Every League of Legends World Championship shifts the meta in different ways and brings unexpected picks to the stage—and Worlds 2019 hasn’t been much different.
Some League players like to pick up on those plays, but most are left wondering why a pro would choose a champion that would often be seen as trolling in standard solo or duo queue.
These picks are usually chosen due to different strategies and draft synergies, but they also open players’ horizons and flexibility toward which champions are locked behind certain roles. The pros show us that, with the right gameplay in mind, sticking to the standard meta isn’t always the necessary way to go.
Here are the five most unconventional picks from the 2019 Worlds main stage ahead of this weekend’s final showdown. It’s mostly classical marksmen that got switched out in the bot lane.
5) ADC Sona
A few months ago, picking ADC Sona wasn’t such a weird thing to do. The Sona-Taric bot lane was a popular pick across the world—but that’s not what Cloud9’s Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi had in mind. He was playing alongside Tahm Kench against another unconventional pick, Griffin’s ADC Garen, and C9 fell behind.
4) Mid Malphite
FunPlus Phoneix’s mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang decided to opt for Malphite when fighting against GAM Esports—and it paid off. Although Malphite can struggle against standard mid lane mages, it was an answer to GAM’s mid lane Kled pick. Doinb had no trouble winning lane and Malphite’s strong teamfight capabilities helped FPX take the win.
3) ADC Kayle
Kayle’s damage burst and wave clear are insane, so she’s a popular pick for top and mid laners. But SKT’s Park “Teddy” Jin-seong took her to a whole different level by picking her as an ADC in their game vs. Fnatic. SKT took the win and Teddy achieved a 9.0 KDA while playing Kayle in the bot lane.
2) ADC Zoe
Zoe is another mage that doesn’t usually belong in the bot lane, but she made it there during Worlds. G2’s Luka “Perkz” Perković decided to opt for this pick when the team was fighting Griffin—but it didn’t yield the best results. Perkz fell behind against Griffin’s classic Xayah and Rakan bot duo and G2 lost the game.
1) ADC Garen
Garen has been played seven times during the Worlds main event and he’s been picked as an ADC all seven times. Fnatic’s Martin “Rekkles” Larsson picked him first, and Griffin’s Park “Viper” Do-hyeon and Hong Kong Attitude’s Wong “Unified” Chun Kit followed suit. Out of the three bot laners, however, only Viper achieved a positive win rate with Garen in the bot lane.