World Elite, once considered the best team in the world, has now made it back to an international tournament. After dominating IPL 5, World Elite looked immortal, but after losing in the finals of the GIGABYTE StarWars League/Season 2, they began to crumble. While they would continue to slump in the weeks following the StarWars League, it was apparent that the meta was changing with the rise of OMG. OMG would gain recognition at the NVIDIA Game Festival, where they would place 4th but still showing a strong performance. World Elite’s inability to adapt to the current meta and OMG’s incredibly aggressive play style would be the bane of WE for months to come. Royal Club would also emerge as a threat, giving World Elite constant trouble, and for good reason as they would make a deep run at the World Championships. World Elite would continue to under perform, even failing to qualify for the World Championship. While that is a disappointment to World Elite fans everywhere, they are still a premier League of Legends team. After World’s, it became apparent that China’s LPL was much stronger than everyone realized. Royal Club’s trip to the finals, as well as OMG’s utter domination in the group stages, proved the strength of the relatively unknown LPL.
What Makes World Elite So Strong?
World Elite’s inability to qualify for World’s, didn’t mean much about the strength of the team, as they had an incredibly difficult region to qualify out of. This became apparent in the recent showing of WE at the WCG China Qualifiers, as they showed flashes of the World Elite of old. We saw why WeiXiao is considered one of the premier marskmen in the world, with his out of this world mechanics and ability to stay even in lane, despite having a counter match up. We also saw a former weakness, Misaya’s champion pool, turned into a strength as he performed brilliantly on Orianna, Ahri, Kassadin, Zed, and even Sion. They also have an excellent pick/ban phasebecause of Misaya’s diverse champion pools and the persistent bans that Misaya and FZZF draw on Sion and Blitzcrank, respectively.
Misaya’s Sion, was either picked or banned, in all but two games in the WCG Qualifiers. It First appeared on August 23, 2013 when he pulled it out against team Positive Energy. WE absolutely dominated that game, and Misaya even purchased the Mejai’s Soulstealer. But what makes it so deadly?
Misaya’s AP Sion
By looking at it from a logical standpoint, we can determine that AP Sion is a champion revolved around his Q-Cryptic Gaze (1.5 second stun, which deals magic damage) and his W-Death Caress (A Shield surrounding Sion, lasting 10 seconds. After 4 seconds, the shield may be detonated, dealing damage in a 550 range around Sion.) Typically, champions who have great base statistics have some sort of trade off in order to balance the champion out. In Sion’s case, he cannot reach the ideal targets in team fights that most AP Carries look for so his range is a major hindrance to his skillset. Also because his kit only has two abilities that scale off of AP, after level 11 the pace in which his damage increases comes to a lull. What we can conclude from this then, is that Sion’s strength comes in the early and mid game, ideally where he can rely off his powerful base stats and find ways to position himself flanking as a secondary or even primary engage.
As you can see here, Misaya decides to spec 21 into uility, rather than the very popular 21 into offense that most AP Carries do in today’s meta. This enables him to abuse Sion’s relativity short cool downs, as he can “all in” you every 10 seconds, rather than wait for the ultimate that most AP Carries rely on. He does so by speccing into as much move speed and mana regen as possible, allowing him to fly around the map with just a couple items and snowball the game. This plays into the Chinese Meta almost perfectly, which revolves around persistent roaming and the ability to tower dive.
Analyzing Misaya’s runes is quite simple. His Glyphs, Marks, and Seals are all becoming increasingly standard in the Asian region. His Quintessences however, are not the 3 standard flat Ap we typically see most AP Carries run, but instead he has two movement speed Quintessences and one flat Ap. His emphasis on movement speed allows him to abuse the CC and burst damage that AP Sion brings in the early mid game, creating roam and pressure that previously wouldn’t have been there. His playstyle on AP Sion only makes sense, as Misaya’s claim to fame was through his absolutely dominant Twisted Fate play, drawing bans nearly every game much like his AP Sion of this day. Here we can see an example of his AP Sion brought into play, in the group stages of WCG China, just a couple weeks ago.
Here we see WeiXiao getting ganked by Lee Sin, Misaya recognizes this and has shoved in his lane and started to move up the river, being able to do so with around 400 move speed.
WeiXiao and Troll manage to get them low enough to the point where they have to base. However Misaya has other plans, as he has maneuvered his way up the river and in position to kill both Lee Sin and Vayne in about 10 seconds.
He flashes in to kill Vayne, before Lee Sin can even react. If we take a look at bot lane, Jarvan has managed to push his creep wave back to a neutral position, and has just now started roaming to mid.
Misaya then comes back to dive Sona who has returned with Lee Sin to defend the tower. His short cooldowns allow him have all of his damage up again in around 7 seconds. He is able to do this because of his utility masteries and movement speed quintessences.
You can see his pure damage, as he doesn’t have to put points into his ult, he is able to put 5 points into his Q and W. He is also able to tank the tower in two rotations, taking around 5 tower shots because of his low cool down shield. After the tower dive is over, and 3 people on the enemy team dying as a result, he is still at 70 % health and is able to choose between sieging with his team, taking dragon, or returning to his lane, which has not been pushed in the slightest bit because of the speed in which they are able to execute the tower dive.
Return of WeiXiao’s Ezreal
While he has been out of the spotlight, WeiXiao is still a world class marskman and now with the return of the Trinity Force carries, he has returned to the international stage. WeiXiao was once considered the best marksmen in the world and people would constantly compare Doublelift and WeiXiao together, often citing narrow differences in their playstyle to argue which was stronger. This coupled with World Elite’s win streak and status as the number one team in the world, brought his status to near invincible. His high mechanical skill and ability to shot call in game only traveled through word of mouth, so when the All Star weekend came around he had a massive hype train which was nearly impossible to live up to. China’s performance at All Star’s was an overall dissapointment, and WeiXiao’s performance left more to be desired. World Elite’s status as the number one team was long gone at that point, but WeiXiao and company can take it all back at the WCG Finals.
WeiXiao was best known for being a master of Ezreal and Vayne, showing off his godlike mechanics with the latter. With Vayne absolutely tearing up solo queue and the recent Trinity Force buffs, WeiXiao has been quite dominant as of late. While Ezreal has always been strong, the Trinity Force builds have enabled Ezreal to have that early-mid game presence that is so essential in the Chinese meta. His high mechanical skill and experience on Ezreal, allow him to play to the champion’s absolute limit, enabling his team to aggressively dive the enemy while he fends for himself.
What Can We Expect From World Elite at WCG?
While World Elite has looked incredibly strong lately, they were swept in the WCG China finals by OMG. I believe I speak on behalf of all fans when I say that I would love to see AP Sion at WCG, but is it likely? Given that it is both banned frequently and is still situational as are almost all picks, the possibility of its appearance is highly unlikely. However we can expect a very strong showing by both WeiXiao and Misaya. Not only did Misaya bring back the AP Sion, but he also reworked his entire champion pool to dominate the current meta. We also see WeiXiao, whose reinvented eagerness to prove that he is still a world class marksman will invite him to play at an extremely high level. With a support who mains Blitzcrank, a mid laner feared for his Sion play, and a team that did not qualify for World’s yet defeated the runner up, we can expect World Elite to come into WCG with fists swinging and an appetite for destruction.