Looking back to the times when I started playing League of Legends, the game was really fun and interesting. In the first few days, I plunked around 25 hours a week, realizing that the good ol’ WASD keys would not move my damn character. The next few weeks, I found myself hunting down the Raptors and Krugs in the jungle, and setting up failed ganks. To be fair, MOBAs do take some time to get a hang of. And I had all the time in the world for League (those assignments can wait). But one week in and there I was making important life decisions like whether to upgrade my Kayn into the Shadow Assassin or the Darkin.
God! I miss those good old days when playing League was THAT simple. When I look at the game today, I wonder how it got so competitive and where did all the fun go. See where I’m going with this? I’m sure all of us from the League community can agree that the game has become too stressful now. From playing champs with zero background knowledge to reading all the minor and major patch changes, League has become more of a competition now. I mean… what’s the point of ditching your studies to play League all night when you still have to read a whopping 1000 words of patch notes.
So I looked back and tried finding why and how the game evolved into a stressful competition, and here are a few reasons that I found:
1. League Champions are Getting Too Complicated
If you line-up all the latest champions released by Riot in the last two seasons, you would notice how overloaded and mechanically demanding these champions are. Apparently, learning about the champion’s abilities was not enough. Truly mastering these new champs now requires memorizing their kits, weaving their skills to master them, and reading all the related patch changes. Isn’t it a little too much? New League players, who specifically join League to have fun, end up being overwhelmed by these complex new arrivals and overall competitive gameplay.
Sure, Riot may now have the top-notch technology and team to develop such complex characters but is it really worth confusing the players and overcomplicating their game experience?
Let’s look at a few new champion releases whose mind-boggling abilities and kits are almost impossible to get a hang of:
Aphelios – The Weapon of The Faithful
Released in December 2019, Aphelios is undoubtedly the most difficult champion to play in League till date. Equipped with over 5 weapons, his description should probably be like “Weapons of the Faithful”. Aphelios comes with a highly complex and detailed kit with 5 weapons, each having their own abilities, cooldowns and ammo. Ugh! Why do all emos have to be this hard to understand?
Players in the League community are baffled by his complex skill set, figuring out what exactly he does. Aphelios’s difficulty level can be determined by the number of guides on him you will find online. If you google “understanding Aphelios”, literally hundreds of guides will pop up in front of you, with gamers and League experts trying their best to break down his kit.
Yone – The Unforgotten
Yone, the newly released champion also lines up in the list of Riot’s newly released complex champions. His assassin playstyle is pretty hard for players and his kit requires a lot of memorization and time to figure him out.
Yone’s passive is divided into two parts. The first part has to do with doubling his critical chance and reducing the damage. Whereas the second part is pretty difficult to understand as Yone is equipped with two swords. He auto-attacks using his both swords alternatively, and their order remains unchanged when using his abilities.
His E, Soul Unbound is pretty hard to master too. Take a look at his other abilities and see what I’m talking about.
Qiyana – Empress of The Elements
Apparently, Qiyana’s abilities seemed to be pretty simple before the champion was released. Looking at the skills, everyone assumed that the champion would be easy to main. But as she released, her complexity was found to be INSANE. Even pro players found her too difficult to play.
For starters, her passive, which is associated with all the elements, is reset by new elements. You also have to choose between auto-attacking or using her Q. Her skills are also really slow, making it nearly impossible to land skillshots. But her ult is probably the most hardest to pull off. It easily makes it to the League’s top hardest ultimates. And the worst thing about that ult is that if you fail to hit the terrains, it just knocks you back.
She definitely makes it to the list of League’s most hardest champions.
Zoe – The Aspect of Twilight
Even though Zoe was released in 2017, she is also considered as one of the hardest champions in League to master. Even pro League players from Esports avoid playing Zoe. If you do not believe me, go through her abilities and you will be scratching your head. From teleporting, warping, stealing spells and even abilities, Riot gave her everything, which is probably why people hate playing with or against Zoe.
Mastering Zoe means landing skillshots with 100% accuracy, something that requires a lot of precision and practice.
Looking at all these champion releases, one thing is evident. Riot has sucked all the fun out of the game by making it so hard to grasp.
2. Massive Changes in The Jungle
Season 10 of League came with major changes, specially in the jungle’s landscape. From jungle camps, terrains and bushes to the drakes and even Rift Herald, everything transformed into what is now a highly objective-focused and competitive game.
In season 10, League decided to change the Elemental Drakes, which now shape the entire map of the Rift. The new elemental drakes now give buffs and Dragon souls that literally turn the game into your favor. Acquiring these Dragon souls in League has become so crucial for winning, which is why you will see most of the teamfights in League around the drake’s pit now. As soon as the Drakes spawn, you will find the enemy team lurking around it.
Elder dragon also has that Execution buff now that executes the opponents when their health drops. This Elder buff is seriously OP and will definitely turn the game for the team that has it. This is why players drop everything and rush for the Elder as soon as it spawns.
The new Elemental Dragons have made the game even more competitive, now that they have a pivotal role in winning the games.
Remember the times when there used to be just one Herald? Well, now there are two! Having a Herald just used to swing up the match in any lane. Now that there are two, you can literally clear the entire lane up till the inhibitor turret. Top laners can now head to the mid or bot lanes and wreak havoc after clearing their own with the Heralds. Snowballing was never this easy!
Since jungles have now become Elemental Dragons themed, the terrains and bushes transform to match the respective element of the third drake in the pit. The spawn of the third drake now decides the element for that respective match, and the terrains and remaining drakes are then based on that element.
For example, the ocean element would transform the rift by giving life to more bushes and Honeyfruit plants. These bushes will enable junglers and laners to pull off successful ambushes. Or the Cloud Drake gives rise to winds near the drake’s pit and around the red and blue buffs in the jungle.
The addition of the sidelane alcoves in top and bottom lanes is the most scary change in the landscape. With opponents hiding in those alcoves, you can definitely see a lot of action in both lanes. More hiding spots means more teamfights and ganks, which is a huge turn-off for laners who enjoy the 1v1 fights.
Jungle Camps XP
In the previous seasons, a jungler had to kill four camps before having to level upto 3 levels. But with season 10, League tuned the Gromp’s and Krugs’ XP and now you gain 3 levels by covering just one side of the jungle, i.e. three camps. This means the junglers now have diverse pathing options when planning their ganks.
So if your team has a jungler who just focuses on farming and does not go for objectives like Drakes, Heralds, Turrets, well, you are screwed. Imagine how just one bad jungler can lose you the entire game. Like c’mon Riot! Do you really have to make the game that difficult? Where is the “fun” part of the game that people usually play for? Why do you have to make it so complex and frustrating that players cannot even spend a minute, just having fun? And when they do, they end up losing a drake or a Herald, which then costs you the entire game at times.
The new season marked massive changes in the Rift. Click here to see how Riot rebuilt the landscape.
3. League’s Awry Champion Reworks
Another reason why League is not fun anymore is because of its awry champion reworks. No doubt League has pulled off great jobs at some, such as Warwick and Talon. But mostly, League has disappointed the fans with its terrible reworks that turned OP champions into just a NOBODY. And the worst of them has definitely been Akali’s. The designers of the game received huge backlash with Akali’s rework, with fans even promising to quit League.
The reaction was understandable. People who mained Akali for years and loved playing her were disheartened by how Riot overloaded the champ and made substantial changes. This is not just limited to Akali though. Many of the rework that Riot has made have completely transformed the champions into the versions that players don’t even recognize, sometimes.
Take for example the reworked Kayle. The new Kayle is entirely weak until she hits level 16. Early game farming is too difficult for her until she’s poked out in lane. Kayle’s ULT is also useless until she has a lot of ability power. She is basically a weak champ until she’s level 16, which takes a lot of time and is too much of a risk.
And let’s not forget Ryze, who’s officially League’s most reworked champion. Almost every year, League has made drastic changes to Ryze’s kit. A Ryze main who has been playing release would not even recognize the champ now.
Adding to the long list of Riot’s worst reworks is Mordekaiser. Fans were pretty disappointed when League took away his pet dragon from the kit. Some Mordekaiser mains even stopped playing him after the rework.
These petty and completely transforming reworks are a reason why League has changed so much. Completely changing a champion and his kit is basically like inventing a new one. Sure, some adjustments to balance the game are welcome but due to these overly transforming reworks, it has become so hard to keep track of all the changes happening in League every time.
Also, what about those thousands of champion guides and spotlights on YouTube that are now obsolete, thanks to these negative reworks. New players or a person who’s joining League after a short break would be totally confused and overwhelmed by these changes. They would have to read pages of patch notes, new champ releases and reworks in order to completely get a hang of the game.
For example, the recent patch 10.16 had massive meta changes. Click here to see how the patch changed the meta so much.
Is Riot Over-Adjusting the Game for Esports?
In my point of view, League is mainly focusing on Esports by trying to make the game more competitive while jeopardizing the gaming experience of their millions of players. Every day players who used to spend a few hours playing League, now have to spend double the time in keeping track of the new additions to the game. It has actually become more stressful, rather than being a fun game. Undoubtedly, Esports has made the environment ultra-competitive for regular games.