These champions are set to make a big impact at this year's keystone LoL event.
The biggest event of the year for League of Legends fans is almost here, the 2021 World Championship. Here, the best teams from every region meet on Summoner's Rift to battle for the chance to hoist the Summoner's Cup. Every year, the meta is important to follow as new picks rise to the surface, while some stay powerful and at the forefront. With that in mind, there are a few of these picks this year specifically that finally have a chance to be seen in the pro meta for the first time in a while. So here are five champions that may find their way into the Worlds 2021 meta with quite a splash!
First and foremost in this list is Tryndamere, specifically in the mid lane. While he hasn't seen almost any presence in pro play for years, it seems like this might be his time to shine. Former Fnatic mid laner and current Gen.G content creator Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek has been a savant of the pick for a while and others are starting to catch on. Some big names like Heo "ShowMaker" Su, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang and Felix "Abbedagge" Braun are just a few who have been piloting the pick recently.
But after such a long time as a fringe solo queue pick, why is Tryndamere a strong pick right now? And especially why in the mid lane? Well, to start with, he simply stat checks a lot of meta mid laners. Melee matchups like Yone and Sylas simply can't deal with his pure damage output. Meanwhile, Tryndamere can often force picks like that into bad fights. On the other hand, he has very high health regeneration, and coupled with Doran's Shield, Second Wind and his Bloodlust (Q) healing, it's pretty hard for scaling mages to poke him enough to force him out of lane. And if Tryndamere can outlast a mage's mana pool, he can run them down with Ghost fairly easily.
That all said, it's not totally certain that Tryndamere will be a staple meta pick. It will almost undoubtedly be played a little bit, but depending on how the pick goes in scrims and in the early stage games, it could fall out of favor quickly. Or rise to prominence even more. Either way, it will certainly be one of the most interesting picks to watch throughout the tournament.
From being a dominating force in pro play for a while to falling from grace, Qiyana is finally back in the meta in a big way. Changes to her on patch 11.18 addressed her lack of play by giving her the ability to jungle back. Another buff in patch 11.19 also helped her out in the jungle. As a result, this has made her a strong choice for jungle players. Players from Worlds teams all around the globe, including Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu, Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla, Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang and Can "Closer" Çelik, have noticeably been practicing the pick in solo queue.
The recent buffs to Qiyana have been critical, as they really help her jungle clear. With a decent clear speed now, Qiyana isn't a burden in the early game and is free to roam around and do what she does best. Kill squishies. Due to her high burst damage, and even a bit of CC, her ganks can be terrifying to deal with. Plus, as a jungler, she can easily utilize all of the different elements for her abilities and is pretty hard to deal with. Finally, not only Qiyana is a very potent assassin, but she also has an extremely influential team fighting ultimate that is highly valued in pro play.
Because of all this, Qiyana has risen to prominence this patch and will see play at this year's World Championship. With her flashy kit and potential for massive plays, she should be on everyone's radar come time.
Shifting the focus back to very new picks to the pro play meta, we come to the sad mummy Amumu. Besides a brief stint of popularity during pre-Season 11, Amumu has sadly been a lesser cared about champion for a while. He used to rely on his single Bandage Toss (Q) skill shot too much. And, traditionally as a jungler, he simply couldn't keep pace with meta picks. But adjustments to Amumu in patch 11.17 were quite a boon for him not only in the jungle but the support role too.
In patch 11.17, Amumu had changes done to the damage from his Despair (W). He also lost some stun duration on his late-game Curse of the Sad Mummy (R). However, his Q was buffed in a big way. Instead of a single skill shot, Amumu now has two charges of his Q. And with only a three-second cooldown between both uses, if Amumu has both charges up, he can be terribly annoying with his engage potential.
Currently, he is seeing a relatively large amount of play in the support role, but only a little bit in the jungle still. It seems junglers can still punish his weak early game. But that's not the case in the bottom lane. The changes certainly seem to have made him a favored pick among pros, and considering he has a long-range engage tool and a devastating team fight ultimate, it's easy to see why pro players would like him. Expect to see Amumu make a lot more friends this year at Worlds 2021!
Jarvan IV isn't too uncommon to see in LoL pro play. He typically makes his way in and out of the meta each year. Though he hasn't been in a great spot for most of this year, it's looking about time for him to make his return. The most recent change to Jarvan IV was back in patch 11.16, where he received damage buffs to both his Martial Cadence passive and his Cataclysm ultimate.
These damage buffs went a long way for Jarvan IV. In addition, the current strong bruiser itemization benefits him a ton. Part of what makes Jarvan IV weak at times is that when he engages, he either doesn't do enough damage or he dies too quickly. Thankfully, he doesn't have those issues right now. The core build of Goredrinker and Sterak's Gage is incredibly potent for both doing damage and staying alive. The buffs on top of his itemization are the main reasons that Jarvan IV is back in the meta.
Though he isn't as exciting a pick as some others in this list, Jarvan IV is a classic pro play pick who is gaining traction again. Throughout his time, he's always had the ability to make huge plays. Plus, he can be a flex pick between top and jungle, an important thing to consider in draft. With everything considered, it's clear why Jarvan IV is rising in popularity and will be seen more when the action starts!
The final champion on this list might be a little more controversial but one that would be fun to see. Draven is a very snowbally pick that is highly volatile. While this usually means pros won't favor him that much, as coordinated play can shut it down, Draven may be an exception. Earlier in the year, in patch 11.12, Draven got buffs to the damage on his Spinning Axe (Q). That didn't do too much for his presence though. It wasn't until patch 11.18 where his Whirling Death ultimate was buffed until he started getting more love.
Draven is all about the damage. Check that box off with the two aforementioned buffs. But Draven also needs to be enabled in the early game. Currently, there is a lot of focus on the early game generally. Support picks like Amumu, Leona and Thresh are very popular and can set up Draven to get kills. Plus, the majority of meta junglers are ones that can make action happen early on too. If Draven's team focuses his lane he can get off to the roaring start he needs to thrive.
All in all, Draven is the champion here that is least likely to be an influential meta pick at Worlds 2021. Regardless of his buffs, he can still be rendered useless if his lane is camped by the enemy. However, there is a decent chance that teams pick him up as a surprise pick to find cheeky victories. Because of this, it will certainly be fun to watch and see if Draven pops up at Worlds!