Assessing The Lane Swap Meta
Lane swaps, particularly 3v0 and 4v0 turret pushes have dominated the game for quite sometime. They are incredibly good for the team that wants to avoid bad lane match-ups, the game quickly develops into the middle stage, and it is an incredibly safe way of getting out of the early game for both teams.
From the team’s perspectives, it makes it highly likely that they will transition into the mid game with an equal chance of winning the game.
Typically, both teams get a turret and farm on either the top laner or the ADC. Although the game can become a farmfest, sometimes both teams have an interest in doing so because the reward of setting up a play is not greater than the risk. In the early stages of the game, Dragon nor Rift Herald, give teams a significant advantage. In fact, in many occasions, teams that get either neutral objective uncontested, actually get behind because they sacrifice so much standing gold on the map.
How do lane swaps look in the eyes of the viewers?
The average solo queue player that wants to watch LCS looking for mechanical skill does not enjoy the lane swap meta. Someone who has watched professional League of Legends for quite some time may understand why the lane swaps are good and on what circumstances teams have an incentive to do so.
However, very few viewers enjoy the turret pushes and the lane swap meta because it is a skill that the average player does not need to acquire. It almost feels like watching a different game altogether.
The large majority of viewers watch Pro-League to improve at the game or for entertainment. There is also a component of following your favorite team, which falls under the entertainment category.
However, every skill that the pros possess can be translated and emulated in some way in solo queue. From the average viewer, learning certain team comps, learning how and when to ward, learning about matchups, etc, is useful information that can be readily used in solo queue. Therefore, it is understandable why most people are unhappy with the current lane swap meta.
Montecristo’s response was that if people do not like the current meta, they do not appreciate the complexity of the game. It seems naïve to say so, because if the game somehow changed so drastically that games were literally a push all the way to the nexus, I doubt even Monte would enjoy such meta. In other words, if the game evolved enough to where the optimal way of playing was a 5v0 turret push for both teams, I can hardly conceive anyone liking that meta. This argument shows that one can appreciate the complexity in League of Legends and the complexity of the lane swap, yet still not like it.
I do agree with Monte that lane swaps should be viable options for avoiding bad lane matchups. However, our disagreement seems to lie in that I do not think they are enjoyable to watch. If more action happened like in the lane swaps of earlier seasons, where supports and junglers would roam around, maybe lane swap meta would be more interesting. Lane swap metas where top and jungler killed camps together and sometimes made plays around the map, although less entertaining than standard lanes, those metas were still entertaining to watch because of the strategic diversity the game had to offer. 3v0 and 4v0 turret pushes are not fun to watch even if one appreciates the complexity of that strategy.
courtesy of youtube.com and team-dignitas.net