy in mind. We saw primarily fnatic use him for heavy ganks as well as teamfight prowess with rumble and leona. But we also saw skt1 put him to great use during the finals where they picked gragas jarvan. A very strong ganking duo for mid lane to counter the no escape orianna. We saw less of him simply because past level 3 he starts becoming a utility champion and offers less and less damage, unlike vi, elise and lee sin.
Jax: Whoever did not expect jax during finals has not been following the korean scene long enough. Jax has always been one of the go to pick of the Korean top laners, even when he was nerfed, and before the trinity force changes. He offers insane hybird damage. Strong laning, objective control, split pushing, almost impossible to gank as well as a crazy snowball potential, he has almost no counters either. This is the perfect pick for top lane and with the new trinity force he is rather overpowered atm. I would expect him to be played al the way until he specifically gets nerfed.
Lee Sin: Lee Sin is the strongest jungler at the moment. He offers everything a jungle could want. The issue is he is only as good as the player behind him. With so much to offer no wonder he has such a high skill cap. Only the experienced lee sin players at worlds were able to pull this champion off, and to great success. He often musters bans and he is in a strange state at the moment. His base stats are weak but players have mastered him so greatly that are making him seem overpowered, putting him in a gray area regarding nerfs and buffs.
Malphite: We did not see much malphite play at worlds, due to his unnoticable presence in the early game, as well as lacking much kill potential in ganks. He is a pick used for teamfights vs heavy ad team comps but just doesnt offer much outside of his ultimate and atk speed slow. The champion is not a strong pick in the current meta of bruisers in the top lane as well as early game skirmishes.
Nocturne: Nocturne did not recieve much love during worlds. Once again, games were decided before level 6. Nocturne unlike many of the common junglers today offers little to none pre 6 prescence. Teams are unwilling to take that risk of not having a strong early game. After all, early game is the first phase of the game were you can get a lead to snowball to a victory. He is one of the best mid game diving junglers with a high utility ultimate.
Renekton: We saw renekton crowned as a king of the top lane. Drawing bans, he stands as an uncounterable early to mid game monster with high damage, cc, tankyness and arguably the best laning phase in the game. He is a common pick and even first pick worthy. He is a surefire way to have a strong early game and a winning lane on your team. He almost always brings kill potential in both 1v1's and 1v2 lanes. His late game weakness makes him a somewhat of a risky pick, in that if you do not snowball with him he will most likely be outscaled in every aspect.
Rumble: Rumble was played rarely, primarily by Cloud 9 and Fnatic in one game each. He is a strong laner with high kill potential, as well as the strongest snowball power in the game. Once he gets going he is unstoppable. Itemizing for magic damage is more difficult than itemizing for physical damage making him a difficult champion to deal with. Similar to lee sin he is only as good as the person playing him and his ultimates make or break games. This puts a lot of pressure on rumble players, and many players simply do not want to play with that in their minds.
Shen: Coming into worlds we expected shen to be a highly picked and banned champion. And he was, but not as much as we thought. Some games he would often go untouched. This is because the champion has been out for so long that teams have figured out how to beat him in lane and snowball the game off that. Picks like vlad, or jax do that. He offers being an unmovable object in the top lane. Strong level 1, strong ganks, a great global shield for important targets such as vayne. And demolishes split pushing with the ability to be the backpocked ace for your team's assasins, or he can split push himself with his sustained damage. Against physical damage teams he can become a massive problem, since all he needs is armor and hp to be force to be reckoned with.
Zac: Some may have suspected zac to be a top priority, but he has quickly fallen into a malphite-esque state. Where his weak early game with no kill potential or powerful cc make him too weak to combo properly with skirmish junglers such as elise or lee sin. He is the best teamfighting champion in the game but due to the nature of the current meta he has fallen off, as well as his nerfs. If bruisers and junglers were to be nerfed and the game returns to teamfights, expect Zac to have a massive resurrection.
Jordan "Patoy" Blackburn, the support for the team, gives his opinions on the marksmen and supports played in all 12 games, which had the most variety of every position:
Annie: Annie is still an unknown support champion to the world that only Royal knows the strengths and weaknesses that comes with her. For now all we know is she’s an aggressive laner with good engage and zone potential.
Ashe: Ashe was seen alot with the NA teams and Fnatic. Ashe on her own is a bit lackluster, but when paired with Zyra, the duo is able to do it all from beginning of the game to the end with good laning, good pick off potential and great team fighting potential.
Caitlyn: Caitlyn was picked for most notably being able to handle herself in lane and shove for early turrets. With Caitlyn in standard lane scenarios, the ally jungler is able to focus more on the solo lanes while depending on Caitlyn to win lane and have a better setup for an early turret push along with a dragon due to her traps.
Corki: Corki has proven to be a monster of a champion all throughout Worlds. Corki’s laning is superb with only a few other ADC’s being able to match him. Corki’s jump and rocket abilities, along with his great laning, makes him an excellent ADC in most team comps.
Ezreal: Ezreal falls in a similar line with Corki, he’s a great ADC that has a lot of room to outplay, outmaneuver and out damage throughout the game, however his laning can be hit or miss. Ezreal seemed to be the fall back champion after Corki and Caitlyn for most because there is no specific scenario for Ezreal like other ADC’s. While he is great all around and has room for some plays, he doesn’t excel in, for example, lane dominance for Caitlyn, or team fighting like Ashe, which makes less standard.
Leona: Leona was seen almost entirely by Fnatic’s Yell0wstar support player. The most obvious thing about Leona is that she is put in the category of “kill lane” which means her goal is to not just out harass and out bully the other duo lane, she wants to brutally murder them. Yellowstar mainly picked Leona against Sona and Zyra lanes, with the ADC not being as relevant, he would intelligently use his wards with his lane positioning to force the opposing duo lane to be in a bad position, then he would use that to his advantage to get the kill and to start the snowball.
Lulu: Lulu is, in my opinion, a niche support only good with and against assassins, such as Zed or Fizz. Her kit is designed to be a bully in lane and a huge helping hand in fights. Going off helping hand a bit more, she doesn’t engage like a Leona, and she doesn’t catch like a Blitzcrank, she is there purely for the polymorph on a bruiser or assassin, and the ulti for the health and constant slow.
Sona: Sona is relatively standard with Zyra for her laning and her engage potential. Sona is a great bully in lane with her trade potential coupled with her healing which can lead to some easy setups for pushing and objectives. Sona ults paired with her flash is a devastating combo that can catch people off guard and lead to a teamfight win, with her underappreciated powerchord combos for a slow or 20% less damage to a single target.
Thresh: Thresh was seen a bit less compared to Sona and Zyra through all of Worlds due to him not having hard engage potential. Thresh’s strengths lie in his single target pick off potential and his great peeling. His laning is superb in a 2v2 setup with his lantern and hook allowing for some absurd jungle ganks, or he can kill them himself.
Varus: Varus is a strict teamfight oriented ADC that wasn't seen as much as others ADC's. Apart from teamfighting, his other strength is laning, he has good poke and good 2v2 potential as well as setting up ganks without the need of the support. His obvious weakness is anytime he is away from his team after laning is done, and because of that is often strayed away from during the pick and ban phase.
Vayne: Vayne was a champion that only a handful of teams played. Vayne was seen most notably by Uzi on Royal, and they almost always sent it top to set up a 2v1 for the early stage of the game. Vayne is a less standard ADC than most and is almost entirely picked for her fighting potential. She is great in skirmishes with her ability kit, and in full fights she is a monster put in the right hands.
Zyra: Zyra was one of the most picked supports in all of Worlds for her laning, pick and team fighting potential. Her laning is great with her plants, her pick potential is huge with the multi target long range snare paired with her large radius knock up ultimate, and in teamfights she can single handedly lock up the entire enemy team while doing an absurd amount of damage, all by herself. Not to mention the fact with her seeds, she can easily put wards in spots that other supports might deem dangerous, Zyra is a great standard support and isn’t a surprise she is the most picked in Worlds.
Thanks for reading summoners! You can follow me on twitter here for updates on my latest articles! Good luck on the Fields of Justice!