For yet another season, Akali has been on the permanent ban list for most professional teams in many regions. The champion has been a power pick across multiple metas and seasons, always relevant and important for teams to either take away from the opponent or to pick for themselves first.
The rogue assassin has been a constant presence since her rework in Season 8, which gave her some versatility in lane and an updated kit with the increased mobility of more modern champions. She can operate in almost every team composition. Akali works well whether she’s diving the enemy, cleaning up team fights, or split pushing.
Akali before her rework was a very niche assassin that was only played by players with quirky or large champion pools. She was not considered a high-tier champion by any means, outclassed by other assassins such as Leblanc and Talon.
She had just 21 appearances in her first four seasons, with nine of those coming in her first three. Her lowest pick rate was in season five when she was not picked in a single professional match. That is very closely matched with her season six pick rate with just one match.
Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani had the most games on the champion with five, registering only one win.
Akali was reintroduced to the game in the middle of Season 8 and instantly saw her pick and ban rates increase dramatically. Since her new version could play in both the mid and top lanes, she was a powerful weapon in the draft phase for most teams. She was adopted early by the top European league, with the region having the highest pick rate across all regions and Luka “Perkz” Perković having the most games on the champion at five.
Since then, Akali has been banned more than she has been picked and was adopted by both China and Korea as a staple of their players. Those regions claimed the highest pick rates for the champion in Season 9. Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Heo “ShowMaker” Su had impressive stats on the assassin, putting in a double digit average KDA on more than 10 games with the champion.
In the more recent history of Season 10, Akali’s ban to pick rate was even more skewed towards bans. The champion logged over 1,000 bans to only 448 picks across all regions.
While the champion has been flexed to the top lane many times, the players with the most games on her are all mid laners. The player with the most games, and the second best win rate, is European assassin expert Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov. The Norwegian has put in 30 games on Akali with a 67% win rate. Other players that top the leaderboard in win rate and KDA on Akali are Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, Chovy, and ShowMaker.
Akali is a versatile assassin that can operate well in any meta, and she has a good chance of winning the early laning phase. She will seemingly always be a part of the professional champion pool until Riot Games makes the decision to nerf her in a more dramatic way.