9.14's game-changing updates screw over pros

Players are worried about adapting in time for playoffs.

League of Legends's Icon Nicholas Ray · 17 Jul 2019


Image via Riot Games

Patch 9.14 has only been out for a few hours, and pros have already taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the update. In addition to a slew of bugs that have prompted Riot to disable solo queue indefinitely, the sheer size of the patch alone has pros and players up in arms.

Ever since the game-changing "Juggernaut Patch" released not long before the start of the 2015 World Championship, the balance team has agreed that large patches shouldn't drop before major events or tournaments. Around 30 champions received balance work in 9.14, and 12 of those champions saw brand new mechanics added to their kits.

Having to learn a big patch is one thing, but with the LCS approaching week seven of the Summer Split and the LEC not far behind, the changes are a lot to adjust to in the middle of the season. On top of concerns that having to adjust strategies around a large amount of information could mean the difference between making or missing playoffs for some teams, 9.14 is also riddled with bugs.

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Game designer and former LCS caster Joshua "Jatt" Leesman gave his thoughts on the timeliness of Patch 9.14, saying that it's better for the patch to be released now, rather than closer to Worlds or playoffs. The goal was to implement ways to address underlying issues within the game on a long-term scale, before things get too out of hand.

Riot always takes their competitive and casual audiences into consideration when balancing the game. It's important to shake things up so the game-state isn't stale for regular players, while avoiding changing too many things at once so pros can adapt. For many pros and coaches, an update of this size is counter-intuitive at this point in the season, and could have negative consequences for competitive play and practice quality.


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