NA contested picks. A quick look on NA draft phase.
It's known that Meta changes from one region to another. Different teams have a different perspective on how the game should be played. And as we are heading towards the NA playoffs semi-finals this weekend. Let's take a closer look on the most contested picks. And the draft phase in general in NA.
Through the quarterfinals matches, Shen stands out as the most contested pick between the 4 teams with a 100% pick/ban in 7 games. Mainly due to his great split pushing ability. And amazing global ultimate while being tanky. Which makes him a great fit in this meta. One good taunt can change the team fight significantly. Haunterz flash+taunt catch 2 men out of position and wins GV game 2.
And there is also Gnar and Olaf who shares a %42.8 pick rate in the quarterfinals. Providing a great team fight ability. And split pushing as well. And by moving into the semi-finals matches, I predict Shen and Gnar to stay highly contested picks specially in TIP vs CLG match. Since Impact is one of the best Shen players in NA (9.3 KDA and 100% win rate with Shen in the last 3 games). While CLG Zionspartan shines on a carry champions such as Olaf and fizz. It will be an interesting match-up.
The spider queen rises again. Ever since her new buffs and the Runeglave item, Elise has crawled back to the pro scene. With 85.7% pick rate and 83.3% win rate in the playoffs so far. The queen returns to her former glory and once again she is a highly contested pick in the jungle. Another Runeglave jungler who is highly contested is Nidalee. With amazing counter jungle ability, Great poke, And mobility Nidlaee is 100% pick/ban right now in the playoffs. It's no secret how much TSM prioritize Nidalee for Santorin (3.16 KDA in 3 games). So i guess she will be either picked or banned in all of the TSM matches. The Same thing can be said on TiP Rush's Elise (4.1 KDA and 100% win rate in 3 Games). On the other hand, It has been more than 2 weeks since we saw CLG/TL plays. That's why it's a little bit hard to predict what strat they going to execute.
Despite being considered the strongest mid lane champion in this patch. Viktor had been picked only once in the 7 playoffs games so far. While Azir is still prioritized by most of the teams in NA due to his great siege and disengage. Also lulu being picked more often throughout the playoffs (57.14% pick/ban rate in the playoffs). Mainly because of the utility she brings with her shields, speed, and ultimate. She is a safe laner with decent wave clear and a lot of good match-ups. I'm looking forward to see how TSM is going to play the Pick/ban phase against TL. Because TL Fenix had a huge success on champions like Viktor and Azir who is considered the best on this patch. And as TSM changed their playstyle in the quarterfinals. And shied away from the solo carry mentality. Which means they need to secure priority picks not only for Bjergsen but for Dyrus and Santorin as well. The draft phase is going to have the largest impact on the TL vs TSM game.
NA shows no love for the spear of vengeance. Even after the recent nerfs Kalista has a 100% ban rate throughout the playoffs. Teams still consider her the strongest ADC in this patch. And with Kalista out of the picture. Sivir and Tristana are the top 2 picks in NA. Tristana (85.7% pick/ban rate in the playoffs) With great scaling and ability to take down towers so fast. And Sivir with the utility she brings to the team with her ultimate.
And on the support part, The angry cow goes with a 100% pick/ban rate in the playoffs. Alistar provides a huge playmaking potential with his ability to control team fights by start the fights, peel or disengage while being incredibly tanky.
Bot lane match up for the Semi-finals will be CLG vs TiP. Each team has a great bot lane duo. With TiP Apollo being the top DPM in the playoffs right now (756 DPM) And CLG Doublelift who ended the regular season as top GPM (435 GPM), Top kill participation (79.4), And highest kills (117 Kill). Both bot lane duo has the ability to carry their team to victory.Definitely an interesting match-up.
To sum it up
Na teams prioritize Shen, Elise, Lulu, Kalista, and Alistar the most. Most of this picks are either picked or banned during the draft phase. Moving into the semi-finals TSM vs TL picks and bans phase will decide the winner. And don't forget to Keep an eye on Top/Bot match-up in TiP vs CLG.
All statistics are from oracleselixir.com and lolesports.com