October 13, 2020
League of Legends

META WATCH – League of Legends Worlds 2020 Group Stage

The group stage of Worlds 2020 is over and we now know who advances to the quarterfinals. We saw a dominant LPL and LCK mostly contested by the LEC while the LCS could not make an impact in the group stage. Let’s take a look at the meta from the group stage to set some expectations for the quarterfinals!

As explained in our previous article, meta means the ‘most effective tactic’ at the moment. It is the best and strongest way to play the game in an effective way to get a win. In every tournament a new meta is born and new picks and strategies become more valuable. To understand why specific champions were picked in this meta, we must look at how the game is currently being played. 

Jungle focus

From play-ins we already learned how important the jungle role is right now. With an extremely high prioritization on securing a strong jungler. Powerfarming in the jungle is extraordinarily strong now, so to achieve that, teams draft towards strong laners and a clear weakside on one side of the map. Teams want to secure a strong jungler, a reliable toplaner and a powerful midlaner. 

We really see this in the pick and ban rate for some of these champions. The meta where the jungler plays for the laners is over. No more Sejuani or Gragas that focus solely on getting their laners ahead. From now on, we see the laners play for their jungler. The jungler is the start of every play and the laners are there to assist him. Of course other carries are still viable and junglers can still enable other carries after having had a strong early game, but the early game is defined by a strong level one to get vision and information, which turns into an effective jungle pathing to secure the most camps and even set up a nice invade or gank with your laners.

Also read: Machi.Gemini: “The PCS lacks new talent”

In the jungle role we still have not seen many new champions since our last META watch. Nidalee is still the most picked and banned champion in the tournament, with a mind blowing 26 bans, 15 games and a whopping 60% winrate she has a pick and ban rate of 91,3%. Because of her fast paced jungling, she is the big powerpick in the jungle right now, followed by Graves and Lilia. They form the powerjungling trifecta of the current state of the role. 

Mid lane dominance

To secure lane prioritization, you need a strong and controlling midlaner. Lucian has only been played 9 times whilst being banned 33 times and secured a 66,7% win rate. This also makes him the most picked and banned midlaner of the tournament, with a 91,3% pick and ban rate. His oppressive laning is a nightmare for any mage in the midlane. Talking about mages, we see a lot of Syndra and Orianna. They are overall good blindpick champions and can provide for their jungler. By shoving in the wave first and moving with the jungler, they can wreak havoc in the enemy jungle or gank another lane together. 

If you draft a more utility midlane with an eye on roaming a lot, Galio and Twisted Fate do the trick. Galio with predator and grand entrance provides engage and support while Twisted Fate builds a lot of movement speed and has a global teleport in his ultimate. They can play for both the laners and jungler.

Engage and skirmish in the top lane

The toplane is all about Ornn, Renekton and Camille. In that order, they are the most picked and banned champions for the toplane. While Ornn provides some strong engage and survives on the weak side of the map, Renekton and Camille try to take another approach. They try to fight their laner and search for skirmishes with the jungler. Renekton has a strong early game and can contest the tanks in the toplane from level one till six without a problem. He can also always threaten a dive with his early damage and the aggressiveness that the current junglers bring. Camille can also opt into a full split-push strategy while only grouping when she has a nice flank. 

Utility-focused bot lane

Lastly, we look at the botlane. It is not unusual to see a weak side on the botlane, but we primarily see utility focused AD carries. Therefore Ashe and Senna have the highest priority of all AD carries. The power of the botlane is largely decided by the support that goes with it. If you take an Ashe and pair it with a Pantheon you have one of the strongest botlanes available in the current state of the game. This can be answered by a weak side botlane with a Senna and Tahm Kench. The team with Ashe can play around the botlane, where the team with Senna opt to play on other sides of the map in this example. 

To switch things up, Jhin and Caitlyn also find themselves as answers to these duos. Paired with Leona and Lux respectively, they form formidable botlanes themselves and can be played as a strongside of the map. Finally you still have Kalista-Thresh to try and force a lot of fighting in the botlane before level six even comes into play. Whenever a Kalista is being drafted, there are immediate exclamation marks that this team wants to play around the botlane.

Wrapping up

In conclusion we still see the meta from the play-ins where the game is being played around the jungler. We still have not seen too many new picks but that means we can still expect a lot of creative stuff in the quarterfinals. Which teams come out swinging in the quarterfinals and will the other team have answers?

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Image Credit: Riot Games
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