League of Legends’ 12th season has brought with it several changes to the League of Legends competitive metagame, including an impactful change to the Teleport summoner that prevents players from teleporting to minions or wards before the 14-minute mark. While some supports believe it allows for more variety in the bot lane, some top laners view the change as a barrier preventing them from affecting other parts of the map. Here is how the Teleport meta has changed over the course of the LCS Lock In tournament.
Teleport is out, supports rejoice
Golden Guardians support Jonathan “Chime” Pomponio believes that the Teleport changes have been beneficial to the bot lane meta, allowing for more diversity in champion picks.
“It allows for more variations in the bot lane,” Chime said. “It requires the jungle and bot lanes to have more synergy and is less about top laners and mid laners involving themselves pre-14 minutes, unless it’s a roam. I think it’s good for the game and I enjoy it.”
Most of the meta during the LCS Lock In tournament has featured tank/engage supports that help their carries scale such as Thresh or Nautilus. Thresh has been picked six times and banned eight. Out of the 15 games in the LCS Lock In tournament, so far, Thresh has had a presence in 14. Lane dominating supports, such as Lux and Karma, have also made appearances, being present in three matches across the weekend.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) January 15, 2022
Chime used Caitlyn and Lux lane as an example of a bot lane duo that is seeing more play. Typically, lane dominant bot lanes are easily punished by a good Teleport from the top lane. But the new changes allow the bot lane more time to gain an advantage uninterrupted.
“[Caitlyn] Lux didn’t get buffed right?” Chime said. “They got buffed a little bit but most of it was the Teleport change. Lane dominant bot lanes can now, actually, pressure pre-14 minutes without five people showing up in their lane.”
The plight of top laners
Immortals top laner Mohamed “Revenge” Kaddoura believes that the change hinders the explosiveness of top laners. According to Revenge, top lane was already struggling to be as powerful as the bot lane and, with the Teleport changes slowing the game down, it makes more sense to put more resources into a scaling bot lane.
“Certain bot lane combinations are strong at scaling and games are generally slower because of that,” Revenge said “You need to play for your scaling bot lane. Bot lanes are going to scale regardless, right? So exploding the game on the other side of the map at the expense of giving the enemy scaling bot lane a lead is always going to be detrimental.”
According to Revenge, top laners can no longer use their early lead to affect the game the way they did before. Being able to influence the other side of the map with a coordinated play can usually be game-breaking. However, the new Teleport changes make it so that there is a lull in games before the 14-minute mark. Most laners are stuck in their own islands, meaning that bot laners will always have a chance to scale without interruption for the first 14 minutes of the game.
For LCS newcomer and LEC veteran Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, the new Teleport changes are an opportunity for creativity and unexpected plays.
“It’s more difficult to influence the map,” Bwipo said, “which means that there’s more room for creativity and unexpected plays, which is what I enjoy. So, even though the focus is mostly going to be on laning phases as a top laner, it’s the times where you are not in lane that are going to be the most memorable and fun.”
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) January 16, 2022
Despite most of the top laners agreeing that Teleport has been changed significantly, Revenge believes the summoner will still be an integral part of pro play. Some top laners have changed up their summoners, choosing to take Ignite and Teleport, forgoing Flash altogether. The Ignite Teleport combination has been seen once in the LCS Lock In tournament so far. Thomas “Jenkins” Tran used the combination on Camille in a loss against Evil Geniuses.
“I think Teleport is still too strong out of lane,” Revenge said. “I think it enables too much playmaking in the sidelines that is just macro-breaking if you do not have it. I do agree that against champions that take combat summoners top lane that make the laning phase too hard to survive, you have to match those combat summoners.”
The new teleport changes have added a new dimension to how LCS teams play the game. Will the new Teleport changes signal a move into more lane dominant top laners, such as Akshan and Jayce? Or will tanks still have a place in the meta? Either way, top laners will now have to find new ways to influence the game before 14 minutes, opening up new possibilities.