Tracker's Knife, one of League of Legends' most popular jungle items, is being completely removed from the game.
A blow to jungle mains who opted for the item in each game to provide copious amounts of vision, Lee Sin mains will have to ward hop another way now that Tracker's Knife is being removed in the next League of Legends patch. The patch notes for the 8.4 update confirmed that the jungle item would no longer be buyable when the patch deploys.
"Tracker's Knife is almost mandatory in professional play, giving professional teams enough vision to avoid most early-game danger," the patch notes read. "Bringing it in line would kill it in most games, so for now we're simply removing it."
Although it's a brief part of the patch notes for the larger patch, the two lines tell a lot about the decision to remove the item as well as the future of Tracker's Knife. One detail that was made clear and comes as no surprise to anyone who keeps up with professional games is how dominant the item is in professional play. Considering the importance of vision in games at any level, especially among the pros, there's hardly a reason not to buy Tracker's Knife. Some viewers have lamented the slower pace of game in recent weeks, but the loss of the item will likely result in more early-game action.
The second notable part of the changes is the "for now" part of the patch notes that indicate the removal might be temporary. Earlier in the month, a new jungle item was spotted on the PBE that included some benefits of the Tracker's Knife with some changes. The item was called Pathfinder's Knife, an item that replaced other jungle options and included a Chilling Smite as well as a Control Ward active effect. This item remained on the PBE for a while before being removed with the future of the new item unclear regarding whether it'll serve as an all-in-one replacement or if it'll come back at all.
Tracker's Knife will be removed at the start of Patch 8.4's release along with the rest of the patch's changes.