The LEC’s regular season has concluded, and the competitive League of Legends scene has already shown us what the meta is looking like going into the next round of the 2023 Spring Split. Within this meta there has been a single champion that has stayed as #1 priority for all LEC matches thus far. Annie currently boasts a 100% pick or ban rate in the latest LEC regular season.
Annie has come out of nowhere in 2023 to become one of if not the most contested champion in Europe, according to League of Legends statistics website, Oracle’s Elixir. As of the moment, “The Dark Child” has been banned in 84.8 percent of all LEC matches, with all European squads seemingly agreeing the champion should not be free to pick in the draft phase.
Annie quickly climbed the popularity list after Riot implemented several buffs to almost her entire kit in League of Legends Patch 13.3, with the most feared by players being the changes to Molten Shield. The shield now gives a massive amount of damage sustain, a movement speed boost, and even a lesser damage reflection effect to a targeted ally, becoming an incredible ability for early-game skirmishes while also scaling well into late-game team fights.
On top of this newly found defensive ability, Annie also brings her usual extensive amount of crowd control thanks to her passive “Pyromania”. Something the players have also excelled at since learning the champion, has been their usage and control of Tibbers, using the massive bear to block skillshots and create a distraction during teamfights.
With mid-range bot laners finding a way back into the meta such as Zeri, Xayah, and Varus, Annie is able to provide them with a much-needed movement speed boost for them to have a much easier time dealing damage.
Since the release of Patch 13.3, Annie has also recorded the highest win rate out of any natural support champion throughout the high elo ranks on League of Legends system, according to ranked queue system statistics aggregate U.GG. Something to take into account is that these numbers have been predominant within European teams. With the rest of the Tier 1 regions seeing a pick ban percentage of 50% throughout the same amount of games.
Most likely Annie will remain as a high-priority pick moving into the 2023 LEC Spring Split group stage and even the playoffs. However once we get closer to the Mid Season Invitational, teams might move far from Annie as the Dark Child will eventually be nerfed in Patch 13.7.
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