League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) as a region is known for sticking to meta picks and playing out their matches methodically. That, however, has changed.

In the last week alone, we saw some surprising choices that have resulted in victories. Perhaps the recent Rift Rivals has rubbed off on the LCK — they played against China’s Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) who are willing to take much more risks in their drafts.

Yasuo and Sejuani duo

Trust Damwon Gaming (DWG) to pull off something like this. Sejuani, typically played in the jungle, was selected in the first round of picks alongside Yasuo in their match against Sandbox Gaming (SB). In the second round, DWG instalocked another jungler, Lee Sin. Casters and viewers became curious, wondering which champion was going into the jungle and which into the support role.

Screenshot by Amanda Tan/One Esports

In the end, it was a Yasuo and Sejuani bot lane for the knock-up synergy and crowd control. DWG’s ADC Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon has been practicing him in bot lane on Korean solo queue in preparation for this team composition.

Other than their combined kill potential — especially at level six — Yasuo’s Windwall is also very useful against Yuumi’s ultimate Lost Chapter as it blocks its channel.

Against Yuumi in the bot lane, going all-in is the best way to play against her. DWG’s draft that lacked a traditional long-ranged ADC meant that they had to pull the plug early on their enemies.

Furthermore, the bot lane took advantage of Cho “Joker” Jae-eup’s mistakes in lane. Sejuani and Yasuo then transitioned into the mid-game, extending their advantages in team fights where they dealt more burst damage than SB and sealed DWG’s victory.

Volibear support

Not seen in the LCK since 2013, Volibear has appeared in LCK Summer 2019 — in the support role. Usually played in the jungle or top lane, Gen.G surprised us all by last-picking this glacial beast on the red side in their first game against Griffin.

Screenshot by: Amanda Tan/One Esports

Volibear doesn’t appear much in professional play because he’s easily kited. The champion’s design forces him to run up to an enemy in melee range before anything can happen. Yet, Jin Air Greenwings support Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu had other ideas when he pioneered Volibear as a support in solo queue with a 65% win rate to boot.

Gen.G put together a teamfighting and crowd control team composition. Whenever his summoner spell was up, Kim “Life” Jeong-min would Flash in, cast Rolling Thunder and flip one enemy champion over to his team.

Credit: LoL Esports/Riot Games

Paired with Kalista, Volibear’s weaknesses become less apparent. Even when he goes up close to the enemy lines and can’t escape, Kalista can pull him out to safety with Fate’s Call. It can also be used offensively to propel Volibear straight into enemy champions for a follow-up flip.

Now that “flexibility” has appeared in the LoL meta, it will be interesting to see when teams in the LCK start to take more risks in their drafts. The new meta does mean more risky gameplay, but you get more action and more entertainment for viewers.

Time will tell what will be the next surprising pick at LCK, amd honestly, we can’t wait.