League of Legends has always been a game that prides itself on options. And since the competitive scene has usually been flourishing with many opportunities to make a splash with the champion roster, it’s obvious that the game has promoted a diverse and unique professional meta at many points throughout its history. And with last year’s midseason meta mix-up providing a long-lasting spark to the scene that we had never witnessed before, it’s safe to say that pro League is more diverse now than it ever has been.
All of the changes made to the competitive meta last season, particularly the ones that affected the bottom lane, such as making it less focused on ranged marksmen, have truly increased the amount of options that teams have on the table when heading into a champion select. The game was affected in an incredibly positive manner last season from those changes, and the levels of diversity and distinction within the game’s ecosystem have only gone up this time around.
Last year, all but two champions were left on the table when the season ended – Annie and Vi. With 141 champions available to play in 2018, the fact that 139 had been picked at least once was quite remarkable. Mind you, it took us a full season to reach those numbers. In just one month or so of play in 2019, we’re already on the verge of mirroring, if not eclipsing those marks. For reference, last February 21, there were still 30 champions that hadn’t been picked. We didn’t see 13 remaining available unique picks until the middle of May.
And now, after just about five weeks of competitive play this year, 130 out of 143 champions have seen the Rift at least once, as only 13 remain on the board. Most notably, Annie and Vi have ended their dry streaks and have been selected in the professional scene after not seeing the stage anywhere in the world for over a year.
It’s definitely important to note that we’ve never seen a season with every champion picked – although last year we came the closest we ever have when 98.5% of the available characters in the game were taken off the board. However, if unique picks continue to be made at the pace that they currently are in 2019, we could easily see all 143 champions get knocked off before the season ends.
Shaco, Amumu, Wukong, Brand, Volibear, Master Yi, Miss Fortune, Twisted Fate, Teemo, Garen, Lux, Quinn, and Tryndamere all make up the list of champions to not see the stage so far. However, with 8 months of play left in 10 major leagues across the world, there’s a really solid chance we see these 13 champions all get their time in the spotlight. That is, at least, if last year’s trends are a reliable barometer.
Photo Credit: League of Legends, Riot Games