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LoR Competitive Week in Review for 8/2 - 8/9

The Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal is upon us. 2 weeks from now, we’ll have locked in every player for the first Legends of Runeterra World Championship. We’re in the end game.

And what a doozy of a ride it has been and will be, because for the first time I (Boulevard) can not say with any degree of confidence what the most popular deck is going to be, let alone the most popular lineup. A lot of players used this last weekend to experiment with new things, like Fight Night EU Seasonal Smackdown runner up TomasOW. You may remember Tomas’ success earlier in the month with Lulu/Jinx, but this time around he split up the dynamic duo bringing Discard / Lulu/Zed. Lulu/Zed has been one of the hottest ladder decks for the last couple of weeks, but hadn’t made any splash on the tournament scene until now. But you know what's better than a 2nd place debut? A winning one, which is what Draven/Riven was treated to in the hands of BrokenBall alongside Viego/Shurima. While Fight Night is not something you can derive all of your meta information from as they play 2 deck no ban instead of 3 deck one ban, these results don’t mean nothing. The decks are certainly worth looking into if you’re still undecided on a lineup, and they really drive home the point you’re going to hear from a lot of experts if you ask about lineups: comfort is king.

“Wow Boulevard” you say, “those sure were some crazy decks. But what performed well in the Fight Night AM Seasonal Smackdown? I need to understand what people are going to be net decking on a larger scale, so what familiar deck am I going to run into a lot?” FloppyMudkip won with Azir/Irelia / Pirates. “”Oh”, you mutter. The aggro boogeyman was not what you were hoping to hear about having a field day in the final hour, especially not Azir/Irelia. Briguy’s 2nd place lineup of Karma/Ezreal / Deep looked good throughout most of the day, but couldn’t handle the aggression in the finals. The question of how much aggro to expect has plagued the mind of nearly every Seasonal competitor at one point or another, and overthinking this question has sent hundreds if not thousands of players spiraling to their doom as they scrap their carefully crafted lineup and audible onto something unfamiliar in the hopes of not being the player who couldn’t handle Pirates. 

But in this final weekend we did have one tournament running in the Seasonal meta. The Mastering Runeterra Open gave us a basket we can put some of our eggs in. With over 200 competitors, this single elimination format event ran on Sunday.

1st Successor - Lee Sin / Scouts / Star Spring

2nd Evertonoob - Lee Sin / Shen Demacia / Sivir Akshan Demacia

Top 4 Briguy - Nab / Ez Karma / Sivir Akshan

Top 4 GrandpaRoji - Sivir / Zed / Akshan / Malphite/Taliyah / Spooky Viego

Top 8 Goddraw - Draven/Ezreal / Lulu/Zed / Pirates

Top 8 Kochua - Sivir / Zed / Akshan / Nab / Lee Sin

Top 8 Shadawx - Eggs / Spooky Viego / Deep

Top 8 4ccrow - Sivir / Zed / Akshan / TF/Swain / Nab

While there’s a lot to dissect from this top 8, the first thing I wanted to look at was Sivir. Ever since patch 2.12 I’ve spoken at length about Sivir and the impact she was likely to have on this upcoming Seasonal, often speculating about which of her many decks she would finally settle into. While the Shurima/Ionia combination is still the most popular, public sentiment and ladder play of the deck is down in the last few weeks. With her taking half the top 8 of this event (plus the Demacia version), it would behoove one to speculate that Sivir/Ionia is likely to be the most represented deck at the Seasonal. As a deck starts to fall off a bit in later stages of the meta, it’s important to not bait yourself into wishful thinking that a deck you don’t like is going to simply disappear. While counters have been found, they haven’t pushed it out completely.

But you know what has been pushed out completely? Anivia. As the most popular deck from last week, you would have expected at least 1 in the top 8, but it’s just not the case. Maybe you want to chalk it up to people being a little more experimental in the last weekend, but that argument doesn’t really hold footing given the high presence of the meta staple Sivir/Ionia. How much of a role the bird is going to play in the Seasonal remains to be seen, but it’s very possible it was just a flash in the pan.

There’s still a little more to dig into, so let’s look at Demacia. While it can’t be ignored that Scouts won the tournament, the deck has become a bit of a Seasonal only player. For quite a few months now Scouts sits on the sideline throughout the entire patch and then the week before the Seasonal rears its head up and ends up in a few lineups. This has been the decks hallmark since Cephalopod won a Fight Night with Stoney Suppressor Scouts the week before the Cosmic Creation Seasonal, so I wouldn’t read into it too much. As for the Sivir/Akshan Demacia list, it’s not new but it’s not common. It’s ladder stats have been eye catching from time to time and it’s performed admirably, but it hasn’t really made a lasting impact and I don’t think the 2nd place finish will change much for the deck.

While I’d love to get in depth with everything, this is supposed to be a summary article. So what I want to spend my final moments doing is reminding all of you Seasonal hopefuls that comfort is king. I said it while we looked at the Fight Night EU decks, and I will reiterate it once again with GrandpaRoji’s lineup. Malphite/Taliyah isn’t something you’ll find on many tier lists, but Roji finished the Guardians of the Ancient Seasonal with the deck at a 7-2 record, not making top cut only due to his ladder rank. Since then Roji has been pretty vocal about the strength of the deck, and will likely find a lot of success with it in the coming weekend. Now you don’t have to be the de facto expert on an off meta deck to run it in your lineup, as Roji wasn’t “the Malphite/Taliyah guy” until he put up results with the deck. 

Now for those of you who have been waiting with baited breath for me to reveal the winners this week for the Sentinel v Ruination minigame I’ve been keeping track of in the grassroots scene, this one has to go to the Sentinels. Akshan and Irelia have helped make Shurima/Ionia what it is today, which is to say the core meta defining region combination. If memory serves, this puts the Ruination and Sentinels at a 2:2 tie which means I suppose we’ll just have to use the Seasonal as a tiebreaker! For those of you who are playing for smidge more than a tiebreaker for my own minigame, I sincerely wish you the best of luck this weekend at the Rise of the Underworlds Seasonal.

Tagged: esports
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