Top 5 Unique Champions Picked At MSI 2022 Across Different Roles

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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MSI 2022 has brought about some spicy champion picks that are rather unique to League of Legends pro play.
These picks included Kalista mid-lane, Ziggs and Karthus APC, Evelynn jungle, and Rumble support.

The Group Stage of the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) 2022 has finally come to an end with T1, G2 Esports, Royal Never Give Up (RNG), PSG Talon (PSG), Evil Geniuses (EG), and Saigon Buffalo (SGB) making it to the Rumble Stage of the tournament. In the five days of action-packed games, fans witnessed some interesting picks across the board, denoting a steep change in the meta. Ahead of the releases of LoL Patch 12.7 and patch 12.8, Riot Games stated that it wanted to shake up the stale meta and bring in some new champions that pro play and pubs have not seen in a while.

Looking at the picks at MSI 2022, one can confidently say that Riot nailed it in the last two patches. Champions like Wukong and Lucian have a very high presence in the tournament so far and notably, they were not a priority pick in the Spring Split across regions.

Let us take a look at the top five unique champion picks at the MSI 2022 group stage.

Kalista mid-lane

Kalista is traditionally an attack-damage carry (ADC) champion in League of Legends who plays in the bottom lane alongside supports that she can tether to using her passive. However, there have been instances where mid-laners pick Kalista and tether to their junglers to enable quirky and creative ganking patterns. Kalista mid-lane was a shocking pick at MSI 2022 that popped up on the last day of the group stage between Saigon Buffalo (SGB) and DetonatioN FocusMe.

In the champion select, DFM locked in Vel’Koz mid and this was answered by a Kalista flex pick. Notably, this was the first time in the pro League of Legends scene where this matchup took place. Obviously, this was a hard lane for Lee “Yaharong” Chan-ju on Vel’Koz since Kalista is a ranged champion and Vel’Koz cannot contest her at all. The early game went in favor of SGB’s mid-lane Bùi “Froggy” Văn Minh Hải. In the end, DFM lost this do-or-die match and was knocked out of contention at MSI 2022.

Rumble support

Never in a million years would a League of Legends player imagine Rumble as a support champion. But now, thanks to T1’s Ryu “Keria” Min-seok, players might see Rumble in the bot-lane in Solo Queue games. Keria locked in Rumble against Saigon Buffalo on Day 6 of MSI 2022 and decided to have some fun on the Summoner’s Rift. Despite this unconventional pick, T1 managed to win the game and emerge out of Group A with a 6-0 record, going into the “Rumble” stage.

Notably, this was the first time Keria had ever played Rumble in his pro career and he ran the Summoner Spells of Ghost and Cleanse. According to Games of Legends, Rumble has only been picked in the support role a total of 27 times in pro play. The champion also has a win rate of 29.6% with an average KDA ratio of 2.1.

Ziggs ADC

Ziggs ADC or an ability power carry [APC] to be exact, is a typical Solo Queue pick in League of Legends where players decide to pair this mage champion with a tank support in the bottom lane and shred through towers. This pick is not all that surprising but Ziggs ADC was picked up by Saigon Buffalo’s Nguyễn “Shogun” Văn Huy against Team Aze in MSI 2022’s Group Stage.

Ziggs has a very strong aggressive poke with all his abilities and a strong Area of Effect (AoE) ultimate too. In this match versus Team Aze, Shogun’s Ziggs had a KDA ratio of 3.7 and a 612 DPM [Damage Per Minute]. Additionally, the champion has a 100% win rate at MSI 2022 in the bottom lane.

Karthus in the bottom lane

Karthus has appeared a couple of times at MSI 2022 in the jungle role but only once in the bottom lane as a damage-dealing APC. On Day 5 of MSI 2022, ORDER’s marksman Nathan “Puma” Puma locked in Karthus against Evil Geniuses’ Jhin and Bard bottom lane. ORDER failed to capitalize on this interesting pick and eventually was knocked out of the tournament after going 0-6 in the groups. Puma had a KDA ratio of 0.7and dealt 436 damage per minute, according to the stats by Games of Legends.

Evelynn jungle

Seeing Evelynn in the jungle is not very surprising, honestly. But to see Evelynn get picked at an international event like the MSI 2022 was the wow factor. However, teams were anticipating this pick for quite some time now because Evelynn is one of Shane "Kevy" Allen’s signature picks and he won games for ORDER playing her in the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO). Kevy picked Evelynn against G2 Esports on Day 3 of the tournament.

Evelynn is weak in the early game and her true potential unlocks only at level six when she gets her invisibility passive. Unfortunately for Kevy, G2 did not let him scale through the early game as he was constantly invaded and killed in the starting minutes of the game.

Following Kevy, Evil Geniuses’ Kacper “Inspired” Słoma picked her up for himself in the jungle and won the match against ORDER. At MSI 2022, Evelynn jungle has a win rate of 50% with an average KDA ratio of 3.5.

Apart from these unique picks, fans also witnessed champions like Vi, Darius, Garen, Zed, and Fiora, among others at MSI 2022. Since this was just the group stage of the tournament where teams were just warming up, fans can expect to see more spicy picks in the crucial stages in the coming days of the MSI.

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Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant

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