Throughout the course of the 2018 season, we experienced a significant number of changes to certain champions, the competitive meta, and the landscape of League of Legends as a whole. With five reworks, two brand new releases and 19 major patches, the champion roster has undergone some serious changes this season, while the overall structure of competitive League has been affected massively.
In fact, champion diversity was at an all-time high this season, as 139 of the 141 characters in the game had been picked on the professional stage at least once in 2018. This massive number accounts for 98.5% of the playable characters all of League of Legends – the highest mark of any season ever. Additionally, that number becomes even more impressive once you realize that the champion roster expands upon itself every year.
The most probable explanation for the recent spike in champion diversity was Patch 8.11, which gutted the bottom lane as we knew it. The patch forced players to transition away from AD Carries and move towards other viable options such as mages like Heimerdinger or the newly-reworked Swain. And although there have been eight more patches on the competitive stage since the release of 8.11, it’s lasting effects still linger on today.
Even melee champions like Yasuo and Ornn made appearances in the bottom lane during the latter half of the season, while old faces like Aatrox and Akali dominated the game thanks to reworks and updates.
However, the incredible swing in champion picks and bans during the middle of the season made lasting impacts on the overall structure of League of Legends, as a whole. With nearly every single champion receiving playing time throughout the course of the season, it’s fair to say that League is healthier than ever, as the competitive meta allows for more creativity and excitement with each passing day.
In fact, the only two champions to not receive a pick throughout the whole year were Annie and Vi. Even still, an incredibly large majority of the roster made its way onto the Rift, promoting a serious amount of excitement and innovation in the process.
Photo Credit: League of Legends, Riot Games