The 2018 Summer Split has been one of the most unpredictable splits in LCS history, featuring Vladimir, Yasuo, and Heimerdinger in the bot lane and Taric in the mid lane. We hope you’re a fan of them, too, because they’re going to stick around for a while—at least two more weeks of competitive play, and maybe more.
Strategies that analysts and teams thought were impossible fever dreams are now considered the strongest in the meta, such as sacrificing all of your mid lane farm to become a super-steroid for a jungler.
These strategies are the product of a long string of changes to ADCs, towers, and the jungle, and while they’re incredibly fun to watch on the pro stage, trying to keep up with them as a player, especially at the top level of play, could be incredibly frustrating. Riot is planning to mitigate some of these incredibly wild strategies with upcoming balance changes.
In theory, these changes should return some crit ADCs to the meta and some traditional mid laners to the mid lane, without ruining the possibility for non-marksman in the bot lane and strange mid laners. The changes include damage buffs to key abilities on crit marksmen, like Twitch’s Contaminate and Vayne’s Silver Bolts, as well as nerfs aimed at gold funneling for Master Yi and Nunu.
Unless the changes are hotfixed into the game, the earliest we’ll see them go live is Patch 8.13 next week. The LCS operates on a one-week delay for patches, which means there will be two more full weeks of LCS gameplay before the meta changes much at all. That would be week four of the split, nearly halfway until playoffs.
There are a number of factors that could result in major delays of these changes, too. For starters, the most realistic one would be Riot deciding that the changes would do more harm than good, and then it would ultimately delay their release so the changes could be tested and tweaked more. This happens often to balance changes, especially larger, heavy-handed ones.
If the changes were delayed even one more patch, gold funneling and non-crit bot lanes would dominate the meta for at least another two weeks in the LCS, which means week six would be the first week with the changes in-play. There’s also the possibility that the changes simply don’t do enough, and the current meta carries on strong long after their release.
This type of action will last around two more weeks on the LCS stage—possibly more. At least no one can say this split is boring to watch.