League of Legends offers one of the largest diversity in any video game when it comes to its champions. With more than 150 unique characters, it’s likely that you are able to find the one that matches your playstyle. But what were the most popular champions in professional play this year and why were they popular?
In this post, we will be going over the 10 most-played champions in the 2022 League competitive season and analyzing the reasons behind their numbers.
Most Played League of Legends Champions in Season 12
First of all, let’s make a premise: the data gathered considers all the tournaments played during the 2022 competitive season. In other words, tournaments played during the pre-season (like KeSpa cup or Demacia cup) are not taken into consideration. All data is provided by the data website Games of Legends.
10. Zeri (1757 games)
The number 10 on the list is Zeri, one of the new additions to the League roster for this season. While she wasn’t that popular during the first part of the season, the buffs that she received before the start of the summer splits turned her into an S.-tier marksman. Whether it was the AP-poke version or the attack speed-based champion, she would dominate the late-game teamfights.
9. Gwen (1797 games)
Gwen is the next one on our list and she was one of the most consistent champions in terms of presence throughout the season. During both spring and summer, she achieved more than 800 games played (918 in spring, 879 in summer). She was a great flex pick (jungle, top and occasionally mid) and a great counter to scaling tanks like Ornn and Sejuani. Since she is an AP champion, it also made drafting for teams.
8. Xin Zhao (1831 games)
Xin Zhao is an evergreen champion. Following his rework and the buffs early last season, Xin Zhao was the most-picked jungler in spring (1392 games). It took repeated nerfs to his damage, base stats and ultimate to force him out of the meta, but he was borderline overpowered due to his survivability and the damage he provided at all stages of the game.
7. Lee Sin (1869 games)
Speaking of evergreen champions, Lee Sin is yet another one that made the list. Similar to Xin Zhao, he also was very popular in Spring, before losing its palatability later into the season. He can fit almost any team composition and shines in the early-to-mid-game transition. Regardless of the meta, a great Lee Sin player can make the champion look overpowered.
6. Ahri (1918 games)
If Riot’s goal was to make Ahri a popular champion with the rework, the balance team did a great job. She has been the most-picked mid laner in Season 12 and was a great blind pick that offered great pick potential.
5. Gnar (2161 games)
Gnar slowly rose to popularity before summer, while other top laners were hitting hit by the nerfs. The durability patch made him even stronger since his early game wasn’t as punishable. For these reasons, he became a strong blind pick: Gnar could keep up with most champions and then outscale them later into the game.
4. Viego (2446 games)
Viego is the third evergreen and the most-played champion in the trio of junglers this season. His ability to possess other champions, as well as his damage output, made him a perfect carry that could also offer some level of tankiness. While he had negative win rates in both spring (48%) and summer (49%), Viego was a champion that almost all junglers played at some point during the season.
3. Jinx (2552 games)
Jinx was the undisputed best ADC in the first part of the season, with 1983 picks during spring. In a meta based on front-to-backs and pick-to-fight comps, she was the one that could do both well and have a strong early game wave clear for bot lane prio. It was only until the meta shift before summer that Jinx was pushed out of the meta.
2. Nautilus (2723 games)
Despite not being considered a strong pick individually, Nautilus is the number choice when it comes to crowd control or having an easy engage tool. Not only that, but it matched well with champions like Jinx, so the two were often picked in tandem.
1. Aphelios (2742 games)
Aphelios is also another champion that worked well with Nautilus, explaining why the two are the highest on this list. The Weapon of the Faithful was the equivalent of Ahri for the bot lane role, with more than 1000 games played in both splits (1676 in spring, 1066 in summer). His multi-form kit, as well as carry potential the longer the game lasted, allowed him to be a great pick in a scaling meta, and be the most popular champion in the 2022 season.
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