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LoR Competitive Week in Review for 7/5 - 7/11

While everyone waits with bated breath for the Ruination event launching with a champion expansion in just a few days, the competitive scene has had to keep their heads in the present. After all, an unsolved meta continues to rage on with high stakes tournaments. On Friday, Giant Slayer TV’s Fight Night made it’s AM and EU return after nearly a month-long hiatus, and came out of the gate swinging with tournaments stacked with talent from the recent Guardians of the Ancient Seasonal. While we don’t typically look at Fight Night due to the differing format from Seasonals, we’ll probably be checking in with them during the next month of ever changing metas. So to give you an idea of how wide open things are right before a new injection of cards, the day started off with Seasonal Champion TomasOW winning in Europe with Lulu/Jinx and Pirates. While Lulu/Jinx has been a pet deck of many top notch competitors for a while, to my knowledge, it’s success in tournaments has left a lot to be desired. Not to be outdone in the creative department, Seasonal semi-finalist LGamesBR picked up the AM win with Discard Aggro, Hecarim/Trundle Harrowing, and Feel The Rush...control. Not exactly meta staples on either side, but it’s actually a good measure of the amount of variety we’ve been having as of late.

Over the weekend the GGToor x Sqweeby Runeterra Showdown with over 150 players and a $500 prize pool captivated everyone’s attention as we got to see what the final adaptations from top talents were. The last tournament before a new expansion is often overlooked by the community at large because it’s coming at the end of a solved meta, featuring the same old players with the same old decks. But as we’re still very much in the experimental phase, and because the champion expansion won’t change everything, players were very excited to tune in and see what was well positioned to be tweaked or remain a staple going into a new meta. We were treated with a top 16 of

Lee Sin: 8

Thralls: 5

Azir Irelia: 5

Draven/Ezreal: 3

Discard Aggro: 3

Deep: 3

Reputation: 3

Pirate Aggro: 3

Noxus/Shurima Aggro: 2

Thresh/Nasus: 2

Karma/Ezreal: 2

TF/Swain: 2

TF/Gangplank: 2

Overwhelm: 2

Sivir/Zed: 1

Scouts: 1

Shen/Jarvan IV: 1

Last week I mentioned that players were finding success in the opening weekend through how they usually do; by falling back onto the reliable and tested archetypes, in this case Thralls and TF/Swain. While the presence of TF/Swain may seem down this week, I did want to mention that the TF/Gangplank decks actually look very similar to TF/Swain, with a slightly more aggressive variation on the style due to the differing champion composition. It’s a variation I’m excited to track, as Draven/Ezreal went through a few experimental phases between Draven/Swain/Ezreal with any 2 of those 3 champions paired together being considered the best variant at one time or another. Do we have another long standing non-aggro Noxus archetype in the making? Probably. But only time will tell which one is better.

I had also mentioned in the previous article about the lack of Ionia in week 1, and how that was expected of the region so early on. Now in the 2nd week, Ionia has put up some impressive numbers, but is still falling behind both Shurima and Noxus. Shurima actually showed up in 7 different decks in the top cut, and no small part of that is off the back of the newly buffed Sivir. Earlier in the week Legends of Runeterra game designer Rubin Zoo hit rank 1 on the Americas ladder with another unique deck, Sivir/Zed. A lot of players rushed to try out the new Rubin Pile, and whether this directly influenced the further refining of Reputation (Sivir/LeBlanc) isn’t something I can really quantify, but the timing certainly checks out. Now this raises an important, possibly a Seasonal defining question to be answered in the meta - where does Sivir stand in the Shurima power rankings? Every Sivir deck we currently have shares a region combination with another, already proven archetype. Reputation and Azir/Darius fight over Noxus, Overwhelm and Thralls duke it out for the Freljord, and even the shiny new Sivir/Zed is late to the Ionia party behind Azir/Irelia. Last week I pointed out the trend of regional combinations becoming the defining factor in deck choice over champion overlap, and it’s a discussion players will continue to have that ultimately won’t reach a conclusion. But for now, Sivir seems to be one of the focal points.

Unfortunately as interesting as that conversation is, it wasn’t relevant to the winner of the tournament, Random7HS. In my player profile of Random last month I made it clear that he is not a Deep 1 trick, but a 2 trick, as his success is defined by the viability of Karma and Deep. So it should come as little surprise that Random with Deep / Karma/Ezreal / Lee Sin at his side was the first player to take home a big win with Karma/Ezreal. While the Shurima conversation is sidelined when talking about Random’s success, it is worth noting that the runner up, Oscillate, was able to take Reputation all the way to the finals in its debut weekend. 

There’s still a lot to be explored within the meta, but new archetypes and old favorites refined continued to share the spotlight this weekend. While the Ruination champion expansion is sure to shake things up, it’s not going to completely annihilate the old meta and a lot of these decks will be sticking around in the weeks to come. I have a feeling we may soon break the record for “most archetypes in a top 8”, especially as players continue to express themselves through deck choices in powerful regional combinations. While the fate of Runeterra will be decided in the fight between the Ruined and the Sentinels, the fate of your Seasonal may be determined by the war of Freljord, Noxus, and Ionia over their claim on Sivir.

Tagged: esports
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