With League of Legends 10 year anniversary, and the outstanding show that was the Worlds 2019 Championship, there is no doubt that League has had a diverse meta history. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what have been the most popular throughout the years.
The early days of League of Legends is shrouded in the mists of the past. However, there are some early changes that soon became the fundamentals of League play. In Season 1, we saw two main types of compositions.
Mages hung around the top lane with a tank jungler an AD Carry in the mid lane, and a bruiser/support duo on the bottom side. This was a staple for North American teams throughout Season 1. However, European teams were already switching up the roles to something a little more familiar with today Mages in the mid lane for extra roaming capability and the ADC scaling in the bot lane with their new support best friend. With Europe ahead of the curve, it was no surprise that the first Worlds series was EU dominated.
In Season 3, lane swaps were on the rise. This left the mostly unsupported top laner to be open to attacks from a duo lane who decided it was time to bully. With lane swaps hard to predict or even harder to contest, this led to easy openings in gold or even kill leads and could snowball a team into winning a match.
Season 4 (2014)
With the horror of lane swaps looming over the minds of top laners, players began to test the waters with something new: Duo Jungling. The repercussions of this meta was the four-man tower pushes that would soon become common occurrence.
The duo junglers would path through the bottom side of their respective jungles in order to advance into the bot lane. They would meet up with the duo lane and push through the enemy into the tower with no fear and a lot of damage.
Season 5 (2015)
In 2015, there were two major changes that rocked the League stage. First up was the change to Runeglaive. The change was initially meant to give a buff to Ability Power (AP) junglers. Players, of course, then tested Runeglaive on other AP driven champions. Thus, the rise of AP Ezreal began.
The item spiked Ezreal’s already high scaling damage to ludicrous amounts. This also gave him the chance to spam his abilities with the 10% cool down reduction. Though it was exciting, and frustrating, the Runeglaive was removed about six months after its addition to the game.
Another notable change in 2015 was the Juggernaut buff. Champions such as Garren, Darius, Skarner and Mordekaiser were reworked. At this same time, the jungle champion pool was full of Gragas, Elise and Rek’Sai picks. Gang Plank was reworked, which led him to becoming the best pick for late game (when the match hits 20 minutes in game time).
The changes created a meta that lacked diversity as well as stagnated the Worlds Championship for that season. At the time, the bans were limited to three per side. This made it extremely easy to predict which side would ban what champion. After Worlds 2015, Riot did change the reworks to fix some of the overpowered champions that came of the Juggernaut buff.
Recent League of Legends Metas
In the last few years of League, the meta has become less “fundamental” compositions (i.e. ADC bot/mage center/tank top) and more innovative. The League European Championship Series (LEC) has become the front runners in a lot of these creative comps.
Funnel compositions have been played in the splits as well as MSI in 2018 and 2019. This comp contains an ADC which is played in the mid lane and three to four supports. The Carry, take Smite as one of its Summoner Spells.
This allows for them to farm not only Creeps or Minions in the lane but also the jungle camps. In doing so, the Carry can farm up a decent gold lead, which entails a faster buy schedule for their items. If a team does not expect or know how to counter this type of comp, it can lead to a heavy handed snowball effect. This will almost entirely ensure certain victory for the funneling team.
Mages in the bot lane began to surge in and out of the meta. Having mages in the bot lane is to focus on wave clear, allowing for the jungler to gain priority. Priority then means the jungler is free to roam. This also allows them to take dragons whenever their bot lane pushes in their wave and joins them.
Tank supports have been a do and don’t meta as well in these past couple of years. Galio was a big pick for a lot of 2018, and Nautilus has been on the rise throughout 2019. Both have been great engage picks for teams who prefer late game team fights.
Metas are ever changing, and this article has barely scratched the surface of all the metas that League of Legends has had over the course of its 10 year lifespan. With innovation on the up and up, there’s no telling what kind of kooky plays are being practiced in the down time after Worlds.
Written by Alana Thompson
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