Throughout the course of Patch 8.11, the professional meta has taken plenty of unexpected turns that have thrown competitive League of Legends into a tailspin. The game is trying to figure itself out and with 36 games played at the professional level already, pro players are still doing everything in their power to grasp exactly what is going on.
And while every player at every position is doing everything in their power to adapt to the plethora of changes that Riot has made to the game, one position in particular has been altered so immensely, that its players are scrambling to find effective strategies and approaches. That position is AD Carry, and in its current state, the role has become a wasteland of experimentation and confusion.
As of today, 36 professional games have been played across 4 regions: Korea’s LCK, China’s LPL, Oceania’s OPL, and Brazil’s CBLOL. With 72 AD Carries picked across each so far this split, the early pick/ban statistics for the position are incredibly volatile and very different from what we’ve seen in the past. Kai’sa and Ezreal still remain on top with 28 and 20 picks, respectively, leading one to believe that not much has changed since the Mid-Season Invitational.
But, when you take into account that Lucian is now the most influential AD Carry with 18 picks and 21 bans, it’s easy to realize that a lot has changed. The Purifier’s pick/ban presence has skyrocketed to a whopping 70% on Patch 8.11. And while he still pales in comparison to champions like Irelia (95%) and Graves (88%), his 70% mark becomes substantially impressive when you realize that he held a 2.2% presence throughout the first 5 months of the season.
In addition to Lucian’s emergence, many players have given up traditional AD Carry Champions altogether. Vladimir has become a notable example, as the Crimson Reaper has been embraced by AD Carries such as Gwon “Sangyoon” Sang-yun of Hanwha Life Esports and Lee “Loken” Dong-wook of JD Gaming. Besides Vlad, Yasuo, Ryze and even Ornn have been played in the bottom lane, making for one of, if not the most vast and interesting bottom lane metas we have ever seen.
And now, with European and North American play beginning this weekend, we’ve already seen a glimpse of how utterly unpredictable this meta can be overseas. With champions like Master Yi, Nunu, and Karthus coming to prominence, and champions such as Taliyah, Lulu, and Taric embracing completely different roles, the professional League of Legends meta is more insane than ever before. Each game brings a separate set of question marks, and each player now finds themselves at a crossroads: they can either adapt and succeed, or be left to the wolves.
Photo Credit: Riot Games, League of Legends