November 9, 2020

Preseason Grind in League of Legends

Preseason is just around the corner, giving us 1.5 months to adjust to the new meta.

Anyone who plays League of Legends knows just how much in-game knowledge it takes to play at the top tier. While casual players faceroll their keyboard hoping for a clutch play, players in the competitive scene are memorizing ability cooldowns, champion passives, and item descriptions. And every patch a little bit of that knowledge gets thrown out the window and replaced with something else.

Imagine what Football would be like if the game changed every two weeks.

Enter preseason. Each year, Riot releases a dramatic patch to shake up the meta and keep the playstyle interesting to participate in and to watch. The addition of the elemental drake system shifted objective priority away from Baron and created an all-new method for securing the endgame. A massive adjustment. And this year it’s all about items.

LoL has approximately 175 items. According to Riot’s updates, 33% of those get to stay, 33% will be reworked, and 34% will be replaced. So we’re talking about roughly 60 items in each category, 120 of which you’ll need to learn all over again. Add in the new complication of Mythic Items, which allow players to add a massive adaptation to their champion that can help them play around friendly and enemy team comps, but the same can be said for the other team. It’s a lot of information to take in.

Yes, we’re complaining a little. But only a little.

Preseason can be incredibly exciting. It’s an opportunity to shine in new ways, to challenge ourselves, and overcome obstacles. Some laners will get to rotate back onto champions they love but had fallen out of favour. It keeps things fresh and interesting.

But it also forces players and staff to adapt. It can take time to adjust to a new way of playing, which can wear away at your patience. Committing 120 new item details to memory, plus any other upcoming changes, is a lot of homework. Items that seem fantastic on the surface need to be tested on the Rift. Champions in your pool might have to be benched until later patches. Just like how Support roles shifted from utility and healing to full damage, it’s always possible that an entire class becomes unfavourable. You might find yourself rotated out of the meta alongside your champs.

And although this is part of the job, players, coaches, and managers deserve credit for the work that goes into keeping their teams playing at their best. They’re working constantly to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate what’s coming, and find creative opportunities on the Rift. While some of us are fumbling our way across the map for shits and giggles, they’re learning the game inside and out. Countless hours of preparation and dedication, memorizing and experimenting so that pro players all across local and international scenes get to play the best League of Legends possible.

Good luck this preseason! Have you got what it takes to play for LowLandLions? Apply here for our League of Legends and CS:GO teams.

Oh, and RIP Statikk Shiv ⚰️