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Preseason Meta – have Riot gone a step too far?
Despite the fact that this is only preseason, Riot Games have typically followed through with most of their changes over the last few seasons, but there has been a lot of backlash from the community this time.
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Unless you have completely taken a break from playing League of Legends during this year’s preseason period before we enter the new competitive season for the 11th year, then you will be aware of the new changes, items and various other updates that have been introduced to the game.
Personally, I have been playing quite regularly during this year’s preseason period and have had adequate time to acquaint myself with the new items, the new shop and have experimented with their synergies with champions.
Because Riot Games have completely redesigned the item shop and have introduced the brand new Mythic items, the ways in which you build your champions have been redefined to a certain extent.
Riot have achieved what they set out to do for preseason; they have broadened the number of ways that you can build your favorite champions by offering unique build paths and to do this, have both introduced and removed a ton of items in the game.
But after a month and a half of experimenting with the new items, playing in both ranked and normal queue types, I can vouch for those members of the community who are still slightly skeptical about the new changes.
Whilst it is nice to see a revamped shop and clearer ways to build your items through this new shop, there just seems to be something off about the meta right now. What I mean by this is that absolutely everything seems to be working, especially in lower elos. I am fortunate enough to have accounts in high and low elo and the experience is the same for both.
Perhaps it could be because players tend to play a lot more complacently and carefree in preseason, but the gist of the situation from my perspective is as follows: everything and everyone is broken, OP, busted, whatever you want to call it.
There are a ton of new ways you can build your champions now and with the introduction of Mythic items, which also have a passive buff to any Legendary item you build on top of it, where late game champions would usually have to wait to hit their power spikes, the same champions are demolishing at early stages into the game.
Early game champions also seem buffed after only one item; Kha’Zix with the new Duskblade of Draktharr for example. Whilst it is true that Kha was a heavy damage dealer in season 10, he just seems to be even more broken than he was before and this is even more accessible after completing your first real item (excluding Boots, of course).
Kha'Zix is a monster in preseason and has been tyrannous across all elos. (Image Credit: Riot Games)
Do not get me wrong, at first, I did not like the visual updates to the redesigned shop, the items and much more, but after a while, I eventually got used to it and now I actually do like the changes that Riot have made.
However, having said this, I cannot help but also feel that the new items and changes have essentially enhanced everything, with all champions now becoming a viable pick in any lane due to the flexibility that items now provide.
For example, I came up against a Vayne jungle recently and she destroyed our team after completing Kraken Slayer, which, for those of you that do not know, is like adding another Vayne W passive onto her kit.
Considering the fact that junglers do not have to build their jungle item anymore and have been given the option to have a free item slot in their inventory to build another item of choice, junglers have inadvertently been granted a huge buff anyway for the preseason period.
Usually, you would expect to wait till at least 25 minutes into the game before you were destroyed by an enemy Vayne, and perhaps at 20 minutes at a stretch, if she was already “gigafed”, but this Vayne that I played against was not massively ahead at all, and once she completed her Mythic item, she ran around the map annihilating everyone.
Another example, which was much more recent, was another unfortunate jungle experience where my friends and me were destroyed by a Master Yi who built full lethality. The Yi was completely unstoppable after accumulating one or two kills early into the game and there was no counter play; no amount of CC was able to stop this Wuju Bladesman either.
Master Yi is another champion who has the flexibility to be built in numerous ways, whilst remaining extremely OP in all of them. (Image Credit: Riot Games)
I might just be coming across as some noob who is moaning about getting destroyed in ranked flex queues, but as I have mentioned before, I have played the game at a very good standard and have peaked at a rank well above the average. In almost five years of playing the game, I have not seen anything as broken as this year’s preseason.
Riot did mention that this would be the case and that preseason would be fairly chaotic and would include a number of OP champions, builds etc.
The first patch of preseason is definitely a stabilization period. We know there will be OP champs, OP items, bugs that slipped through and a few rough edges.— Mark Yetter (@MarkYetter) November 10, 2020
We're going to be full on polish mode in the next few weeks to get everything stable and tuned the way it should be.
Regardless of what I think, I am sure there are plenty of players or members of the community who are all for the new changes and are hoping that Riot follows through with the preseason updates to season 11.
On the other hand, I am also aware that many players share the same opinion as me and hope that if they do not revert back to the old system, which seems unlikely, then they will at least address the issues or distribute some hotfixes/nerfs to champions or items that need them.
Certain champions and items have already received hotfixes or nerfs but the meta has not really shifted at all and has rather remained the same. Only time will tell what Riot has planned for the future, but for now, all we can do is wait in anticipation for the arrival of season 11.
Season 11 is expected to begin at some point in January, 2021.
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