The League of Legends World Championship is returning to China for the second year running later this year, but unfortunately, we won’t see the newest champion Akshan the Rogue Sentinel swinging into action.
Released in Patch 11.15, Akshan is the newest marksman to join the roster of 156 champions in League of Legends. However, we won’t see him on the professional stage anytime soon.
On July 29, Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Head of Esports for League of Legends for Europe and MENA stated that, as per LEC rule 7.4.3, Akshan would be disabled for the LEC Summer 2021 playoffs.
All LEC teams were asked if they’d like to change the rules, allowing Akshan to be playable in playoffs to prepare for Worlds. “The vast majority declined,” said Maximilian.
Following up on that tweet just a few days later on August 1, Maximilian stated that Akshan will be disabled for Worlds 2021. Spanish journalist Fernando Cardenete responded to the announcement, questioning why Akshan will be disabled.
“These decisions are obviously always done in working closely together with the Gameplay team,” answered Maximilian. “And if a Champion only gets limited exposure in pro play that makes balancing significantly harder of course – which is part of the reason the old rule existed in the first place.”
These decisions are obviously always done in working closely together with the Gameplay team.
And if a Champion only gets limited exposure in pro play that makes balancing significantly harder of course – which is part of the reason the old rule existed in the first place.
— Maximilian Peter Schmidt (@RiotMAXtheX) August 1, 2021
It’s not unusual for new Champions to be prohibited so soon after being added.
Back at Worlds 2019, another new League of Legends champion, Pantheon, was set to make his debut. With professional players being scared of the unbalanced champion, Pantheon was banned in all Group Stage games played at the event.
Professional players reactions
When a new champion hits summoners rift, they’re typically broken and require a nerf. However, Akshan had a 34% win rate just a few days after release. This makes him quite underwhelming compared to other recent champion releases.
Cloud9 midlaner Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković went on a 2-minute rant about the disappointing champion during a recent post-match press conference.
“I’ve been trying to play him in ranked, but people are always banning him. I’ve tried him in practice tool though, and I have to say I’m not too impressed,” said the LCS mid-laner.
It’s unsure whether we’ll hear much about Akshan in the next few months, but we can at least expect a buff coming to the champion in the next few patches.
The earliest we can expect to see Akshan on stage is during All-Star 2021 in December or in January during LCS 2022 lock-in.