The Play-In Stage of the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds 2021) is coming to a close and fans are firing up for the Group Stage where first seed teams will compete.
If you haven’t been keeping up with League of Legends or the Worlds 2021 meta so far, here’s a quick guide to get you caught up.
The overall League of Legends meta hasn’t changed since mid-2016
Meta is a big word, and can refer to different aspects of the game. The way teams play to win a game of League of Legends has remained the same since 2016 when Riot Games first introduced elemental dragons.
Since each elemental dragon gives champions permanent stats, they’re a long-term investment worth tussling over. Stacking multiple dragons pays off in the long run, especially if it’s an Infernal Dragon, which increases a team’s firepower.
Baron, which spawns at 20 minutes, also buffs minions and helps teams push lanes. Together with Elder Dragon’s offensive buffs, which spawns after the Soul has been claimed, they’re two big win conditions.
Expect teams to be strategic and contest these objectives in 5v5 fights on the top and bottom side of the river from mid to late game in the Worlds 2021 meta. As usual.
Champions you should expect to see in the Worlds 2021 meta
Top lane champions: Kennen, Jayce, Camille, Wukong, Gnar, Renekton Fiora
Why these top laners are being picked: Kennen was buffed twice on patch 11.10 and 11.15, until he had to be toned down in 11.19, but remains a strong AP choice at top in the Worlds 2021 meta.
Jayce, Camille, and Wukong have been in the meta all year, and were even slightly nerfed, but survived till the end game because other champions were nerfed harder.
Evidently, fighters — not tanks — are thriving, and Fiora outduels them in the late game.
Jungle champions: Qiyana, Talon, Zed, Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Lillia, Graves, Taliyah, Jarvan
Why these junglers are being picked: Assassins Qiyana, Talon, and Zed were buffed by Riot to deal more damage to jungle camps, shifting them out of mid lane and into the jungle. Similarly, Lillia and Taliyah were recently buffed on League of Legends patch 11.18, which made them favorable in the Worlds 2021 meta.
Lee Sin is in every meta, for he’s an all-rounded duelist and fighter with flexible item build paths, decent clear speeds, and has high engage potential with Dragon’s Rage.
Mid lane champions: Tryndamere, Sylas, Ryze, Zoe, LeBlanc, Orianna, Syndra, Azir, Yone
Why mid laners are being picked: Mage items aren’t in a good spot right now, so any bruiser that runs Goredrinker can be viable in mid.
That said, Zoe was recently buffed on patch 11.18, while both Sylas and LeBlanc received a series of buffs this year, pushing them into the Worlds 2021 meta. Also, some teams may choose to bank on scaling mages like Orianna, Ryze, and Azir for the late game.
Bot lane champions: Miss Fortune, Draven, Ezreal, Vayne, Aphelios, Ziggs, Syndra
Why these bot laners are being picked: Every other AD carry was nerfed, while Miss Fortune and Draven were buffed on patch 11.18, making them viable in this Worlds 2021 meta. Though Divine Sunderer was slightly nerfed on Ezreal, he’s a mobile scaling AD carry like Vayne. Aphelios, though immobile, scales the hardest.
Since AD champions are showing up in other roles on the map, teams may still opt to draft AP waveclear mages like Ziggs and Syndra at bot.
Support champions: Amumu, Leona, Rakan, Thresh
Why these supports are being picked: Thanks to the mini rework which gave Amumu two Q charges at a low mana cost, and the fact that he has one of the best ultimate combos with Miss Fortune, he’s now a support. In fact, any support with crowd control would go well with her, and overall, are more prized than enchanters due to their ability to initiate.
Champions you can expect to be banned in the Worlds 2021 meta
In 2021, “Better nerf Irelia” is still relevant. She heals too much, and outduels anyone once she reaches her first item power spike, and can be flexed in both solo lanes.
The second champion teams don’t want to deal with is Lucian, who was massively buffed in League of Legend patch 11.17. All the numbers from his base stats to abilities went up, and is even stronger when paired with Nami.
Both Irelia and Lucian combined offer too much flexibility in draft, and are elusive, mobile champions, so teams prefer banning them in this Worlds 2021 meta.