What is powercreep?
It’s the slow increase of the power level of new mechanics or champions as a game develops.
An example of powercreep: Rek’sai.
This champion has one of the most overloaded kits out of any champion in the game currently. She has a knock up, the strongest form of cc and an ability for scouting enemy champions (tremor sense – burrowed passive) from a longer range than any other champion in the game as well as an ability to reveal champions and gain vision of them. Rek’sai is one of the most mobile champions in the game due to her ability to create a network of tunnels that allow her to traverse the jungle at higher speeds and farm faster. Using tunnels can allow Rek’sai to have comparable mobility to a kha’zix post evolving leap from level 3 so she is almost immediately more powerful. A good player can abuse the global pressure that her ultimate brings therefore giving unparalleled split pushing potential compared to other junglers. By combining the aspects of a strong supportive kit through vision control and aoe crowd control and having the factors of a bruiser/assassin by having aoe damaging abilities and true damage makes for a champion that has risen to the top of competitive play. During the world championship she has a 73% pick ban ratio and is only behind elise in popularity.
Now why is this a good thing?
Rek’sai’s kit is exceptionally versatile. This allows for multiple ways to rethink how a player can jungle. New gank paths are created for Rek’sai because of her unique tunnelling mechanics which then leads itself into more ways to track the enemy jungler and completely dominate a game by using a sightstone and tremor sense in tandem. There are new ways to play this game because of new mechanics which from the perspective of the player is a good thing because it will keep you interested in the game for longer by constantly offering new avenues for play making whilst still playing the same champion.
In professional play powercreep is a difficult concept to deal with because as soon as a champion is slightly more powerful it immediately smothers the other niche or fringe meta picks and thus reduces the number of champions played and can lead to stagnation in the competitive meta game. This is because a champion like Rek’sai can offer almost everything a team could want and simply offers more to the game than other champions. This reduces the ability for innovation in the meta where a player could see an opportunity for a new way of playing a champion to develop the meta when a champion that is so strong exists. When your career is on the line, you’re going to pick to increase your chances of winning.
Thanks for reading.
Stats from oracleselixir.com