The League of Legends summer split is underway in all four major esport regions (China, Europe, North America, and Korea). Every team will be vying for a place at the 2023 World Championships, which are due to take place in Korea between September and November.
Recent patches to the game have brought with them a lot of major changes to the meta. As a result, a handful of champions have been making regular appearances during the pick/ban phases of pro games.
Leading the way are Neeko and recently released champion Milio. The pair of colorful characters hold a 99% presence rate at the time of writing. Three other champions have a presence rate of over 90% - Vi (98%), K'Sante (95%), and Aphelios (92%). All this data comes from professional play stat-tracking site, Game of Legends.
"OP" Neeko And Milio Lead Presence Rate And Ban Lists
Amid complaints that Neeko has become "overpowered" in recent patches and that Milio is not properly balanced yet, the two champions' presence on the pro scene has mostly been as bans. Neeko is the most banned champion at 184. Milio is the third-most banned at 164. Furthermore, the pair hold win rates of 47% and 58% respectively in the games where they have been picked.
A similar story can be seen at the higher levels of the amateur competitive scene. Both champions are top-ten in bans at all levels of ranked play from Gold and higher. This is in spite of a nerf to Milio on the most recent patch. Returning to pro play, the best Neeko player has been BLG's Yagao (5 games, 100% win rate, 4.8 KDA). Meanwhile, the best Milio players are Gen.G's Delight (5 games, 80% win rate, 12.5 KDA) and T1's Keria (5 games, 80% win rate, 10.4 KDA).
Furthermore, Neeko is receiving a nerf on the upcoming 13.13 patch. This will also be a three-week patch, meaning that both characters could receive more substantial adjustments in the 13.14 patch after the dev team observes the long-term effects on the meta.
Related: LEC Summer split tracker
Japan Sees First Woman To Play In Pro LoL League
Speaking of dominance in the support position, Japan became the latest region to break the gender barrier. Miyu "Shakespeare" Otomo participated in FENNEL's week 1 game against Crest Gaming Act, filling in for starting support Ian "Corporal" Pearse. Additionally, Japan is believed to be just the third Worlds-eligible region to have a woman appear in its top league.
While FENNEL's opponents were not the toughest team in the league, Shakespeare still put on a masterful display. She ended the series with a 3/1/22 stat line after playing Yuumi and Lulu. Furthermore, if FENNEL are able to win the LJL's single Worlds berth, Shakespeare could be the first woman to attend the year-end event as a player.
Shakespeare did not play in FENNEL's Week 2 loss to Sengoku Gaming. Corporal recorded a 2/7/12 stat line across the three games in the 2-1 loss. Next week, FENNEL takes on V3 Esports, as well as perennial league champions DetonatioN FocusMe. Perhaps Shakespeare will get another shot at the starting job if Corporal's numbers don't improve.
Related: LCS Summer split tracker