The EU Masters is underway and is showing glimpses into what could be the meta for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship.
Seven teams took part in the play-in stage and Excel UK was the biggest winner. The team finished the group stage undefeated and was seeded directly to the main event. Excel UK was aided by their bringing to the stage some surprising picks, including Heimerdinger and Yuumi in the bottom lane.
Excel UK used the new combination to destroy Rogue Esports Club on day two of the competition. Heimerdinger and Yuumi is an unexpected combination that brings a lot of poke to the bottom lane. In their early levels, the duo is vulnerable to the ganks, but in the two-versus-two laning contest, it’s a perfect combination to zone out enemy laners.
The creative drafts continued through the play-in stage, where Excel UK played Pantheon support. The global ultimate allow Pantheon to assist his teammates and the damage makes him a real threat. Pantheon support builds the same items as support Pyke.
EU Masters also brought some innovations in the jungle. For the most part of the summer, teams around the world stuck with the same options for the junglers.
After a couple of months out of the meta, Taliyah is returning to the jungle. This is a champion that can clear the jungle early and with high mobility.
Ornn is making a surprising transition to the jungle. This champion is normally played as a top laner that can be flexed to the support role. Now, Ornn is taking on a new challenge as a jungler. Jungle Ornn is a tank that needs to get to level six before he can impact the lanes. This champion can upgrade his items in the jungle, reducing his backing times and allowing him to access the lanes a bit earlier in spite of his need for six levels.
The picks in EU Masters could potentially influence the meta for Worlds since the tournament is taking place in the region. Team Liquid and Cloud9 are some of the teams that are bootcamping in Europe ahead of the competition. The Asian teams are staying home for the time being.
It would be interesting to see the clash between the two metas. It’s clear that the western teams could try a more creative and explosive approach. The question is, how will the eastern teams counter that style?
The 2019 LoL World Championship starts on October 2 with the play-in stage.