2021 Mid-Season Invitational Patch 11.9 Changes Announced
We normally don’t cover individual LoL patches, but this one (patch 11.9) is a bit more important — it’s the patch the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational will be played on! So, naturally, it’s worth taking a look at! This is a big patch in terms of champion and balance changes and that’ll definitely affect the eleven teams (champions, rather) that are scheduled to compete.
Whenever the most popular (and impactful) champions get nerfed, everyone starts scrambling to find the “next big thing.” That’s what levels the playing field — all of a sudden everyone has a puncher’s chance. And, of course, the more creative a team gets the better. It’s carte blanche, really, and it makes competitive play all the more entertaining.
Needless to say, this year’s Mid-Season Invitational should be no different in that regard! Now, before we delve any deeper, it’s worth noting that no patch is ever perfect, and that’s definitely the case with patch 11.9 as well. In true Riot fashion, they made a slew of egregious oversights but at least that’ll allow us to complain for a little bit longer!
2021 Mid-Season Invitational | Patch 11.9 Item Changes
There’s a slew of interesting changes coming our way, so let’s break it all down into bite-sized chunks. The most important changes this time around are the ones pertaining to the jungle — Turbo Chemtank nerfs are not only a sight for sore eyes but they’re also long overdue. This one item has affected the game in much the same way as Ardent Censer a couple of years back. It is simply too powerful of an item and is enabling certain champions far too much.
Hecarim will also receive nerfs which, in all fairness, is a cause for celebration. He hasn’t been picked/banned as much as Udyr, but he’s not far off either. Next to Lilia and Olaf, he’s pretty much been omnipresent, and while he’s definitely a fun champion to watch we’re still craving a bit of jungle diversity. Then again, that’s sort of been the biggest problem with competitive LoL lately: the horrendous lack of versatility.
Other nerfs are nowhere near as impactful when it comes to competitive play other than, perhaps, Gragas who has seen a bit of a renaissance in the top lane (at least when the more potent picks get banned out).
The buffs section is a lot more interesting. Kindred, Shen, Trundle, and Sett buffs will surely be felt in pro play, but the most interesting change of all is the fact that Riot has decided to buff Lulu — an enchanter support who has already been running rampant in solo queue. She’s currently sitting at a whopping 18.2% pick rate and an equally impressive 16.4% ban rate across all regions in Platinum and above. Why Riot has decided to make her even more viable is anyone’s guess at this point.
But Lulu buffs are just one half of the equation — Moonstone Renever also deserves a mention (to say the least). This Mythic item is long overdue for a couple of nerfs but, for some strange reason, Riot doesn’t seem to think so. Moonstone buffs will almost certainly mark the return of enchanter supports — either immediately or in the near future. Taric will also receive a bit of love so there’s a good chance he’ll see some play time as well. He might not be the most consistent of support champions, but in pro play (where synergy and cohesion take center stage) his strengths tend to shine quite bright.
Last but certainly not least, Kog’Maw will be getting some attention as well. How big of a buff he’ll receive still remains to be seen, but if Lulu once again becomes viable then it stands to reason that the same could happen with Kog as well. Immobile AD carries aren’t exactly vogue these days, but given the right team comp and execution they can still dish out a ton of damage and turn the tides with ease. With ample support (think Lulu and Karma), peeling and kiting become obsolete — why juke incoming damage when you’ve got shielding for days?
No one’s quite sure what to expect coming into the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational — patch 11.9 will undoubtedly usher in a different kind of meta, but it’s still too early to predict how everything will pan out.
Now the only question left is: which of the eleven competing teams will benefit from these changes the most? Who will adapt the quickest and is there any kind of strategy that’ll emerge seemingly out of the blue now that the playing has been somewhat leveled? These are all endlessly interesting questions and, fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to see them answered!