New champions, as a general rule, tend to give the balance team at Riot Games more than a few headaches. Whether in League of Legends, Valorant, TFT, or Wild Rift, these champions tend to have an immediate impact on competitive or ranked play, and need to be rebalanced quickly.
However, this is often more complex than it seems, especially with the diversity of ranks and players, especially in League of Legends. Many champions chosen at the pro level barely have an impact on the lower and mid ranks, where the vast majority of summoners on Riot's servers are found, at over 80%.
The first problem of 2023 for Riot has a name
The first major issue of the year will be K'Sante. The new League of Legends champion is very strong in competitive play, but in SoloQ games he's not quite up to scratch . This example can be extrapolated to what happened years ago with Ryze, when he was pretty much pick or ban in competitive drafts but the complexity of playing him in ranked games meant he didn't have a big impact in SoloQ — especially because of the lack of communication with allies to optimize the use of his ultimate.
In terms of data, there is a big gap in win rate between low ELO and high ELO (Diamond and above). High-level players have a win rate of over 50%, which makes the game very dangerous for these competitive games and will force you to choose it or ban it if there are not drastic adjustments with patch 13.1.
This, unfortunately, does not surprise us because we have seen it in the past as in the case of Ryze, or in the case of Zeri. Trying to balance it out, it loses a lot of interest in many players at those lower ranks, so they are pushed into the background and become virtually invisible. Over the next few weeks, we'll see if Riot can find a way to tweak K'Sante without killing its viability in competitive play and giving low ELO Summoners a decent winrate.
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