After dominating the early stages of the season across each and every region with a pick/ban presence hovering around 85%, Akali immediately dropped to a 1.1% worldwide presence rate after receiving significant nerfs in Patch 9.3. Just one patch later, her pick/ban presence dropped even lower to a staggering 0.5%. However, with the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational in full swing, Akali has been seeing a major uptick in presence with each passing game, solidifying her as a top-tier choice in the meta once again.
Since the start of MSI, Akali has been involved in all 12 champion selects, with a total of 6 bans and 6 picks across the first 2 days of play. And while there have been other champions to covet the pick/ban presence crown alongside Akali (namely Ryze, Jayce, and Sylas), the Rogue Assassin has proven to be the most effective of the bunch with a win-rate of 83%.
The champion has garnered the attention of multiple players across separate lanes, most notably mid and top lane, furthermore proving the point that Akali is one of, if not the most deadly flex pick in the game right now. In fact, it wasn’t until her 6th appearance when the character finally earned a loss in the hands of Team Liquid’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. Apart from him, Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang was able to utilize the champion to the tune of a 4/3/11 scoreline in the only victory thus far for the Flash Wolves, while Invictus Gaming has flexed the pick into the hands of Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok and Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, both of whom dominated when given the chance.
And although Akali has been slowly creeping up through the meta, MSI has proven to be her boiling point. After posting a 21.5% global pick/ban presence during Patch 9.5 and one of 47.3% during Patch 9.6, Akali has finally reached her full potential again, holding champion selects across all of MSI with a vice grip.
And it’s no surprise, either. All of the world’s greatest Akali players have come to test their mettle at this year’s invitational. Hanabi has been highly effective on the champion during the 2019 season, as he posted an 8.6 KDA so far this season, as well as a DPM of 380.1 and a 56.1% KP. Not only is Akali Hanabi’s most played champion, it’s also his best. If he’s able to get his hands on her consistently, Flash Wolves might have an incredibly strong threat in the top lane. Additionally, Jensen has shown what he can do on the character, as his KDA of 4.6, DPM of 409.4, and DMG% of 24.9 are all serious indicators of his ability on the character.
It’s a serious shame, however, that we won’t be able to see Griffin and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon at this year’s MSI, because with Akali in the meta, Chovy would be poised to dominate the entirety of the tournament. His Akali has led Griffin to an 8-1 record over 9 games this season, while he’s posted a KDA of 75.0 during that span.
Regardless of who’s playing Akali, it’s obvious that her presence in the game is almost certainly a given at this point. Through 12 games at MSI, Akali holds the highest pick/ban rate in the game. And now, with the major Akali players of the world like Jensen, Hanabi, Rookie, and more 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. One of the strongest assassins in the game’s history has returned to competitive scene, and with impressive numbers across the board, it looks like she’s here to stay.
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