League of Legends

The LCS’ most-picked champion in 2023 Summer Split is also its most successful

The champion is dominating their position and catching the attention of players around the league.

Photo by Stefan Wisnoski via Riot Games

Halfway through the 2023 LCS Summer Split, the meta is becoming clearly defined, and it’s arguable that one champion is standing head-and-shoulders above the rest of the roster in terms of both popularity and effectiveness.  

This Summer Split, no champion in the game has been more popular with LCS teams than Aphelios, who holds an 87 percent pick/ban rate through the first 45 games of the split, according to League stats site Games of Legends. That means he’s been involved in 39 drafts this summer, with a grand total of 30 picks and nine bans. In the 30 games in which he’s actually appeared on the Rift, he’s dominated, holding a win rate of 60 percent across those games.

The only other champion on the roster to even come close to the numbers that Aphelios is putting up halfway through the split is Sejuani, who has 14 wins in 21 appearances. We believe that Aphelios gets the edge thanks to the larger sample size, although it’s undeniable that both champions are the strongest fallback options for players at their relative positions. For junglers specifically, when champions like Kindred or Vi are taken off the table, Sejuani appears as the next-best choice. 

Aphelios remains one of the most popular champions in pro League. Image via Riot Games

AD carries, historically, have not been as subject to bans in pro play as some of the game’s other roles, although they can be targeted if a strong player-champion combination is present on the other team. The only other AD carry who has more bans in the LCS this summer than Aphelios’ nine is Lucian, who has 11. But the gunslinger’s win rate is far lower than that of Aphelios, as he only sits at 40 percent, according to Games of Legends. 

Related: The biggest winners and losers of League Patch 13.13

Aphelios received nerfs to three of his weapons in Patch 13.13—Severum (Red), Gravitum (Purple), and Crescendum (White), in regard to their healing ability, slow duration, and Sentry turret’s attack speed, respectively. It’s still yet to be seen whether those nerfs will have a significant effect on Aphelios’ presence in pro play, though.

It’s possible that League Patch 13.13 will be enabled for week four of the LCS, which begins later today. Keep in mind, though, that a new week of Korea’s LCK began this morning and was still played on Patch 13.12. If the patch goes live in North America’s pro scene today, it could have an effect on teams’ approach to Aphelios. 

The fourth week (and second half) of the 2023 LCS Summer Split will begin today, July 5, at 4pm CT. 

About the author

Michael Kelly

Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike’s been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.

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