As always for ease of reference here are my Tier 1’s for each role before we get to the recaps. (Patch 6.1)
Top Tier 1: Ryze, Gangplank, Lulu, Fiora, Lissandra
Mid Tier 1: Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank, Viktor, Zed
Jungle Tier 1: Rek’Sai, Lee Sin, Elise, Kindred, Graves, Nidalee
ADC Tier 1: Lucian, Corki, Kalista, Tristana, Miss Fortune
Support Tier 1: Bard, Alistar, Thresh, Janna, Trundle, Braum
VIT vs OG
VIT (Blue): Quinn, Tahm Kench, Corki
OG (Red): Gangplank, Lulu, Lissandra
VIT (Blue): Kalista; Graves, Thresh; Ahri, Lee Sin
OG (Red): Kindred, Elise; Shen, Alistar; Syndra
Ryze made it through bans here and goes unpicked the whole draft. This is quite ridiculous for me and maybe both teams just don’t play him and knew the other didn’t as well, but you can assume for most picks especially early on I would just prefer they take Ryze.
VIT first picks Kalista. ADC is an important position here with Corki banned, I would always prefer Lucian but don’t begrudge a team taking Kalista for her specific playstyle and strengths. Lucian or Fiora would be the pick for me here (besides Ryze).
OG first rotations Kindred/Elise. This is just silly to me, if you want to run Kindred ADC why not take her early and hide your Jungler until the next rotation to at least surpise the opponent a little? Perhaps they were afraid VIT would take her as Kindred/Kalista have been a fairly popular combination, but Kindred ADC is not strong enough to give this much priority. I can be a fan of taking two champions from a role to deny from the opponent, but there are zero jungle bans here so VIT is hardly hurting for options. Just take Kindred and a Support if you want her so badly here. I’d prefer Lucian/Elise in a vacuum with these picks.
VIT nabs Graves/Thresh next. VIT immediately goes for the double ADC composition, Graves is one of the few flex picks up with a Tier 1 role so I don’t mind the pick at all. Thresh is of course never a terrible pick, and a strong combination with Kalista. I’d prefer Lee Sin/Alistar here to hide the solo lanes while bringing double displacement options against Kindred.
OG second rotations Shen/Alistar. Once again they take a flex champion (Shen) and at the same time take his other role. I don’t see any particular reason Shen would be good here besides being a Tank against double ADC’s, and I’d much rather just see a Gnar or Malphite as champions that will provide far more teamfight presence late game. They need their last pick Mid to have some sort of split-push or global presence to synergize with Shen in order to justify this pick.
VIT finishes with Ahri/Lee Sin. These are great picks for the situation, with Lee bringing the aforementioned displacement and Ahri being a safe blind pick that brings AP damage to balance their profile. Viktor is a little better blind for me, but if they prefer Ahri’s playmaking and mobility I have no issues. Lee Sin forces Graves to Top which I like less than Jungle but he will have no issues laning against Shen, and it’s an acceptable tradeoff to get Lee in against Kindred.
OG last picks Syndra. She’s a fine matchup into Ahri and makes sense as a huge threat against double ADC’s, but she’s just far too risky here. VIT brings 4 champions (Kalista/Ahri/Thresh/Lee) that can catch her out quite easily, and while Shen and Alistar can protect her to some degree it’s just not worth it to take an immobile mid-range carry into this situation. She also doesn’t justify the earlier Shen pick at all, and OG’s composition is just unnecessarily weak at multiple positions. Leblanc/Kassadin/Fizz/Zed all would have had similar if not better matchups while being far safer out of lane. The only justification for this is that it’s POE’s signiture champion, but that’s not enough here.
Big edge to VIT in this draft on the basis of pure champion power in their role, and OG picking up very little matchup specific advantages to compensate.
EL vs GIA
EL (Blue): Rek’Sai, Gangplank, Ryze
GIA (Red): Fiora, Alistar, Lulu
EL (Blue): Tahm Kench; Elise, Kalista; Morgana, Thresh
GIA (Red): Trundle, Graves; Viktor, Ezreal; Shen
EL first pick Tahm Kench. While he is a flex pick Lissandra is up here and is just a more powerful champion in my eyes, in addition to being a power pick in this situation with Fiora and the 3 OP solo laners banned (granted this rasies Tahm’s value as well).
GIA take Trundle/Graves first rotation. While I’d again prefer Lissandra to Graves these are dual flex picks and Trundle has extra value with EL first picking a tank, solid picks that give them huge flexibility going forward.
EL take Elise/Kalista. These are fine picks although I’ll almost always prefer Lucian.
GIA grab Viktor/Ezreal next. Teams seem to highly value Ezreal’s self sufficiency in double ADC compositions, which makes sense but is not enough to vault him over Lucian for me. Viktor is a bit of a double edged sword against Kalista as both are capable of catching each other out in teamfights, I’d rather they just take Lissandra and keep their counterpick options open but he’s a solid choice.
EL finishes with Morgana/Thresh. These are extremely unexpected picks and they have gone into full fledged protect the Kalista mode here. Viktor is one of the better matchups to pick Morgana into as if you can ever get a flash advantage you have immense kill pressure, but they are incredibly reliant on getting Kalista rolling to have series damage threat here. In my opinion Tahm is at his most valuable when he has multiple carries to protect, and having Kalista be the only one with a ton of ancillary protection just isn’t optimal use of him. This was a slam dunk opportunity to pick Zed against double ADC’s and Viktor with zero hard CC to protect them, and with a magic damage Top and Jungler already on the team. EL’s composition is incredibly strong at brute forcing teamfights when ahead, but from behind have extremely low damage threat and really no way to get themselves back in the game.
GIA last pick Shen. I don’t get this pick at all, the only target of value to catch out is the extremely slippery Kalista with Black Shield protection, and he will get outscaled in the split war against Tahm Kench (the lane matchup isn’t favorable either). I’d have much rather seen a Rumble to punish EL’s low range composition or a full on split pusher like Jax, GIA’s composition just doesn’t take advantage of any of Shen’s unique strengths and he has no advantages against EL’s composition either. Just a strange pick and EU seems to like Shen Top signifcantly more than other regions for some reason. They also could have flexed Trundle Top where he actually threatens Tahm significantly and take Janna to support their double ADC’s and control EL’s low range composition.
Both of these compositions are heavily flawed, I’ll give the edge to EL for having a much more cohesive teamfight but whichever team gets ahead will likely roll over the opposition.
FNC vs UOL
FNC (Blue): Rek’Sai, Kindred, Tahm Kench
UOL (Red): Gangplank, Lissandra, Lulu
FNC (Blue): Alistar; Graves, Corki; Ahri, Poppy
UOL (Red): Ryze, Kalista; Rek’Sai, Thresh; Zed
Ryze makes it through bans but FNC first picks Alistar anyway. I strongly dislike this and Alistar continues to be overrated in every region in my opinion as the clear best Support instead of merely in a pack at the top. This is a step even further in that direction, and a big blunder in my book.
UOL smartly snaps up Ryze and pairs him with Kalista. Love these picks, Lucian falling in priority as much as he has is extremely puzzling to me but no issue with Kalista as addressed previously. Corki would be higher priority here but given they already have Ryze it’s alright to pass on loading up with that much magic damage.
FNC takes Graves/Corki. I like the idea of these picks as double flexes of complementary damage, ultimately I think Graves is still a little overrated and would rather see Rek’Sai here but this is fine. That being said picking two mid-range AD’s into Ryze is fairly risky and I’d rather they take the more controlling route against him with something like Viktor + Rek’Sai/Elise.
UOL take Rek’Sai/Thresh. Excellent picks again from UOL and they have an extremely powerful composition with no need of a specific attribute from their impending last pick solo laner.
FNC finish with Ahri/Poppy. Both champions have decent but ok matchups against Ryze and it gives them a well rounded composition. That being said I think there are stronger champions than Poppy Top and I’d rather see Hecarim/Irelia/Fiora here. This is clearly a difference in opinion on Top Poppy’s strength by Me with most professional teams however, and we will see how it bears out in the long haul. My picks here would be Fiora + Ahri/Viktor.
UOL last picks Zed. I love this pick against Double ADC’s with no shielding and little hard CC, fantastic choice. This is the third time Fox has played Zed already in four games, and I comment UOL for seeming to be the only team to properly understand Zed’s strength right now. He’s absolutely a Tier 1 champion in my eyes and they are reaping the rewards of being able to pick him late in drafts time and time again, and often setting the opponent up for him to be even more effective. I ranked Zed as a Tier 1 Mid going into the split based on pure power, and as the meta has shifted heavily toward double ADC compositions his value should only rise, anytime the opposition doesnt have either Lulu or Tahm Kench he should be considered. Phenomenal draft from UOL at every stage and while FNC’s composition is fine UOL’s is an absolute powerhouse with Tier 1 champions in every role, including an OP in Ryze.
SPY vs ROC
SPY (Blue): Trundle, Kindred, Ryze
ROC (Red): Gangplank, Elise, Lulu
SPY (Blue): Tahm Kench; Graves, Ezreal; Ahri, Morgana
ROC (Red): Kalista, Rek’Sai; Leblanc, Alistar; Gnar
SPY first pick Tahm Kench. There’s no clear power pick available so I don’t hate it, but Corki/Lissandra are stronger flexes in my opinion.
ROC take Kalista/Rek’Sai. These are fine strong picks, again I’d rather see Corki replace one of them but these are both high priority priority champions that seem to rising up the ranks due to their winrates.
SPY take Graves/Ezreal next. Double ADC is an overused strategy for me but when you have Tahm it’s the best way to get maximum value from his protection. I’d prefer Corki yet again to either of these picks, particularly the Ezreal who is inferior to both Corki and Lucian especially when his safety is less needed with Tahm’s support.
ROC second rotation Leblanc/Alistar. Leblanc is a strong pick against double ADC but I don’t understand why you would blind her here when SPY have already showed what is most likely their Top. I’d much rather they just take their Top here and powerful options are available whether you want to pick for lane (Fiora/Gnar) or to threaten the double ADC’s (Lissandra).
SPY last rotation Ahri/Morgana. Ahri is fine though there’s nothing that makes her particularly exciting here. Morgana is always strong in Double ADC compositions and quite valuable to deter Leblanc’s playmaking. Had they just taken Corki earlier instead of Ezreal they could easily fit in Zed here which would he a slam dunk pick as a favored matchup into Leblanc and not much protetction on the side of ROC. SPY’s composition is fine, but they could have had more powerful champions for their ADC’s in my opinion.
ROC last pick Gnar. This is a great pick as both a lane counter to Tahm Kench and a tank to stack armor against the double ADC’s. I mentioned the other strong options above, but this is probably the optimal one, with Lissandra being close due to the Gnar pick leaving them extremely reliant on Leblanc for magic damage. It’s hugely important that Betsy doesn’t fall behind this game for this reason.
These compositions are pretty evenly matched, but ROC gets the edge for having stronger lanes across the board, and higher pure champion power.
G2 vs H2K
G2 (Blue): Poppy, Corki, Elise
H2K (Red): Tahm Kench, Kalista, Gangplank
G2 (Blue): Lulu; Udyr, Braum; Ezreal, Zed
H2K (Red): Graves, Lucian; Lissandra, Alistar; Shen
G2 first picks Lulu, a great choice whenever she’s available as a powerful flex pick.
This is one time where I am ok with the opposing team giving up Lulu however, as H2K smartly takes Lucian here. He’s a massive powerpick in this situation with Kalista/Corki both banned out, and props to H2K for correctly valuing him over Ezreal. Graves is a fine flex pick, but I’d prefer Lissandra.
G2 takes Udyr/Braum next. Braum is always solid against double ADC’s and gets a slight bump as a denial from pairing with H2K’s Lucian. The Udyr is obviously the curveball here, I don’t think he’s playable right now but I will give G2 credit for picking him with Lulu who is the absolute best champion at helping a snowballed Udyr dominate the game. He does also have value as a tank that loves to build Frozen Heart against the double ADC’s. While I don’t think the champion is worth playing if there was ever a time this would be it, and I admire G2’s thought process behind the pick at least. I’d rather see Rek’sai ultimately.
H2K second rotation Alistar/Lissandra. Excellent picks as Lissandra provides magic damage while keeping both her and Graves flexibility on the table in this situation. Both champions are also quite adept at controlling Udyr. Great picks.
G2 finish off with Ezreal/Zed, very smart picks in my opinion. Ezreal has clearly been the next ADC on most team’s list but he also gets a slight boost against Double ADC compositions due to the armor from Iceborn Gauntlet. Zed is a great pick against Double ADC’s and while Lissandra is an annoyance for him in teamfights the lane is perfectly fine. What really makes the Zed pick smart is it gives them a big split push threat and if they are able to turn the game into a 4/1 scenario with it close their 4 man core of Braum/Lulu/Ezreal/Udyr is extremely powerful. Ultimately G2’s composition is hurt by the Udyr in my eyes, but this is about as good an Udyr composition as you can possibly get, solid draft.
H2K last pick Shen. Another great pick for H2k here, Shen is a split pusher who can match Zed while still threatening to turn the fight on the rest of the map, and Lulu isn’t going to be able to heavily punish him in lane. Shen also provides a little insurance against Zed’s deathmark should an ADC get caught out. While EU teams like Shen Top way too much for he’s a perfect fit here to deal with all the problems Zed was posing. Great draft from H2k and a solid edge to them going into the game.