Ever since Taliyah was released as League of Legends' newest champion in May, there's been one question on the minds of competitive League fans around the world: how long would it take for her to break through in the pro scene? Wednesday, we might have gotten our answer.
Taliyah has yet to be picked in the LCS and was sparingly picked around the world entering Tuesday, with an appearance in Brazil days after her release and four games (with three losses) by Invictus Gaming's Eui-jin "RooKie" Song in China.
Wednesday, Taliyah officially arrived in the top-level League pro scene, getting picked twice in CJ Entus's crucial series against Jin Air by CJ mid laner Ha-neul "Sky" Kim. Sky picked the champion into Azir in Game 1, often considered the top mid laner in the current meta, and blindpicked it in Game 2, getting matched up against Viktor, another top mid-laner. CJ Entus won both games, climbing out of last place with the upset sweep of a Jin Air team that entered the day in fifth place.
Taliyah's incredible roaming and zoning potential allowed CJ Entus to make plays around the map, separating Jin Air's team in crucial team fights with her ultimate and allowing her teammates to pick up easier kills. Her recently buffed Q also helped dominate laning phase, even against traditionally strong champions like Azir and Viktor.
Here's an excellent example from the first game. CJ Entus goes for Baron, as Jin Air collapses to try and contest. But as soon as the enemy Gragas passes through the choke point, Sky uses Taliyah's ultimate to section him off from the rest of the team. This allows CJ Entus to take the Baron without having to worry about Jin Air coming in to kill them and nearly picks up a kill for his team on the Gragas.
Against two different mid laners (Jin Air subbed out Blanc for Kuzan after Game 1) and two different mid lane champions, Sky's Taliyah went a combined 18-4-15.
Here are more highlights from that Game 1, which features Taliyah flying all over the map to get kills.
And here are some highlights from Game 2!
For more on Taliyah, read RyanGilliam's excellent FanPosted guide and Phil Kollar's behind-the-scenes interview with champion designer Daniel Klein.