Riot Games has said in the past that it tries to shape patches in a way that balance the game simultaneously for professional and normal players, but the updates leading up to Worlds often cater more towards the professional players while also ensuring that the competitive games are enjoyable to watch. In a post on the League boards, Andrei “Riot Meddler” van Roon said that the next few patches will be geared towards Worlds with the season’s peak played on Patch 8.19, though the goal is to keep the impact on normal players to a minimum.
“While we're putting more attention into pro balance for the next couple of patches, ideally any changes made should be positive for regular play as well,” Riot Meddler said in a list of goals for Riot’s pre-Worlds patches. “If not they should at minimum not be highly harmful to regular balance. That's the case in particular when it comes to buffing champs, with a fair number we believe could buff into pro play relevance but only by making them inappropriately strong for regular players.”
Principles on how we'll be balancing for Worlds— Andrei van Roon (@RiotMeddler) August 29, 2018
Some specific champs we'll be buffing/nerfing for Worlds, plus others we're watching
More details about preseason coming in a couple of days//t.co/8PoC8NJXIj
He also shared some insight into what Riot’s current plans are regarding buffs and nerfs in the next few patches. For those keeping up with the professional scene, the champions that have nerfs planned shouldn’t come as much of a surprise seeing how often they’re picked. Two champions are being looked at for buffs though to see them picked more, those two seen below alongside the champions that’ll potentially be nerfed with Riot Meddler explaining Riot’s reasoning for each decision.
- Trundle - Jungle dominance
- Gragas - Jungle dominance (though does lead to interesting early play, especially with increasing common Predator builds)
- Gnar - pushing champs out of top lane
- Ryze - limiting mid picks
- Braum - dominant support pick
- Renekton (lacking from top and has some room for buffs in regular play as well)
- Vayne (unseen in pro, on the weak side in regular play)
Several other topics were addressed ahead of Worlds that ranged from specific champions to entire lanes. He mentioned that the Annie buff in the latest patch that reverted a years-old nerf could put the champion back in the support role. As for the potential pro picks in the middle lane, he said that there’s no room to buff Zed right now, though making Ekko a more viable pick could be something Riot explores.
The Worlds changes will be spread out among the next two patches with the competition played on Patch 8.19.