The kickoff for League of Legends’ 13th season has brought a ton of big changes to the meta compared to the preseason. Players have seen the resurgence of champions like Ryze who had previously been far out of the meta, and new crit-based build paths for marksmen like Ezreal that were unheard of just a couple of months ago. While casual and more serious solo queue ladder players have done a fair bit of exploration of the 13.1 meta, it’s the professional teams across the world who really set the precedent for the current game state. With the juggernaut and Ardent Crescent metas of Worlds tournaments past or the enchanter top laner bounty chase playstyle from a season ago, professional teams seem to find some of the wackiest strategies and this patch is no different.
With the prototypical tanky, engage supports beginning to fall out of the support meta there was room for a new style of champion to the bottom lane. Champions that weren’t held down by having to go into teams to lock down opponents but still brought a level of crowd control. This concept had already seen some light in League with Heimerdinger support. A mage that could turn out damage but also had a decent amount of crowd control to keep enemies at bay. One champion no one saw stepping into the support role was Jhin. A marksman by design, Hanwha Life Esports’ support Kim “Life” Jeong-min was the first to utilize the theatrical sniper in a supportive style and won on Jan. 19.