One playmaking LoL top laner shapes as MSI 2023’s must-ban champ after opening games

"Time to strike!" Or not.

Today marked the start of the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational and the first set of games between G2 and LOUD and DFM and PSG Talon did not disappoint. But there was one small but deadly League of Legends champion who has already clocked up a 100 percent appearance on the banned champion list: Kennen.

In League Patch 13.5, Kennen received quite a few buffs to Thundering Shuriken (Q), which increased its damage and lowered its cooldown, and Lightning Rush (E), which increased the percentage of damage done to minions.

Despite these buffs, he has a less than 49 percent win rate on the Rift and isn’t among the most sought-after champions.

With such a poor win rate, why was Kennen the number one banned champion on matchday one at MSI 2023? Because his win rate, when piloted by League pros, is 62 percent. And his Ultimate, Slicing Maelstrom, is deadly in team fights.

The most common items for Kennen are Sorcerer’s Shoes and Hextech Rocketbelt, and his summoner spells are usually Flash and Teleport. Pairing all of this together, Kennen players have two opportunities to Flash or Hextech into team fights and pop his ultimate, which deals a considerable amount of magic damage when it strikes his targets.

If Kennen can land on the enemy’s backline, he and his team can take out the enemy’s AD carries and support quickly. Because of this, the pros aren’t willing to take a chance and let Kennen onto the Rift in such high-stakes matches.

Will The Heart of the Tempest’s ban streak continue for the next days of MSI 2023 as the premier League tournament rolls on? We’ll find out at 8am CT on May 3.

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