Faker triumphs in LCK with rare mid lane pick he last featured at Worlds 2013

A surprising yet effective pocket pick.

T1 continued to maintain their dominance in the 2023 LCK Spring Split after a dominating victory over Liiv SANDBOX. In the series, legendary mid-laner Faker pulled off an unusual mid lane pick, which he hasn’t played in ten years.

In both games in the 2-0 match, Faker picked Gragas, a champion that is nowadays chosen for top lane in most scenarios. For the last few years, the champion was chosen for jungle, with mid lane remaining a position he just wasn’t fit for. This was Faker’s first game on Gragas since he played him in the Worlds 2013 final, according to a League of Legends stat site, Games of Legends.

In the series against Liiv SANDBOX itself, Faker wasn’t the strongest T1 player. He still did a decent job in the mid lane, but in the late-game teamfights, it was rather his other teammates, like Zeus and Oner, that shone the most and carried the team. In the second game, though, Gragas was paired with Yasuo, which was a popular combo in the past. With that victory, T1 solidified itself as leaders of the 2023 LCK Spring Split table.

Nowadays, Gragas is rarely picked for any other lane than top. In the 2023 LCK Spring Split, he was chosen eight times for the role, and only two times for the mid lane today, according to a League stat site, Oracle’s Elixir. He has also been occasionally picked by the top laners in the LCS and LEC this year, while also having some jungle picks alongside top lane ones in the 2023 LPL Spring Split.

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Gragas’ kit allows him to be a versatile pick. The champion can be built both defensively and aggressively, depending on the needs of his team composition. On the other hand, his ultimate and other abilities make him a useful tool to have by your side, especially in late-game teamfights.

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