Part 2 of our group coverage! We’ve gone over Star Horn Royal Club, SK Gaming, TSM and winners of S2′s Worlds, Taipei Assassins, in search of new and returning picks we might see in Group B.
Better nerf Irelia. SHRC banned the bladed lady all 5 games in their series against OMG in the LPL Summer Playoffs and played her successfully against LDG. It seems Irelia is making a small resurgence to Royal Club’s team comps, adding a bit of EU flavor to their champion pools. We also got to see everyone’s favorite Demacian, Jarvan IV. Royal picked Jarvan four times throughout the playoffs and has been practicing him in scrims as well.
Jarvan is a one-size-fit for most comps, lending early jungle pressure, a teamwide aura, armor shred and some of the best, if situational, late-game CC in the game. He can take risks when invading and live with his E-Q combo and can built versatile if his team needs another damage dealer or a beefy fighter. J4 is a great pairing with Orianna, Syndra, Xerath and just about anyone who’d benefit from having their target(s) locked up in a small space. He can be a second bruiser on the team, aiding his top laner in diving the backline. Most of all, he can make or break Dragon and Baron fights with his Cataclysm.
inSec is a legend in the jungle and it’s him we owe the majority of big plays on Youtube. Watching him on a play-maker like Jarvan will be a spectacle. We’ve known his style and picks for a long time, from his all-time favourites Lee and Evelynn, all the way to niche picks he popularized like Zed jungle. inSec is big on calculated risks, which he can greatly capitalize with the lock-up potential of J4. He’s also known for working with his mid laner for map and teamfight pressure. Given that J4 is an excellent combo-maker for Yasuo, a popular pick across regions, we can expect great matches coming out of him and Corn.
SK”s recent scrims against EDG show Jesiz on Syndra, an odd choice given SK’s scene and playoff matches. Syndra isn’t as common in EU as she is in NA and so it’s a neat surprise to see SK’s mid-laner pick up the Western trend just in time for Worlds. We didn’t see Jesiz play Syndra during SK’s road to Worlds, but it seems he’s developing her into a pocket pick for the group stage.
It’s easy to pin-point Syndra’s strengths, as she’s usually the center of plays. The long-range AoE stun, coupled with massive single-target burst and lane control is what define her as a scary carry on the competitive scene. Her lack of mobility often betrays her against teamfight comps, which is why she’s a more situational pick than longer-ranged carries like Xerath. Still, she’s a great bully in lane who can handily out-farm her enemy mid and go for a kill at 6. Syndra is a reliable initiator and scales into late-game in both damage and utility. Lastly, she’s a great roamer and so an excellent pick for teams who like to run their mid and jungler into the enemy jungle and take early objectives.
It’s interesting to see what Jesiz can accomplish with such a potent pick. Though SK’s scrims against EDG ended poorly with him on Syndra, it’s still encouraging to see him on a champion that’s remained fairly niche in the EU scene.
When WildTurtle gets excited, this happens. Known for his aggression, WildTurtle is never afraid to try and make a play. Lustboy knows this all too well, and it seems he has added another tool to his protect the Turtle arsenal – Janna.
Thanks to the AD bonus on her shield, Janna has a great time in lane with Marksmen that have high AD scaling abilities, such as Lucian, Cait, Ashe, and Ezreal. Turtle is no stranger to Lucian, picking him 6 times in the playoffs and regularly throughout the Summer Split. Janna’s ability to peel compensates for her weaker early game, and really helps her shine later on.
Outside of the lane phase, Janna offers incredible utility in the form of an AOE healing disengage that can also be used to cleverly displace the enemy team, or even individual targets. Her Q, Howling Gale, is also interesting. The knock-up it provides is useful in any situation, but when paired with Yasuo, a definite possibility on Bjergsen, it causes tremendous amounts of chaos in a teamfight. Having the ability to engage with Yasuo’s ultimate every 10 seconds will have any opponent on their Last Breath. Janna is a highly versatile champion and so fits a myriad of team comps and strategies TSM might pull off at Worlds.
WildTurtle brings a real threat of carrying games, and is a massive target for enemy teams looking to exploit his in-your-face playstyle. Requiring peel at all times, who is a more perfect match than the Storm’s Fury herself, Janna? Lustboy has taken a liking to the breezy support, racking up more solo queue games with her than any other support during his bootcamp in Korea.
Though hailed by their competitors as of late, the Taipei Assassins have essentially left us in the dark. In the GPL finals, They showcased that they aren’t afraid to revert to picks like Jinx and wreak havoc on the map, and there are surely more slightly off-meta picks to come. This event is a proving ground for TPA to surprise their opponents, or be assassinated.
Pre-worlds coverage of Groups:
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at email@example.com.