A short and compact Prediction of the Meta for Worlds - Part V: Support
With Patch 5.18, the patch on which the Season 5 World Championship will be played, released last week all the numbers are known for the upcoming Tournament. However it is quite hard to know exactly which champions will be played competitively by the best teams in the world. I'm going to look at the strong picks for each role and give a few of my opinions which Champions are going to be played and which Champions might fall out of favor. Today this series will conclude with the final part where I will try and foretell you which supports will play a strong role and which will not be as strong as they were.
- For a look at my first part about top lane please follow this Link.
- For my second part which was all about junglers please take a look here
- For part three where the mid lane was the focus please look here
- Part four where I look at bot lane carries can be found here
This Article is basically a very short and compact post to give you some Ideas if you do not have much time or look for a specific champion. For a more detailed Article with a lot of thoughts and more Champions I suggest you are reading Kilgannon's next article which should be posted later today and which I will probably link here later.
Braum has been the most dominant Support in late Summer across all mayor regions. Even though Western regions were late at picking him up he was very powerful there, too. Baum offers very much protection for his carries while also being able to initiate fights with his ultimate. His passive is very strong since it can stun multiple enemies at once and his E can negate and redirect a huge amount of damage in a fight.
Even tough he has been slightly nerfed in patch 5.18 Braum is going to be a mayor pick at worlds and probably the most played support there. He can be played against almost all champions in the game and do decently well with a few exceptions like for example Kennen or Annie who are strong against him.
Alistar's nerf in patch 5.16 is quite big since it lowers his initiating potential by a decent amount. He will be more easily evadable by enemies if they react fast enough. That being said Alistar still has other strengths that are not harmed by the nerf. He is very good at disengaging fights by knocking enemies up or away from his fragile carries.
With the more Assassin and Bruiser focused Solo Lanes these strengths will come in very handy. Alistar will most likely stay a Top Tier pick just like he has been before. However I can see him losing a little in popularity as other more engage focused Supports such as Annie, Leona or Nautilus might return into play at worlds.
There is probably no better Support at disengaging fights and protecting their carries from any harm than Janna. All of her Abilities can be used to help her precious carries to kite away from enemies, especially if these enemies need to get into Melee range. With the likes of Darius, Fiora, Diana or Yasuo rising in strength and popularity Janna will be very important to keep her teammates alive.
In combination with Lulu Janna can almost guarantee that a hyper carry like Kog'Maw will be untouchable in a late game team fight. But without Lulu her protection might not be enough against all those threatening foes. Therefore I expect to see Janna whenever Lulu makes it through the ban phase but probably never if Lulu gets banned.
Ever since he has been released Thresh was one of the strongest supports in the game because he is a jack of all trades. He can protect his teammates, he can initiate fights, he can pull enemies or he can pull Allies to safety. While Thresh might not always be the best pick for every composition there is almost no comp that he will not fit in at all.
However being a Jack of all trades often involves being a master of none. For Thresh that is in fact the case since he is neither the strongest initiator, nor the strongest peel champion, nor the fastest at roaming around the map and ganking. Regardless he has been one of the most played champions since forever and I do not expect that to change at worlds especially if teams do not want to force themselves on one single win condition.
Kennen is a phenomenon because he has been very popular recently in Korea but has not really transitioned yet into the Western or even the Chinese scene. He is currently maybe the strongest support in a 2v2 lane because of his high base damage and additionally offers a huge zone control potential in team fights. Besides he is strong against Braum because his stun is not really preventable by Braum's shield.
I am very convinced that Asian teams, especially Korean teams, will highly value Kennen at worlds and play him a lot. It is hard to say if Western teams have taken the time and the effort of practicing Kennen and including him or if they will keep ignoring him or ban him.
Annie shares her strengths and weaknesses with Kennen but seems to be in a worse spot currently. She is very strong in lane, too but her roaming potential is not as high since she lacks mobility. In team fights she is better at initiating with (Flash) Tibbers but is a non factor immediately after while Kennen is a threat for up to five seconds with his ultimate. The one thing that Annie is superior to Kennen is her catch potential because she can stun enemies instantly without having to land three abilities on them but just one.
Annie will probably not be played at worlds, at least not by teams that have played with Kennen and trust in him. Western teams might fall back on her, as well as Korean teams if Kennen is not available but I cannot believe that Annie will have a high priority.
Leona has been played a bit in the beginning of the season but fallen off ever since. She is in the same spot like Annie and Kennen where she is strong in lane and has a strong Ultimate in team fights. She is melee though and excels at catching people in the jungle together with her team.
She might be played with aggressive mid game focused team comps and marksmen like Corki or probably in combination with Mordekaiser. I do not think that she will necessarily be played at all but we might see her on a few occasions in a team that wants to dive the enemy back line all the time.
Nautilus has been played as a support originally in 2015 before he was sent to the top lane when the tank meta was at its peak. With tanks not being as strong as before he will have a lot of trouble in top against the likes of Gangplank, Fiora, Darius, Irelia, etc. which he always had and simply profited from the fact that nobody played those champions competitively
Nautilus has troubles against Braum and will therefore not be the most contested pick but could definitely see some play anyway. Like Leona he offers a strong synergy with strong mid game carries and can do well in lane. He is better at protecting his team but not as strong at diving as Leona and therefore more of an allrounder who excels at catching enemies and allowing his team to take advantage of it.
Blitzcrank has not been viable in competitive play for a long time since he is very one dimensional and very dependent on his Q. He has always been the best at catching high priority targets by pulling them into his team and bursting them down but other than that he does not offer very much. However he has been very strong in solo queue recently because he collaborates very well with Mordekaiser by pulling champions in and allowing Mordekaiser to hit them with brute force without worrying about being kited.
I do not know if this trend will translate into competitive play but I would not be surprised if teams would conjure him up together with Mordekaiser.
That concludes my predictions which champions we might see at worlds this year. You might have noticed that I have not included champions multiple times if they can be played at more than one role. So if you are missing one of your favorite champions who can be played at more than one role please look in the other articles and maybe you will find him there.
As always there is the possibility that something completely different may happen and teams can pull out champions that were not expected to be strong before and therefore are not on my list.
I would like to thank you for taking your time and reading my article and I hope that you are as excited for worlds as I am.