Tomorrow's the day! The final match for Worlds 2021: MAKE/BREAK is going to be a legendary battle between Damwon Kia (LCK) and Edward Gaming (LPL). There have been so many surprises this year: intense tiebreakers, unexpected outcomes, neverending bloodbaths, and wildcard picks. With Finals front and center (and preseason still marinating on PBE), today's post will be a little less Serious Business than usual.
Here's some data on what we've seen on stage so far and some thoughts from our teams.
One of our balance goals for Worlds is for no champion to get picked/banned in 100% of games. Despite nerfs in 11.16 and 11.18, Lee Sin came closest with 97% presence, but overall, no champ hit the 100% mark this year.
Another Worlds balance goal is to ensure high overall champion diversity across the roster. We only count champs with 5% pick/ban presence or higher, as opposed to champs who show up once or twice, to ensure pocket picks aren't misrepresented as viable for any team. Let’s take a look at where we are now going into Finals:
Total champions with 5% presence or more: 62
Top lane: 24
(For comparison, we've seen 92 champions picked/banned at least once.)
We're seeing an incredibly diverse top lane meta, but some other lanes are barely hitting our minimum target. Notably, ADC only has 10 different 5% champions. Much of this is due to the dominance of Lucian and Miss Fortune, each at 84%. We were excited to see Lucian shift back into bot lane after 11.17 but weren't able to get enough pro play data to get his pro power in the perfect spot. Miss Fortune had no pro presence leading up to Worlds, but we overshot on the power she needed to reach viability and she became more dominant than intended.
We've enjoyed seeing how pro players have innovated so far at Worlds. What are your thoughts on the Worlds meta?
This last section is a bunch of quotes from members of the Summoner's Rift and Game Analysis Teams! (Yes, we all live in NA.)
"Even though we only had one team make it out of groups and got stomped in quarters, I'm pretty proud of NA. This was technically the most difficult year if we consider that LCK and LPL got extra seeds, yet TL and 100T both went 3-3 in groups and C9 got 3 games with a tiebreaker. Anytime there's more competition between regions, it's fun to watch." —Riot Blizz
"I'm glad we were able to add a couple assassins into the jungle meta with Talon and Qiyana. Even Zed saw a couple games in play-ins, and it was cool to see that completely new picks can rise up for the biggest tournament of the year without being overpowered in solo queue." —RiotMadnessHeroo
"Loved the trading back and forth of novel support picks in DK v T1. Seeing Maokai and Zilean was a breath of fresh air, and reminded us that Beryl and Keria are on top of their game and always innovating." —Riot Sotere
"It was awesome to see DFM pop off. Really exciting to see minor regions ascend. The mega tiebreakers were hype, too." —RiotPhlox
"This has been one of the most exciting Worlds to watch. Really intense games and plenty of comebacks. I think the diversity of champions has been cool to see, especially in jungle and top. Hoping more people pick up Senna as a solid champ into Yuumi (good laning, can get Executioners, and scalability!)" —HydroZenith
"Games have been high octane, and the storylines have also been really fun to follow. Generally, there have been many playstyles that have seemed viable, with top or jungle tanks being a notable exception." —Riot PhRoXzOn (Editor's note: New and reworked tank items coming this preseason!)
"Pocket picks are always exciting, but it's not everyday that a mid laner (Cryin) pulls Annie onto the Worlds stage and instills enough fear to get her banned later in the series!" —Riot Petrie
"There was a lot of skepticism on whether Lucian could be a real bot laner at the highest level. It's an even bigger plus that he brought some enchanters with him, like Lulu and Nami." —Riot Truexy
That's all for now, folks. Tune in tomorrow at 5 AM PDT for the final showdown between DK vs. EDG at LoL Esports!
—The Summoner's Rift Team
PS: The ranked season is ending and preseason is shipping right before the next scheduled Quick Gameplay Thoughts on Nov 19, so we're gonna skip that post. See you in December!