With League of Legends pro play kicking off soon, let’s see which will be the most intriguing champions that we might see on the Rift.

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Five League Champions to Watch at the Start of 2023 in Pro Play

Alert for Kindred Mains

Kindred has been a champion that few junglers are skilled at, but the recent nerfs to the meta champions have allowed her rise in popularity. She has been a top-performing jungler in solo queue and her win rate at master’s elo is close to 52% in season 13 (according lolalytics).

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It will be interesting to see if some jungle Kindred mains can get her into pro play. It won’t be an easy task as her playstyle is very atypical and it requires a lot of coordination with her own teammates.

K’Sante should remain a priority top lane pick

Despite the nerfs to K’Sante at the start of the season, players will likely still play him. His numbers have gone down but the champion is still strong and now that pros have spent enough time mastering him, we will be able to witness what a true K’Sante player can do.

Looking at this ban rate during the first weeks of the splits will tell us whether K’Sante is still too strong or he has fallen in line with the other top laners.

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Will Jax be flexed in the middle or top?

Jax was updated mid-scope and can now use both AP and AD builds. This makes him a great choice to flex pick and hybridize damage output.

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While he’s not expected to be a high-priority pick, it’s going to be exciting to see how teams will play or counter him in case he jumps on the Rift.

Kassadin, the back, is the king of mid-lane?

The champion has been a valuable solo queue pick in the middle-lane since Kassadin got the buffs in patch 2022.

This means that there is a chance that the champion might be picked in certain situations, particularly if the pick is allowed safely to scale into the late game. The Rod of Ages has been buff again so Kassadin might be back as one of our mid-lane kings.

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Maokai is now a top pick for the jungle

Maokai, who was flexed between multiple roles at Worlds 2022 was a very popular choice. He was performing too well to the point that the balance team nerfed Maokai in Patch 12.20.

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Three patches later, though, Riot decided to increase his numbers again, and it seems like he’s one of the strongest junglers in the game, with a 54% win rate in diamond and above (according to lolalytics). His utility and tankiness make it possible for him to be a League pro champion again.

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