The League of Legends meta refers to the set of champions, items, and strategies that have an incredibly high winrate during a specific patch. Most LoL metas are a result of an overtuned buff in a previous patch that the developers might have underestimated which causes the playerbase to abuse in the competitive ladder. Every patch, a new meta comes out and every competitive player wants to take advantage of it before it’s fixed. It’s time to learn how to read the meta and what ways you can take advantage of it.
About the LoL Meta
The LoL meta has always been the centerpiece of League of Legends gameplay. Even though the game encourages players to play the game however they want to, it is simply more recommended to follow the best strategies in order to win more games if you’re planning on climbing the ladder. Players who are not as skilled as mechanically gifted individuals or do not have the same mastery as one-tricks can still compete against high ELO players by having a proper grasp of the meta.
Being a meta player means that you abuse the strongest champions, items, or strategies in the current patch every game. This requires a high level of flexibility because the meta may not always agree with your playstyle. Most players don’t follow the meta because of this very reason and only take advantage of it whenever it favors them. If you’re planning to get out of your current division and aim higher, you might want to start practicing different playstyles.
The Types of LoL Meta
There are two types of LoL meta that players like to follow which are the Esports Meta and the PBE Meta. The terms refer to the place where they originate from and are both usable in solo queue to some extent. To understand how you can abuse the meta, you must learn when and where to use these metas. They are very distinct and are not for all types of players and situations.
1. PBE Meta
The PBE meta or the Public Beta Environment Meta refers to the strategies that are discovered by the beta testers of the game. A few weeks before a new patch is released, authorized beta testers get to play in the PBE server, allowing them to discover in advance how the intended changes of a patch work in the current iteration of the game. Since the PBE is basically just a regular server with advanced patches, this is where the solo queue meta is most often shaped.
Following the PBE meta is pretty straightforward and often doesn’t need any advanced knowledge to utilize. In this meta, the players simply reveal the champions or items with the highest win rates. These win rates are influenced by the fact that the champion or item is overtuned and has the ability to steamroll the enemy team simply by existing. You can follow the PBE meta by following PBE players on social media or simply going on forums and discussion threads online. You can also purchase PBE accounts here at LolFinity!
2. Esports Meta
The Esports meta is a little more complicated for solo queue players and isn’t recommended in low ELO settings or if you’re playing alone. The Esports Meta uses the competitive scene as a basis. The reason why it’s hard for solo queue players to utilize this is because the esports meta is usually team-centric and requires combos and precise gameplay to properly utilize. Since solo queue, especially in lower ranks, usually focuses on players getting ahead by themselves, it’s hard to use this as a basis.
Another problem of the esports meta is that it uses an outdated patch. Unlike in the PBE meta that studies a patch in advance, the esports scene uses an older patch so there’s a chance that some strategies can’t be applied in the present patch due to possible nerfs. However, sometimes the nerfs are really small that it can still work at present. This meta works well in Flex Queue or in local tournaments when you’re playing with two or more other players with comms.
How to Check the Current Meta
The meta is very unstable since a specific tactic or a strong champion/item can be relevant for a few patches or only one patch. It’s a good idea to study the meta as soon as it comes out so that you can take advantage of it earlier. This also prevents opponents from coming up with counters to your strategies whenever the meta comes up. Once you’ve successfully understood the meta early, you can make adjustments or improvements that complement your personal playstyle.
There are different ways to check the current meta and most of them are very accessible. However, some require more interpretation than others, especially if you’re not familiar with a lot of champions and items. In that case, you might want to find a source that provides a more in-depth explanation of how things work. These sources should help you get in touch with the LoL meta so that you can make a habit of learning all of them as soon as they are out.
LoL Statistics Websites
Websites like u.gg, op.gg, and mobalytics are reliable websites that compile statistics of champion performances in the past week. The websites show champion winrates, tier lists, and match histories of relevant people such as one-tricks and professional players in solo queue. Since these are all statistics that are compiled from every single game in the Riot Games database, players can be confident that there is some measure of reliability in these values to help you make decisions.
Players should still learn how to read the statistics well. Some champions have low winrates only because of the high skill ceiling of the champion being used despite it being rated an S-tier champion and above. By using filters such as region and division filters, you’ll be able to have even more reliable information about the current LoL meta without wasting your time on low ELO stats.
League of Legends Analysts
LoL Analysts on social media or YouTube always talk about the current state of League of Legends. Good people to follow include LS, Vandiril, and Nemesis since they always talk about the game’s current state. If you’re looking at the esports meta, a lot of podcasts hosted by official LoL esports casters talk about which picks are hot in the current meta in-depth. Following and listening to LoL analysts is a lot better if you’re the type of person who has very little understanding about the game.
You can also follow people that player in the PBE server to get news on what’s happening there. You can also play on the PBE server but it defeats the purpose of you trying to climb by taking advantage of the meta since playing there won’t increase your rank in any way. Streamers also provide a bit of context in the current LoL meta but most of them don’t care about it and prefer to use champions that they are comfortable using rather than using the best champs available.
Watching Esports Games
Watching esports matches is also a good way to learn about the meta. Esports games are a rich source of information on how to play the game better because you’re not only watching the best players in the world compete against each other but you can also listen to the casters and analysts explaining everything that’s going on. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, there’s a lot of things that you can pick up simply by watching matches online.
If you’re serious about learning about the meta, watching LCK and LPL games are the best way to get information about the best strategies in the game since they are the most competitive regions in the world. The problem is that esports games require a lot of advanced strategies that involve a lot of teamplay and macro that might not be applicable in the solo queue setting. However, if you’re playing Flex Queue or pre-made tournaments, esports should be the best place to learn the meta.
Studying the Current Meta
Now that you know what the meta is and where to find it, it’s time to learn what to do with the information that you’ve acquired. Just because you’ve heard or read about the meta, it doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be able to apply it in your games and increase your winrate in ranked. Players that do not know how to translate the information they’ve acquired and dive into a game with a vague idea about it will almost always fail in their execution because of their overconfidence.
Analyzing the Meta
Just because a champion, item, or strategy is meta doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be instantly broken. Sometimes, the meta is deeper than players may think and requires stuff like combos, proper itemization, or proper timing. Before jumping head-first into trying out the new meta, it’s a good idea to analyze the smeta and research what makes that specific tactic work and what are the things that you need to keep in mind when trying it out.
Remember that it’s better to spend 20-40 minutes analyzing the new meta than spending one game figuring it out and losing LP in the process. The best way to analyze the meta is to check your sources if they explain how it works. Checking the match histories of the players that use these specific tactics is also a great way to analyze the meta. Once you’ve figured out what you need to do, it’ll be easier to apply it in the game and increase your chances of winning.
Checking for Counters
The most important thing you need to know about in the meta is checking for counters to the specific strategy or champion that you’re about to use. Since a lot of high ELO players are always updated with the meta, they always try to figure out what counters are effective against the current champion pool. If those players pick the counterpick first, you should try to avoid trying to play the countered champion since there’s an increased likelihood that they know how to play the matchup well.
Another good reason for doing this is that you can also use the counterpick against the enemy if they choose to use it against your team. Counterpicks are a good way to ensure that you’re always in a winning lane and shut down the enemy from getting stronger. A lot of people rely on the LoL meta and it’s not that rare to encounter people using a popular champion in the specific patch to dramatically increase their winrate so be sure to have contingencies prepared every game.
The final way to study the current LoL meta is to watch a few highlights that feature the champion, item, or strategy that you want to use. Rather than theorizing how it’s going to work, it’d be better to watch it in action so that you know how it will work when it’s your turn to use it. By witnessing the way they behave, players will be able to think of ways to modify the meta into ways that benefit them completely rather than just following it blindly.
There are a ton of highlights available on various streaming services to showcase how things work. You don’t even need to be subscribed to the channels that do it as long as you know how to use search engines. When watching highlights, always take it with a grain of salt since content creators always film the most ideal situations. Determine how much it works by gauging the strength to the situation they are in on the video that they showed in the highlight.
Is It Important to Follow the Meta in LoL?
The LoL meta is something that can help any player improve their winrate in League of Legends. However, this isn’t the only way to achieve that exclusively. There are a ton of other ways to improve in the game as long as the player is willing to do so.