Season 9 Meta with WoongPosted by League of Legends 6 May 2019 in
Have you watched a game of League lately and wondered “What exactly is the meta for Season 9?” You’re not alone.
Season 9 has started off in quite a state of chaos with all the changes to the ranked system, but after the minor pushback from the high elo, some stability has returned. But all the chaos didn’t start there; it started in the Season 8 botlane. Marksmen were no longer the go-to picks. Bruisers and mages saw play in the bottom lane. This proved to be a big change and is still a big part of today’s meta.
Defining the Season 9 Meta
There are a couple of strong picks, side selections, and “cheesestrats”. Season 9 competitive league started with everyone favouring red side, because you could counter-pick two lanes, all the while with 3rd picking a solo lane and banning two counters.
Yet later on we saw the strength of flex picks on blue side, picks containing champions that could flex to multiple lanes so couldn’t be easily countered. This strategy is often used, even till this day, with picking strong champions such as Irelia, Aatrox, or Nautilus.
On the Big Stage
Later on, we saw some new strategies popping, such as the famous LEC Sona-Taric. This strat is seen as an “if we reach 20min, we group and we buff our team and never let them die due to our healing and shielding” strat. Even though this strat can be heavily punished, it was new and it took time to figure it out. To counter it, G2 came up with the funnel-roam strat in the LEC grand finals, never letting Sona-Taric in the game, denying all resources, and making plays all over the map.
Fast forward to MSI play-ins. We saw some other creative options coming out from teams like Vega Squadron. They played what we could call “Creative League of Legends”. When matched with stronger teams, they realised they had to play a different style to overcome them. When the botlane was the lane the enemy team would play around, they would try to completely deny it by picking Shen and Heimerdinger. Even now, we see them picking Vayne mid vs Flash Wolves. Or using a Karthus and Tahm Kench botlane to divide scaling on the map, essentially saying “we are a ticking timebomb”. Vega Squadron didn’t just pull this off; they did it on the biggest stage with the biggest stakes. But these things don’t just stay at the highest level. They trickle down to the regional leagues as well.
The Regional Meta
We see a fast-developing meta in the Benelux as well. We saw Sona-Taric quickly being picked up by Benelux teams, but without much success. It wasn’t until Sector One Academy beat Defusekids with it that people started to pay the pair some respect.
In the Benelux we also see champions being played that won’t see international play soon. We still see some Yorick and Aurelion Sol, playing a 1 3 1 strat with two champions that can roam very easily. Neeko has also seen a lot of play as an attractive pick for top, mid, and bot. There’s been a lot of Riven play as well, which is very characteristic for the Benelux. Players Alois and Psclly have been marked as Riven OTPs in the top lane. But Hachiman and Dragflick are very familiar with the champion as well, making it a contested pick in our region. Maybe the recent nerfs will push her back, but the mastery of a champion can’t be nerfed.
In A Nutshell
Season 9 has a very “open” meta. You can essentially play your own style until people figure you out and counter it. There are some very strong (flex)picks, games can be won in champion select, and Sona-Taric is still a strong strat. Will the Taliyah-Pantheon pick from LCK be picked up in the Benelux? Will we see some other interesting new strats? One thing is for sure, the Benelux has always delivered on the creative League of Legends side, and I’m certain it will continue in the future!