Every year since 2013, there has been at least one champion with a pick/ban presence of 100% at the World Championship. This past weekend, the last hope the game had for a 6th straight year with a universally present champion was snuffed out, as Aatrox fell out of the running.
During game 2 of the quarterfinal series between KT Rolster and Invictus Gaming, Aatrox was left on the table in both the ban phase and pick phase of champion select, as the teams opted to roll with Urgot and Sion in the top lane, respectively, while refusing to flex the champion into another role. IG would win the game in 25 minutes, later taking the series by a score of 3 games to 2, however, the absence of Aatrox, even for a moment, put a massive dent in the Worlds history books.
Going into that specific contest, 53 games had been played at the main event of the World Championship, with another 42 more at the Play-in Stage. Aatrox had been involved in some way or another in every single one of them. However, the streak was ended by Invictus and KT, marking the end of a historic run for a champion that had turned things around immensely over the course of the 2018 season.
Of the 68 games at the World Championship, Aatrox has either been picked or banned in 67 of them. He’s received 25 picks and 42 bans, but still falls short of the 100% mark by just 1 game. Despite the fact that he’s missed the boat on becoming the sixth champion ever with a universal pick/ban rate at the World Championship, it would be foolish to assume that Aatrox is down and out. With the tournament advancing into the final stages, Aatrox will surely be a major power pick going forward.
All four teams in the Semifinals have utilized Aatrox to the utmost degree as 12 of his 25 picks have come from Fnatic, Cloud9, G2 Esports and IG. Additionally, Fnatic and G2 haven’t been shy to flex Aatrox into the mid lane as Rasmus “Caps” Winther and Luka “Perkz” Perković have both taken the champion for a spin.
And now, although Aatrox’s run at history has been cut short, his impact on the World Championship is still immense, as he remains at the top of the table heading into the tournament’s final lap with no signs of being overtaken.
Photo Credit: Riot Games, League of Legends, Lolesports