NA LCS Week 1 Picks: The Good, The Banned and The Broken

A look at some of the surprisingly good and surprisingly bad picks from week one of the NA LCS.

With week one of NA LCS wrapped up, let’s take a look at what picks worked, and what failed.

Must Bans

Champions with a 100 percent pick/ban rate.


Banned: 25/25 (100 percent)

With Camille being the only champion to draw a 100 percent ban rate, we don’t have too much to go off for her. She played five games combined across the EU LCS, LMS and LCK, where she won four. An important note is she was banned by the red side in all games but three (CLG vs. TL game one, TL vs. FQ games one and three). Until this champion is toned down a bit, it’s a likely trend to continue.


Banned: 23/25 (92 percent)

Wins: 1/2 (50 percent)

KDA: 2.86

Similarly to the other champions in this category, 91 percent of the LeBlanc bans were by the team on red side. An interesting thing with LeBlanc, is that even in her win, she certainly wasn’t the sole reason for the victory. I think this ban rate will continue against the highest tier of mid laners, but teams may have over-estimated the supposed strength of this champion. I think if LeBlanc gets through a few more ban phases, we may see this being dropped as a ban against the lower tier mid laners.


Banned: 21/25 (84 percent)

Wins: 2/4 (50 percent)

KDA: 2.31

When it comes to North American League of Legends, Rengar has a pretty bad history. In earlier seasons, we’d see elite eastern junglers consistently drawing bans on this champion, while it was nowhere to be found in NA. Despite the poor history, Rengar’s current state makes him a very feared champion. Although one of the losses was when Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo played Rengar, due to unfortunate circumstances this week for Team EnVyUs, I think Rengar will continue to be a feared champion until changes are made.

Best Win Rates

Champions with the highest win rates, with over six games played.


Banned: 4/25 (16 percent)

Wins: 7/9 (78 percent)

KDA: 11.68

With all of the hype around Malzahar and Zyra, teams are often picking things such as MF, Taric, Tahm Kench, and even Lulu to counter these two. Meanwhile, Karma has sort of flown under the radar as a top tier support. With the current support meta revolving around either locking down a single target, or protecting someone from being locked down, Karma hits a nice middle ground, where she can guarantee safety while still enabling tanks or assassins to get to the backline. I think we’ll see her popularity grow based on her current success.


Banned: 6/25 (24 percent)

Wins: 12/16 (75 percent)

KDA: 3.08

With Rengar being off the table in most games, Kha’Zix has found great success, being a champion of very similar style. Teams have tried a variety of champions to go into Kha’Zix, but that has shown very little success. The only champion to have a winning record against Kha’Zix is Graves, due to a monster game from rookie jungler Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham. Even in losses, Kha’Zix maintained a 2.81 KDA. With only six bans thrown his way (five of which were from blue side), I think we may see Kha’Zix banned out more often if teams are unable to find an answer.


Banned: 3/25 (12 percent)

Wins: 14/21 (67 percent)

KDA: 3.41

Maokai, right now, is undoubtedly the king of the top lane. Currently, Shen and Fiora seem to do pretty well with two and three wins respectively. However, Maokai’s simplicity and power in his kit allow him to be one of the most reliable champions in the game. With that in mind, most teams will likely continue to gravitate towards this pick until teams begin to emphasize counters, as opposed to just playing a worse tank into him.

Miss Fortune

Banned: 7/25 (28 percent)

WIns: 5/6 (83 percent)

KDA: 2.70

After the 2016 World Championship, it’s no surprise that MF is still the go-to counter for Zyra and has won all five games where the matchup took place. With the introduction of Malzahar support, Miss Fortune seems to be able to do similar things to the voidling that she does to Zyra’s plants, despite that Malzhar served her the only loss thus far. In all six of her games, Miss Fortune was picked after the other team had picked their support. With teams still adapting to the new draft, I think we’ll see them start to either stop blind picking Zyra, or pick her last on red side before the second ban phase allowing them to ban Miss Fortune out. Until then, the support pick is a proven counter and will likely continue to be just that.


Champions with the lowest win rates, with over six games played.

Lee Sin

Banned: 6/25 (24 percent)

Wins: 3/11 (27 percent)

KDA: 3.15

Lee Sin has been a staple jungler for years, and was seemingly over-hyped due to his dominance in solo queue. Currently, Lee Sin is mostly being utilized for his assassination abilities at level six, but with Kha’Zix dominating the jungle, it’s often too late for Lee to have as much of an impact. As a result, Lee Sin currently has one win and four losses in the matchup, and I think we’ll see teams straying away from the pick if Kha’Zix is picked or still available.


Banned: 9/25 (36 percent)

Wins: 2/12 (17 percent)

KDA: 2.20

Malzahar is another champion that got a lot of hype during the offseason due to his excellent performance in solo queue. While the champion has a 71 percent win rate over in Korea, it seems NA hasn’t been able to properly utilize the pick. With the NA supports seeming much more proficient at countering the champion than using it, I think we’ll see the picks/bans slow down a bit on this one.


Banned: 4/25 (16 percent)

Wins: 3/9 (33 percent)

KDA: 2.91

For a while now, Rek’Sai has been widely considered a very safe top-tier jungler. She never really had any matchups that she couldn’t handle, but things have certainly changed for the start of this season. The junglers that are finding the most success are doing so by getting in and deleting a member of the backline. Rek’Sai isn’t, and never has been, known for her damage, instead being a champion with great utility from her Tremor Sense, reliable cc from her unburrow, and excellent presence on the map with her tunnels and ultimate. Currently, Rek’Sai isn’t able to deliver what teams are looking for in a jungler, and we’ll probably see teams dropping priority on her in favor of higher damage champions.


Banned: 5/25 (20 percent)

Wins: 7/19 (37 percent)

KDA: 3.38

Whlie most people seem to consider Varus a top tier ADC with the likes of Ashe, the results heavily disagree. With game three of FlyQuest vs. Team Liquid being the only game where Varus fell completely through the draft, teams seem to highly value Varus. With the majority of games and losses being played into Ashe, it seems teams will have to look for another answer to the frost queen.


Banned: 15/25 (60 percent)

Wins: 2/10 (20 percent)

KDA: 3.19

While Zyra is certainly a very strong pick, poor drafting from teams has led to her having a surprisinlgy low win rate. Five different times, Zyra was picked blindly, and then lost to a counter-pick Miss Fortune. While I do think this is a priority pick, I think teams are going about it the wrong way. Zyra was blind picked in all 10 games, which is far too risky with Miss Fortune available. If teams are going to blind pick her, they either need to have already banned Miss Fortune, or red side could last pick her before the second ban phase and take out MF then. I think as teams make proper drafting adjustments, we’ll see this pick rise in win rate.


Champions with high win rates, but low pick/ban rates. While they all have a very small sample size, I think we could see these picks rising in priority.


Banned: 2/25 (8 percent)

Wins: 3/3 (100 percent)

KDA: 3.67

With two wins against Corki, and one win against Syndra, Ekko seems to do fairly well into some of the stronger meta picks. With three different players all finding success on the champion, I think we could see more players adding this to their pool.


Banned: 0

Wins: 2/2 (100 percent)

KDA: 6.00

With Kha’Zix being of such high value, Graves seems like a logical pick. The utility from his smokescreen is often enough to deter assassinations, while the jungler can deliver high damage to the enemy, while being quite safe himself. While it doesn’t seem like he’s getting much attention, I think Graves is a champion that would thrive in the current meta.


Banned: 2/25 (8 percent)

Wins: 2/2 (100 percent)

KDA: 10.50

While teams are struggling to find a way to handle Maokai, only one has tried their hand at Shen. Both of Cloud9’s top laners brought out Shen and each of them grabbed a victory with the champion. While Nautilus has done just fine so far, we’ve seen his cc come out a bit too slow at times to secure engages or peel for his carries in time. The quick speed of his taunt, the blocking zone, and the instant large shield of his ultimate makes it seem like Shen would be a more ideal pick against enemies such as Kha’Zix and Rengar. With some teams still running double teleport, or picks such as Twisted Fate and Corki that can quickly make their way to side lanes, the global pressure of Shen could be quite valuable. I’d like to see more teams bring out Shen in the future.

That wraps up my overview of NA LCS week one picks. What champions do you want to see in the LCS? Let me know @calvinbwitt and follow @GAMURScom for more League of Legends content.

Photo credits: RIot Games