After one day of competitive play during the 2018 Worlds Play-in Stage, 48 unique champions made an appearance throughout six champion selects. And although the various pick/ban phases throughout the day featured a myriad of characters , two particular champs stood out more than any others. Those two were Aatrox and Urgot, two of the newest titans of the top lane, who both sit at the head of the table with a 100% pick/ban presence throughout the first six games at Worlds.
With the first day of competitive play in the books at Worlds 2018, it’s become entirely clear that if this tournament is going to promote anything, it’s the idea of champion diversity. It certainly wouldn’t be shocking if by the end of the Championship, over half of the champion roster has been taken off the board. We’re already on pace to do so, and more.
But now, the narrative is all about the top lane, as two of the position’s strongest picks have already put their stamps on the international stage, and with a Patch 8.19 to remain as the standard version of the game throughout the entirety of the tournament, we could see these trends continue all the way to the finish line.
This isn’t anything new for Worlds, either. Since 2013, every World Championship has featured at least one character that has held a 100% pick/ban presence throughout the whole tournament. In 2013, it was Zed with 52 bans and 11 picks. In 2014, Alistar had been revolutionized into a top laner, and as a result earned 73 bans, only slipping through the ban phase five times. The year after that, Gangplank was the signature pick of the tournament, garnering 69 bans and just four picks. In 2016, it was Nidalee, as she became the first jungler to earn the presence title, while Kalista bought home the honor at last year’s tournament with 114 bans and just five picks; zero of them coming at the main event.
And now, Aatrox and Urgot are the only champions to post a 100% pick/ban rate at the Play-in Stage this, while Varus, Alistar, Rakan, Camille, Kindred, and Akali round out the list of picks that appeared in five of today’s six games. If today’s matches are any indications, we could be seeing the earliest potential lineup of champions that end up dominating this year’s iteration of Worlds.
However, it should certainly be interesting to keep an eye on Aatrox and Urgot, noting which one falls out of contention for this marathon first. And yet, if all holds up, we could be on pace for yet another year of at least one champion sitting at 100% pick/ban presence when all is said and done. In fact, we could finally see two champs hit that mark at the same World Championship.
For reference, only three champions, in addition to the aforementioned ones who appeared in every game at their respective tournaments, have ever even reached the 98% presence mark in the history of Worlds (2017 Sejuani, 2017 Jarvan IV, 2015 Mordekaiser). Maybe 2018 could finally be the year where two champions share the crown. We’re certainly on track to witness it.
Photo Credit: Riot Games, League of Legends