With Worlds 2021 just a few days away, here is what we think the meta will be in the tournament.
Play-ins are set to kick off on the 5th of October and fans have been earnestly waiting for more League of Legends Matches. With a new international tournament, the meta always changes with new patches and updates. This year is no different as players bootcamp in Iceland have shown a lot of new picks being practiced by the pros. Thus, in this article, we will put out lists for each role and lay out what we expect the meta to me at Worlds 2021.
Explaining Our Methodology
Instead of doing a conventional tier list for champions, we are going to go about it a different way. We will do the separation of champions based on Must Pick/Ban, Strong, Situational, and Fringe tiers. Firstly, Must Pick/Ban and Strong tiers will feature champions we expect to be present in most of the games during the draft phase. Secondly, Situational tier will focus on champions that will be very good in certain situations. Lastly, Fringe tier will be for pocket picks that players may pick out.
Do bear in mind that our lists were made based on the champions being played in the bootcamp. Also, we take into account how strong these champions will be in the current patches. We will also be doing the lists separately for each role. These lists are not absolute, so it may be different when Worlds actually starts. Any champion not included in the list is not projected to be picked by us in most cases. Thus, let’s jump right into it with the top lane.
We will start with the top lane first. Compared to the playoffs, there are some champions that have risen in priority while some other champions have stayed fairly relevant. Thus, our list is as follows.
For us, Irelia, Jayce, Aatrox, and Kennen are must pick/ban champions. They are currently very strong in the meta, and they are being highly picked by pros in the bootcamp. The strong tier also contains some of those high-priority picks such as Camille and Fiora.
The reasoning for our Must Pick/Ban is simple, Irelia is one of the strongest champions in the game at the moment. Also, Jayce and Kennen despite nerfs remain very powerful. The only change from the previous competitive patches is the rise of Aatrox and Graves (in Strong tier) which are both very overpowered right now. In our eyes, Aatrox will be more prevalent than Graves at Worlds 2021.
Graves is just insane right now as a champion in the top lane along with Tryndamere. They have both spiked up in priority and have been picked by most pro players thus far. Tryndamere is more of a mid lane champion based on the bootcamp so expect to see him at Worlds in another lane. Apart from those 2, the rest are pretty stock standard as we have seen the rest of the champions in the tier in action during the playoffs.
The Situational tier for the top lane is full of counter matchups like Jarvan IV (who is very good into Kennen/Jayce), Wukong (good into Jayce), Malphite (depends on the composition), etc. Cho’gath is there due to so many mid laners potentially being attack damage based in the tournament.
On the other hand, the Fringe tier is basically champions we might see given how some pro players have an affinity to pick Renekton despite the nerfs. Ornn is pretty much the one stable pick we see every so often. Gragas might be picked in the event the teams needs a disengage/AP champion in the top lane. Hence, this is our top lane list.
At the start of major tournaments, we generally see a change in the jungle meta. This time it’s no different. There are a lot of champions that have become common in the jungle that you would not quite associate with the role. Thus, here is our list.
This is the era of assassin junglers in the meta. Our top picks are Talon, Ekko, and Qiyana based on how mobile they are plus their ability to affect teamfights. Given how AD mid laners will be common, Ekko is going to be a very high pick alongside Diana.
Diana, Zed, Lee Sin, and Xin Zhao make up our Strong tier. Diana is pretty much the 2nd strongest AP mid laner depending on how you see it. Zed has been a champion that has been high priority ever since the new patches, so we will see him in games. Lee Sin and Xin Zhao have not really gotten weaker since the past patches, so we expect to see them going forward.
There are a bunch of situational jungle picks such as Gragas/Taliyah if they need an AP jungler for the composition. Jarvan IV is a good pick into certain situations and Kindred does well if a team is build around the champion. Nidalee is very good on the hands of players like Canyon who are well known for playing it and Olaf is just comfort for many jungler. Graves is primarily a solo laner so far, but we might see him in the jungle for the sheer flex capabilities.
For the Fringe Tier, since it is assassin jungle meta, Kha’zix and Nocturne might make an appearance but its heavily dependent on the game at hand. Zac is oppressive as a ganking jungler and Trundle was a menace during the playoffs. Lilia might be picked in the even all the other AP junglers are not viable with the composition.
Mid Lane is full of champions that can roam thus far in the bootcamp. Complementing the assassin jungle meta, the mid lane champion pool lists champion that can roam around and snowball games. Hence, here is our list.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the mid lane AD champions have risen to prominence. Tryndamere is a menace in solo queue thus far and this champion is extremely strong. Irelia is very strong as well and is a flex pick. Twisted Fate is also going to be a high-priority pick given how many of the LPL/LEC teams like to roam a lot.
Ryze, Sylas, and Leblanc fit that same mold of roaming around the map to make plays. Zed is the same as Irelia as you can flex him to the jungle, which makes him a strong pick. It’s the same case for Jayce as he can be flexed to the top lane. Graves can be flexed in any of the solo lanes or jungle, so his status is situational given where he fits best.
Yone and Yasuo are heavy snowball champions who can also roam around to get stronger and return to lane. Zoe sacks lane most of the time in order to get some skirmishes in to snowball games. Champions like Cassiopeia, Syndra, Lissandra, and Galio are very good situational picks against certain champions. Generally, this mid lane meta is mostly about pushing the tempo with the jungler in order to end games faster.
AD Carries have changed a bit with the changes to previously prominent ADCs like Varus and Ashe. Now, we are seeing some different champion. Thus, here is our list.
Miss Fortune and Lucian have really risen up with their changes. Lucian works really well with enchanter supports, particularly Nami thus far. He is generally a good pick for this meta. Also, Miss Fortune benefits from engage supports we have seen with her buff to the ultimate. Ziggs is always a threat in the bot lane given a lot of the solo lanes now go AD champions.
Draven is strong with his new buffs, and we will see him in certain matchups. However, we should see a lot of Jinx and Aphelios when paired with a Thresh. Ezreal is always a staple pick in this meta. Jhin and Xayah could rise in priority depending on how drafts go. Also, with Rakan being strong, Xayah could be more highly picked given how things shake up. The rest of the champions are matchup dependent as the role generally is. Regardless, this is a very versatile ADC pool going into Worlds 2021.
The Support meta has not really changed barring a few additions. The mummy is finally not lonely anymore so here are our picks.
Thresh and Rakan remain the best support champions thus far. Their versatility means a lot to teams, and they also propel some ADC’s to be in the meta. Amumu is the new inclusion to this pool of champions as his upgraded bandage toss makes him a really strong support.
Leona, Braum, and Alistar has been staple picks in the previous patches and should remain the same. Enchanter supports have risen given how strong champions like Lucian have become in the ADC role. Nami in particular, benefits a lot from that. Blitzcrank is always going to be a pick worth considering when you have champions you can pick off like Nami, Thresh, etc. Gragas is a good counter to Alistar, and we might see him in some games.
The real anomaly is Taliyah as there has been some games on her as a support, so she may become high priority, or we may see her in the occasional games. Champions in the Fringe tier are very matchup dependent, but we might see them, particularly Beryl on Rell. Same for Bard as CoreJJ really likes the champion.
Some Other Meta Predictions
The pace of the games are going to be faster given the champions in contention for each role. There are a lot of assassins in the meta currently which would suggest a lot of bloody games possibly. It will be interesting to see whether teams adopt the fast pace style or stick to what they have been doing all year.
With how fast the games will possibly be, teams with good early games have the advantage going into the tournament. As a disclaimer, the meta could very much be different from what we expect it to be, so take our assessment with a grain of salt. It will be interesting to see in a few days whether the meta is as fast-paced as we expect it to be.
From an analytical perspective, this should favor the LPL teams as they play in a region with a lot of action. LEC teams should also fair well in this meta. There might be a slight concern for LCK teams barring DAMWON KIA, but that is a question that will be answered when the groups stage kicks off. Needless to say, every team will need to adapt to the new meta.
This is what we expect the meta to be going into Worlds 2021, and we are excited to see how the tournament unravels. With a lot of assassins in the meta, we expect a lot of blood and skirmishing from these teams. Worlds kick off on the 5th of October with Hanwha Life Esports facing LNG Esports in the first match of the Play-ins.
For the schedule of Worlds 2021 and other detail, please go to the LoLEsports Website.