Stats corner: The heroes of the S2 regionals
Data for all regional qualifiers courtesy of Leaguepedia. We do the math so you don't have to.
With the help of many spreadsheets, a calculator, the internet and Sesame Street's Count von Count, we've gathered data from all six Season 2 regional qualifiers - that's a total of 70 matches - and divided them into five sections in attempt to find patterns in the picks and bans in each meta. For each region you will see four tables, listing the most picked (including the "times picked to times not banned" ratio in percentages), the most banned, the most first picked and the most wanted (that's picks and bans combined) champions. Hopefully, these statistics will tell us something cool and become a nice supplement to our World Championship previews.
So, shall we get started?
Lol, yeah, count me in!
Korea's Most picked
|Champion||Times picked||Picked/Open %|| Sona||12||80,0%|| Corki||10||62,5%|| Graves||9||56,3%|| Karthus||9||69,2%|| Jayce||8||53,3%|
Korea's most first picked
|Champion||# first picked||# picked|| Jayce||3||8|| Orianna||2||6|| Ezreal||2||7|| Alistar||2||2|| Shen||1||1|
Korea's Most banned
|Champion||Times banned||% of games|| Shen||14||87,5%|| Diana||12||75%|| Vladimir||11||68,6%|| Orianna||8||50,0%|| Alistar||7||43,6%|
Korea's Most wanted (picked + banned)
|Champion||Picks + bans||% of games|| Shen||15||93,8%|| Diana||14||87,5%|| Vladimir||14||87,5%|| Orianna||14||87,5%|| Sona||13||81,3%|
Seeing Sona and Corki as the leaders of the "Most picked" table is anything but surprising. Widely acknowledged as game's best support and AD carry and being champions that rarely if ever get banned out, their positions were predictable. What was not, however, is seeing Graves where people thought Ezreal should've been. An explainable befuddlement, although its roots do not show in the tables above. The reason why Ezreal was picked just seven times actually lies in him being banned in five of the games, which totals to a "Popularity" factor of 12. Funnily enough, those numbers brought him just below the top 5 borderline of "Most picked", "Most banned" and "Most wanted". Poor little spelunker, at least he'll see some more action in the WC.
As nobody in Korea fights for junglers too extensively, the top 5 "Most Picked" is completed by top and mid lane's powerhouses Jayce and Karthus, seeing light mostly because of the heavy banning of Shen, Vlad and Orianna and because of MaknooN's love for Jayce.
The "Most Banned" standings are also nothing out of the ordinary. Shen, Alistar and Vladimir are staple bans in every meta and to some extent so is Orianna. Diana is globally banned from the WC so we won't see her played but her presence here is anything but unexplainable.
Jayce is not only the most played top lane in Korea but also the one to be picked first the most, again partly because NaJin's MaknooN loves him so much and Shen and Alistar were snatched whenever they survived the ban phase. Ezreal is here to remind that he's still an insanely popular AD pick. The most popular in Korea, in fact, as we previously mentioned.
Taking a look at the other statistics we have gathered, we can say that the Koreans aren't really playing anything out of the ordinary, at least not inter-regionally. Their Jayce is heavily played/banned by Europeans and Chinese/SEA teams, they almost never stray out of AD's holy trinity, they like Maokai (just like everybody else) and favor Leona as the second best support pick to Sona (just like everybody else). On paper, the pick/ban philosophy of the feared Koreans is pretty much textbook.
NA's most picked
|Champion||Times picked||Picked/Open %|| Corki||14||77,8%|| Nunu||10||90,9%|| Sona||10||66,6%|| Graves||9||50,0%|| Vladimir||8||57,1%|
NA's most first picked
|Champion||# first picked||# picked|| Shen||6||6|| Nunu||3||10|| Vladimir||3||8|| Sona||2||10|| Gragas||2||8|
NA's Most banned
|Champion||Times banned||% of games|| Alistar||14||77,8%|| Shen||12||66,6%|| Yorick||11||61,1%|| Karthus||9||50%|| Nunu||7||38,9%|
NA's Most wanted (picked + banned)
|Champion||Picks + bans||% of games|| Shen||18||100%|| Alistar||18||100%|| Nunu||17||94,4%|| Corki||14||77,8%|| Karthus||13||72,2%|
Boom! A wild Nunu appears in "Most picked", followed by a Gragas in the mid lane. Before we strike that as an anomaly compared to the Korean stats, it's really not. In fact, it's the other way around and the Korean teams are the only ones that didn't play Nunu at all. The yeti rider himself will appear all across the board, his role almost evenly divided between jungler and support.
In the ban section we see all the usual suspects plus Rumble (only banned so extensively by NA teams) and Yorick (a popular ban in both EU and NA). And the latter is absolutely understandable: NA teams, TSM in particular, will get that Yorick out of the way at any cost in order to safely throw in Jayce, Shen or Rumble whenever they can.
In other news: Jesus Christ, look at those "Most Wanted" percentages! Shen and Alistar are at 100% (Shen has also been first picked in every game he was not banned), Nunu is close third and Karthus and Corki are both above the 70% - a strongly expressed pattern but one that is nevertheless overshadowed by the percentages in the EU region (see below).
The only thing that, as a whole, is out of the ordinary is the low popularity of Ezreal, banned zero times and picked just twice and never first. Much like their Korean colleagues, Chaox, Cop and Doublelift favor Graves and Corki, albeit much more extensively.
Europe's most picked
|Champion||Times picked||Picked/Open %|| Ezreal||14||87,5%|| Corki||12||70,6%|| Gragas||10||76,9%|| Sona||9||52,9%|| Nunu||8||72,7%|
Europe's most first picked
|Champion||# first picked||Total # picked|| Shen||4||6|| Nunu||4||8|| Alistar||2||4|| Yorick||2||6|| Malphite||1||6|
Europe's Most banned
|Champion||Times banned||% of games|| Alistar||13||76,5%|| Shen||11||64,7%|| Nunu||8||47,1%|| Yorick||8||47,1%|| Karthus||8||47,1%|
Europe's Most wanted (picked + banned)
|Champion||Picks + bans||% of games|| Shen||17||100%|| Alistar||17||100%|| Nunu||16||94,1%|| Ezreal||15||88,2%|| Yorick||14||82,4%|
Overall, Europe is a very similar picture to North America with the slight exception of Ezreal leading the "Most Picked" charts while Graves is totally out of the picture, only picked four times. There's also Gragas as the most favored AP, pushing down Karthus and Orianna.
What makes Europe stand out a bit more is the insane "Most wanted" percentages. Just like in NA, Shen, Alistar and Nunu are leading the charge but #4 and #5, respectively Ezreal and Yorick, are both above the 80%. Those guys know what they want and will aim for it a large portion of the time!
One of the few exceptions to the above-displayed statistics are the Renekton's of CLG.eu and M5 and the Gangplanks of SK Gaming. Picked only four times, however, they could not make it to the top 5 but a hope still remains that the top lane face-offs at the World Championship will not be a 100% Jayce-Malphite-Irelia galore because there's nothing else left after the ban phase.
CN/SEA's most picked
|Champion||Times picked||Picked/Open %|| Graves||13||72,2%|| Ezreal||11||61,1%|| Irelia||9||52,9%|| Karthus||8||47,0%|| Leona||8||44,4%|
CN/SEA's most first picked
|Champion||# first picked||Total # picked|| Malphite||4||7|| Ezreal||2||11|| Nunu||2||4|| Nocturne||1||7|| Twisted Fate||1||4|
CN/SEA's Most banned
|Champion||Times banned||% of games|| Shen||15||78,9%|| Malphite||10||52,6%|| Alistar||10||52,6%|| Twisted Fate||8||42,1%|| Morgana||8||42,1%|
CN/SEA's Most wanted (picked + banned)
|Champion||Picks + bans||% of games|| Malphite||17||89,5%|| Shen||16||84,2%|| Graves||14||73,7%|| Alistar||13||68,4%|| Twisted Fate||12||63,2%|
One thing I've learned during my career as eSports writer is that Chinese/SEA teams and players will not abide the ordinary meta of any eSport and they will play as weirdly as possible. In League of Legends, my memories span all the way back to IEM Guangzhou when World Elite were jungling Warwick when nobody else would, were playing TF mid and even cast the rumors of TF jungle!
A year later and the peculiarity remains, although the love for TF is still here. In addition, this is the only region that plays Corki rarely, prefers Leona over Sona in the bot lane, picks Shen just once despite being open four times and bans Twitch, Veigar and Master Yi.
Who are you, people, and what are you trying to tell us? Were the pick/ban lists of the regionals just an isolated case or is this really the way you play this game?
World's most picked
|Champion||Times picked||Picked/Open %|| Corki||40||57,1%|| Sona||36||54,5%|| Graves||35||50,7%|| Ezreal||34||54,0%|| Maokai||25||42,4%|| Gragas||23||40,4%|| Leona||23||33,3%|| Irelia||22||34,4%|| Karthus||22||45,8%|| Nunu||22||41,5%|
World's most first picked
|Champion||# first picked||Total # picked|| Shen||11||14|| Nunu||9||17|| Alistar||6||13|| Ezreal||5||34|| Malphite||5||21|| Gragas||4||23|| Sona||3||36|| Orianna||3||19|| Jax||3||16|| Vladimir||3||16|
World's Most banned
|Champion||Times banned||% of games|| Shen||52||74,3%|| Alistar||44||62,9%|| Malphite||23||32,9%|| Yorick||22||31,4%|| Karthus||22||31,4%|| Vladimir||19||27,1%|| Diana||18||25,7%|| Nunu||17||24,3%|| Twisted Fate||15||21,4%|| Gragas||13||18.6%|
World's Most wanted (picked + banned)
|Champion||Picks + bans||% of games|| Shen||66||94,3%|| Alistar||57||81,4%|| Malphite||44||62,9%|| Karthus||44||62,9%|| Ezreal||41||58.6%|| Sona||40||57,1%|| Corki||40||57,1%|| Nunu||39||55,7%|| Gragas||36||51,4%|| Maokai||36||51,4%|
The statistics from all regions combined give us the above results and a "Most picked" table where Sona and "those three ADs" are on top of it all just because nobody will ban them, preferring to eliminate the dangers of the top lane as well as the "level two guaranteed kill" Alistar. Maokai is the only dedicated jungler to make it into the top 10 most picked (and most wanted) and so is Irelia for the top lane. I don't expect much to change in this regard unless some teams bring on the heavy cheese.
Just as one would've predicted even before seeing the actual numbers, champions with multiple roles such as Nunu, Alistar and Malphite are world's most first picked (excluding Shen, of course, but we don't really have to mention him anymore, anywhere). An easily explainable phenomenon: teams will always try to both secure a strong champion and keep the option of switching his position around if a match-up that is particularly unfavorable is to occur.
And, finally, solo queuers take a look at the last table. Learn those champions. There's a reason why everybody wants them and will win you ranked games aplenty.
Phew, enough of analyzing numbers, which I am certain bored you to hell and back already. To weave in a more fun finale, let's examine some stats that failed to make the spotlight. And I dare you to put the China/SEA list into an actual metagame context...
Most played AP:
Most played jungler:
Most played support:
Most played top lane:
Most played AD:
is the only champion in Most Picked Top 10 that's never been banned
is the least picked AD, played only once in China/SEA
and are the only dedicated supports that have been banned
Korea is the only region that played ,
Korea is the only region that never played or banned , and
North America is the only region that targeted
North America is the only region that has a 100% first picked ratio (on )
North America is the only region that never played or banned and
North America is the only region that never banned
Europe is the only region that played and
Europe is the only region that never played or banned
Europe was the region that used the smallest champion pool in the regionals: 44
China/SEA is the only region that played:
, , , , , , , , , and
China/SEA is the only region that banned:
, , , , , , , , , and
Short of and , all the heroes in the last two bullet points only appeared in China/SEA
China/SEA was the region that used the largest champion pool in the regionals: 67
Data for all regional qualifiers courtesy of Leaguepedia.