Turret plating was introduced to League of Legends for the 2019 season as a way to improve and extend laning phase. That change, along with some other factors, had the potential for huge impact on the pace and metagame of pro LoL. After a full split of domestic and international play, it’s time to evaluate the results to see whether Riot’s changes produced the intended effects, and just as importantly, whether or not they created any collateral damage to the game’s balance.
Spoiler: things worked out pretty well!
Where did the shift come from?
In a development update going into the preseason, Riot stated:
“[Turret plating provides] a more protected and slightly longer laning phase, but still rewards those early push or strong lanes types with the opportunity to destroy a lot of barricade segments and reap the gold rewards.”
Essentially, the goal was to make the first 15 minutes of the game less volatile, but still give it a high influence over the outcome of the game. There was also a sub-goal of bringing down game lengths, partly seen in Riot saying that they wanted to see “decided games resolve faster.”
The goal was not to make the laning phase or early game a more influential part of the overall game flow, and that is the most important aspect of what we’ll evaluate below. Continue reading Turret Plating and Early-Game Variance: How well did Riot manage the metagame for the 2019 spring split?