Time capsules are often physical stores buried away somewhere safe for an extended period of time. On the League of Legends subreddit, a virtual time capsule from 2013 has emerged and it’s causing players to reminisce about its contents as well as analyse the current state of LoL.
Its content, by the way, is mostly facts about the 2013 version of the game. How many champions the game had, highest pick rates, lowest pick rates, who was new on the block at the time, and all-in-all delectable trinkets of knowledge. Some of the comparisons are surprising, others quite amusing. Basically a great way to take a step back and remember how far the game has come.
Firstly, in these six years, the roster has increased in size from 112 champions, with their newest being Zac, to a hefty 145, with our latest being Qiyana. Other new additions to the game include game modes like TFT (Teamfight Tactics) and ARAM (All Random, All Mid), more country specific servers, and a plethora of new skins for legends.
An unpredictable side of these comparisons is that the percentages seem a little more balanced today than in 2013. The highest solo queue win rate six years ago was Rumble with 55% but now it’s Blitzcrank with 53.6%. Pick rates are also more balanced with Caitlyn chosen in a whopping 43% of games, and now it’s Kai’Sa with 40%. Even the lowest win rate statistics are more respectable with Yuumi coming in a little under a 42% win rate, compared to the 38% that Karma had back in the day. These might not seem like massive changes on paper, however when playing LoL they make all the difference. It’s a good indicator that Riot has paid a little more attention to what needs fixing.
On the more competitive side of things, World Elite were the strongest team in the game, whereas now G2 Esports is often cited as the best. In good news for esports generally, LoL had not yet been broadcast on TV in 2013, but in 2018 that was changed by ESPN.
More controversially the original Reddit post noted that within the 112 champions, there were no black characters. Karma wasn’t counted as she’s typically considered to be the equivalent of Indian. Even if you do count her, it was a pretty underwhelming attempt at diversity. Today, among the now 145 champions there are possibly four black characters, however if you discount Illaoi, it goes down to three. If you only want to consider champions with definable race attributes, that still about four out of 69 champions with dark skin. It’s a… slight improvement.
A striking and simple statistic to understand is that in 2013, the League of Legends subreddit had a little more than 250,000 members. The member count is now over 3.3 million, a number so large it’s hard to visualise.
The one thing that hasn’t changed, it seems, is people are still upset at the existence of Teemo. A shame because I still think he’s pretty cute.