I will be talking about why we are seeing the #1 picks in the LCK, advantage and disadvantages of these champions, and listing the top 3 picks in the LCK based on the week 2 picks/bans and win rates. Included is my chart for week 2 to help show. Linked right below is the google document for the stats each week for LCK Champions that I will keep updated.
Azir was the most banned champion for week 2 and rightfully so. Azir was banned 15 out of 17 games and the two games he wasn’t banned he was picked. He has great peeling with his ultimate, he can make big plays to catch out the enemy team doing the w-e-q-r combo to cover large distances and then emperor divide the opposing player(s) back in leesin like fashion, fantastic sustained damage, and great poking. There isn’t much to not like about Azir besides his only escape ability requiring a sand soldier and doesn’t always cover enough distance to get away. He also greatly benefits from his passive where he can create a tower to help give safety to sieging by protecting their back flank, forcing the enemy team to tower dive them giving them a distinct advantage, and can apply immense pressure in a lane if not enough players are sent to deal with it.
Azir makes baron a living nightmare to do as well. If he is on the opposing team and your team tries for a baron Azir can shred the enemy team. This happened on multiple occasions like in the CJ Entus vs KT Rolster game 3 where Coco just poked KT while they tried to rush baron. If Azir approaches from the pit side of baron he can also trap everyone in the pit so they take continual baron damage and have to stay put.
The disadvantage for Azir is exploitable early game where if he blows sums early in lane he has to play much safer. Azir is also a difficult champion to master where you have to understand when going for the W-E-Q-R combo to catch someone out is correct. This week already I have seen Azir play being under par to what was seen week 1 and 2 due to Azir players going in when their team is low or not realizing a pick and taking action right away.
Azir finished with a 100% win rate for this week though he only was able to be picked twice.
Alistar is the most picked champion for week 2. Alistar was picked 14 out of 17 times and banned 3 out of 17. Alistar has become the best support over the past weeks. He offers sustain in lane so you can get health advantages from trading in lane. He has fantastic peeling where he can head-butt enemy carries that dive the backline like Irelia, Hecarim, and Gragas along with using his q for a big knock-up to keep them at bay. Alistar can tank turrets like no other thanks to his ultimate reducing damage by 70%, which usually happens due to tower diving. If the Alistar wants to he can also flash pulverize and headbutt an enemy carry back in leesin style for a quick pick. However, if the composition is built for more engage Alistar is a great pick for that as well. He goes Righteous Glory to gain a big speed buff then follow up with a headbutt pulverize or flash headbutt pulverize with a strong slow at the end. In the past for LCS we have seen the cow ball delivery system where Alistar knock-ups a couple of enemy team champions and follow up with an Orianna ult. In week 2 games for LCK Alistar was a great pick for team compositions focusing on flanks, kiting, strong engage with Sivir, and pretty much anything you can think of since he is so well rounded.
One of the biggest reasons Alistar is also such a monster is due to tenacity not affecting knock-up duration and not being cleansable. ADC’s can’t run away by using QSS, tanks that built mercury treads can’t blow through Alistar’s pulverizes and head-butts, and just creates an overall problematic situation for opposing teams.
A disadvantage with Alistar is messing up your head-butt pulverize. This rarely happens, but if mistimed it can completely throw off a gank or pick. Another disadvantage is facing Morgana or Janna who can peel out play Alistar to some extent, but if you watched SKT1 vs Koo Tigers this week you would see Gorilla not respecting Alistar’s pick potential and catching out Kur0, which turned the whole team fight and game around.
Alistar had a 57.14% win rate for week 2 going 8-6 and will continue to be picked by teams in week 3.
Kalista was the second most banned champion for week 2 and was picked 100% of the time when open. She was banned 14 out of 17 games and picked for the other three. Some people might wonder why Sivir is not in this spot, but I am just including the champions that the LCK teams are most afraid of. Kalista was banned 14/17 of the times and was picked for the remainder 3. She is a greater laner who can easily abuse the enemy ADC and support. She can get a few stacks of rend on a minion then auto an enemy champion a few times then activate the rend to not only refresh the cooldown, but also apply strong harass. A key thing about Kalista is she can auto then move back due to her passive so she can harass the enemy under turret very easily without being in risk. Her sentinels also give her a distinct advantage in staying safe in her lane. Her ultimate provides several great opportunities for the support player to make use of. Kalista can use the ultimate to set up an engage, to disengage the support out of a bad situation, have the support bait out cooldowns then pull him out, and even just use the support for peeling sakes using the knock-up effect. Her passive also constantly lets her jump around to help avoid skill shots and kite tanks more easily.
The downside to Kalista is she needs early game kills or some advantage. If Kalista goes even against enemy ADC’s she won’t be as affective since other ADC’s like Sivir and Lucian bring higher damage when even.
Kalista had a 33% win rate since she went 1-2 this week. However, if she is picked more often this number will most likely change.
Gragas is officially the strongest jungle in the LCK currently. Even though Rek’sai is played more often his win rate is abysmal. Gragas was banned 11 out of 17 of the games and picked for the remainder 6. Gragas’s kit offers so much for any team composition. His body slam offers a nice little knock-up and can be combined with flash to form a long range cc that is hard to avoid unless it’s predicted by the opposing player. His barrel role applies a slow with reasonable damage and range. This allows Gragas to poke enemies along with using his barrel to catch and disengage enemies. His drunken rage is where most of his damage comes from and is a strong early/late game ability. Gragas’s passive helps him keep healthy in the jungle, which gives him the opportunity to make more ganks than the enemy jungler. Finally, Gragas’s ultimate gives him the ability to make great catches and use it for a good disengage tool as well. How often have we seen a Gragas player catching the enemy team solo laner or ADC out with a body slam to cover distance then explosive cask. Gragas can be placed in several different team comps unless the team is trying to build around a stronger early game by using Evelynn or very specific team comp like seen with Samsung vs Koo where they played a 1-3-1 with Gnar teleport, Rek’sai ultimate, and twisted fate ultimate.
One problem with Gragas is like with Sejuani his escape can be blocked if an opposing player decides to stand in front of him. This was seen at MSI with TSM vs SKT1. Another problem is knocking opponents out of his teammates’ abilities. This doesn’t happen often, but is a risk for teams with poor communication.
Gragas had a 50% win rate by going 3-3 this week. Last week Gragas was 5-3 with a 62.50% win rate. If Gragas is played more expect his win rate to improve.
Finally, for the top lane Rumble was the star. He was picked 8 out of 17 of the games and banned for none of them. Rumble offers good early damage harass with his flame spinners which can be spammed. He has two harpoons for medium range slows. These harpoons can catch enemy teams and even help disengage. For instance, if a Hecarim teleported with homeguards and gets hit by a harpoon then he will lose all the hyper movement speed damage. Rumble’s scrap shield gives a small shield for better lane trading and offers a small movement speed for chasing or retreating. Finally, Rumble’s equalizer is a game changing spell. A good Rumble ultimate can turn baron fights and dragon fights into slaughters. A good Rumble ultimate can also split enemy teams, cut off their retreat, start an engage, used as a peel for ADC like what was seen in C9 vs TSM, and used for chokes. By chokes I mean the small spaces surrounded by walls like the ramps and areas in the jungle. If your team gets stuck in these spots with an equalizer on top of you the fight is already in the Rumble team’s advantage.
A disadvantage with rumble is once his flash is down in lane he can be abused by the enemy jungler. Rumble isn’t an easy champion to master since he requires good management of his heat/resource along with knowing the best ultimate positions. It can also be possible to silence yourself as Rumble so you can’t use equalizer like seen with Dyrus when TSM played against Enemy Esports. If Rumble falls behind too early his impact will be less. The only thing to take away from this is equalizer can still be a force to reckon with as long as Rumble gets the magic penetration power spikes with sorcery boots and haunting guise during the mid-game.
Rumble finished this week with a 62.50% win rate going 5-3. If the top laner for a team can play Rumble expect it to be brought out.
Credit to LoL Esports youtube channel to watch the vods to record the data along with credit to Riot for using their pictures for Gragas, Azir, Kalista, Rumble, and Alistar.