Between ward-jumping, flash-ults, and trying to land the perfect Q, Lee Sin has to be one of the most difficult champions League of Legends has to offer. Despite that, Lee Sin appears in a staggering 40 percent of games in ranked queues, according to Champion.gg, a League stats website.
Champion.gg only shows high-ranked games statistics, but Lee Sin is even being played in more than one-third of all Gold games as well. His high rate of play could be because he’s extremely fun, even though it comes at the cost of difficulty. Let’s face it, Lee is a very flashy champion, and when he’s played well, it looks cool as hell, and it feels even better if you’re playing it yourself.
It may also be that he recently was given one of the game’s most badass skins, God Fist Lee Sin. Not only does the skin sport a new character model for Lee, a new voice-over, new ability and attack animations, and a fancy new ward, but it also gives him an ego the size of Galio. “A blade of grass stands in my path,” he says when he encounters an enemy champion. If that confidence (or arrogance) doesn’t make you want to buy the skin even more, we’re not sure what will.
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It could be the skin, and it could be his fun factor. More realistically, though, it’s the state of the game itself. Lee Sin is an early-game champion—someone that can carry a game through to victory within the first 30 minutes. League in its current meta heavily favors that type of champion. High-damage early game champions are running the show so much that in many cases, you won’t even get a tank on your team in a ranked game because it sacrifices too much early power.
Assassins in the mid lane, Zyra and other high-damage mages at support, and duelists in the top lane are looking exceptionally strong right now. Look at the other meta junglers as proof. Graves, Kha’zix, Rengar, Elise, and Lee Sin are dominating in this high-risk/high-reward early game meta, and Lee shines above the other early game junglers because he remains at least a little useful even into the lategame with his ultimate ability.
So no, despite his insane play-rate, Lee Sin is not OP. His win-rate still hovers around 50 percent despite how many games he’s picked in, which is a good indicator to how balanced he is.
After the Midseason Update brings some attention and power to tanks, expect the meta to shift a bit towards the late-game. In this early game meta, however, not many can perform on Lee Sin’s level.