The original Runeterra map. No telling if it's still canon.
The original Runeterra map. No telling if it’s still canon.

Every year at Worlds, similar articles pop up. Who’s the best mid-laner? Who will be the wildcard? Which western player will be the hope that inevitably lets most people down and provokes a massive discussion about how bad we are at League? Instead, I wanted to look at another sort of power: Champion power. No, I’m not talking about who has the best skills in this meta. Rather, it’ll be dividing champions by their place of origin and factions to see who you should bet on.

The Metrics

Rather than spend hours painstakingly analyzing win rates, ban rates, picks, drafts, team loyalty and shoe sizes, I decided for a cleaner metric. It won’t give you the same drastic certainty that more statistic-minded analysis would but it is more convenient. As follows:

Number One Spot (Pick/Ban): 7 Points
Top Ten Champions: 5 Points
Top Twenty-Five Champions:
3 Points
Picked at Worlds:
1 Point

For dual-champions who have ties to both, I tried to pick the one they’re best known for (such as Warwick with Noxus). If there was no tie in either birthplace or otherwise, they’re classified as a free agent. There’ll probably be some argument over things like Annie being a Noxian due to birthplace or if Urgot belongs to Zaun more. I did my best to classify it as readily as possible. Please forgive any disagreement we may have on places-of-origin or loyalty! As such, another’s graph may differ slightly. It is unlikely that the graph will vary to such a degree to change the base result, however.

Trust me, some tough calls had to be made and ones that I’m sure will make people upset in a lore-sense. With that small disclaimer, here’s the (very rough) info I gathered from the five seasons prior. Credit to lol.esportpedia.com for the champion information:

Nation Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Total
Demacia 15 10 10 5 5 45
Noxus 13 9 7 5 16 50
Ionia 10 17 34 17 11 89
Piltover 2 14 13 9 5 43
Zaun 8 3 6 10 9 36
Bandle City 13 5 11 13 12 54
Shurima 4 7 5 2 10 28
Bilgewater 9 8 6 8 13 44
Shadow Isles 4 16 14 12 24 70
The Void 5 4 4 9 7 29
Freljord 17 11 8 3 11 50
Targon 3 5 2 2 2 14
Free Agent 15 20 17 31 18 101

The Losers

Official Targon Artwork © Riot Games
Official Targon Artwork © Riot Games

In looking at totals, you can plainly a clear loser: Mount Targon. Despite being the hub of warriors and demigods, Targon suffers from a small champion pool and niche roles. Taric, Leona, Diana, Pantheon and Aurelion Sol (although he is fairly new) have never shined enough at the world stage to give them the boost they need.

Both the purple hermits of the Void and the denizens of Shurima have had lackluster outcomes. Likely a combination of smaller-than-average champion pools and only one-or-two ringers. Even if champions like Azir and Kassadin can “carry” their faction, they don’t hit peaks high enough to warrant their carry.

Finally, the chart shows us that tech doesn’t equal power. Piltover and Zaun have had decent showings at best and abysmal showings at worst. These two factions have (by no means) terrible champions. They just don’t bring their A-game to the stage of Worlds.

The Winners

Official Ionia Art © Riot Games
Official Ionia Art © Riot Games

A special mention should be made to the freelance faction, champions who swear fealty to nobody. As it turns out, a large majority of these champions both make up the roster. If you ever want to design a champion that’ll be played at Worlds? Go for someone with no allegiances…and maybe some #LCSBIGPLAYZ.

In terms of factions, we have one major winner when it comes to nations: Ionia. Falling just short of the freelance faction, Ionia tops the charts. This is likely due to it being home to champions such as Zed and Lee Sin. These fellows are staples of Riot’s make-up and signify champions that people love to see on the world stage. Either that or Riot’s just crazily fascinated with eastern culture. (Just one more thing they win at in League versus us westerners.)

Furthermore, the Shadow Isles have been making the rounds with some of their champions. Around Season 2, their participation spiked. Just as Hecarim and Evelynn shaped this faction, so too did others like Kalista and Thresh only improve the power of the isles.

Finally, the rivalry of Demacia and Noxus: Noxus is the victor. Since Season 4, Demacia has had a steady fall-off while Noxus has risen to greater powers. Perhaps this Worlds will give Demacia a chance to wrestle back the crown? For the life of me, I can’t think of a Demacian who is a major name in the meta, save for Fiora.

Conclusion

Let’s make it clear that this is for fun and a little introspective look at the factions stacking up against each other. This article won’t give a hint about what champion will be sick nasty broken OP on release or at Worlds. Instead, consider it an entertaining look at champions Riot likes to make and how they stack up against each other. Whether it’s because of a lack of power, a lack of champions or just general neglect, certain nations will always rise and fall.

Maybe Sivir was right. Mercenary work seems to be the most lucrative way to get to Worlds. Oh well, a champion can dream can’t they?

David "Captain Marvelous" Rizzo. Writer/Communications professional. Primarily writing content for League/Overwatch/Hearthstone.