Though it has been played in the mid lane, it has specifically been dominant in the top lane.
Through patches 11.5-11.6 the professional leagues were competing in their playoffs. The top lane meta consisted of champions such as Renekton, Sion, and Gnar. Those skilled at playing top side carry were also bringing in Camile, Gankplank, and even Nocturne.
However patch 11.8 shifted the meta across the rift, and the top lane was no exception. This led to Lee Sin accumulating a 53.42% win rate in solo queue in challenger rank. In the mid lane, Lee sin also had a 52.32% win rate.
The idea of solo lane Lee Sin was popularized in the Korean solo queue, however, there was a twist compared to how he was previously played. Besides the position that he played, one change that made solo lane Lee Sin so different however was the new concept of maxing his E ability, Tempest/Cripple.
Though two seconds may seem very slight. In reality, it is a 20% buff to agility that a champion is able to deal damage to enemies, clear minion waves, and utilize is passive which leads to animation cancelling.
Lee Sin with his already strong early game stats is now able to clear minion waves faster and gain priority in the lane for the jungler. Additionally, he is also able to deal more damage in a shorter amount of time, raising his kill potential in lane.
Solo lane Lee Sin would also build in a way that would optimize for lane dominance and wave clear, as he would build the Ironspike Whip (builds into Goredrinker or Stridebreaker), which allows for an activity that deals area of effect damage, which can also help in combat, or in clearing minion waves quickly.
Currently, at MSI, Lee Sin has a pick rate of 88.5%, being picked in 22 games, and being banned in 32. As a whole, the champion has a 4KDA, which shows how dominant it has been across all teams and matches.
Currently, in the jungle meta, the scuttle crab is extremely important, and Lee Sin offers lane priority to his jungler, ensuring that he is instrumental for that first skirmish for the mini objective.
Therefore he is prioritized to clear the wave, or have strong kill potential, to ensure that the scuttle crab goes to his team.
In addition to the meta and the way that the game is being played. Lee Sin is also known for being a champion with a high reward if the mechanical and technical skills are executed correctly.
We have some of the most talented top laners in the world attending this tournament, such as rising stars Armut (MAD Lions), and Fudge (Cloud9). Khan (DWG KIA) has been a constant elite top laner and xiaohu (Royal Never Give Up) who recently transitioned into this role has been the best in the world are also at MSI 2021.
Lee Sin being piloted by someone which the mechanical skill of an elite level player allows for them to engage on the enemy team and force the enemy into bad positions.
Cloud9’s Fudge was able to manoeuvre around the map and flank RNG’s GALA. This play allowed Cloud9 to decisively defeat RNG and hand them the second loss of the tournament.
Currently, xiaohu (3 games) and Fudge (2 games) are both undefeated on Lee Sin.
Former professional ADC turned streamer, Doublelift, shares his thought on the off-meta pick.
While at MSI 2021, Lee Sin continues to dominate the top lane position which demonstrates a drastic shift in the meta. Currently, on the current patch of 11.10, Lee Sin remains at a 52.54% win rate at the challenger level in the top lane.