After dominating the early stages of the season across each and every region, Zoe immediately dropped to a 0% worldwide pick/ban presence after receiving significant nerfs in Patch 8.4. However, as the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational rages on, Zoe has been seeing a major uptick in presence with each game, making her a significant pick in the mid lane meta, once again.
Since the start of MSI, Zoe has been a part of 11 champion selects, with a total of 8 bans and 3 picks across the first 3 days of play. Most notably, there have been three mid laners at the tournament who have been able to take Zoe into their games, as well as garnering targeted Zoe bans from their opposition. Rasmus “Caps” Winthers, Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao have all taken Zoe for a spin on the Rift at MSI, while each of them have been targeted with Zoe bans throughout the course of the tournament.
While Xiaohu and Maple have garnered 1 and 3 Zoe bans, respectively, from opposing coaches, Caps has had the Aspect of Twilight banned out against him 4 times throughout the Group Stage. Combined with 1 pick against Flash Wolves, Zoe has been involved in 5 out of 6 games so far for Fnatic, good enough for an 83% pick/ban presence when the European champions take the stage.
And although Zoe has been slowly creeping up through the meta, it makes sense why her presence in Fnatic’s games is so drastic. Caps has been highly effective on the champion during the 2018 season, as he posted a 33.0 KDA during European regional play, as well as a DPM of 777.15 and a 76.6% KP. If Caps is able to get Zoe in his hands at MSI, other mid laners from around the world should fear his prowess on a champion that has potential to control the pace of any game.
Monday’s matchup between Fnatic and the Flash Wolves should be incredibly intriguing to watch, as Zoe has held a major influence over both teams throughout the tournament so far. With Zoe being picked or banned in at least ¾ of both teams’ matches up to this point, it will certainly be interesting to see how Caps and Maple work alongside their coaching staffs during champion select.
While Zoe’s presence in the game is almost certainly a given, it’s still unknown which team prioritizes her more. Perhaps she could fall into the hands of Caps or Maple, but to see her taken off the table entirely with a phase-one ban wouldn’t be surprising, either.
Through 18 games at the MSI Group Stage, Zoe holds the third highest pick/ban presence among all mid lane champions, behind only Ryze and Karma. With 60% of the Group Stage games already in the books, Zoe has been involved in 61% of them. And now, with the major Zoe players of Caps, Maple, and Xiaohu all poised to make a run at the Knockout Stage, it would be shocking to see her fall out of the MSI meta any time soon. Everyone’s favorite burst mage has returned to competitive scene, and with impressive numbers across the board, it looks like she’s here to stay.
Photo Credit: Riot Games, Lolesports