League champions you can expect to see at Worlds 2020

With Worlds around the corner, here’s a preview for the upcoming meta.

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The 2020 League of Legends World Championship kicks off in under a week. Patch 10.19 will shape the tournament’s meta, which may look a little different than what fans saw throughout the Summer Split.

Caitlyn was near 100-percent pick-and-ban throughout the Summer Playoffs in every region, with Lucian, Azir, Senna, and Twisted Fate also being above a 50-percent pick-and-ban rate as well. With all of these champions receiving varying degrees of nerfs in time for the World Championship, the meta will be slightly shifted while continuing to reward teams for proactive and quick plays.

Here are 10 champions you can expect to shape up the Worlds meta:

10) Irelia

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Irelia appears on this list due to the buff she’s receiving in Patch 10.19. While Irelia has historically been strong as a mid-game bully in the top lane, her damage buff to her R will grant her a few opportunities to be a flex pick into the mid lane.

While Irelia’s presence has been lessened over the Summer Split, she has been popping up during the playoffs in every major region outside of the LPL. With a World Championship meta that is expected to be fast-paced, Irelia will be a valuable fighter to any team.

9) Renekton

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In the LPL and LEC playoffs finals, Renekton was an ever-present pick that provided immense pressure during the laning phase. If teams continue to choose top laners that need time to scale before they reach their mid-game power spike, then Renekton will still be a prominent pick to counter that.

With four teams representing both China and Europe at Worlds, there is a healthy chance that Renekton will be showing up quickly. With teams from every other region that will be quick to adapt, Renekton will be a sought-after pick for aggressive-minded teams.

8) Sett

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Ever since his debut at the start of the 2020 season, Sett has appeared in every role outside of AD carry. This amount of raw power on the Rift and flexibility in the draft that he brings made him a consistent threat that teams either had to use themselves or play around an enemy pick. 

After skirting by the 10.19 patch without any nerfs, and any potential counters not receiving any major buffs, Sett should still be a prominent pick going forward during the World Championship throughout the play-in, group, and knockout stages.

7) Shen

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Similar to Sett, Shen has been shown to flex into multiple lanes, only missing out on both middle and bottom carry roles. While most of Shen’s popularity and effectiveness has been in the top lane, he has popped up more and more within the jungle and support roles in the latter half of the 2020 Summer Split and playoffs.

Since the tempo of the Worlds 2020 meta is expected to be faster than usual, Shen’s ability to warp across the map to protect teammates in fights will be invaluable. Besides Shen’s protective aspects, if teams are looking for constant dives, an extra Shen can provide great offensive utility for those teams.

6) Sylas

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When Sylas was a meta pick, he appeared in both solo lanes and jungle as a counter-pick against enemies with potent teamfighting ultimates. Once his Hijack cooldown was nerfed, Sylas slowly fell out of the meta. With the buffs to his ultimate cooldown in 10.19, Sylas can be expected to appear again since his ultimate cooldown will be closer to its original state.

There is a slight chance he might not be as flexible into the top lane as he was in the past. But his jungle clear speed and mid-lane pick rates should be unharmed.

5) Syndra

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Out of all the champions on this list, Syndra has the lowest appearance rate during drafts for all of the major regions’ Summer Playoffs. Despite this, Syndra still had a high counter-pick and win rate in her few appearances.

Syndra is a potent pick that has been traditionally strong at all phases in the game. Due to her range, she can bully other champions during the early laning phase. Once the mid and late-game arrive, she can usually destroy champions from full health if she’s even slightly ahead.

4) Lucian

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In the latter half of the 2020 Summer Split and Playoffs, Lucian was played more in both solo lanes as a counter-pick usually to obtain an early lead and gain huge tempo for the team. Although Lucian received nerfs in 10.19, he may still be favored because his counters were also hit with nerfs. This means that he still has a strong chance of appearing in Worlds as a bottom laner once more.

While the scaling AD nerf hurts his potential in the mid-game a little bit, he’s fundamentally the same in how he plays in any early lane he goes into before the slight nerf becomes apparent.

3) Aphelios

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Since Aphelios’ release, his strength has been a contentious topic for players that did not enjoy the immense damage he provided in addition to the varying tools and utilities he could provide to his team.

While Aphelios received a slight buff to his scaling attack damage per level, this change combines with his usual power spike that can be found once he reaches three items and will increase his overall effectiveness again.

2) Thresh

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As a playmaking support, Thresh provides aggressive opportunities with his vast array of crowd control and Lantern. He also offers his team chances to shut down the enemy with Flay while saving allies with the same Lantern. Thresh was picked or banned in nearly half of the games within all of the major regions’ playoff games.

In a Worlds meta where champions who can poke him from outside of his hook’s range or sustain through his carry’s damage aren’t likely to appear, Thresh will always be a support that teams will need to play around.

1) Bard

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Similar to Thresh, Bard is another playmaking support that could set up many opportunities with his stuns and tunnels. Bard also gives his laning partner some healing potential to make bad matchups slightly more manageable. While his pick rate has been low during the Summer Playoffs, his high kill participation stat, which is second highest out of all supports according to Oracle’s Elixir, shows how valuable he can be to teams when played correctly.

Even though there are some notable Summer Playoffs champions that got nerfed with Patch 10.19 like Senna and Caitlyn, there is still a healthy chance that they will be making appearances at a lower rate.

League’s 2020 World Championship begins Sept. 25, and can be viewed on the LolEsports site.