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State of the pro meta: Malzahar crashes mid, Sona returns to LCS

Meanwhile, the Kench continues to be unbenched.

Riot Games

Each week, tallies which champions were picked the previous week in competitive League of Legends, spanning domestic leagues in South Korea, China, North America and Europe. It’s a fantastic resource that helps give a clearer picture of where the pro meta stands as a whole.

This was the first week with competitive games played on Patch 6.14, the patch that brought us Ryze’s rework, a buff to Cloud Drake and a super strong Sona. Ryze still saw some play early in the week when the games were still on Patch 6.13, and Sona was picked quite a few teams (especially in North America).

The top-tier top laners have remained mostly the same, with Gangplank joining Gnar, Shen, Irelia and Trundle as the most picked — all champions that can split push and have at least some tank attributes. Along with Gangplank, Fiora was picked more frequently this week.

In the jungle, Hecarim continues to rise in popularity (although upcoming nerfs may halt that), while Gragas and Rek’Sai remain the clear top two at the position. Plenty of new exciting picks also reared their heads, including Rengar, which helped lead Phoenix1 to a historic upset of TSM.

In the mid lane, Malzahar has fully replaced Azir alongside Viktor and Vladimir in the top three, and the position had a whopping 22 unique champions selected this week. We even saw mid lane AP Kog’Maw this week in Europe.

While the AD Carry meta remains focused on utility carries like Sivir, Ashe and Jhin, Lucian remains the third most-played AD Carry and carry-focused champions like Kog’Maw and Twitch are making appearances as well.

At support, Sona made eight appearances this week since her buffs, knocking Zyra out of the pool of champions selected. Braum still remains the highest priority at the position, but tanks like Alistar, Trundle and Tahm Kench continue to rapidly move up in popularity.

Here’s this week’s numbers, over 91 total games:

Top lane:

Total unique champions: 20 (down two from last week)

S-tier: Gnar (45 games)

And then: Shen (26), Irelia (24), Gangplank (22), Trundle (20)

New: Vladimir (2), Yasuo (1), Lulu (1)

Gone: Lissandra (2), Teemo (2), Kennen (1), Fizz (1), Jarvan IV (1)


Total unique champions: 14 (up four from last week)

S-tier: Gragas (53), Rek’Sai (41), Nidalee (11, 46 bans)

And then: Elise (28), Hecarim (26)

New: Kha’zix (1), Sejuani (1), Rumble (1), Evelynn (1), Rengar (1)

Gone: Nocturne (1)

Riot Games

Mid lane:

Total unique champions: 22 (up four from last week)

S-tier: Viktor (36), Malzahar (30), Vladimir (27)

And then: Azir (18), Karma (13), Cassiopeia (11)

New: Syndra (2), Swain (2), Xerath (1), Kog’Maw (1), Veigar (1)

Gone: Ekko (1)

AD Carry:

Total unique champions: 13 (up three from last week)

S-tier: Sivir (54), Ashe (38), Lucian (31)

And then: Jhin (28), Ezreal (11)

New: Miss Fortune (1), Corki (1), Urgot (1)

Gone: None

Riot Games


Total unique champions: 13 (same as last week)

S-tier: Braum (45), Alistar (34)

And then: Karma (24), Trundle (21), Tahm Kench (17), Bard (11)

New: Sona (8)

Gone: Zyra