League of Legends was basically the only game I played for over a year and a half.
I have played over 2000 games, have a very positive win rate, have spent loads of dosh on RP, and am completely and utterly sick of the game.
Okay, not really… But kind of.
It’s easy to blame my lack of interest in LoL on my changing over to the Dark Side (O Gaben who art in Valve headquarters, bless my Dota 2 matches this day), but my interest dwindled before I’d even switched. League of Legends is stagnating in a bad way. While Riot has big plans for season 3 and what it will bring to the game, I have doubts that it will really change what’s wrong with it and make the game as dynamic as it was mid and pre-season 1.
The real issue lies in the meta game.
What used to be called the European meta is now just the meta. Since, you know, it hasn’t changed in so long. You send a tanky DPS or assassin top, an AD carry and support bot, an AP carry mid, and have a preferably gank-heavy jungler roaming around. There isn’t much flexibility here, so if you want to actually play the game you’re going to have to deal with it, lest your team mates deem you a scrublord and hit the report button like the Fist of the North Star.
I find the blind following of the meta to be depressing. There is no flexibility outside of niche counter picks, and the lane positions for roles are centered entirely around dragon control. Not only has it gotten old, but it prevents creative play. For example, every team “needs” a support even though it’s viable to have a shared farm or kill lane on bot (no ADC) to steamroll early through mid game and force an early win.
You have two on bot because it’s closest to dragon, and the AD carry and support combination is the traditional option. The ADC needs all of the farm to become late game powerhouses, while the support starves and is left to fund the entire team’s ward purchases via their GP/10 income.
THIS IS WHY NO ONE LIKES TO SUPPORT.
Let’s pause real quick. This isn’t DotA where there is no ability scaling. There is ability scaling in LoL, and champions with weak abilities in the base damage or healing department are not going to get stronger as the match goes on without items. Champions played as supports stay weak all game unless they get assist-fed, which usually just feeds them a Shurelya’s and more wards.
The “no farm for the support” part of the game is perhaps the most boring aspect of it. Not many people want to play support, and those that do so have the thankless job of keeping their AD carry and team alive with barely any items and weaker abilities than everyone else on the team. It sucks.
I would go into the inflexibility of itemization, but literally every League of Legends player is fully aware of the lack of itemization options. This is something Riot hopes to address in season 3, but they would have to revamp the game’s entire inventory to make multiple build options viable. Sure, you can buy whatever you want right now — but don’t count on being useful if you step out of line.
Over-Reliance on Farming
Farming is the meat and potatoes of any LoL match. This would be okay if LoL were not initially toted as being more PVP-oriented than DotA. Most LoL players are complacent with farming for 20 to 25 minutes instead of pushing objectives, which is just as much of the meta as anything else.
Is that extra farm worth more than taking down a tower (150 gold to each team mate) and either roaming in the jungle to put the enemy jungler behind or helping another lane take their tier 1 tower down (another 150 gold for all)? From a GLOBAL GOLD perspective, no. But that’s just not how things are done — which is why Korean teams push objectives instead of mass-farm and wipe the floor with teams from EU and NA.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Why do players just do what’s conventionally followed by the meta? Why is there no flexibility? And why are so many players completely content with doing the same thing over and over again?
Because It’s Fun
Let’s be clear: I don’t hate League of Legends. I’m still an avid player and I do look forward to what’s to come, but there’s no denying that something needs to change. Switching champions up simply isn’t enough to keep things fresh.
I play DotA because it’s dynamic and challenging. I play LoL because it’s familiar and safe. I may enjoy LoL and I may play LoL — but I don’t think it’s ready to be considered on any sort of serious level (especially not E-sports) yet. Little bits of the meta are changing, but the game isn’t flexible enough from a strategy standpoint to make it a serious. I certainly hope it will be, though.