Historically some of our VGUs have ended up substantially shifting the gameplay identities of the champions being worked on. In some cases I think that's paid off well, with Sion, Poppy and Urgot for example very successful updates even if their gameplay is very different now. In other cases though we've sometimes changed things unnecessarily, losing things players loved about champions that didn't need to be removed on game health grounds. This year I think we've done quite well, with Kayle, Morgana, Mordekaiser and Pantheon all keeping a lot of iconic elements while also addressing some game health problems. Still some room for improvement. Overall though I think we've avoided some of the issues some past updates have had with unnecessarily redefining major parts of a champion (e.g. Graves no longer being able to be played botlane or Aatrox shifting from a very AA heavy playstyle to a more spell based one).
Thoughts on Worlds Playins so far
At time of writing we're partway through the second day of playins. Some very early thoughts on how the state of the game's looking so far:
- Pacing's generally where we'd hope it would be in terms of things like amount of early conflict, contestation of objectives and time spent in late game
- Overall pick variety has been ok given we've only seen a subset of teams play so far. Hoping we don't see Qiyana, Panth and Xayah stay at 100% pick/ban throughout the tournament as teams adapt and the meta evolves. They’re sitting there right now, but still very early on in things overall. Possible we should have taken more power out of them when nerfing each of them in 9.17-9.19, at the same time we didn't want to overswing and leave them in too weak a state to be played either.
- Seeing some non marksmen get picked bot seems to have been healthy so far, with clear strengths and weaknesses resulting from the choice to do so and interesting play. Not clear how much the meta has settled in that regard though, particularly given some teams assumedly have put more time into practicing non marksmen picks than others. Very interested to see how bot develops over the tournament and hoping we continue to see some moderate class variety, especially if teams also feel they've got options for running marksmen in other lanes instead (or as well) when desired."