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As if the day wasn’t already full of niche support champion picks, T1 support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok locked in Zilean against DWG KIA in Game 3 of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship semifinals. He played it into DWG KIA support Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee’s Maokai, which he also picked in the first game of the series.

While fans don’t often see Zilean picked in professional play — and especially not in the support role — it’s often a niche pocket pick for a few players that have put time on the champion. Former TSM mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Team Liquid mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen were both known to pull out the pick in certain scenarios.  Before today, the champion was picked a total of 10 times across the China, South Korea and Europe; each time Zilean was picked it was in the mid lane.

The young T1 support finished the game deathless with a scoreline of 1/0/19 (Kills/Deaths/Assists). His performance with the champion helped bring the series to match point in favor of T1. Here are some of the best reactions from the League community on the surprising pick.

David “Phreak” Turley, LCS play-by-play caster

“Yes, Zilean support is so good! Out-greed them!” Phreak said.

Eric “Treatz” Wessén, SK Gaming jungler/support

“Okay, who had the Maokai vs. Zilean support matchup on their bingo cards for today?” Treatz said.

Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, G2 Esports jungler

“Canna kinda choking, but that Zilean pick is so OP,” Jankos said.

PSG Talon

“Keria using Zilean ult on his teammates be like..,” PSG Talon said.

Isaac “Azael” Cummings-Bentley

“Zilean was galaxy brain pick here. T1 LOOK INCREDIBLE! ABSOLUTE BANGER SERIES!” Azael said.

Brad “Blizz” Dallair, TFT game designer (former QA Analyst at Riot)

“Maybe players will finally realize Zilean is OP. He’s only ever been buffed since his rework in Season 5 lol,” Blizz said.

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