The champion meta at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship has proven to be incredibly diverse through its first 88 games since 87 individual champions have been either picked or banned through the tournament’s group stage, according to League stats site Leaguepedia. But it’s arguable that no champion has been more influential at Worlds than Yuumi, who has absolutely dominated the group stage with a pick/ban rate of 94 percent.
During the Worlds group stage, Yuumi was banned 39 times, the most among all champions on the League roster, according to competitive League stats site Games of Legends. Additionally, with 12 picks, Yuumi was involved in the second-most drafts out of all champions during the group stage. For reference, Yuumi was only picked 12 times throughout the entire Summer Split across all major regions.
What’s most striking about Yuumi’s sudden rise in popularity, though, is that the champion was essentially invisible during the play-in stage of the tournament. While she’s practically on “permaban” status during the main event, Yuumi was nothing more than an afterthought for this year’s play-in teams. During play-ins, Yuumi was only banned four times across 38 games with zero picks to boot, according to Games of Legends.
During the opening game of the group stage, though, defending world champions DWG KIA placed Yuumi onto their high-priority pick list when they selected the champion on the first rotation of the group stage’s first draft. When their support BeryL posted a scoreline of 1/0/12 with the champion in that game, dealing more damage than three enemy players in the process, the rest of the tournament’s field took notice.
From that game on, each team at Worlds realized just how valuable of a pick Yuumi is. Between play-ins and groups, Yuumi’s pick/ban rate increased exponentially. Her draft presence skyrocketed from 11 percent during play-ins to 94 percent during groups—that’s an overnight difference of over 80 percent.
Now, as the World Championship progresses into the quarterfinal round, don’t expect Yuumi to go away anytime soon. Six of the eight support players in the knockout stage have already played Yuumi at least once during Worlds.
The quarterfinals of the 2021 League World Championship are set to begin on Oct. 22 at 7am CT with a battle between T1 and Hanwha Life Esports.
Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.