Anti-Playmaking and the Competitive Scene

I recently listened to a Podcast rambling about this week's reddit thread concerning the incredible boringness of the current competitive matches, and it got me thinking: What causes this boredom? And I think I found a factor that contributes quite a bit to this: The increased incidence of abilities that are designed to deny plays by the enemy team. If you think about it, a lot of the recent additions to League, be it new champions, reworks or new items, feature mechanics that discourage plays and/or make the successful execution of a play way harder. Moreover, in the case of champions, these abilities are not properly restricting the champion - putting the ability on cooldown does not majorly impact the in-fight effectiveness of said champion. Going backwards, in chronological order: - {{champion:78}} Rework: Keeper's Verdict is a powerful disengage tool, while Steadfast Presence denies dashes. Her in-fight effectiveness, however, is more of a product of the short CDs of Hammer Shock and Heroic Charge. - {{item:3094}} : Increases the range of an ADC for a single poke-attack, while giving (initially) the highest MS boost of the Zeal items - {{item:3508}} : A lot more CdR on mobile ADCs = a lot more mobile ADCs that can (and will) use their abilities for disengage if caught out. - {{item:3363}} : Long-range wards for everyone? Wasn't Clairvoyance nerfed for providing too much dangerless vision all the way back before S2? - {{champion:203}} : Lamb's Respite. Powerful tool for play denial, while its existence does not affect the rest of the kit's effectiveness - {{item:3053}} : Powerful anti-burst effect. In fact, makes the user virtually impervious to burst - which less problematic if it is accentuating an existant resistance, but all the more so if it shores up an intended weakness completely! - {{champion:114}} : Riposte. Do I need to say more? - {{champion:223}} : The Cancer Fish himself. Do I really need to explain what makes him an anti-playmaking tool? I think not, we've seen it often enough during the World Championship. - {{champion:245}} : While he brings good playmaking potential (that W) and was used a tank due to it, he's still part of the growing trend of abilities that discourage making plays on him, by virtue of Chronobreak. - {{champion:432}} : Cosmic Binding and Magical Journey have potential, both in making and in denying plays. The same goes for Tempered Fate. - {{champion:421}} : Her global mobility discourages plays by increasing the risk of making one, even when she was spotted on the other side of the map. On top, Tremor Sense makes sneaking around in her vicinity next to impossible. Plus, at her actual release, her kit was not compensating for these strengths properly, and she was thus nerfed a gajillion times - and she's still a staple in pro play. And those are only the changes from preseason 5 till now. Honorable mentions should go to: {{champion:157}} {{champion:201}} {{champion:412}} {{champion:16}} {{champion:40}} {{champion:98}} {{champion:268}} {{champion:79}} . Granted, most of these can use their stuff for playmaking, as well - but the potential for significant play denial is still there with them. Essentially, what is skewed is the interplay between risk, reward and cost. Due to the increased anti-playmaking potential and the tendency for kits to not properly be affected by said potential, the risk and cost of plays has risen significantly over the last few seasons, while the reward has steadily gone down (teams learned to capitalise on failed enemy plays better, the direct rewards went down, and the probability to get rewarded went down, as well). However, this increase in anti-playmaking potential is not the only factor that leads to the boringness of these games - just a contributing one. ----- Another interesting side of this rise of anti-playmaking lies in its effect on the cadence and flow of the games, and thus, the favored champions. This is especially obvious in the jungle role: The current competitive junglers are: {{champion:60}} {{champion:64}} {{champion:76}} {{champion:421}} {{champion:104}} {{champion:133}} {{champion:203}} What do these have in common, besides some modicum of early-game strength? They are all not dependant on huge cooldowns for their general in-fight effectiveness. Quinn, Elise and Nidalee do not even have a meaningful ult cooldown. Rek'Sai doesn't need her ultimate in a fight, and Kindred's is not part of her offensive abilities, as well. Lee Sin and Graves have fair CDs (90-60 and 100-80, respectively), but they are not utterly reliant on their ultimates in fights. Contrast some other junglers, like {{champion:56}}, {{champion:9}} or {{champion:32}} . Their performance in the fight is harshy different between their ult up/ult down states, and in result they are much more limited.
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