Top five champions to watch during the NA LCS playoffs this weekend

These champs have the most potential to carry their teams to the Spring Split finals.

After a two-week break following an emotional Week 9 of the NA LCS, the Spring Split Playoffs are finally here, and we’re all very excited to see who can grab onto the title of North American League of Legends Champions.

Speaking of champions, there are some in League that are going to be particularly smart picks when the playoffs begin this Saturday at 12pm PT. There will always be pocket-picks and surprises, but we predict that these five champions will be frequent picks this weekend due to their undeniable strength in the current meta.

1) Ahri

She’s always been a reliable mid lane pick, but Ahri was made popular as a professional choice by TSM’s Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg during Week Seven of the NA LCS. He soared above other mid laners that week, and showed everyone that Ahri was definitely good asset to have on a team. In regular games, Ahri commands one of the highest combinations of win-rate and play-rate of all champions in the game, making her statistically a contender for the strongest champion of all. With no nerfs being dished out to her in yesterday’s patch, we can expect her to remain a prominent pick this weekend.

2) Lucian

While we’re on the subject of statistically OP champions, Lucian might be Ahri’s only rival. Lucian is played in almost half of all ranked games in Platinum-ranked games and higher, according to Champion.GG, a League statistics website. Lucian was changed a couple of patches ago to increase the cast times on his spells as he progresses in level, allowing for players with high levels of mechanical skill to do some pretty amazing things on him. With Lucian’s new kit, he is a force to be reckoned with. Professional players in the final games of the regular season showed how scary he can be, and with no nerfs hitting him in the latest patch, expect Lucian to be a prominent choice during the playoffs.

3) Lulu

Lulu unofficially holds the title of “Strongest Support in the Game.” No one’s really sure why she’s suddenly so powerful, as she hasn’t been buffed significantly in a while. But with shield-buffing support items like Redemption and Ardent Censor firmly holding onto the meta, Lulu was bound to show up eventually. Her arsenal of protection and utility is unmatched by most other support champions, and the power of her shield, slow, ultimate, and annoyance are legendary. She has been at the forefront of the support meta alongside Karma for a while now. But due to her slightly higher levels of protection, she edges Karma out as a priority pick and ban. If you don’t see Lulu a lot this weekend, it’s probably because she’ll be banned from every match.

4) Orianna

Orianna’s strength in professional play is mostly in part to the wide variety of meta champions that sync up with her ultimate, Shockwave.

Champions such as Rengar, Maokai, Nautilus, and many more can transport Orianna’s ball very quickly into the midst of an enemy team so she can land game-changing ultimates with ease. It just so happens that those same champions are currently leading the meta. It doesn’t hurt that Orianna puts out some impressive damage herself, and the shielding she provides in a pinch is something that not many other mid laners can do.

5) Nautilus

The final champion on our list may not come as a surprise to most. Nautilus has been the go-to tank of the top lane for weeks, countered only by one champion in particular, Rumble. He isn’t on this list, however, because he’s missing that special something—a hell of a lot of crowd control. Roots, slows, knock-ups, and a big shield make up Naut’s kit, giving him exactly what a team needs when they’re lacking a tank. He’s the perfect front-line champion, because if he’s played correctly, he can effectively keep an entire enemy team at arm’s length so his allies can deal all the damage safely.