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Nasus sees competitive play in LCK for the first time in three years

Courtesy of Kiin, Nasus has seen his first appearance in the toplane since 2018

In the 2021 competitive season, the LCK has been a factory for innovative picks by bringing back champions that have had years-long hiatuses from professional play. The trend started in the first weeks when DRX’s jungle, Pyosik, brought Udyr to the mainstage for the first time since 2019. The jungle pick influenced the meta globally by showing how well the champion synergized the current item meta.

The Nasus pick by Kiin against Damwon Kia is not likely to replicate this effect. Nasus has had a significantly longer break from professional play as Kiin broke the 980-day streak.

In theory, this is a winning matchup that directly counters Sion. Though Nasus is punishable in the early game, the champion provides a much better scaling option granted the toplaner can land Qs and accrue stacks. Damwon Kia responded by immediately lane swapping Showmaker’s Lucien into the toplane, forcing Kiin to match and give over tempo advantage as the range would set Afreeca back immensely.

The looming threat of Lucien highlighted the fault in this pick. While Nasus is a viable counter-pick in specific situations, plenty of champions can counter Nasus. This clip shows how dangerous overstaying in these situations can be, as Nasus just doesn’t have the ability to turn fights this early:

Kiin ended 3/6/2 on the pick, granted it was against the reigning world champions and current LCK leaders who played this match almost perfectly. Kiin was still able to have some amount of game impact however the inherent problems in this pick were made clear.

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Image credit: Riot Games