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League of Legends

Flex Picks: A Team’s Ace In The Hole

league champions - sylas

All across the world, teams prepare for their chances at the 2019 League Of Legends World Championship. Many of those teams share something fairly important between one another. Flex picks: champions specifically geared towards being played in multiple roles. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay come time for Worlds. If a team is aiming for the top, they better have their own set of picks they can fake others out with. If not, they’ll need to prepare for a rude awakening.

The Importance Of Flexing

While some picks may be better than others, each champion has their own importance to the whole of a team, no matter their lane. When a team can flex a champion from one lane to another it creates a chance to open counters for their solo laners. In the case of a champion such as Aatrox, being able to flex him both top lane and mid lane allows for a team to escape bad matchups like Renekton. Conversely, knowing that your mid laner can play Renekton into an Aatrox that only a single player from the enemy team can play opens up a new world for your team composition.

In a similar case, champions like Taliyah and Sylas who see play both in mid lane and jungle have the added benefit of forcing free counters or equal lanes in mid. Unlike a Sejuani or a Jarvan IV, the chance a Sylas or Taliyah could play either role is far higher. Alongside creating a chance to counter, you and your team also open up the chance to flex once more. For instance, if a team were to lock in Sylas for the jungle role, you can once again flex him to the mid lane if he has a favorable matchup. Though it’s far less common to see jungle/solo lane flex picks, Taliyah, Sylas, Aatrox and Jarvan IV have all been flexed in recent seasons.

G2 Caps
Courtesy Of LoL Flickr

Finally, being able to flex champions allows for extremely diverse team compositions. Normally, fans would assume if you play a solo lane you specifically only play champions meant for that lane. For teams like G2 Esports, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While they may be leaps and bounds better than most teams around them, playing and winning on unconventional picks isn’t easy no matter the case. If a team can clutch out a victory with a champion they’ve flexed from a different role it shows real prowess and game knowledge.

The Strongest Flex Picks Currently Meta

Over the years, champions have come and go from the flex pick meta. Corki, once a potential ADC and mid laner, now rarely sees play through the bot lane. Jarvan IV had a role in tanking through top lane, now, jungle remains his sole role. In today’s meta, many champions have been brought out in order to confuse and stomp the opposition.

Irelia and Aatrox have shared roles in both top and mid for quite some time now. While part of that reason is their strength in laning and overpowering enemy champions, one quirk they both share is their melee auto attacks. Currently, Sejuani sits atop the jungling throne because of champions who have melee auto attacks. Aatrox, Akali, Sylas, Irelia – many of these flex picks pair up perfectly alongside Sejuani’s E.

Out of those powerful picks, two champions come to mind that obliterate the competition in terms of use. Aatrox and Sylas have been played in the top lane, mid lane and in jungle. Currently, Aatrox only sees play in both mid and top. As for Sylas, the king of flex picks occupies both solo lanes and the jungle. Having either of the champions played by multiple members of your team immediately sets you ahead of your peers.

Only As Good As The Player

league champions - Aatrox
Courtesy of Riot Games

Flex picks only work because of the players who hold them in their hands. Not every top laner can play a mean Sylas. Not every mid laner and play a mean Aatrox. One of the key reasons why teams continue to ignore them as flex picks is that reason alone. Just because Kim “Clid” Tae-min of SK Telecom T1can play Sylas jungle doesn’t mean Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider of 100 Thieves can. In fact, Clid played four games of Sylas in his last seven games.

Many players have yet to pick up the strongest of picks to flex across their team. Though it might mean disaster in the broad scheme of things, playoff pictures instantly fall apart for teams that can’t flex. While flex picks might not come in to play, the chances of throwing off an opponent by simply moving your pieces around is a feat many can’t obtain.

At the end of the day, flex or don’t flex. Teams can look to destroy the opposition without resorting to countering and mind games. If the better team is truly better, you’ll always find a way to win. That way just might be an unconventional Fiddlesticks top. Or, you know, not that.

 

Featured Image Courtesy Of Riot Games

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