Although the League of Legends meta had one if it’s most tumultuous years in 2018, it’s also had one of its most inclusive ones. A total of 98.5% of all champions have been played on the professional stage this year, which is an extremely impressive number. Only two champions have not seen play on the professional stage this year and those are Vi and Annie.
Since a League of Legends professional season is quite long, it’s not surprising to see a lot of champions making an appearance as the season goes on. The meta often changes quite a bit so there’s always a large variety of champions coming in and going out of the meta. However, the fact that 139 out of 141 champions have been played on the professional stage this year is something quite spectacular and probably won’t ever happen again.
One of the main reasons that this League of Legends season saw so much variety is because of patch 8.11. This patch arrived at the end of May and completely changed how the game was being played for a short period of time. The marksman role was basically deleted when Riot nerfs to the role went a little overboard. This meant that people started experimenting with how the game could be played. We saw some teams dump mages and tanks in the bot lane whereas other teams went for funnel stats and put all of their resources into a single player. Because of this meta, we saw some champs that we most likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
There are also some champions which weren’t really strong in the meta but were picked anyway, most likely as surprise picks. These are picks like Amumu, Shaco, Garen, and more. They’ve never been part of the meta and were only just picked once somewhere on stage, more as a means to surprise the enemy rather than as a strong and viable champion.
Although the meta has now shifted back to a more standard style of League of Legends, patch 8.11 truly showed how exciting League can be when everything is suddenly different and champions that were never played suddenly are. Hopefully, Riot finds a way to retain the same diversity in the game that we saw this year without gutting a specific role.