Stats corner: The heroes of the S2 regionals

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev 2 years, 28 weeks ago
Gather round, fellas. It's "Nydra's fun time with statistics" where we count stuff in order to make conclusions about LoL's meta in different regions. Who plays what, how often and who the hell bans Twitch and Veigar: all mapped out thanks to our good friend the mathematics.

Data for all regional qualifiers courtesy of Leaguepedia. We do the math so you don't have to.


Korea /// N. America /// Europe /// China/SEA /// Global /// Fun facts

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!

Korean Qualifiers, 16 games

Korea's Most picked
ChampionTimes pickedPicked/Open %
sona Sona1280,0%
corki Corki1062,5%
graves Graves956,3%
karthus Karthus969,2%
jayce Jayce853,3%

Korea's most first picked
Champion# first picked# picked
jayce Jayce38
orianna Orianna26
ezreal Ezreal27
alistar Alistar22
shen Shen11

Korea's Most banned
ChampionTimes banned% of games
shen Shen1487,5%
diana Diana1275%
vladimir Vladimir1168,6%
orianna Orianna850,0%
alistar Alistar743,6%

Korea's Most wanted (picked + banned)
ChampionPicks + bans% of games
shen Shen1593,8%
diana Diana1487,5%
vladimir Vladimir1487,5%
orianna Orianna1487,5%
sona Sona1381,3%

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.

North American Qualifiers, 18 games

NA's most picked
ChampionTimes pickedPicked/Open %
corki Corki1477,8%
nunu Nunu1090,9%
sona Sona1066,6%
graves Graves950,0%
vladimir Vladimir857,1%

NA's most first picked
Champion# first picked# picked
shen Shen66
nunu Nunu310
vladimir Vladimir38
sona Sona210
gragas Gragas28
NA's Most banned
ChampionTimes banned% of games
alistar Alistar1477,8%
shen Shen1266,6%
yorick Yorick1161,1%
karthus Karthus950%
nunu Nunu738,9%

NA's Most wanted (picked + banned)
ChampionPicks + bans% of games
shen Shen18100%
alistar Alistar18100%
nunu Nunu1794,4%
corki Corki1477,8%
karthus Karthus1372,2%

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 Qualifiers, 17 games

Europe's most picked
ChampionTimes pickedPicked/Open %
ezreal Ezreal1487,5%
corki Corki1270,6%
gragas Gragas1076,9%
sona Sona952,9%
nunu Nunu872,7%

Europe's most first picked
Champion# first pickedTotal # picked
shen Shen46
nunu Nunu48
alistar Alistar24
yorick Yorick26
malphite Malphite16
Europe's Most banned
ChampionTimes banned% of games
alistar Alistar1376,5%
shen Shen1164,7%
nunu Nunu847,1%
yorick Yorick847,1%
karthus Karthus847,1%

Europe's Most wanted (picked + banned)
ChampionPicks + bans% of games
shen Shen17100%
alistar Alistar17100%
nunu Nunu1694,1%
ezreal Ezreal1588,2%
yorick Yorick1482,4%

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.

China and SEA Qualifiers, 19 games

CN/SEA's most picked
ChampionTimes pickedPicked/Open %
graves Graves1372,2%
ezreal Ezreal1161,1%
irelia Irelia952,9%
karthus Karthus847,0%
leona Leona844,4%

CN/SEA's most first picked
Champion# first pickedTotal # picked
malphite Malphite47
ezreal Ezreal211
nunu Nunu24
nocturne Nocturne17
twistedfate Twisted Fate14
CN/SEA's Most banned
ChampionTimes banned% of games
shen Shen1578,9%
malphite Malphite1052,6%
alistar Alistar1052,6%
twistedfate Twisted Fate842,1%
morgana Morgana842,1%

CN/SEA's Most wanted (picked + banned)
ChampionPicks + bans% of games
malphite Malphite1789,5%
shen Shen1684,2%
graves Graves1473,7%
alistar Alistar1368,4%
twistedfate Twisted Fate1263,2%

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?

Global statistics, 70 games

World's most picked
ChampionTimes pickedPicked/Open %
corki Corki4057,1%
sona Sona3654,5%
graves Graves3550,7%
ezreal Ezreal3454,0%
maokai Maokai2542,4%
gragas Gragas2340,4%
leona Leona2333,3%
irelia Irelia2234,4%
karthus Karthus2245,8%
nunu Nunu2241,5%

World's most first picked
Champion# first pickedTotal # picked
shen Shen1114
nunu Nunu917
alistar Alistar613
ezreal Ezreal534
malphite Malphite521
gragas Gragas423
sona Sona336
orianna Orianna319
jax Jax316
vladimir Vladimir316
World's Most banned
ChampionTimes banned% of games
shen Shen5274,3%
alistar Alistar4462,9%
malphite Malphite2332,9%
yorick Yorick2231,4%
karthus Karthus2231,4%
vladimir Vladimir1927,1%
diana Diana1825,7%
nunu Nunu1724,3%
twistedfate Twisted Fate1521,4%
gragas Gragas1318.6%

World's Most wanted (picked + banned)
ChampionPicks + bans% of games
shen Shen6694,3%
alistar Alistar5781,4%
malphite Malphite4462,9%
karthus Karthus4462,9%
ezreal Ezreal4158.6%
sona Sona4057,1%
corki Corki4057,1%
nunu Nunu3955,7%
gragas Gragas3651,4%
maokai Maokai3651,4%

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...

Outside the Top 10

Most played AP: orianna
Most played jungler: nocturne
Most played support: lulu
Most played top lane: vladimir
Most played AD: sivir

Fun facts

corki is the only champion in Most Picked Top 10 that's never been banned
urgot is the least picked AD, played only once in China/SEA
leona and sona are the only dedicated supports that have been banned

Korea is the only region that played amumu, malzahar
Korea is the only region that never played or banned morgana, yorick and rumble

North America is the only region that targeted fiddlesticks
North America is the only region that has a 100% first picked ratio (on shen)
North America is the only region that never played or banned leesin and kassadin
North America is the only region that never banned ezreal

Europe is the only region that played gangplank and renekton
Europe is the only region that never played or banned sivir
Europe was the region that used the smallest champion pool in the regionals: 44

China/SEA is the only region that played:
hecarim, jarvan, leblanc, lux, nautilus, pantheon, shaco, urgot, varus, vayne and volibear
China/SEA is the only region that banned:
galio, garen, graves, leblanc, mundo, poppy, sion, teemo, twitch, veigar and yi
Short of mundo and graves, 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.

Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev

Editorial overlord of GosuGamers and eSports veteran, Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev lives a life behind a keyboard, his writing powered by obscene amount of Earl Grey tea, sarcasm and baked potatoes. 

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