Best picks of 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage were the ones that defined the matches the most in the new 13.13 meta.
The first week of the 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage has concluded! After six incredible Bo3’s, two teams have locked in their spot for the Playoffs: Excel Esports, who are an arm’s length away from completing their redemption arc, and G2, who are back on track after the mistakes of the Spring Split. Both teams have shown exceptional understanding of the meta of the Group Stage which changed significantly from the Regular Season, which was played on Patch 13.11. Alongside the two Playoff-participants, nearly every team have adapted well – but what where the most defining picks of the first week of the 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage?
Best Picks of 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage Week One
Rumble (2 picks – 8 bans – 100% win rate)
Rumble received a mini-mini-rework in Patch 13.12, where Riot Games tried to move him away from a toplane burst mage to a proper AP-bruiser akin to Gwen and Swain. While the balance team didn’t accomplish that goal, they brought Rumble back to the meta, who has been featured in our picks to look out for and best midlaners of Patch 13.13 articles. The Yordle in the Shell became a highly contested pick worldwide, with team either picking or banning him – usually in the first round of drafts.
Excel Esports, more specifically Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu was the one that brought Rumble on the LEC stage in Berlin, showing viewers why the champion is in such high demand. Combined with any major CC effect, Equalizer is still a game-changer, and thanks to the buffs to his Q, E and Passive, Rumble can now fight with tanks on a more even ground. While the Junkyard Titan still falls off lategame, he can guarantee a win in the laning phase and the midgame, while being an excellent zoner later on – no wonder that after Odo picked him twice, he only showed up among the banned champions.
Rell (5 picks – 9 bans – 100% win rate)
The Iron Maiden was expected to be a strong pick in the meta, but the LEC took her to another level. With her mini-rework, she became a very capable support and jungler, thanks to the fact that she doesn’t need an ally to use one of her abilities anymore. With picks suck as Kai’Sa, Kalista and Rumble being prominent, the ultimate of Rell, Magnet Storm became an invaluable tool, even more so than before. She also has a very healthy and relatively fast clear speed in the jungle, making him a great flex pick – who could even be picked top if you really need to trick your opponents.
G2’s jungler, Martin “Yike” Sundelin picked Rell in the jungle in the first match against KOI, and together with Steven “Hans sama” Liv’s Kalista and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle’s Nautilus, they left no chance for the Spanish squad in the teamfights. Limit and Odo secured two victories for their team with the combo of Rumble and Rell – with the latter tanking an incredible amount of damage while dealing some herself.
Ivern – (3 picks – 10 bans – 66,7% win rate)
If you had enough of the tree meta we’ve been living in since last year’s World Championship, I have some bad news for you: Ivern’s buffs were very successful, and the meta shifted in a way that suits him very well, as high-octane early games can be played again with picks such as Tristana, Kai’Sa, Renekton and Jayce.
Ivern has an incredibly fast clear speed, great utility thanks to his Q and E, and creative players can make wonders with his W, as Yike and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski did. After he gets level 6, Ivern becames a menace on his own, as even though he doesn’t have much damage, Daisy does, so with the help of his trusty golem, the Friend of the Forest can kill squishier targets more easily, while basically being immortal thanks to his mobility and shielding. Ivern is incredibly strong at the moment, so expect to see him – at least on the ban list!
Maokai (3 picks – 11 bans – 66,7% win rate)
As I said, we live in a tree meta. The 13.13 patch addressed some problematic junglers such as Wukong and Vi, who have fallen out of the meta, as Wukong had a 0% presence in the opening weekend, while Vi was banned twice, but afterwards, players have forgotten the Piltover Enforcer too.
While Riot Games tried and managed to change the meta up (to a certain degree), they conveniently left Maokai out of the list of changed champions, so of course he stayed in the meta. The Twisted Treant’s Sapplings still provide great damage and invaluable vision to the entrances of the enemy team’s jungle and in chokepoints, his ultimate is still one of the best engage and disengage tools in the game, which at the very least makes your opponents move away from the area the roots travel through. He can also survive a great deal of damage thanks to the untargetability of Twisting Advance and his Passive heal, so he’s still one of the best jungler – and all around one of the best picks in the professional meta at the moment.
LeBlanc (3 picks – 11 bans – 33,3% win rate)
While she has the worst win rate out of all the champions listed here, she was by far the most defining pick of the first weekend of the 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage. Of course, the popularity and strength of LeBlanc is still the achievement of Statikk Shiv – which Riot Games tried to push out of the midlane by decreasing the AP scaling on it’s lightning passive, but as we can see, it didn’t work out. Players found out that if they take the Minion Dematerializer Rune from the Inspiration tree, they can still oneshot waves.
Pair this with the fact that LeBlanc is still one of, if not the best assassin in League of Legends thanks to her double Distortion and one-shot potential, and you can see that she’s a problem. While she only won one match, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun showed us why she has been banned 11 times: the players of SK Gaming couldn’t do much about a walking nuke who they couldn’t catch as they lacked fast lockdown abilities. If LeBlanc is left to do her thing, she can warp games completely – hopefully, this version of the leader of the Black Rose doesn’t stay around for the Season Finals and the 2023 World Championship.
While the first week of the 2023 LEC Summer Group Stage has ended, there’s still 2 spots left open for the Playoffs, with 6 teams trying to claim them. Who will adapt best to the meta, and who will have to head home empty handed? Follow ESTNN if you don’t want to miss the action!