Faker pulls out his first-ever Zac pick at MSI—and it backfires horribly

At 1-1 in the League of Legends MSI loser bracket final, you’ve got to pull out all the stops to win and keep your tournament hopes alive. Faced with an exit from Chengdu, Faker reached deep into his pool and pulled out something totally unexpected—the Zac pick.

It was the first time Faker pulled out the Zac pick in a professional League match, according to Leaguepedia, but given the result, it’s safe to say the Secret Weapon was far from its namesake. It didn’t go to plan for the world champion mid lane, who was rather ruthlessly wrecked after a well-oiled Bilibili rolled over T1 in just under 24 minutes in game three of the series.

Faker sitting on stairs at a promo image photoshoot for MSI 2024
Faker’s Zac might need a little more time to cook. Photo by Lee Aiksoon via Riot Games

Zac was once a solid mid pick as recent as Patch 13.3, but Riot quickly stamped out the Secret Weapon’s viability in the lane. It hasn’t stopped pros from giving him a crack from time to time; notably, G2’s Caps pulled it out in 2023’s LEC Winter Split, but even the general player base has barely touched the champ in the mid lane this year, according to stats site U.GG.

To be fair, Faker held his own against Knight’s Annie during the laning phase, but as soon as Bilibili secured their items, things quickly spiraled for Faker and T1. It was a bit of a wild draft across the board; apart from Faker’s Zac, Zeus took Yasuo into the top lane while Oner struggled to find impact after an early engagement on his Nidalee.

For all of T1’s missteps in the draft and midgame, BLG was flawless; Bin continues to showcase why Twisted Fate is one of the strongest champs at MSI with an undefeated 6-0-14 performance, while Elk’s Senna recorded a 100 percent kill participation in the 23-4 shellacking. In the end, it was BLG’s day, with the Korean champions falling in a thrilling five-game series.

It may have been Faker’s 83rd champion picked, but even for League‘s GOAT, a pro’s champ pool can only go so deep. BLG takes on Gen.G in the MSI grand final on May 19.

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