The LCK provides a needed introduction into the meta for viewers and players from other locales. The western regions showcase their understanding of the meta and strong picks before anyone else. So what can we learn from the first week of LCK? What showed up strong in the fiesta that is patch 8.11?
Week One Day 2 LCK Standings
Afreeca Freecs, kt Rolster, and MVP showed dominance with 2-0 victories. Gen.G and Griffin won with a 2-1, but LCK does not think as much about individual matches as regions like NA and EU. Korea has always been about adaptation and strategy in a best-of-three rather than best-of-ones.
Despite Gen.G’s victory being a 2-1, the games themselves were representative of the League meta as a whole. All three games averaged out to be 24 minutes with final scores being 11-2, 19-1 and 21-2.
After junglers made plays in bot lane, games spiraled out of control. Many of the games this week were a snowball of objectives and kills out of a bot lane play. Getting the bruisers or mages on a roll meant very little counter-play from the opposing side.
Pick/ban phases had a more obvious strategy than in previous patches. Before, teams traditionally banned out the strongest champions in the first ban stage. Right now, though, it is difficult to pinpoint what champions are worth banning over others. We saw bans towards the infamous Taric/Yi strategy, the trinity of surviving ADCs, and strong top laners like Aatrox and Darius.
This meant teams had to not only build around a draft, but essentially pick which type of battle they wanted to fight. Previously, bot lane could not be banned out due to the surplus of possible ADCs. Crit carries, Rageblade users, and utility all were viable. Now, you have to ban out more than just the ADCs. Banning champions like Irelia or Aatrox allows you to take away top lane and bot lane picks.
Pick/ban has become a choose-your-boss scenario. Do you want to tackle the Master Yi/Taric combo? How about the double mage bot lane? Teams draft and build around these potential picks.
What to Look For
Powerhouses like Afreeca Freecs and MVP are performing strongly, unwavering from Spring to Summer Split. Gen.G has shown strengths in the new meta, taking advantage of the chaos. While SKT flopped this week, they faced Afreeca, a strong team. Will they be able to pull out of the slumps?
League’s next patch is nerfing some of the enchanters that have been played in both the LPL and LCK, like Janna and Lulu. Will these champs still be viable as picks after their shield pressure is decreased? Most likely. Lulu, Janna, and Morgana were chosen for their potent peel and slowing capabilities along with their shields. These champions thrived by protecting the strongest member and building Banner of Command.
However, Riot is removing Banner entirely from the game. This means that snowballs that lead into Baron will no longer be a death sentence. Banner made it so that teams were able to siege without an ADC while simultaneously removing any chance of opposition because the enemy team had no long range carry. How will teams push into the enemy base without Banner? We’ll find out when patch 8.12 hits professional play!
Featured Image courtesy of Riot Games.