League of Legends

[Translation] LPL Summer Analysis: Evolution of LPL Champion Picks, The Rise of V5, Kanavi’s Struggles

LeagueofLegends5 - [Translation] LPL Summer Analysis: Evolution of LPL Champion Picks, The Rise of V5, Kanavi's Struggles

Last translation seemed to have good reception, so here's the most recent video of the channel that was translated last time. Not affiliated, just a fan.

This time I'll do things a bit differently, will just translate directly what he's saying instead of summarizing. Will still leave some details out though for the general picture.

Same as last time, the following is not my views, just the view of the video maker, he is just a self-made media, he could be wrong, but try to focus on his thought process, and decide for yourself if he is right.

Omake translation:
Knight: "Young kids should learn, and study, you understand? If you want to learn, I can teach you for free."
JKL/Karsa: "Do you study just so you can kill people?"
shows Knight on Galio buying Mejais
Knight: "Do you…have anything that you would be very afraid to lose?"
shows 25 mejais stacks
"Sometimes, for such things, we will do things that we do not want to do…"

LPL Summer Split has started for a month now, I wonder if everyone's favorite teams have gotten results that you as the fans, would be happy with? More and more champions are coming onto the scene of LPL, this episode will discuss each team's discoveries and developments to the meta. I hope that it will be able to shine some light on professional games, so viewers can make good judgements about their team's performance; team A playing well doesn't auto mean team B played poorly, so keep that in mind.

To understand LPL Summer, we can start from toplane. At the start of season 10, the change to runes changed toplane. The removal of Klepto as well as the removal of true damage from Conquerer means that Ornn, the former ATM of toplane, is now playable.

This means teams need to learn now to deal with Ornn. In Spring, TES showed two ways to deal with Ornn; either pick Sett to oppress him, or pick Aatrox who can safely develop in the matchup. However, this understanding has changed by Summer.

Sett has moved to the midlane, away from toplane, while Aatrox, the biggest pick in Spring, has become a fringe pick in Summer. As mentioned in the MSC video, the shift away from teamfight AOE picks like Ornn MF combo towards "poke trend" comps such as Varus Ezreal means that Aatrox got the short end of the stick. When facing ADC like MF, Aatrox can flank and cause disarray among backline, but with Summer, things have changed, leading to Aatrox falling from the top. As we can see, botlane tierlist changes have led to toplane tierlist changes.

The rise of Wukong and Bard, along with MF nerf putting her into the sewers means that Ezreal has taken her place. Even though Aatrox can still scale up and develop for the teamfight phase, but the champions he goes up against are now ones like Aphelios, Graves, Ezreal, champions that can kite him to death with DPS. Therefore, teams that love Aatrox like IG and OMG find themselves in a tough spot for BP (ban pick) in Summer split.

The rise of carry jungle (will be talked about later) in the meta means that top needs to pick a tank. But there are not many good tanks other than Ornn for the toplane. Champions like Renekton, Mordekaiser, Wukong, once at a disadvantage, cannot contribute well to teamfights, but you still have to end up picking them as there's no other good options. So in the current patch, as a toplaner, you dont need to carry, but at the very least you cannot get run over. Since Ezreal led to the downfall of Aatrox in top, lets talk about Ezreal.

Detailed Analysis on Why Ezreal?
As mentioned in MSC video, the age of large teamfight ultimate is past, now is the time of poke trend. Any team comp must have one or two poke heavy champions. (Syndra, Zoe, Varus, Ezreal, etc.) Varus being the stand out best poke ADC means redside gets one less ban, since if redside doesn't ban, blueside will first pick. Varus is just so strong that no team is willing to face him.

So Aphelios is the main protagonist of this split so far. Once you pick this champion, you never have to worry about not having enough damage. This champion is the epitome of scaling ADC.

However, Ezreal is different. As one of the top 3 most hated ADC for lower elo players, many do not have concept of what makes Ezreal good. Ezreal is a safe champion in laning phase, and has good smooth itemization. Pickaxe->Tear->Sheen is just so smooth, you don't need to worry about buying nothing good when you back. Not to mention his Manamune, Ice fist, Ionian boots, is only 6000 in total. Aphelios on the other hand, needs 7100 for his core items. So therefore, it is an exchange of time for economy. With 2400 gold you can output the same amount as a 3400 gold Aphelios, and no matter how badly you are dealt with, as long as you get these items before 20 minutes, reach level 13 with maxed out Q and E, you can output damage without too much protection. A further warhammer for a measly 1100 gold can give you 45 CDR, which makes your output high, and gives large room for error. Between 20 and 30 mins, before opponent ADC gets fourth item, is when Ezreal has a good time.

The point of Ezreal is, using your cheap items and early power, you oppress the opponent, combined with poke and dragon soul, you try the end the game early, because four items on an ADC just requires too much economy. However, more and more teams have learnt to deal with Ezreal. MSC Ezreal had 60% win rate, but by Summer, his winrate keeps going down.

I will now use TES, who loves using Ezreal, to explain what the difficulties of Ezreal in LPL Summer Split are. At first glance, Ezreal is good, as few tanks in toplane means poke is even stronger, and having the armor from ice fist also means you cant just instantly get oneshot by Wukong. However, there are also disadvantages.

First is laning, Ezreal has no lane priority. After the first back, Ezreal loses lane priority, only until 20 minutes can he really do anything. This leads to the danger that the opponent can easily get dragon soul by around 20 minutes if you're not careful. The Ezreal's power spike has barely started and yet the game is already lost. This is why other than TES, few teams will pick Ezreal Yuumi straight up, as Ezreal's ability to defend a 2v4 towerdive is too weak, you end up losing everything (TL: See FPX vs G2 game 3). To make Ezreal work, you must have extremely high coordination with jungle and mid, which is why TES can make it work with Karsa Knight, since they get early dragons that they frankly have no right to get.

Another thing to note is, at around 8 minutes, you have the Rift Herald fight. Jackylove with Aphelios uses level advantage to force enemy ADC in lane to go fight Rift Herald as 5v4, with opponent ADC (likely Ezreal) stuck farming the wave that Aphelios pushed in. But when playing Ezreal, Jackylove stays in lane, because he understands that he can give over the Rift Herald, a tear Ezreal isn't going to do anything anyways, better to stay and farm up, get turret plates for his 20-30 minute happy hour. You might get more plates with Rift Herald, but Ezreal, getting any plates at all is worth it as his items are budget and effective. However, JKL will lose out on CS to help dragons, as its important. So why do TES pick this?

TES pick Ezreal to force the opponent to make mistakes. If you make mistakes, I get early dragons, I get Ezreal power spike at 20 minutes, and I run you over. with both dragon pressure and cheap items. If you don't make mistakes, I can still use mid jungle combo to make it difficult for you to oppress botlane too much. So Ezreal in current meta requires high level of jungle and mid protection of botlane, which means few teams have such high level of execution.

So now we have a dilemma. Ezreal is a high priority pick, yet Ezreal is so useless early, so how can we fix this? The rise of Bard Ezreal is a result of Yuumi Ezreal being too hard to execute, and this is as a response to Aphelios Thresh. Aphelios having no dashes means Bard can catch him out, not to mention strong roams and teamfight ability. This means the responsibility of keeping Ezreal safe that was the jungle and mid's has now been somewhat transferred over to the Support as well.


In the current patch, if you want botlane to carry, you must use either Ezreal or Aphelios. The damage of these two ADCs is the best you can get for the amount of gold that they have. Teams that can use these two carries well naturally have a large advantage.

That being said, not every team wants to put carry burden onto the botlane. There is an emerging supportive ADC pick, that is Ashe. Now we can talk about V5.

The Rise of V5
V5 currently sit at number 2 in the rankings, only losing to LGD and FPX. It can be said that otto has led V5 to new heights. The reason why they are able to get such a good result in summer, other than the fact that their players are pretty good to begin with, is that they are good at using Kalista. Kalista, due to a certain toplaner last split, received an undeserved nerf. V5 pick Kalista to get lane priority, control dragons. Other teams dont pick Kalista because Kalista, despite having offensive pressure, is an early carry. The biggest carry on the team should be the later game carry, the team should play around him, not putting the biggest carry in the early game, then playing around the team later. But because samd is just so used to playing Kalista, he is able to make it work. So far, Kalista BP vs V5 is 100%, as everyone respects that pick. Therefore, as now V5 get more pressure in BP, they can pick a favorable matchup for botlane. If opponents want a top tier ADC, V5 also gets a top tier ADC. If opponents don't want V5 to get a top tier ADC, then nobody gets a top tier ADC. As a last resort, V5 can always just play Ashe to preserve lane priority and early mid strength. But that doesn't mean they can't play meta Ezreal and Aphelios though.

Their midlaner Mole has strange picks, so everytime we look at their draft it always looks strange. But overall its effect is solid. Either they can use Kalista to oppress early and get dragon control, or they can use Ashe as utility ADC to use hawkshot vision, as well as jungle invade vision to control the map.

Therefore, V5 are able to control dragon well with Ashe Kalista this split, their control is on the same level as TES and ES, at 56-57%. Eating dragons, eating elder dragon, at the end of the day, is the most stable and consistent way to get Regular Season points. Their ADC being a supportive high early game pressure pick is also why their jungler who uses carry junglers, can get such good results. In my opinion, he is the best performing jungler for this first month of the summer split, alongside WE's jungler BeiShang.

Kanavi and Tian, who are junglers who have higher standing within their own teams, are unable to achieve similar results. Let's find out why.

Evolution of Jungle
We need to start with Trundle. Trundle was the king of Jungle in Spring, as he could deal with Ornn, and at the same time could control the map well and take dragons. The rise of Graves, Kindred, and other marksmen carry junglers is precisely meant as a counter to Trundle. In 10.8, the patch changed so after level 9, junglers can get more EXP, and of course, by level 9, junglers all have jungle items, so the efficiency boost is increased. But if your opponent has not reached level 9, then they cannot receive this extra EXP boost. Therefore, if you as a Graves or Nidalee reach level 9 first, you can continue to pull away from the pre level 9 Trundle. However, this is just theory, in reality, time is limited. Level 9 is at around 13 minutes, which is at around the time when the second dragon spawns. Junglers have to control dragon, counter jungle, AND teamfight, there's just too much. So it means that you must keep growing, and cannot die once. If you die once, your momentum is crippled.

This is also why Tian looks to be struggling this split. FPX is a fighting team, upon winning, they look to eat the opposing jungle. But as soon as they mess up the fight, or the jungler dies, then momentum is gone, and your carry jungler is wasted. Things like teamfights, you can't ensure that you win all of the fights, who on earth can win every teamfight? This is why FPX look unstable right now, especially when LWX is on Ezreal, because you lose so much botside control when you pick him. But then at this point, the carry jungler is in a tough spot. He wants to be on the offensive, oppressing the opponent jungler, yet he has to invest time to protect the Ezreal for the 20 minute spike. Therefore, carry jungler means Ashe pick for the ADC, as we need bot priority to facilitate carry jungler.

Audiences will then ask, why does Kanavi look so poor on carry junglers right now then, if carry junglers are the meta? This is because of two reasons. First is that Kanavi has been figured out. Since MSC, everyone starts to invade Kanavi, to the point where opponent laners will sacrifice their own development to oppress him. The second point is, the lane situation has changed. Last split's MF ornn combo means that MF post 6 can protect Kanavi's jungle for his "gank early, farm mid" tendency with her large teamfight ult and fast movement speed. But now, being forced into Ezreal and Aphelios means that its hard for either of them to protect their own jungle. Ashe's offensive power is also strong, so it further makes Kanavi's situation worse. Yet JDG is not an early game team, yagao's champion pool also cannot keep up with the meta, so they end up always picking for late game. So the issue is, if kanavi's jungle is gone, then he starves, as JDG don't pick early game, and yagao tends to love farming and developing.

Therefore, carry junglers in current patch require the ideal conditions, and also require no mistakes from carry junglers. Its easy to mess up, and also really tests your midlaner's champion pool. If midlaner doesn't get lane priority, picks like Graves cannot have invade. You might control dragon, but you can't oppress opponent jungler, your room for error is very low. Therefore, you might as well pick Lee Sin or Reksai or similar tempo junglers. Having both Ezreal and Graves means neither can mess up, so far, this combo has appeared 15 times, only winning 1/3 of the time, so it can be seen just how hard it is to win with this combo.

For example, SN, despite being seen as one of the "three sickly brothers" of the LPL, they know that their main carry is the botlane, so upon finding out that Graves jungle doesn't fit midlane champion pool, they do not try that again, despite sofm being a seasoned carry jungler. This allows them to be competitive as long as they don't screw up too much. But EDG, RNG, JDG have not solved this issue, so they need time to adapt.

Future Outlook
Lately, we're seeing a new pick, Fiddlesticks. This could cause teams that play traditional mages to be in an even worse spot, as this champion is too funny, brainlessly pushes waves in and gets lane priority, easily smooths out mid laning skill difference, and entirely can support dragon and protect jungle.

And 10.13, Aphelios is about to get nerfed, might not be the first choice of many botlanes now, we'll see how things develop. Also excited for Nocturne, whether he can be combined with the current midlaners, Galio, TF as a combo, or even combo with Fiddlesticks.

Toplane is still clownfest of a tierlist, but Volibear should be the new hot pick emerging lately, as he can get lane priority over most current lane picks (Wukong, Renekton, Ornn)

TL thoughts:
A bit hard to follow this one, sometimes felt like the logic wasn't too consistent, but overall seems like the TLDR is, by default teams want Ezreal Aphelios as they are most economical, but different teams players means there is a bit of special considerations for certain players and teams that lead to extra considerations for jungle and mid due to botlane pick.

Source: Original link

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