The new League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) season is finally upon us, and it began with some unconventional picks like Tryndamere.

A revamped Liiv SANDBOX roster took a 2-0 victory over DRX in the first series of the LCK Spring Split 2022.

While the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) meta hasn’t seen significant change since 2021, Liiv SANDBOX showed that the LCK interpreted the meta differently, and was quick to lock in Tryndamere in the top lane.

We examine the latest dark technology from solo queue and why recent changes have pushed the oft-forgotten champion into the spotlight.

Tryndamere gains resurgence as solo top laner

Tryndamere from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Tryndamere enjoyed a brief resurgence at the Worlds 2021 Play-In stage after several years sitting out of the meta, with mid laners like Luka “Perkz” Perković jumping on the bandwagon.

But the Barbarian King was completely forgotten once the Group Stage hit, likely due to a low win rate in scrims among top teams.

However, all that changed in the preseason. Lethal Tempo was significantly buffed patch 11.23, giving users 13% attack speed for each auto-attack, stacking up to 90%. Coupled with the Teleport rework in patch 12.1 which buffed the laning phase, there’ve been whispers that Tryndamere would become even stronger now.

As such, players run Flash and Ghost as their Summoner Spells on Tryndamere, since Teleport was nerfed.

Tryndamere winrate in League of Legends ranked games, January 13, 2022
Screenshot by Jonathan Yee/ONE Esports

This barbarian king has become so strong that on the Korean ranked ladder, he holds a 52.34% win rate in the top lane as of January 13, with a 3.84 percent pick rate.

Yuumi is a popular support pick in the LCK

League of Legends support champion Yuumi wallpaper
Credit: Riot Games

At Worlds 2021, Yuumi was one of the top banned supports. She was banned in 69 games, with a pick rate of 69.4%.

Yuumi’s Zoomies (E) gives a boost to her attached ally’s movement speed and attack speed, making her an ideal companion for teammates reliant on auto attacks.

LSB prioritized such champions heavily, drafting Xin Zhao twice for jungler Kim “Croco” Dong-beom. Meanwhile, Kim “Dove” Jae-yeon, who made his debut as a top laner following his role swap, picked Tryndamere.

While Yuumi can be a nuisance in the laning phase with Prowling Projectile (Q), her true strength lies in her combos with Dove’s Tryndamere and Croco’s Xin Zhao.

Couple this with a relative lack of crowd control on DRX’s lineup, both Dove as well as Croco eventually become unstoppable — aided by stellar Syndra and Akali performances by mid laner Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon.

Liiv SANDBOX’s Tryndamere and Yuumi combo amplifies strengths and masks weaknesses

Yuumi amplifies these auto-reliant carries, making Tryndamere borderline impossible to escape from or die, as his Spinning Slash (E) acts as a gap closer, while Undying Rage (R) keeps him at 1 HP for several seconds.

The latter often provides enough time for Tryndamere to slash up his adversaries or escape with a sliver of health.

The heals from Kim “Kael” Jin-hong, along with her boosts to movement and attack speed, only make Tryndamere that much scarier to face after the laning phase.

In fact, experienced Tryndamere players are also proficient at trading early with the help of his Battle Fury (passive) and Bloodlust (Q) to win the lane.

Even though DRX banned Yuumi in game two, they failed to find an answer for Tryndamere being in their faces.

When asked as to why he picked Tryndamere against DRX in the post-match interview, Dove said, “Our coach told me to do so, so I did,”

It appears the Liiv SANDBOX coaches have been observing the Barbarian King’s rise in prominence lately, and other regions may follow suit as the Spring season begins this week in the LCS and LEC.

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