League of Legends

LoL streamer Imaqtpie explains why mid lane Ornn is “actually good”

by Isaac McIntyre
Instagram: Imaqtpie / Riot Games

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Popular League of Legends streamer Michael ‘imaqtpie’ Santana believes top-regular Ornn is “actually good” in the mid lane, after watching Bjergsen pilot it to victory in Team SoloMid’s LCS match against the Golden Guardians.

Imaqtpie was a founding LCS star, playing for Dignitas from 2011 to 2014. Years later, the retired AD carry has turned to full-time streaming, but still kept himself immersed in LoL, and finished top 200 in all but one of the past six seasons.

The Twitch star tuned into TSM’s 20–5 win over Golden Guardians during his Feb 10 stream, and released the full breakdown days later. While watching, he explained why Bjergsen had chosen Ornn mid, despite the Fire below the Mountain usually being picked for top lane, and why it is a strong strategy.

Riot Games
Ornn can be a 'sleeper' pick for mid lane players, says Imaqtpie.

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According to the former LCS pro, Ornn mid is usually picked in situations where you want to make sure top lane is the focus. Selecting the powerful builder means you can “AFK farm” for much of the early game, while still staying safe.

“Ornn mid is pretty good, when you pick it you pretty much just get to AFK clear waves, and [your opponent] can’t really do anything versus it,” he said. “It makes the whole game be played around top lane… It’s an AFK lane, basically.”

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LoL mid laners often like to get their hands on explosive carries like Akali, Zoe, or Qiyana, all of which have an immense amount of power against their opponents early. The trick to Ornn, Santana said, was that he cancels that completely.

“You just can’t carry against Ornn, he’s such a f**king wall. He’s impossible to do anything against, and you can’t get anything accomplished against him,” he explained, before adding that he “loves watching” the Fire below the Mountain.

“He’s great… he just face-tanks every team. He doesn’t give a f**k, he just sits there face-tanking. Towers don’t even make a difference.”

For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 1:12.

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Luckily for the Twitch star, TSM’s superstar veteran Bjergsen proved exactly what he was talking about, tanking a team-high 22.4k damage on his way to an unkilled 0/0/11 game. The top laner, Sergen ‘Broken Blade’ Çelik, was named MVP.

Despite Bjergsen’s proof in the 35-minute win, and Imaqtpie’s in-depth explanation, Ornn mid hasn’t cropped up anywhere else in the LCS. It has been played six other times, all top, for a combined win rate of 71.4%.

Mid lane Ornn has not really had a presence in Season 10’s solo queue so far either, with just 3,000 matches of the oddball choice played according to U.GG. In comparison, the tank has been played nearly 50,000 times in the top lane.

Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Bjergsen proved Imaqtpie right with a 0/0/11 finish in TSM's win over Golden Guardians.

While it doesn’t look like North America’s pro stars may be rushing to pick the Fire below the Mountain in droves, especially considering he may be one of the least-flashy mid picks to grace the pro scene, there’s certainly potential there.

Next time you’re auto-filled into the game’s central role—unlikely as that sounds—maybe consider Ornn. He’s tough, tanky, and built to cancel out the big plays mid laners normally love to make: perfect if you want to win some extra LP.