Death of the Solo Carry

With the World Championship firmly on its way we have seen how teams have adapted to the new meta as a number of newstratagemhave come to light.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

With the World Championship firmly on its way we have seen how teams have adapted to the new meta as a number of new stratagem have come to light. One particular thing that we have seen is that there has been a lack of a solo carry on a team, that one person that can rotate his baseball cap the other way round and just mutter; “don’t worry guys, I got this”. Teams have consistently shown that they can focus down a single threat and nullify it with better map control, team fighting synergy and macro plays. This should point that the overall level of participants has risen when it comes to playing the game, hence we have seen the shift to a triple threat composition, where if one of your carries dies it is not that much of a major issue because you have another two ready to fill in for him who are just as much of a threat.

Fall of the ‘Maw:

One thing worth noting that puts this statement to justice is the rarity of a Juggermaw composition, in which you have 4 utility members which are all focused on keeping one member alive. Although this is still a valid team composition, with multiple globals becoming more popular as a Juggermaw team you are forced to split up from each other and become the less stellar pieces of Exodia, always yearning for that moment when you can all combine and demolish the opposition in that one team-fight. Within this meta there is a lot of counter-play to this composition that teams can now pull off at the drop of a hat, it really abolishes that one man carry team mentality. Whether it is running a double assassin composition(with no tanky champions in the mix) ready to pounce on the smallest of openings to take out the damage threat, or a wombo combo team that once grouped up can instantly delete two or three members of the enemy team leaving the solo carry exposed.

Recipe For Success:

If we take a closer look at the most successful teams out there, almost each and every single member on that team(including some subs) has the potential to be a major threat to their opponents. Taking SKTelecom T1, the first person to jump to mind is Faker, yet as we have seen recently when the teams decide to try and focus him down they seem to forget that there are other threats that make up SKT. We have seen the likes of Bang and Marin come out big in games where they were left to go by relatively unnoticed which spelled disaster for all of their opponents, allowing these two players to reach some impressive goals. Bang peaked at a 71.0 KDA and Marin currently has the second best KDA amongst all top laners and the most CS achieved per minute. Even when Faker is subbed out for Easyhoon, the notion of SKT being a weaker side without Faker has been completely abolished. Hence this shows that SKT are true masters of the triple threat composition as they have steam rolled their way to the finals undefeated.

Recipe For Disaster:

Contrasting a team that has not fielded a similar composition,Team Solo Mid, we have seen them time and time again rely solely on their mid laner, Bjergsen, to be able to dictate the game on his own. Coincidently he was the only person that had a positive performance and was the shining light amongst the entire team, and with the little amount of resources TSM managed to obtain it left Bjergsen with very little tools to be able to carry his team. Wildturtle, despite being a competent Marksman, does not have the same impact on the game as your other top tier carries, it has been quite a while since we have seen him rise to a hyper carry status, or be a realistic threat to the opposition. In addition to the meta transitioning into one where top lane carries are a must, Dyrus failed to be a real threat to his opposing laner and the enemy team with a very half-hearted performance coming from him. With all members of TSM playing passively, their opposition have an easy task when it comes to preparing a strategy against the American team. Therefore simply focusing down Bjergsen would put the whole team on the back burner where all the members of TSM would simple wait for their Danish mid-laner to pull out a miracle play.


Switching our sights to a similar case with the Chinese teams, Edward Gaming were one of the favourites coming into this competition having bested SKT at the Mid-Seasonal Invitational, and had a dominant run in the LPL, despite falling off at the end. Their line-up held promise with last years World Champion Pawn in the mid lane, a strong duo lane of Deft and Meiko and a very proficient jungler in Clearlove. EDG had been plagued with inconsistencies in the top lane where AmazingJ and Koro1 failed to really adapt to this meta and become solid carries, despite this fact they still appeared to be a solid squad. Yet looking at the games they were outclassed when it came to map plays and team fighting, almost losing in the group stages to H2k and even the Bangkok Titans gave them a run for their money. The series that they played against Fnatic showed us that EDG has failed to adapt to the triple threat meta, and even when they tried to outplay the European powerhouse with multiple globals they appeared inconsistent failing to capitalise of a number of opportunities that could have granted them the victory.


Looking back at this, although teams are shifting to a triple threat composition, on the better teams there is always that sole person that is the main focus for their opponents. This could be a strong psychological ploy employed by the strongest teams, that since on paper your opponents recognise a solo person as the main carry for that team, this might bait the opposing team to expend most of their resources on shutting down that sole threat. This can be seen clearly when teams play against Fnatic, the opposing jungler spends most of his time camping the top lane. Since Fnatic can very accurately predict the movements of the opposing jungler, they can decide whether to counter the camp by sending more people to Huni’s aid or be able to be a lot more aggressive and try to shut out their counterparts from the lane. We have seen time and time again when the opposing team has “ignored” Febiven and he was allowed to dominate the bottom half of the map. Same can be said for SKT, with most of the resources being focused on Faker, Benji can sets his sights on the side lanes where he has roamed to either get Marin of Bang a great start.   

I would like to acknowledge my use of images found in this article which were all taken from google.  The use of these images are for the sole purpose of supplementing the article, if there any copyright issues please inform me and I shall remove the images in question.