Despite loss, CLG’s Palafox showcases Aurelion Sol’s power in reworked champ’s first 2023 game

The dragon has been let loose on the professional stage.

CLG mid laner Palafox busted out the first Aurelion Sol pick of the 2023 League of Legends season today, and it went as well as it could have despite a CLG loss. In what originally looked like one of the fastest games of the year, Palafoxs Aurelion Sol stymied FlyQuests mid-to-late-game advancements. 

In total, Palafox piloted the Star Forger to a 4/4/3 scoreline in the extended 37-minute contest, while accounting for 37 percent of CLG’s damage, according to League stats site Oracle’s Elixir.

To kick off week five of the LCS Spring Split, CLG insta-locked Aurelion Sol, marking the first time that the recently-reworked champion was played in the professional scene this season. Prior to his rework, Aurelion Sol did not receive any playtime in the pro scene in 2023. Coming into tonights game, he had been banned in four major region games this year, but this was the first time he actually made it onto the Rift. 

While tonights game didnt end the way Palafox and the rest of CLG would have liked it to, Aurelion Sol notched his fair share of highlights in the contest. Palafox stole Baron 23 minutes into the game with a heavy-hitting Breath of Light (Q), delaying CLGs demise. 

A few minutes later, Palafox earned a double kill in a make-or-break dragon pit teamfight that appeared to inch CLG back into the game. He continued to hold FlyQuest off almost single-handedly in a few late-game teamfights, but once FlyQuest were able to penetrate CLGs backline and make Palafoxs infinite scaling mechanics essentially irrelevant, the game belonged to them. 

The last time Aurelion Sol was picked in a major region pro game was in 2020 when he was selected in a loss by then-Afreeca Freecs mid laner Fly. To find a more recent North American ASol pick, youd have to go back over four years. The champion hadnt been picked in the LCS since the 2019 Spring Split when he was selected by former mid laner and Aurelion Sol main Huhi. 

Related: Riot to finally nerf Aurelion Sol among long list of planned League Patch 13.5 changes

Dating back to 2019, Aurelion Sol holds a competitive win rate of 35 percent in major region games, according to League stats site Games of Legends. Most of those games came courtesy of former Team WE mid laner Teacherma, who gained a reputation for himself in 2020 by playing 10 games with the champion that season. 

LCS fans (as well as global League fans) should expect Aurelion Sol to have a further impact on upcoming games, with leagues around the world shifting to Patch 13.4 in the near future. CLG will return to play tomorrow against 100 Thieves. 

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