League of Legends: FOTM Report: Blitzcrank in Pro Play | NERFPLZ.LOL
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Jun 16, 2017

FOTM Report: Blitzcrank in Pro Play

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Solo queue teams fear him, Bronze players despise him, and high level players scoff at him. This has been the legacy of Blitzcrank for as long as I can remember. Competitive play generally relies on team-based support champions like Karma or Braum, and Blitzcrank players are relegated to dominating the ranked ladder. However, lately, that's changing with LCK teams picking him up and/or banning him with increased frequency. Why is this though? If his hook is so easy to dodge, why are pros picking him up now?

Introduction

Solo queue teams fear him, Bronze players despise him, and high level players scoff at him. This has been the legacy of Blitzcrank for as long as I can remember. Competitive play generally relies on team-based support champions like Karma or Braum, and Blitzcrank players are relegated to dominating the ranked ladder.

However, lately, that's changing with LCK teams picking him up and/or banning him with increased frequency. Why is this though? If his hook is so easy to dodge, why are pros picking him up now?

What Changed?

Doran Shield
Doran Shield reworks in Patch 7.9 gave carriers health regeneration upon getting hit by an enemy champion, resulting in built-in sustain for marksmen and taking the duty off the supports to heal and/or shield to win lane.

Draven & Caitlyn Popularity
Draven and Caitlyn both synergize incredibly well with Blitzcrank, Draven because of his immense all-in potential and Caitlyn for her chain CCs via her cupcakes. With these two champions being the meta highlights, Blitzcrank's ability to snowball is greatly amplified.

Why Blitzcrank vs Thresh?

The major question most players always ask is what Blitzcrank offers that Thresh doesn't, and that really comes down to two factors:
  1. Low cooldown gap closer - Thresh's hook is strong, but he doesn't have a gap closer outside of boots of mobility and flash. Meanwhile, Blitzcrank can effectively engage at any point with his move speed booster.
  2. Higher Impact Hooks - Thresh may have the option of engaging vs not engaging, but Blitzcrank's hook separates enemy champions from their team, potentially over impassable terrain. This results in more favorable 5v1s, allowing your team to even take out tanks before their team can react.
All-in-all, Thresh definitely still has his perks, but it's not quite as cut and dry superiority as some people think.

Personally, I think it's not very surprising to see Blitzcrank in pro play considering his popularity in solo queue for the last few years now, but the real surprise is how long it took us to get here.

Surprised to see Blitzcrank finally make it to the big stage? Comment below!



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