Duck, Duck, Goose: Analyzing the Pick and Ban Trends From Week One in Professional LoL

With the first week of professional LoL concluded, I take a look at the trends shown in the pick and bans across four regions to help determine the current meta of the game.

The first week of the spring split in the major regions has wrapped up and it is time to analyze the week. I have collected data from the LoL Pro League in China, League Champions Korea, North American League Championship Series, and the European LCS about the picks and bans. With the new 10-ban system, Riot has thrown a curveball at teams as the season gets underway. Coaches and teams have had to adapt to the changes and that is reflected in the pick and bans.

Korea – LCK

Korea has had 51 unique picks and 52 unique bans, Trundle being the only champion banned but never picked. The champion picked the most in the league was Maokai, who was picked in 15 matches (58 percent of games). LeBlanc stands alone as the most banned champion, with 25 bans (96 percent of games). There were four champions that were either picked or banned in every game: LeBlanc, Camille, Rengar, and Zyra. The region has developed its own meta by placing a focus on Singed in the top lane, something not seen as heavily in the other regions.

China – LPL

China has a similar meta of picks and bans to Korea, but sports 48 unique picks and bans over 25 games. Maokai is again the most picked champion, being picked in 18 games, but this time the tree is joined by Lee Sin as the most picked champion. Rengar is the most banned champion, being banned in every game except for one. Camille joins Rengar as the only two champions being picked or banned in every game. The LPL has some unique AD carry picks, such as Sivir and Caitlyn, as well as being the only region to have played Vi, a pick more commonly seen in solo-queue.

Europe – EU LCS

The EU LCS has a much smaller sample size, having only played nearly half the matches played in the other regions. Despite having few games, EU sports 46 unique champions picked and banned. Europe differs from the other two regions, as Ashe was the most picked champion, being played in 10 matches. Camille and Rengar are tied as the most banned champion, banned in 13 games each and mirroring the other regions. LeBlanc, Rengar, and Camille are the three champions that have been picked or banned in every game, though they have varying degrees of success when picked. EU is the only region to have played Ivern, but the champion has only won 33 percent of its matches.

North America – NA LCS

North America started its matches after every other region here had already begun, and may have had the ability to look at what the meta has been in the other regions. NA joins in the Maokai festival, as he is yet again the most picked champion, played in 21 out of 25 games. Camille stands alone as the most banned champion, with no NA team willing to let her through and banning her in every game. There are five champions picked or banned in every single match: Camille, Rengar, Zyra, Ashe, and LeBlanc. NA has 51 unique champions over 25 games played. The mid lane is where NA differs most from the other regions, with champions like Fizz and Aurelion Sol being played.

Across all regions, Maokai remains the most picked champion, being played in 61 out of 90 matches. Ashe and Varus are No. 2 and 3 in picks, with 54 and 52 picks respectively. Camille is the most banned champion, followed by LeBlanc and Rengar. Surprisingly, there are two champions that have been picked or banned in every game across the four regions. Rengar and Camille clearly show themselves as S tier picks in the current meta. Shen has the best winning percentage of any champion picked 10 or more times, and is successful in 80 percent of the matches he is played in.

The meta is pretty well defined across the four regions and all the teams seem to agree on which champions are important. As the weeks go on, teams may figure out new picks or counter-picks and the meta may change. I will be keeping up with the pick and ban trends over the weeks across these four regions.

What champions do you think will be prioritized over the coming weeks across these regions? Share your thoughts below or tweet us @GAMURScom.

Stats via lol.esportswikis.com