The 2020 World Championship patch is live with adjustments to champions both strong and weak. Some of those champions receiving buffs might end up as high-priority bans at the tournament.
It’s not unusual to see a couple of champions make the ban list in almost every game at Worlds. Last year, Pantheon was the most feared champion that no team wanted to face. This made him a permanent ban. Xayah was also high on the ban list.
In patch 10.19, Riot clearly wanted to nerf some of the most dominant champions in competitive play, without destroying their strength completely. Champions such as Akali, Lucian, and Azir have been nerfed, but probably not to a point where we won’t see them played.
Let’s take a look at a few champions that might be banned in most games at this year’s Worlds.
Akali is predicted to be one of the most contested picks at Worlds due to her mobility and out-play potential. She got a nerf on her Five Point Strike (Q) on the Worlds patch, but experts such as Nick “LS” Cesare still thinks she will be a highly contested pick.
Akali is an incredible playmaking champion, which is why teams at Worlds will most likely fear her. In the right hands, Akali can carry a game single-handedly if she manages to get ahead early.
Worlds is a tournament where the skill gap between opponents can be big early on, meaning that some teams like to try aggression in the early game to stand a chance against opponents who might be better in a more standard game. Dominant teams will also look to pick up Akali to stomp games against weaker opponents.
The Worlds patch seems to favor a lot of strong carry junglers, and Nidalee may be first among them. The jungle position is expected to have a lot of impact during the Worlds meta. One of the high-impact junglers will be Nidalee, who has seen a lot of play internationally during the summer split playoffs.
Nidalee is a strong pick for the early and mid game, with fast clear speed and scary gank potential. Her mobility should not be underestimated, and neither should her skirmishing power.
Nidalee will often fall off in the late game, but she will always be able to poke with her Javelin Toss (Q) and sustain the team with attack speed and healing through her Primal Surge (E).
The jungle position at Worlds will be stacked with talented players, so Nidalee will likely be a contested pick. Every high-tier jungler at Worlds knows how to play Nidalee and utilize her strengths.
Hecarim will be another jungler that teams will look towards banning out. The Shadow of War has been high on the priority list in several regions during recent patches and will most likely continue to be.
Hecarim has all the strengths a jungler needs. He has a fast clearing speed, strong ganks, and an ultimate that can decide a team fight if placed correctly. It’s also possible to build a team composition around Hecarim, making him a scary carry for the late game. Pairing Hecarim with champions such as Shen and Taric can be a guaranteed win condition in late-game teamfights.
Shen will be one of the best tanks going into Worlds, providing a valuable global ultimate and a safe laning phase. He is an overall scary pick for either the top lane or jungle position.
We saw Shen played in the jungle for the first time in the LCS, where Team SoloMid played him with great success. Putting Shen in the jungle came as a surprise to many, but it might be a strategy that more teams will be looking towards.
Being viable in both the top lane and jungle also makes Shen a strong flex pick in champion select. Picking him early on can be a safe way to confuse the opponent, so he might just end up on the ban list for many teams.