Akali has fallen below a 45% solo queue win rate in the mid lane after patch 11.14 has been released, and the nerfs that led to this drop might be needed just to control her use in professional play.
Riot Games has struggled to balance Akali across solo queue and professional play for a while, and now she has been nerfed once again. After having bad win rates in solo queue in patch 11.13, she is now performing even worse after Riot nerfed her damage on Perfect Execution (R) and removed the ability to cast Five Point Strike (Q) while dashing with Shuriken Flip (E). While her win rates are scraping the bottom of the solo queue barrel, it might be exactly what’s needed to control Akali in a professional setting.
As it stands on patch 11.14, Akali is winning 45.57% of her games in the top lane and only 44.85% as a mid laner at Platinum ranks and higher. These numbers seem very poor, but it’s nothing new that Akali has bad win rates. The main reason for this is usually the complexity of Akali and the fact that not just any player will be able to perform on her, even when she’s in a strong state.
Up until this patch, Akali was considered very strong in professional play. While Akali’s solo queue win rates were far below 50% on patch 11.13, she was still a hot pick. The same goes for professional play, where Akali is currently dominating the biggest leagues in the world on patch 11.13. She is most dominant in the Chinese LPL, where Akali has a whopping 67% win rate in the top lane across 15 games.
Akali has similar success in the LEC, but this time as a mid laner. The Rogue Assassin has been picked up 18 times in the mid lane so far this split and has won 67% of those games. These stats speaks to Akali’s strength in the current meta and how some of the best players in the world are able to abuse her. Even though these stats are far from the same in solo queue, it seems that the recent nerfs to Akali were justified.
Should Akali be balanced for solo queue or pro play?
In her current state, Akali might end up as a much weaker pick whenever the professional leagues move onto play on patch 11.14. There’s also a chance that Akali will still be viable in professional play, simply because good players know how best to utilize her kit. This has been a general problem for Riot when it comes to balancing a champion like Akali, since the difference between a solo queue and a professional environment is enormous.
Given the fact that Akali’s solo queue win rates have dropped by around 2% for this patch, it does seem that her power is decreasing. The fact that players can’t use Five Point Strike during Shuriken Flip takes away an effective combo from Akali. And the base damage nerf on Perfect Execution will make it harder for professional players to justify the pick as Akali is all about blowing up squishy opponents.