MSI 2023 started on May 2, and the international tournament has seen the domination of Korea and China over Europe and North America in the bracket stage so far. With better meta reads and individual performances, the event has looked like a one-sided affair in favor of the East.
The tournament is currently being played on Patch 13.8, but the meta has not shifted significantly from the past few patches in pro play. This article will list the five best champions so far that teams have prioritized at MSI 2023.
Vi, K'Sante, and Jinx are some of the champions who have dominated the MSI 2023 meta so far
Vi has continued to be a staple in the pro play meta and is a significant presence in the jungle pool at MSI 2023. Her 92% presence rate, along with a 57% win rate, has made her the most popular champion in MSI 2023's pick and ban phase.
Her strong and healthy early game clear helps her speed through the jungle with relative ease. However, Vi's biggest strength comes in her teamfight and skirmish potential. Her damage in the early game is very high, which makes her an ideal champion for ganks and invades as well.
She is frequently paired with Ahri. The pick potential this duo offers and the engage tools Vi has to kickstart a fight has made her a must-pick in the current meta.
With items like Radiant Virtue, Vi can dish out a good amount of damage while also being quite tanky. Junglers like Peng "XUN" Li-Xun and Kim "River" Dong-Woo have piloted Vi at a very high level at the tournament.
Jinx has been one of the most sought-after carries at MSI 2023 so far. Despite her nerfs in patch 13.8, the patch in which MSI is being played, Jinx has established herself in the meta as one of the priority picks in the bot lane.
Her early game is quite oppressive due to her range and her innate safety in the form of Zap! and Flame Chompers. Her versatility allows for her to be paired up with a whole host of supports ranging from Lulu to Tahm Kench. She also has no hard counters in the meta currently, making her a terrifying presence on the rift.
Jinx's biggest strength is her ability to clean up fights very quickly using her passive, which gives her increased movement speed and attack speed. Teams will fish for a single pick to enable their Jinx to finish off the team fight and secure the matchwin.
She has a 68% presence rate and a 50% win rate at MSI 2023, with AD carries Steven "Hans sama" Liv and Kim "Peyz" Su-Hwan having multiple pop-off games with the Loose Cannon.
Annie has been the surprise meta champion of the 2023 League esports season. Ever since her buffs in 13.3, she has been a priority pick for every team. This has not changed at MSI as well as she has an 81% presence rate at the tournament so far, with a 56% win rate.
Her flexiblity to be played in mid lane and support is a huge reason for her popularity in the meta. Paired with good damage, great engage tools, and reliable utility with her shield, Annie is an ideal mid laner in 2v2 and 3v3 skirmishes. She is also a strong early game support as she has her stun readied up at the start of the game.
Mid laners Rasmus "Caps" Winther and Lee "Faker" Sang-Hyeok have utilized Annie's kit to set their team up for success, while Golden Guardian's support Choi "huhi" Jae-Hyun has had some great highlight moments with the champion as well.
K'Sante is one of the newer champs in League of Legends, but he has already made a name for himself for his ridiculous amounts of mobility and tankiness. K'Sante has been a meta top laner ever since he was available in pro play. He has an 85% presence rate along with a 60% win rate.
K'Sante has a reliable laning phase. He can never be truly nullified unless the player makes egregious errors, which is rare in pro play. He is also a teamfighting menace with the amount of tanking potential and crowd control he offers. His ultimate, All-Out, is an AD carry's nightmare as he can single-handedly take a carry out of a fight and destroy them in a 1v1.
The additional mobility and damage his ultimate gives him makes him an unstoppable carry threat in the right hands. He can also be flexed in the mid lane, which increases his value in the drafting phase.
Top laners Eric "Licorice" Ritchie and Bai "369" Jia-Hao have had standout games on the Pride of Nazumah and have utilized his kit to its maximum potential.
Aphelios is the other AD carry along with Jinx, who has had a significant presence at MSI 2023. With a 77% presence rate along with a respectable 50% win rate, Aphelios is a very popular carry and is often paired up with peel supports such as Thresh and Tahm Kench.
Aphelios has incredible scaling and absurd damage in teamfights. His early game is also nothing to be scoffed at when he has Calibrum, which grants him additional range. He is also an AD carry who can kickstart teamfights with his ultimate, while having the Gravitum gun to lock up opponents. This is something that no other meta AD carry at MSI 2023 can do, so it makes Aphelios a highly valuable pick.
The eastern teams have had way more success with Aphelios when compared to western teams, and this has been a big point of criticism for the western rosters. Players like Lee "Gumayusi" Min-Hyeong and Peyz have been exceptional on the pick and have truly shown their mastery of the extremely difficult champion.