How have pros been using Samira?
So far, in the preseason tournament across the world, the new champions that Riot had locked away for the 2020 League of Legends season have been released into the professional realm. Teams and players alike have looked at the new kits at their disposal and chosen to add them to their rotation as the meta for season 11 is looking to define itself.
Arguably the most anticipated addition to the rotation is the marksman Samira. She was a terror upon release and dominated until Riot toned her back in subsequent patches later in the season and into the preseason. Now, Samira is still a popular pick with a strong kit and an uber-carry style of play in solo queue, but she has yet to be defined in a professional setting.
So how are teams and players looking to utilise Samira in season 11 and beyond in the early stages of the meta?
What is the Current Meta?
The current professional meta has really yet to be defined, especially with the introduction of the new item system and the drastic changes that are bound to come. But, there has been some semblance of a consensus on what it currently is.
Teams in China and Korea played a mostly dive and teamfight oriented compositions in their preseason tournaments. Opting for engage supports like Alistar and Leona, or counter engage supports like Galio and Moakai. Champions like Orianna, Lillia, and Hecarim are also seeing a lot of play too.
This meta may just be a symptom of the item changes or teams reverting to simpler compositions for the early part of the season, but it sets the groundwork for what is to come.
So how does the Desert Rose champion fit into this dive and teamfight style of play?
Samira in the Meta
Samira occupies a similar space in this meta as Kaisa. Players using her will hover around the fight, hitting the frontline until they see an opening and dive into the fray to either assassinate a carry or clean up the damaged opponents. Samira also thrives in disorganised skirmishes, which engage and dive compositions can start with ease. But, unlike in solo queue, it is hard to become an incredibly strong carry and one-shot an entire enemy team with one well-timed ultimate.
Professional teams have been picking team compositions that either counter the champion somewhat or at least slow her down in teamfight situations. Just like with most marksmen, locking them down with a stun or some kind of crowd control is key to defeating them in a fight. Samira is no different, with teams either diving her to stop her damage output all together or stunning her just as she builds up enough style to begin her ultimate.
This is why there has yet to be a clip of a full team getting obliterated by a Samira ultimate in a professional match like in those solo queue montages a few months ago. Well, at least not yet.
The champion also offers some flexibility in lane assignments and rotations for early plays. She can be in a lane against a duo without her support by her side because of her manoeuvrability and can stop some solo engagements with her projectile destroying Blade Whirl. That same ability also makes her great at stopping certain engages, and counter engages later in the game.
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Samira in the meta statistically
So far, Samira has seen play in the KeSPA Cup, Demacia Cup, and the first few matches of the LPL. In those events, the champion has been picked over 30 times exclusively in the bot lane. She has a 58% win rate in that time and has been banned in almost 80 games.
In the regions that have played her thus far, just China and Korea, China has put in the most time with the champion but has the lower win rate. Hu "iBoy" Xian-Zhao boasts the most games played so far with Samira at seven so far in the Demacia Cup with a KDA of 6.7.
iBoy also has one of the best games ever played on the champion in a professional game, putting up a 13/3/8 scoreline against world championship contenders Top Esports in the preseason.
Samira looks like she will fit right in with the current meta and many professional teams either abusing her status as a top pick or just banning it away. The champion had not been the overpowered team-killing machine that she was in the early stages of her release, but that does not mean that she will not be an established champion in the meta of season 11. Going later into the season, she may receive some nerfs and changes, especially if her current pick and win rates stay consistent, but her kit and abilities do complement the early meta well. As long as engage and dive compositions remain at the forefront of the meta, expect Samira to be there too.
Images via Riot Games