With MSI 2022 quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to look at the four major regions and their trends in drafting. I wanna see what champions were popular across the world and which ones were niche picks, did the higher sample sizes of best of threes affect the meta, and most importantly how confident each region is on the most important champions heading into the first big international tournament of the year.
The first thing I wanna look at is just purely the number of unique champions that appeared in drafts both picks and bans for each major region.
This graph kind of showcases what you would hope out of the regions in some regards. The two teams in the east the LCK and LPL play the best of three series so while the western teams played around 90 games each the LCK played 212 games and the LPL played 341 games while also having significantly more teams. This larger sample size allows for more possibilities and obviously more overall unique champions.
While both the LCK and LPL have more champions they each played over double the number of games as the other regions and barely saw more unique champions with the LCK only picking one more unique champion than the LEC which kind of emphasizes the idea that teams refuse to change or really experiment with anything new.
I do love looking at the champions that were only played in one particular region. Most of these picks were only seen once or twice with the LPL having the majority of these picks. The LCK finally saw the debut of Lehend’s Singed support in a victory. The most obvious outliers were the Pyke pick in the LEC which saw eight picks and six bans and the Ashe pick in the LCS which saw eight picks and two bans. These picks were not just one-offs but actually, semi contested picks in their respective leagues and could be something we see going into MSI.
The Draft Picks
Now the meat of it looking at all four major regions drafting history from the last regular season and comparing them just finding fun and interesting trends throughout. It is important to take into consideration that there is a huge disparity in games played among the teams in the east and west. With the high amount of game differences in a season (LPL with 341 games for the season and LEC with 90 games) pure numbers can differ greatly, the LPL finished with two champions that had more than twice as many bans as games played in the LEC; Caitlyn finished with 183 bans and 23 games picked while Gwen was banned 182 times and still picked 129 times. So after taking that into consideration, Who is the most picked champion? Did some regions emphasize certain champions over others? Are any of these high-priority champions really unsuccessful?
The highest percent P/B % in the east was Twisted Fate in the LCK being picked or banned in 92.5% of all games over the year. Twisted Fate was banned a league-high 176 times and only picked 20 times.
The highest percent P/B rate in the LPL was Gwen with a P/B rate of 91.2% appearing in 311 drafts over the season. Gwen was banned 182 times one less than Caitlyn for the most in the LPL but was still picked 129 times.
The highest percent P/B% out of the four major regions was Zeri in the LCS with a P/B rate of 98.9%, being picked or banned in all but one game. Zeri was banned a league-high 62 times and picked 29 times but finished the regular season with a winning percent of 44.8 with a win-loss of 13 Wins for 16 losses
In the LEC the most relevant champion across the season was Jinx who sat at an 88.9% P/B rate. Jinx would appear in 61 games and be banned in 19 games and even with that high pick rate still finished the season with a 59% win rate.
Highest Pick and Ban
The easiest thing to see when comparing these drafts is who was the most picked champion across these four major regions with the clear number one being Jinx. Jinx was the highest-picked champion among all four regions being picked a total of 477 times or being played in 64.9% of all games across the four major regions. This is in comparison to only being banned in 132 games or around 18%. Jinx was in the top two most relevant champions by P/B rate in every region but the LCK where they were the 6th most relevant champion and even then Jinx was tied for the most picked champion. Jinx remained relevant across all of League and looks to continue to be played at a high rate going into MSI
Caitlyn on the other hand was the most common ban among all four regions being banned a total of 436 times or being banned in nearly 60% of all games. This is in comparison to only being picked in 68 games or around 9% of all games. Caitlyn was feared by every region seeing incredibly high ban rates for much of the season but some nerfs did lead to the relevancy of the champion diminishing in certain regions. The LCK, in particular, refused to let Caitlyn be picked through their playoffs while the LPL who had huge numbers of Caitlyn bans in the regular season did not see the champion picked or banned in their playoffs.
Those two champions were super relevant but their stats to get swayed in large part by the game disparity between the east and west. The best way to get a good look at which champs were the most relevant across these four regions is by looking at Pick/Ban percent across these four regions. These eight champions saw a 50% or more P/B rate in each of the four major regions.
- Lee Sin
- Xin Zhao
These eight champions saw 50% or higher P/B rates in every region showing their huge relevancy in the meta across the entirety of the season. This list includes four ADCs, two junglers, one top laner, and one mid laner. ADC has continued to be a really limited role in its variety with Jinx seemingly appearing in every game across the world. Gwen’s inclusion is interesting from the fact the champion was nerfed in the last few patches and began to see huge dips in relevancy in every region and will most likely be much less favorable at MSI. Likewise and probably even more important is the Lee Sin nerfs that came in 12.7 and how that affects the overall jungle draft in MSI, especially for teams like T1 who love the pick.
Champions that Were Important in Some Regions
In the opposite direction, there were 11 champions that saw a 50% or more P/B rate in only a single region emphasizing its importance to one part of the world but having much less relevancy everywhere else.
Hecarim with 72.8% in LCS only
Tahm Kench with 67.4% in LCS Only
Ahri with 65.2% in LCS only
Gnar with 50% in LCS only
Jarvan with 56.7% in LEC only
Viktor with 53.3% in LEC only
Diana with 51.1% in LEC only
Rakan with 50% in LEC only
Akali with 60.8% in LCK only
Leona with 57.5% in LCK only
Renekton with 50.5% in LCK only
Most of these picks do hover at the lower end of the high relevancy spectrum and saw some semblance of picks in each region. The biggest outlier is definitely the Hecarim pick which saw a 72.8% P/B rate in the LCS making it the fourth most relevant pick in the region significantly higher than every other region. Interestingly the LPL had no champions above 50% that was not also above 50% in another region.
With the same vein of thinking these champions were super high priority top ten in one or more regions while being almost nonexistent in others.
Twisted Fate was the most relevant champion in LCK with a 92.5% P/B and the second-most in the LEC with an 85.6% P/B. TF still managed to receive around 55% P/B in the LPL but only saw a 23.9% P/B in the LCS.
Karma saw a P/B rate of 65.1% in the LCK and 62% in the LCS making Karma a top 10 most relevant champion in these two regions. In contrast, Karma only saw a P/B rate of 15.8% in the LPL and 8.9% in the LEC.
While some champions remained incredibly relevant this did not always mean that these champions saw success.
Champions with high pick rate but really low win rate
In LCK Gwen saw a P/B rate of 52.4% being banned 38 times and picked 73 times (34.4% of all games) but only saw a win rate of 39.7%
In LPL Xin Zhao saw a P/B rate of 75.1% being banned 93 times and picked 163 times(47.8% of all games) and sat at a win rate of 43.6%.
These were the most egregious constant picks in the east that were constantly ineffective.
In the west, there were smaller sample sizes but still a few picks that saw little to no success. In the LCS Ahri saw a P/B rate of 65.2% being banned 35 times and picked 25 times(27.1% of all games) but saw a win rate of an abysmal 32%.
In the LEC there were two picks that saw terrible winrates. Jarvan saw a P/B rate of 56.7% being banned in 28 games and picked 23 times(25.5% of all games) but saw a horrible win rate of 34.8%.
Obviously, none of these stats can entirely predict the meta for MSI 2022 but it is always fun to look at the picks and see the trends from around the world. T1 is a huge favorite for the event but hasn’t played since April 2nd over a month ago and with three more patches coming and going since then, it will be interesting to see how these changes will affect their performance. RNG is also particularly interesting as their jungler definitely prefers a late-game style of play which may come out more with the Lee Sin nerfs. G2 can never be counted out, especially after their huge lower bracket run and well EG we all really hope that they can come out and surprise the world just like CLG and TL did in the past.