We’re back after another week of competitive League. We’ve got a stern talking to for the worst team in the LCS, and some praise for an LPL draft adaptation that has yet to take off in the rest of the world. For everything you’ve missed in the weird and wonderful world of competitive League, here’s a look back at the last week in LoL Esports.
Hola, LoL nerds. It’s a pleasure to see you again after another (mostly) wonderful week of LoL Esports. Like a shepherd guiding their lost sheep through a snowy winter’s night, I’m here once again to walk you through everything the major regions had to offer last week in the wider world of League.
But first, the segment everyone has been waiting for: The ‘Will CLG qualify for Worlds 2022?’ countdown calendar. I’m sure you’ll all be overjoyed to know that, as of Week 3 of the LCS, CLG are still eligible to qualify for the 2022 World Championships. But we are starting to see a few cracks in their armor, with this weekend marking their first 0-2 of the Summer split.
I’m choosing to ignore this 0-2 and sticking with my vehement belief that this CLG roster is the second coming of some higher power. Sometimes self-care is a blind refusal to look facts in the face.
Elsewhere in the world, we’ve finally seen our first games of Bel’Veth after her release on June 8. But as much as I have no choice but to love a big feminine tentacle monster, watching her in the LEC was, quite frankly, a little underwhelming. We also saw T1 get their 24-game domestic win streak ended by none other than Kwangdong Freecs, a middle-of-the-pack LCK team who’d previously shown no sign of being able to take a series off a former MSI finalist.
With that being said, here’s everything you missed in the last week of competitive League.
LEC — A wild Bel’Veth appeared
I’m going to get this out of the way right off the bat. I don’t think Bel’Veth is all that good, but I’m entirely willing for a team to prove me wrong. She seems like Master Yi with a knockup — entirely dependent on early farming to do any kind of useful damage.
We got to see her first games in a major region this weekend, with both Team Vitality and Astralis locking her in for their games on July 1. Before that, she had seen six games in LCS Academy, boasting a pretty decent win rate of 66%, and a single win in the TCL Academy series. Her KDA across all competitive appearances is 3.7. It’s nothing special, but it’s serviceable.
But despite this win rate, I’m still not convinced by Bel’Veth. She seems heavily reliant on solo lane matchups — if she can’t just free farm for the first 15 minutes of the game, she’s feels slightly worthless. Her damage isn’t even as high as you’d expect for such a farm-dependant champion, and if she’s put even a little bit behind she does very, very little.
Considering she’s a hard-carry champ, her DPM so far has been pretty mediocre. She is averaging 349 damage per minute in NA Academy and only 304 in the LEC.
Considering her core mythic item is Kraken Slayer, an item also commonly built on Master Yi, she needs to be doing more than gently tickling the enemy team with her tentacles to be a useful and viable champion in pro play. She’s building to one-shot any squishy champion she comes across – but I just don’t know if there’s space in the meta right now for that kind of jungler.
LCS — Immortals are putting in a strong bid for the title of ‘Worst major region team in the world’
Man. I don’t want to spend time in my wonderful positive League of Legends column just dumping on teams but… man.
It’s looking pretty rough for Immortals right now, and that’s putting it nicely. They have 31 kills across their seven total games played — which, for some context, is almost half the total kills of the second-worst team (Dignitas), and almost a quarter of the total kills of the team with the highest kill tally (Evil Geniuses). A. QUARTER.
They are one of the least proactive teams I have ever seen in competitive play. They average an almost two thousand gold deficit at 15 minutes and they’re the worst team in the league by almost every measurable metric. Their drafting is scattershot and their team play is worse. I promise I’m trying to find something positive to say but I’m coming up woefully short.
Their Viktor priority is a little bizarre. He’s one of only three champions that they’ve picked more than once, and what do they have to show for it? A 0% win rate and a 0.5 KDA. I don’t mean to pin the blame on Tristan ‘PowerOfEvil’ Schrage, because I definitely don’t think he’s the only problem here. But he’s a player renowned for his passivity, and passivity simply doesn’t cut it when you’re already underperforming so drastically.
I’d rather see Immortals fall on their own swords for an attempt at a hero play than watch them bleed out from death by a thousand cuts for another week.
LCK — Are Kwangdong Freecs the new champions of the LCK?
No, they’re not. But what they are, which is arguably equally as impressive, is the team that ended T1’s 24-game domestic win streak with a 2-1 victory on June 29.
With only a single series win prior to this matchup, Kwangdong Freecs had cemented themselves nicely at the bottom end of the LCK’s standings alongside Nongshim RedForce, Hanhwa Life, and KT Rolster — all the teams that were just good enough to take games off each other but not good enough to beat the teams at the top.
But KDF’s AD Carry (and former T1 star) Park ‘Teddy’ Jin-seong had clearly eaten his Weetabix on the morning of their matchup versus T1 and had decided it was time for him to ascend to godhood. And sure, it would’ve been nice if we got to see him on something other than Senna and Ashe. But that’s showbiz, baby, and a win’s a win.
LPL — Say hello to the LPL’s new best friend, Swain
I’m talking about LPL drafting again. But before you get your pitchforks out, this time it’s actually positive. Shocking, I know.
The LPL’s high priority on Swain — much higher than any other region — is a really interesting example of regional innovation that fits perfectly with the perceived playstyle of that region.
Swain’s the fourth most-played mid laner in the LPL right now, with 26 bans, 26 picks (one in the top lane), and a 50% win rate. He’s the favored pick of Anyone’s Legend mid laner Deng ‘Forge’ Jie, who’s one of the best Swains in the LPL with an 83% win rate and a 6.9 KDA.
But why are we seeing so much more Swain in the LPL than anywhere else? Well, that’s because Swain is the perfect champion to pick if you know you’re going to be fighting from the second the first objectives spawn on the map, which is the LPL mentality through and through. His ultimate is an incredibly powerful team fighting tool, and even after his nerfs he does a significant amount of damage — he also has fairly easy-to-hit crowd control, which realistically is never not going to be useful.
He’s the perfect LPL champion — but it’s surprising that we’re not seeing him in the LEC, given that they’re doing a similar amount of fighting. The regions average the same number of kills per game (25) even if the LPL is getting those kills slightly faster.
I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before we see Swain consistently pop up elsewhere. He’s one of the best champions at creating space and controlling teamfights, and with the durability update suddenly forcing everyone to play their teamfights a whole lot slower and smarter, he’s really beginning to come into his own.