Analyzing the Worlds 2020 Meta
The meta of Worlds 2020 was no real surprise for many people interested in LoL esports. The meta has been building for several months now, with the Summer Playoffs giving us a real glimpse of what was to come.
We will look at the most prominent picks and bans from every position, explaining why they were so dominant to the meta. There is also room for commenting on teams that picked regional picks and what it is that they brought to the table.
The top lane is an interesting lane for Worlds picks. Ornn remained the dominant pick of the top lane, commanding a 90% pick/ban rate throughout the event. The champion’s strong laning presence, exclusive item upgrades, and powerful team fighting make him the top dog of the top lane.
The other big pick in the top lane is Renekton. The Chinese staple made a return this year, with 68%. Although, Renekton only had a 36.4% win-ratio. The issue with Renekton is that it only dominates in the early game. After that, the champion falls off by the late game. Teams began to figure out the croc wasn’t worth its pick rate as it made its last appearance in both semifinals.
The same goes for other champs with double-digit games played, like Camille and Volibear. However, they too did not show up the further the Main Event progressed. By the Finals, the five tops picked were Fiora, Ornn, Gangplank, Jax, and Kennen. It was either pick a top lane champion that worked well as a team fighter throughout the game or create pressure with split pushes the later the game got on.
Statistically speaking, the top lane had a few exciting picks that shined despite the clear importance of Ornn in the drafting phase. Champions like Jax came out as the most impactful dualist with seven games picked and a 71.4% win-ratio. Jax is a champion that was teased as a counter to Camille in the side lane spit pushes during the Summer Playoffs. Jax reared his head again at Worlds and continued to dominate in that role.
One other talking point is Kennen. LCK Top laners have seen the value of Kennen through the Summer Split as it was their most played top. A few players around the world opted for it now and then, but it was nowhere near as prominent. In Worlds 2020, the pick had a 100% win-ratio across four games, with one player opting for it; his name is Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. The Champion was significant in its game three appearance at Worlds. LEC caster Andy “Vedius” Day said that Nuguri’s Kennen was make or break because of the style of their composition. Perhaps Kennen was a sleeper pick more players should have invested in earlier.
The Jungle meta of Worlds did not really see a shake-up as the tournament progressed. It was crystal clear early on that farming jungle champions capable of gaining gold leads and taking objectives, with great team fighting became the only style at Worlds. The importance of the Dragon Pit was key to winning games, so that was the Jungler’s duty every game. Champions like Graves, Lillia, Kindred, and Nidalee were the prominent picks.
The most dominant of the four was Graves by a country mile. He had a 92% pick/ban rate, with 16 games played during the main event. While Graves had an importance on the drafting phase, it only managed to pull a 44.2% win-ratio, suggesting that game plan was the real reason for its losses.
On the other hand, Lillia, Nidalee and Kindred had much closer prioritization, with Lillia’s P/B on 25 games, Nidalee’s on 20 and Kindred’s on 19. The most successful of the four was Kindred with 57.9%, followed by Nidalee on 55%, and Lillia on 48%. The interesting thing about Kindred was her growth in her pick contention. Kindred was only picked seven times in the groups, but then gained another 12 games played in the Playoffs. It was one of the only champions not anticipated by many to play a huge role in the event.
Like with its top lane counterpart, the mid lane began to suffer a lot from the meta. The Summer Playoffs suggested that the teams that took the most fights tended to win games, and the mid had a crucial role of enabling that.
Syndra became one of those picks that dominated the game. The 100-0 burst mage was the fourth most involved champion in the drafting phase with her 89.5% P/B rate, and for a good reason too. Just before the semifinals, LoL Esports official data scientist revealed that Syndra was one of the most impactful damage per minute champions in the meta. The ability to burst a target in a small window setup trough her stun or ally engagements meant she was a beast in the mid.
The other huge pick was Orianna, as she had a dominant team fight of her own. Orianna had significantly less emphasis on the banning phase, but she managed to join Syndra with 28 games played. Her AOE team fighting was a great fit with burst damage and winning fights with her ultimate, which synergizes with all engagements well.
In contrast, the importance of Twisted Fate in setting up win conditions continued to be felt at Worlds. During the Summer Split to the end of Worlds, Twisted Fate was banned and picked 81.6% ratio. The pick got into servers only seven times during the Main Event, which had a 56.35 win-ratio. The ability to teleport around the map with the roaming jungler meant that a lane would collapse quickly, with the winning team taking an objective.
Heading into the event, the bot lane was not expected to change all that much. The 10.19 patch nerfed the likes of Caitlyn to not dominate as she did in the Summer Playoffs. With her nerf, the bot lane became quite flexible.
In terms of games played, the Markman role was quite flexible. Ashe was the most popular pick with 32 games played. Her ultimate engage potential and the tank shredding built into her kit was extremely valuable. Ashe became better with the multi target damage when her Q was active combined with Runaan’s Hurricane passive. The pick was first popularized through the LPL for these reasons, and now the regional pick has become the international meta superstar.
Coming in behind her was Jhin and Senna. Out of the two, Senna was expected to come in as her infinite scaling keeps her relevant, and the power of her W snare is a great tool for the team fight meta. Senna finished worlds with 30 game appearances.
However, out of the three popular Marksman, the most successful was Jhin. The pick had 31 games played, and had a 64.5% win-ratio, becoming the most successful Marksman at the event. The burst damage, long-range snare and poking / execution from curtain call proved reliable no matter what team got their hands on it.
Supports in Worlds filled two roles in the meta: one is to teamfight, with the other is to assist the Jungler with drake control. Supports and Junglers tend to time their back together, and the vision denial and setup synergy were essential for teams setting up early drake control, while the team fighting was to contest those objectives.
Many expected Leona, Nautilus, and Thresh were going to be the three big supports of Worlds, as they were important throughout Summer. However, it was only really Leona that got out in that department. Other supports like Bard and Tahm Kench made appearances, with Pantheon being Riot’s biggest regret.
Pantheon was the second most involved support with the drafting phase, having a 50% pick and ban. Pantheon appeared in 17 games, behind Leona’s 24 games and above Bard’s 15 games. Pantheon’s early game was way too strong with its poke damage and had a way better Braum shield. Not to mention Pantheon ult was a sort of teleport ult, so it could gain global pressure whenever needed.
Tahm Kench filled a similar role with his long-range transport ultimate. He could transport himself and another target to the desired destination, protect his teammates being focused and mitigate lots of damage with his grey health mechanic. Bard was another good choice with his range poke and stuns, with the ability to solo win fights with well-placed ults. Even Rakan got back his presence back with 14 games played. Rakan has a point and click dive, with a free get out of jail card. The support meta was surprisingly diverse, considering the meta restrictions that could have shackled the role.
Overall, the meta of Worlds did not really change all too much. The picks many expected to dominate the game did, but some managed to find their way into the game as personal picks or clever tactical choices. What all of these have in common is their ability to dominate in the team fights and controlling the Dragon Pit.