As always, China’s LPL is the first major region to kick off the season. Fielding a total of 17 teams in LPL Spring 2023, it’s the largest league in LoL Esports with best-of-three matches ongoing every single day.
Competing on League of Legends patch 13.1, the pros are giving fans a taste of what the new pro season could offer.
Interestingly, despite preseason changes which introduced jungle pets, Chemtech Drake, and a whole slew of balance changes, the same old champions are still being picked like they once were before Worlds during LPL Summer 2022.
You’ll recognize all these strong champions in LPL Spring 2023 because you saw them so often last year
Across six matches over two days, the most popular bot laner is Zeri, who was picked 10 times in LPL Spring 2023.
Zeri allowed many pros to score pentakills in 2022. During the LPL Summer 2022 playoffs, she was the most picked ADC at 36 times.
Even Riot Games admitted just how overloaded her kit is. “Zeri’s combination of long range, high move speed, and scaling damage gave her little to no weaknesses in a coordinated environment like pro play,” they wrote in the patch 12.23 notes, the last game update of the year.
After dominating for months, she was finally nerfed to the ground and was absent at Worlds 2022. However, patch 12.23 saw buffs to her base stats, reduced the range of Burst Fire (Q), slightly reduced her movement speed, but buffed AD scaling and critical strike chance. As a result, critical strike chance legendary item Navori Quickblades is now part of her core item build.
The innate problem with Zeri is her champion design. Similar to Yuumi and Ryze, they’re either in the meta or they’re not because it’s hard to balance their overpowered ability kit.
Unsurprisingly, the most picked support is Yuumi (six times), who also holds the highest win rate at 83.3% at the time of writing.
Even though she was nerfed in patch 12.23, it only reduced her damage output and slightly reduced the root duration of Final Chapter. Zoomies was not affected.
The second most banned champion at Worlds — and mind you, with a 100% win rate from the group stage onwards — she clearly isn’t being held back by her nerfs at all.
Other enchanters like Lulu got nerfed in patch 12.18, while Karma got hit in patch 12.10. The rest didn’t receive any buffs, so the cat with the magic book who can be played with one hand still reigns.
Wukong, Vi, and Viego
The first pick of LPL Spring 2023 was Vi from Arcane. If she’s taken, teams typically pick Wukong as a response.
During the LPL Summer playoffs, they were the top two most used junglers, and now in Spring, the situation is no different.
Wukong got hit by nerfs in multiple patches before Worlds 2022, which is why he wasn’t drafted during the tournament. However, patch 12.20 buffed the AD scaling of his ultimate, Cyclone.
Viego, as usual, is also up there, for his ultimate is very opportunistic in competitive play, especially during big team fights around objectives. Vi, too, saw no changes during the preseason.
Top lane and mid lane see the most variations
You can roll your eyes all you want at bot lane and tolerate the junglers, but mid lane and top lane champion picks definitely deserve your attention.
The most picked mid laner in LPL Spring 2023 is Ryze, who currently holds a positive 75% win rate, followed by Syndra. He’s also one of the most banned champions right now, and we expect his ban rate to increase.
Preseason 2023 reintroduced Rod of Ages and buffed Seraph’s Embrace, which in turn made mages who scale off these two items very strong. While Syndra was slightly buffed in patch 12.23, she doesn’t benefit from these two items and neither does she scale as well into the late game.
The most variance can be found in the top lane. K’Sante is the most picked (five times) but only has a 40% win rate. More often than not, we’re seeing high skilled, explosive matchups between Jax, Fiora, Aatrox, and Camille.
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