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Mar 26, 2015

Top 10 Challenger Players and Champions

As Season 5 is well underway, I thought we'd take a moment to check out the top 10 players (a few from each region) along with the top 10 champions most often picked up.


With Season 5 is well underway, let's take a moment to check out the top 10 players (a few from each region) along with the top 10 champions most often picked up. While data is data and the information you interpret from it may vary, it's always fun to take a peek.

A lot of the data is likely exactly as you'd expect, I found some of it surprising, check out the full scope below!

Note: This isn't a subjective listing of "who do I think are the Top 10 players", this is literally, who are the top few players of each region on the ladder at the time I pulled the data.

Top 10 Players

NME flaresz x (NA - Top) - Riven, Hecarim, Rumble
who is he (NA - Mid) - Leblanc, Diana, Ahri
F5 Veritas (NA - ADC) - Graves, Kalista, Draven

EUW (EUW - Mid/Jung) - Zed, Lee Sin, Leblanc
LLL CozQ (EUW - Mid) - Ahri, Cassiopeia, Leblanc
GIANTS Werlyb (EUW - Top) - Hecarim, Fizz, Gnar

EDG DeffnT (KR - ADC) - Ezreal, Lucian, Graves
Woohyun (KR - Top) - Nidalee, Riven, Jayce
SKT T1 MaRin (KR - Jungle/Top) - Lee Sin, Lissandra, Rumble

For #10 I'll add in a support main from NA just to prove they exist:

yobtsul (NA - Support) - Janna, Morgana, Annie

  • Carrying from any position is very possible if you're good enough
  • Support doesn't seem carry quite as hard in the highest levels of play
  • Perhaps best players don't tend to play support when they can do something else instead
  • All the champions that they favor are extremely high skill cap champions 
  • Mobility is highly popular

Picking Champions to Climb With

Looking at this list, a lot of newer players will be much inclined to try and pick up/practice these champions in the hopes of one day reaching challenger level. For those willing to grind out the thousands of games of practice, all the more power to you. ^_^b

If you can take advantage of all the small tricks that each (or even one) of these champions offers, you'll likely go far as long as you're willing to put the time in and have the raw mechanical skill.

Remember though, there are only 200 challengers for every million or so people. That means you'll have to play these champions better than 999,800 other people play these champions. Or be really lucky.

Champion Diversity

Top 10 Champions by play rate in Masters+
  1. Graves - ADC
  2. Thresh - Support
  3. Janna - Support
  4. Lucian - ADC
  5. Morgana - Support
  6. Blitzcrank - Support
  7. Lee Sin
  8. Ahri
  9. Ezreal - ADC
  10. Annie - Support
This data is actually very interesting. As you can see, most of the list is comprised entirely of supports, the reason being that almost every game has one. This means that champion diversity for top and mid are extremely diverse in comparison to supports, and there are a huge number of viable picks for the solo lanes (over 5 in each).

Meanwhile, ADCs seem to be entirely focused on Graves, Lucian, and Ezreal at the moment, likely for their ability to dodge dangerous spells.

Win Rates

As a final note, here are the win rates in Masters for the Top 5 champions in play rate:
  1. Graves: 50.6%
  2. Thresh: 49.6%
  3. Janna: 55%
  4. Lucian: 48.6%
  5. Morgana: About 50%
Apparently, even though they're hotly contested picks, selecting these champions actually has minimal impact on whether or not you win the game, even at the highest echelons of play.

From this you might instead infer that bot lane has minimal impact on the game in general at top tier play. As a support main this is somewhat concerning and I prefer not to accept that conclusion...

What are your thoughts? Did you reach different conclusions? Comment below!

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  1. Brandon PursifullMarch 26, 2015

    Very interesting.

    The thing that stands out for me is diana being one of the main champions for "who is he"

    This stands out because diana is one of the two main champions I play in ranked because diana and hecarim are the easiest for me to carry with (over 65% win rate with each) at my elo.

    I've always been told though that diana is only good at low elos and sucks in higher level play but its nice to see that a good diana player can still play her well at the highest level of play.

  2. quite a pointless article .

  3. SSJSuntasticMarch 26, 2015

    Different people find different things interesting I suppose, sorry you didn't enjoy it!

  4. SSJSuntasticMarch 26, 2015

    Looking through the different mains is fairly interesting as well. Even though most people seem to follow "the meta", there are a few standouts such as Udyr, Evelynn, Veigar, Cho'Gath, Jax, Tryndamere, etc.

  5. Weird how Swain gets little to no popularity. He's extremely easy to use and can trick even Plat-Low Dia players.

  6. I'll ad in a support main just to prove they exist XD

  7. trynda is the thing :-)

  8. TheTheoryIsYouMarch 26, 2015

    Lol. No Rf, no Yuno, and no Azingy.

  9. Mazen MostafaMarch 26, 2015

    Why is vayne not on the list ?...

  10. SSJSuntasticMarch 26, 2015

    This isn't a subjective post...

  11. vayne is too weak in the current meta, sure she has great mobility, but just like zed/yasuo she's been nerfed too much to be "the best" in solo Q

  12. Alfred DunnerMarch 26, 2015

    Great post.

  13. Dazed and DeadMarch 26, 2015


    I have looked at this data before and the conclusions you draw from it are pretty much what I got from looking at it.

    Picking the Popular Champion does not always mean everything.

  14. I don't find the top10 players list interesting since I don't watch streams. But I do find the rest great and very informative (also like the way you draw conclusions from the objective data), and its funny how people choose champions altough they have a minimal impact on the game as you said.. Like I see people with 500 games on Ahri, or Riven, and they have like 53% win rate and I'm like Wtf? why do you keep playing Riven dudd if you're going to lose 47% of the games? XD.

    It's nice to see examples champion pools so people should know that it's important to do so... high elo players do...

    I really like that you keep creating posts about champions pools, climbing tips and strongest champs if mastered, I share those posts to my friends because they're really important so we can influence the game hard and climb :)

    Thanks SSJ!

  15. Pedro SoaresMarch 26, 2015

    How can we see these players in action?

  16. SSJSuntasticMarch 26, 2015

    You can spectate any challenger player games when they're in-game by going to the ladder page on your client and clicking on the eye icon.

  17. Despite of the actuaction of Werlib in the LCS (mostly because the problems of his team), he's still a great EUW toplaner. Talking about that, you didn't mention his jax, a permabanned beast and his trump card.

  18. Jarett 'Panda' LogliaMarch 26, 2015

    From what I've noticed, most of the challenger players I know (either IRL or from twitch) get bored playing the same Champs over and over regardless if they are "op" or not, they get bored (excluding the best"champ"NA folks). just my two sense.

  19. SSJSuntasticMarch 26, 2015

    I agree with Jarett's statement, I think that the Twitch streamers are also somewhat forced to play different champions to keep their viewers entertained as well.

    Riven seems to be that only champion that's always be interesting to watch over and over though, since her playstyle is so aggressive from the start.

  20. Anas R'ghiouiMarch 26, 2015

    I don't agree with you and i understand why SSJ made the article.
    A lot of people ask about champs to main in order to climb.
    This list contains the best champs of the best soloQ players in 3 different regions.
    The purpose of this Top 10 is actually to learn from these soloQ beasts and (copying?!) their model or champ patern can maybe help people climb.

  21. Pedro SoaresMarch 26, 2015

    Oh didn't know that, thank you.

  22. Jarett 'Panda' LogliaMarch 26, 2015

    NB3 said it the best, if he wanted to just gain elo, he would play nothing but fizz and lee. But he knows that wouldn't be entertaining to his viewers, and his sponsors would get upset.

  23. Jim PaponettiMarch 26, 2015

    Vayne hasnt been nerfed in a while and the last nerf she received was that she couldn't get an auto-attack reset while using condemn.

  24. ZealithgodMarch 26, 2015

    I find RF not the best, but he is very good. He's a Challenger player but he's not the most excelling Challenger player I've seen play. If that makes any sense. Everytime I see him stream, most of the time he can't carry hard enough.

    I've seen Azingy play and he is very good though. I don't exactly know what he mains but it seems like his jungle is his best lane probably. I feel like the jungle role itself takes a little less effort honestly besides top. Support/ADC/Mid are harder to me than Top/Jungle, this is just my opinion.

    I mean SSJ only chose 4 people for NA, did you want a top 10 list for each role? That would of taken more time but it's still possible.

  25. ZealithgodMarch 26, 2015

    But at the same time though, it helps get new viewers to see what the fuzz is about over their best champion. I mean nobody watches Boxbox to learn how to play Lee Sin, they want to watch his Riven.

  26. ZealithgodMarch 26, 2015

    Not really. It just shows that you have more options in mid, top, and jungle. While ADC/Support has to pretty much go the usual champions, pretty much a minimal of 4-5 choices for each role in the bot lane.

  27. BobfranklyMarch 26, 2015

    What I read here is that there is an incomplete picture. Of course, you have to consider that those numbers are pick-rates of ALL players at the masters + rank. Which means you may have players picking some of these champs due to bans or the other team taking your primary, and doing sub-average with the champion.

    It may be useful to pull numbers from masters+ players who have logged so many games with a champion (so they can be considered "experienced" if not "mains"), and get statistics from THAT pool of players. Unfortunately such a task is beyond my capabilities and resources, but I think it would produce a more complete picture of what champions are more capable when mastered, and how wide a pool of mastery there actually is (5 players mastered champion A vs 500 mastered champion B could highlight actual difficulty of mastery vs perceived difficulty).

  28. I thought lucian wasent viable anymore as i heard that graves is just a better version of lucian. why do challenger people still play him?

  29. she didnt get nerfed. just other adc changed or get buffed and got stronger than her. overtook her in other words :)

  30. some pros just like the feel of lucian

  31. The server that I play in is the Garena SG server/SEA server. One can't win a match no matter what. The players are toxic as f***. They will troll for no apparent reason and keeping your win loss ratio equal is impossible.No guide will work there and i was previously from NA. No one has the will to finish or win the match. Please come to the server and help. Help me.

  32. Daniel KasmanMarch 27, 2015

    Lucian also offers a more caster sort of playstyle that can be more fun. Graves is kinda just E-Q-rightclickrightclickrightclick unlike Lucian who can weave in both abilities and AAs. As a support main I do appreciate the remaining Lucian's when I play someone like Braum or Nami who can take advantage (more so) of the double AAs.

  33. Daniel KasmanMarch 27, 2015

    Swain is definitely strong, but IMO he is incredibly boring and I hate playing him. Sure, I'd play him in like a final promo game where I really wanted to win, but in general, I'd rather not...

  34. Daniel KasmanMarch 27, 2015

    Maybe for ADC but really almost any support works right now. None of them are bad and just shouldn't be played. You can pretty much play anyone. Like Braum isn't played much, but he still works just fine. They all have their own strengths be it CC, peel, utility, or whatever

  35. Daniel KasmanMarch 27, 2015

    T2G and HSGG!

  36. I thought the same and especially when lucian was gutted after all the few nerds, but idk if he has been buffed again SLIGHTLY even.

    Now he is very good, he is good ad... carry. I LOOOOVE the feel on Lucky Luke (lucian

  37. Eduardo KissMarch 27, 2015

    lucian has a better dash than graves....this is importan to across some walls (like a flash)

  38. I honestly I think that's correct, Graves is a better version then lucian, but graves is very often banned in top leagues, and lucian is still good. So that's why you pick him...

  39. RisingFlamesMarch 30, 2015


  40. I guess I'm kind of wrong, but it is true that Vayne was the go-to AD carry for high level players during mid S3.
    The other ADs didn't get buffed much but she received nerfs to her ult and E (if I remember correctly). These changes caused her to drop to below average, similar to how skill-based champions yasuo, lee-sin, zed, leblanc, thresh all have mediocre win rates. And since more and more ADs got buffed in S4, she's just too weak right now.
    We've all seen amazing zeds, yasuos and vaynes that carry the entire team. But the point I'm trying to make is that they just require too much work, you know.
    Just main Jinx/Graves/Corki and the results will come easily.

  41. Troy LewisApril 02, 2015

    Main Urgot. Get Challenger. GG

  42. Milkman101April 05, 2015

    TRUE xD

  43. zpantalykuApril 06, 2015

    As a supporter I am a bit depressed.

  44. In this lvl swain is not that good cuz actually jungler can play properly, and that means , ganking him a lot and making him useless. I doubt that even on plat swain is a good choice. However he is really good at low tiers like silver/bronze, where ppl are lost in jungle (literally) and don't set priorities.

  45. You said that support mains tend to carry less. For a big period of time tho nymph was topping the ladder in euw(I think s3 or s4, don't remember exactly)

  46. I think it's more bc of the match-uips there and in what enemy generally picked, or what fits best in the team combo u already have.. In this lvl ppl consider equally skilled, unlike every other elo. Forcing a champ even in bad matchups , or in a team combo that he doesn't fit it will cause u to remain behind for a big amount of time and lose the game.

  47. John LortimerApril 09, 2015

    Good list of champions and Challenger Players! Will definitely share! I have a friend out there who is super amazing at the game. He wasn't always, he bought a guide book from when he first started playing with friends, now he does it competitively !


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