The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational has so far lived up to expectations – the opening half of the tournament have thrown up some fascinating games and compelling narratives. The diverse strategies and compelling range of champion drafts over the first week of competition have made for some thrilling match-ups. In the right hands, the power picks of MSI 2017 have the potential to overthrow any opposition. But no team wants to be steamrolled; certain players simply cannot be allowed to pick up their signature champs for free.
The unexpected dawn of the Lucian era in the mid lane, the priority on the playmaking Lee Sin in the jungle and of course, the unforeseen power of Kled in the top lane – each has single handedly stolen the show at one point during the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational.
Success at MSI 2017 is dependant on a team’s ability to adapt to alien strategies. An integral part of that adaptation process is knowing when to appreciate an opponents strengths and respectably ban it out of the equation. With the pivotal pick and ban phase in mind, here are the pro power picks likely to receive target bans during Week 2:
Team WE Xiye: Lucian
The pocket pick that no-one expected, but will now be extremely cautious of. Team WE unleashed Lucian onto the rift hoping for the best, needless to say Xiye's numerous solo kills validated the bold strategy.
G2 Zven: Caitlyn
Pumping out insane damage from range whilst positioning with precision, Zven's Caitlyn performances formed a critical part of G2 eSports win conditions in Week 1; a natural target ban in the knockout stages.
SKT T1 Faker: Syndra
Though Faker's most played champion is Orianna, undoubtedly his most explosive performances are produced when playing Syndra. Able to perfectly calculate fatal damage, the control mage is lethal in Faker's hands.
FW MMD: Fizz
MMD's top lane Fizz is a play-making nightmare for any Flash Wolves opposition. Lurking in the darkness, MMD's Fizz has been used to conduct game changing plays for the Taiwanese squad.
SKT T1 Peanut: Lee Sin
Peanut's Lee Sin has broken records for kills at MSI 2017. Displaying a level of proficiency on the champion that many could only dream of, the highly contested champion is a deadly weapon in the hands of the SKT Jungler.
FW Karsa: Lee Sin
Karsa's Lee Sin is a fitting rival for Peanut. Flying around the map to apply pressure, FW will look to secure the jungler at every opportunity in the hope of a repeat result of the two team's previous meeting.
G2 PerkZ: Fizz
PerkZ has put the memes of MSI 2016 far behind him, producing some of the plays of the tournament from the mid lane. His play on Fizz vs GAM will live long in the memory.
Team WE 957: Kled
One of the most remarkable escapes and one of the hardest carries ever witnessed in a professional game, Team WE 957 demonstrated a high level of expertise on his pocket pick champion, Kled.
SKT T1 Huni: Galio
Huni's mastery of Galio in the top lane has brought the champion into the spotlight at MSI 2017. Seemingly immortal at times, Huni's ability to zone, bait and engage on opponents with Galio makes him a frightening prospect.
G2 Trick: Nunu
Honourable mention to G2 Trick, who despite widespread criticism, has continued to pick Nunu as a 'discount Ivern'. If anyone is to ban Nunu, perhaps it will be his own teammates...