Even though the opening game between Invictus Gaming and Weibo Gaming saw the same MSI 2022 picks, LPL’s drafts have since evolved. In game two, Tang “Zika” Hua-Yu chose Riven against Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok in the top lane, the very champion he was known for one-tricking — and won.
Invictus Gaming has shown more flexibility in draft compared to other teams, and even took a risk on Sett mid. Other interesting picks LPL teams have shown include TheShy himself pulling out Anivia top against 2021 World Champions Edward Gaming, Sejuani top, and one appearance of Nasus top, the first time he was seen in the LPL in eight years.
Top lane and mid lane has the most diverse champion picks in LPL Summer Week 1 and 2
TheShy surprises with Anivia top
After dropping the first game in their best-of-three series, Weibo Gaming threw Edward Gaming off guard in game two by picking Anivia and Swain on blue side.
Up against Li “Flandre” Xuan-Jun’s Vladimir in the top lane, Anivia top signaled that WBG were banking on late game scaling, and hoped to get Draven ahead from the early to mid game.
Unfortunately, WBG’s game plan never materialized. Near the 10-minute mark, the team decided to challenge EDG at Rift Herald without Tang “huanfeng” Huan-Feng, who was on the opposite side of the map.
Even though a cross map Whirling Death turned it into a 4v4, WBG simply didn’t have enough damage at this point in the game. With a HP advantage, EDG outmaneuvered their opponents, ran them down, and eliminated all but huanfeng, tipping the tempo entirely in their favor.
EDG went on to secure all four dragons in the game, and with Baron buff, closed the series out in 29 minutes.
Sejuani top has been picked three times
The first time Sejuani top was picked in the 2022 LPL Summer Split was by ThunderTalk Gaming’s Huang “Xiaoxiang” Xiang into Ornn, played by Victory Five’s Lee “Rich” Jae-won, and it resulted in a loss.
She was played another two times in top by Ultra Prime’s Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran in their series against Bilibili Gaming, out of which one resulted in victory. Trailing in kills and objectives in game two, UP were trying to find their footing in the mid-game at the third dragon spawn.
Sitting on three tank items, Frostfire Gauntlet, Frozen Heart, and flavor of the season, Fimbulwinter, Zoom positioned himself in the frontline within the dragon pit. Doing his job, he absorbed damage until he was low on health before bailing out.
Thanks to his positioning and patch 12.10’s durability, his teammates were able to dish out damage safely over the wall while he survived, taking out three targets, then Baron.
Zoom’s top lane Sejuani proved difficult for BLG to deal with as the game dragged on, even with Kog’Maw and Gangplank in their lineup. Though UP evened out the series, they could not repeat the same success with Sejuani top in game three, and eventually lost.
the dogs Nasus out?
There’s no other champion in League of Legends who loves–truly loves–to scale to late game than Nasus, who has resurfaced after the durability update.
In game three, the moment Oh My God locked in Kayle on red side, Rare Atom responded with Nasus on blue, marking the first time in eight years since he’s been picked in the LPL. Since neither champion could kill each other, they farmed peacefully in the early game.
In the mid-game however, Dai “Cube” Yi’s Nasus came alive. Even though OMG got the initial jump on him 2v1, Chen “Strive” Liang’s Ahri roamed to top lane just on time to make it a 2v2. With 285 stacks, Cube’s Nasus did a decent amount of damage with Siphoning Strike, which turned the tables on OMG’s mid laner and jungler.
By 29 minutes, Nasus had 780 stacks, and it was game over.
Sett mid makes sense in the patch 12.10 meta
Sett mid has been played twice in the 2022 LPL Summer Split by LGD Gaming’s Ji “YeG” Xin-Yu against Ahri, which resulted in a loss, and Invictus Gaming’s Yuekai, who went up against Swain in a victorious win.
Sett’s ultimate The Show Stopper scales off the primary target’s bonus health, which is why he’s valuable on patch 12.10. Laning against a long range mage like Ahri is hard, and while he also has to be defensive against Swain, it was during team fights that Yuekai shined.
In a mid-game fight in the mid lane, the moment Yang “Care” Jie casted Demonic Ascension and moved to the frontline, Yuekai threw him back into his team, hitting all four members of FunPlus Phoenix. Even though he sacrificed his life in the process, it was worth it. IG traded one for three and secured a third dragon.
Eventually, with Mountain Soul, IG became pretty tanky, and tore down FPX’s Nexus in 30 minutes with Peng “Xun” Li-Xun’s Diana leading the way with a 13/1/8 KDA.
Will we see more unique picks in the LPL in the coming weeks?