The Season 10 preseason has been one of the largest in history, bringing in significant changes to the Elemental Drake system, the Summoners’ Rift map itself, and even releasing two new champions with a third already announced in Sett. With so many new additions to the game to adapt to before the official start of Season 10 in 2020, the meta has been developing steadily, but how will this affect professional play?
The two major preseason tournaments, the League of Legends Champions Korea’s KeSPA Cup and the League of Legends Pro League’s Demacia Cup, have given us a small taste of the hottest champion picks and strategies already despite both Aphelios and the reworked Diana being disabled. Most competitive leagues won’t be starting their first split until mid to late January, but we can see a glimpse into what the pro meta will look like by understanding the biggest offseason changes.
The Importance of Dragon Control
Top and bot lane alcoves, Dragon and Elder Souls, Elemental Rift, and two Rift Heralds are some of the biggest additions to the fundamentals of League of Legends since the elemental drakes and Rift Herald were added in the latter half of Season Five.
The Elemental Rift system places an emphasis on dragon control unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the game, turning. After the second drake is captured by either team, the map alters itself and modifies the terrain based off whichever drake has yet to be taken. The first team to reach four dragons gains a powerful buff for the rest of the game.
With so many objectives and a ton of terrain scaling now added, the early and mid stages of the game have become crucial. Despite most of the Season 10 shakeups happening in the jungle, however, mid and bot lane are two of the most influential roles right now.
Mid and Bot Lane Meta
Unlike in your solo queue matches, pro team comps are structured almost entirely around allocating power in specific roles to ensure objective security. High dragon priority means two things: bringing reliable crowd control for early skirmishes and picking champions around mid and bot that can easily get an advantage in lane with or without the help of a jungler.
In the mid lane, we may see teams placing priority on champions that can roam easily, don’t have many losing matchups. Here are some champions that fit this bill incredibly well and have already seen a lot of priority during the 2019 KeSPA Cup.
These champions can be viable blind picks, bully their laning opponents easily, provide good gank assist, and have impactful roams.
Teams like C9, TSM, CLG, and Evil Geniuses who are currently bootcamping in South Korea are have surely taken note of their presence as well, so look out for teams with strong jungle-mid duos taking advantage of this.
Bot lane is one of the few positions with champions that are an obvious pick/ban, since the two most recent champion releases Senna and Aphelios are both marksmen. Here are some power picks to look out for down under this season:
Right now, bot laners that can offer something unique both in and outside of lane are highly sought after. Paired with a meat-shield style support as a bodyguard, early collapses onto dragon and even deep roams into the enemy jungle are made easier.
Top side picks
Jungle picks this season have basically been narrowed down to champions with good dragon control, but having mid and bot priority in draft frees up junglers with good ganks as well. This opens up a ton of option in solo queue, but here’s what we can expect in pro play based on what we’ve seen and what we know.
- Lee Sin
- Nunu & Willump
Nunu and Ivern are picks that have seldom seen the light of day in the professional scene, but their excellent terrain scaling and objective control/setup can’t be ignored. Keep an eye out for some junglers to bring them out as a pocket pick, or maybe even in the mid lane.
With the flexibility granted within each role, top laners will be freed up to play a laning style that transitions them into a splitpush threat, or a low-econ tank that can look for impactful TP plays in the early and mid games.
Of course, top lane can be one of the most matchup dependant lanes. The types of champions we’ll see in the role can sometimes rely less on the meta and more on whatever niche counterpick a player has practiced. A prime example of this can be seen with Cass and Quinn, who serve as excellent counters for most tanks and juggernauts and offer both sidelane pressure and consistent DPS in fights.
Season 10 Meta Prediction
More so than other seasons, pro mid laners’ laning capabilities will be tested in terms of their knowledge of trading and wave manipulation. Early roaming is likely the second most important factor to winning games aside from dragon control and smart map movements.
The days of stalling under tower to scale are long behind us, at least for now. The teams that will have the best results are those that can draft with a gameplan in mind that accounts for rotating for dragons, which dragons they value and which they don’t, and how to actually translate roams into advantages for the team.