Insane. Inhuman. God-like. It’s only week one of the regular season and already Faker the Demon King has been described with words of the highest honour for his Katarina plays.
In its 7th run, Week 1 of the League of Legends 2017 regular season just flew by and if you haven’t caught any of the action on Summoner’s Rift in the North American, European, Korean, Chinese or Taiwanese regions, here’s 5 reasons why you will want to jump right in:
- Two APCs are legit…at bot lane
Remember when the ROX Tigers instalocked Miss Fortune support in game 2 of the 2016 Worlds Finals? Casters were lost for words, the crowd went wild and solo queue was ruined forever.
Fast-forward two months where Ziggs and Malzahar are the new staple bot lane duo. Despite buffs to Lucian, Draven and Kalista, the traditional ADC role remains usurped. Why bother with AD when Zigg’s Short Fuse passive and Satchel Charge is enough to clear minion waves and take down towers quickly? If opponents dare come near, don’t worry, there’s always Malzahar to instantly lock them down with suppression while bombs rain from the sky.
- Champions vanish 3x faster than before
The Prophet of the Void is not the only AP assassin to have this much fun since the mage update. Melee assassins were reworked last October and 3 have emerged strongest of the lot: Katarina, Rengar and Kha’xiz.
Primed to showcase their tip-top mechanics, catch professional players dish out their skills with animation cancels, micro side-steps and chained spells as health bars disappear.
There’s definitely something scary about a purple cockroach flying in your face and deleting you from the game.
- League’s more fun with 10 less champions
Despite all the top-tier champions available you simply can’t ban them all. Even now where teams receive 5 bans each, there’s still another 124 Champions to choose from. Picks and bans are divided into 2 phases—after teams ban 3 champions each, they pick 3 of their own. Another 2 on each side are banned in the second phase, and finally the last 2 champions are locked in.
What’s the best part of this revision? Flexible picks.
Consider this: Let’s say OP Malzahar gets through to draft phase and Team A picks him in the first round followed by their jungler and top. Team B would have no idea if Malzahar is going into the popular support role or played traditionally in mid. How does Team B pick champions to counter these 2 possibilities? We’ll have to watch the games to find out.
- Koreans are everywhere. Everywhere.
As much as South Korea welcomed home big names like Deft, Mata and Pawn after their stints in China to form a super team under KT Rolster, many have also been sent off to lend their prowess to other regions.
Former SKT 2013 World Champion Impact already spent a year with Cloud9, taking them all the way to Worlds last year. His presence seems to have paved the way for other top laners like former CJ Entus Flame (now Immortals) and former KT Rolster Ssumday (now Team Dignitas) joining the ranks in the North American LCS. Meanwhile the Chinese LPL fangirls have been welcoming two more former SKT members, Bengi who is now team mates again with Easyhoon in Vici Gaming, while Duke signed with Invictus Gaming.
IMT Flame (Source: Inven Global)
Surprisingly the region with the highest percentage of foreign Korean talent is the European LCS. Out of 10 teams, 7 possess at least one Korean import. Fnatic is one of the three teams besides Splyce and Unicorns of Love who decided to minimize language barriers and bring back former team member Soaz. Can Fnatic finally regain their former glory, or will imports sustain G2 and H2K’s dominance?
- Meme the Name, Name the Meme
Perhaps the bigger question is: Why do 2 teams in the EULCS have the number 2 in their names? Coincidence? Copycats? Don’t they wannabe number 1?
League of Legends may have some pretty uncanny heroes, but League of Legends eSports has even more fantastical teams.
2017 Team Icons (Source: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/)
In North America, one Phoenix rose last year to another’s Envy, and now everyone is embarking on a FlyQuest to reach the top of the table. In Europe, men continue to dress as Unicorns next to snakes, cats and a new Misfits bunny wearing red goggles. Korean fans never had the option of consuming Monsters or Tigers (white or orange), but they sure can stuff themselves this season with free BBQ Olivers chicken. Southeast Asia’s LoL Master Series (LMS) was not spared either as a blonde haired gangster wrapped in a Fire Ball and a radioactive Spider are set to challenge the Flash Wolves.