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It’s finally here.  The 2016 League of Legends World Championship kicks off within the next 24 hours and it’s tipped to be one of the hottest contests in the eSports’ history.  There’s been plenty of media coverage on the teams and the players that will be fighting for the ultimate trophy on the League of Legends circuit, but what about the champions themselves?

Vladimir WorldsOne of the most strategic key plays a team must make before each encounter on Summoner’s Rift is banning champions from selection.  Gameplay, favoured picks, and player strengths may vary from region to region, but the trend of champion bans has been largely universal across the major regions.

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We’ve crunched the numbers from the most recent tournaments which have lead to these teams’ ascension to the World Championships and deduced that Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper, will be the most banned champion across the duration of the tournament.  In fact, we predict that he’ll be banned in over half (50.5%) of all games across the tournament, the only champion to be banned more often than not.

Not far behind him, our calculations put Shen and Taliyah (both 44.2%) as the next most likely to be banned.  The Saltwater Scourge, Gangplank, is next most likely before Sivir, Tahm Kench, Karma, and Kassadin keep the chasing pack nice and tight; each with a roughly one-in-three chance of being banned.

Vladimir WorldsRounding out the top ten are everyone’s favourite cuddly friend, Gnar, and the Wandering Caretaker, Bard.  Each boasts a likely ban rate of one-in-four, and who could blame them, though neither will garner as much attention as Vladimir.

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A constantly evolving meta-game and a seemingly endless avalanche of patch updates to the game mean that there will always be a surprise or two on the champion selection screen.  This is illustrated in the fact that champions like Cassiopeia and Irelia, formerly instalocks in the banning phase, are now less than 10% likely to be banned each game.

Set up your Twitch streams and crack out the crisps because the 2016 League of Legends World Championship kicks off with the first game at 9:30 am AEST on September 29th.  Just don’t expect to see too much of Vladimir.

A full month of MOBA action will be keeping us all busy, but who is your tip to be crowned the best League of Legends team in the world for 2016?