Protect-the-carry comps were in style, maybe even the only style, during MSI.
With the end of MSI, we get to see what professional play was like before the big midseason update in patch 13.10. Even while the tournament was ongoing we could already see that the dominant way to play was to pick the best AD carries and enable them. The meta was clear during MSI 2023 and it really came down to which team was the best at executing it.
Stats from Leaguepedia.
The Top 5 Picks
- Aphelios (picked 46 times out of 76 games)
- Jinx (picked 43 times out of 76 games)
- K’Sante (picked 33 times out of 76 games)
- Rakan (picked 32 times out of 76 games)
- Lulu (picked 32 times out of 76 games)
Here it’s clear who the king and queen of AD carries were in MSI. Aphelios’ game-changing abilities and Jinx’s crazy snowballing potential defined how teams played, which is why the next three picks were champions intended to keep them safe.
The Top 5 Most Contested
- Vi (94.7% pick/ban rate)
- K’Sante (89.5% pick/ban rate)
- Annie (85.5% pick/ban rate)
- Rakan (78.9% pick/ban rate)
- Nautilus (78.9% pick/ban rate)
With teams building compositions to keep their carries safe, the answer was to find ways to break their shells open. Champions with strong target access and pick-off potentials like Vi, Annie, and Nautilus could easily dismantle the game plan of teams and were hotly contested throughout the tournament.
- Golden Guardians Support, Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun (11 unique champions)
- Golden Guardians Jungle, Kim “River” Dong-woo (10 unique champions)
- Golden Guardians Mid, Kim “Gori” Tae-woo (10 unique champions)
Considering the rather inflexible meta in MSI, it’s impressive that three players from North America’s Golden Guardians picked the highest number of unique champions during the tournament. That level of experimentation surely helped the team when they were climbing their way out of the play-in stage.
- Aurelion Sol has an 0-3 record in MSI 2023
There was quite a bit of talk about Aurelion Sol taking over the meta in MSI. The Star Forger was already terrorizing solo queue games thanks to his recent ability rework and many thought he’d do the same in pro play. That obviously didn’t happen and it’s clear that the pros already knew how to keep the celestial dragon from getting out of control.
Bonus: The Full Sprint
- Europe’s MAD Lions has an 0-6 record in MSI 2023
It’s worth noting that the MAD Lions weren’t the only team to go winless in the tournament (the other team being Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe). The difference is that the Lions were entering the tournament after a truly inspiring Cinderella run to represent Europe as their first seed. It’s unfortunate that they weren’t able to replicate that same success.
Want to relive all the MSI 2023 action? Check out their official Youtube channel.
Banner photo from LoL Esports on Twitter.