Akshan is coming to League of Legends as the game's newest champion, and after his reveal on Wednesday, we now know what the Sentinel is capable of. From watching his abilities in action, some gameplay, and from seeing his design, it's easy to assume that he'd be a marksman played in the bottom lane. Riot Games, however, intends for Akshan to be played somewhere else: In the middle lane.
If you've been keeping up with the posts from developers over the past couple of months that teased what was to come for future champions, you'll probably recall talks of a mid-focused marksman. That'd be the newest character, Arkshan, and while he'll definitely be taken in the bottom lane anyway by people looking to try him out in different positions, Riot says he's better in mid.
Great question! There are two main factors that make bot not his optimal lane:— Riot Twin Enso (@Damascus_Glenn) July 7, 2021
1 - Less roaming potential
2 - A very low attack range compared to other ADCs
Over on Twitter, champion designer Riot Twin Enso explained why mid would be better for Akshan. If he's stuck in the bottom lane, he's got less roaming potential and a lack of attack range that would affect his performance against marksmen with longer ranges. Through his camouflage and mobility abilities, he's able to utilize the terrain between the middle and outside lanes as well as the jungle to move quickly when he needs to roam.
A Champion Insights post accompanied Akshan's reveal to add even more context to his design. We've seen champions like Tristana and Lucian played in the middle lane, but the goal with Akshan was to create a marksman intended from the start to be played there.
"We've been watching marksmen go mid in pro and regular play for a while, but none of them feel like they belong there," game design lead Riot Jag. "They don't provide the things that champs designed for mid should, like crowd control or target access. So we wanted to craft an experience that would feel like a distinct assassin style, but also clearly feel like a marksman... and put those two worlds together in mid lane."
With Akshan scheduled to release during the next patch, that means the champion to follow him will be a mid-lane Yordle mage. That champion was originally intended to launch before Akshan but was pushed back to give her design more time.
Akshan will be released as part of Patch 11.15.