Riot Phreak breaks down if -5 movement speed is really a nerf or just a LoL meme

Is it just a meme?

Withered Rose Zeri wearing a mask and jumping over something.
Image via Riot Games

Sometimes it feels like Riot Games doesn’t know how to approach balancing a problematic champion like Irelia or Kassadin, and the devs just slap a minus-five movement speed nerf on them and move on. Most players see this as a placebo effect, but developer David “Phreak” Turley finally explained if this has any impact at all, or if is it just a long-standing meme.

After seeing that Zeri, an electrifying AD carry known for her dominant presence in pro play, is getting a minus-five movement speed with the Worlds patch, one Redditor was brave enough to ask if this is actually a nerf. Phreak replied to this, saying it decreases the champion’s win rate by roughly one percent.

“Last time we did it was this year to Nidalee and it was a bit under 1%. Of course, Nidalee has Pounce, so she cares about her base MS a bit less than other champions. But about 1% off is fine here,” he explained on Sept. 18.

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Previously, players have seen Irelia, Nidalee, and Kassadin all being nerfed this way after they terrorized both solo queue and pro play. Players believed this had little to no influence on the champion’s power level, but, in reality, movement speed is a critical stat that can give you an edge over enemies.

To show you the value of movement speed, let’s take AD carries as an example. They don’t have burst or hard CC, and solely rely on their mechanical skills to auto attack enemies. But when teamfights heat up, they have to kite enemies quickly. This is where Zeal items come in, allowing players to create more space between themselves and enemies thanks to the bonus movement speed.

Movement speed as a stat isn’t only valuable on AD carries, but on other champions too. It’s a great yet barely noticeable stat that allows you to run away, catch up with enemies, and even make it to an objective in time. Oftentimes, movement speed is overlooked, but it’s one of the most important stats in the game. In other words, the minus-five movement speed nerf is not just a meme.

About the author
Izabela Tomakic

Staff Writer & World of Warcraft lead. Izabela has a long history with writing and games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fortnite, and The Sims. Before finding her home at Dot Esports in 2021, Izabela was an English teacher and a freelancer at Hotspawn, GGRecon, and Gameranx. In her free time, you’ll find her writing novels, wandering Azeroth, or inting on Summoner’s Rift.