Two guns are better than five.
The smoke has settled and the trophy has been handed out at the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, with China’s JD Gaming standing triumphant over the rest of the competition this past weekend. Fans witnessed greatness at the tournament, but they also watched some of the best AD carry players battle with two of the strongest champions in the role’s history.
Jinx and Aphelios were the most-played champions across the entire event by far and faced each other 33 times over the course of the tournament, setting a new record as the most-played ADC-vs-ADC matchup of any major international League tournament. Only one of those champions, however, managed to finish the event with a win percentage over 50 percent.
The Loose Cannon of Zaun locked in an impressive 58 percent win rate over 43 games, making her the official queen of MSI over Aphelios, who only had a 43 percent win rate, according to competitive League stats aggregate Oracle’s Elixir. She also had a higher KDA and kill participation percentage, while barely squeaking by her rival champion in average damage to champions per minute.
Related: Flawless: JDG win MSI 2023 without losing a single series
Multiple superstar marksmen had these two champions as their most-played picks, including JD Gaming’s Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, Bilibili Gaming’s Zhao “Elk” Jia-Hao, and T1’s Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong. Rarely did these players deviate from these two champions unless they were banned, which forced them to pick up Zeri or Xayah as second options.
Although both ADCs play similar roles of late-game hyper-carries, Jinx is a much simpler champion to navigate compared to Aphelios. With two forms and straightforward self-peeling abilities, she can allow players to focus on positioning and aggression during hectic teamfights, especially in the final moments of a match.
Aphelios, on the other hand, requires a bit more planning to play him efficiently. Since he has five different guns with multiple different effects based on the combination of weapons in his hands, players must ensure that they have the best combo for a certain situation, like a teamfight vs. laning.
If they don’t have good weapons equipped, Aphelios’ effectiveness won’t be at its peak, even if he is able to position well and time his aggression against the enemy team. As a result, the simplicity of Jinx’s kit propels her above Aphelios, since these mechanically gifted stars can simply hone in on their skills instead of having to micro-manage their weapons first.