For those who’ve been around long enough (season 3, give or take), they know that League of Legends is now team game more than ever. It’s a game where one person can lose the game but not win it. Another way to put it is that playing poorly has more impact to the game than any amount of playing well. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? If that’s a question you’re interested in, please read on.
Back in season 3, it wasn’t unheard of for a champion to hoard several items as well as be up to 5 levels ahead, or more in rare cases, of the lowest leveled member of the enemy team. This meant that a fed solo player can find picks of underleveled and underfarmed targets that he can continue to exploit while building up his own lead to the point that even if his team was almost doing nothing they would still outscale their opponents.
Now the game favours an average top laner who groups up with his team over a really good top laner who stays top solo pushing. This is because teams cannot reliably hold off a 4v5. If your team loses that fight, you will most likely lose the game, regardless of how hard you’ve pushed your lane.
Riot has added catch up mechanics to allow under-leveled, under-farmed champions to more quickly close the level gap without having to interact with their opponent. Experience points come from killing minions and monsters while gold is through passive gold generation.
Whether these changes make the game more or less fun is open for debate. The one thing that’s clear is that the game has shifted from skilled players who are good at finding their own leads to players who don’t go for risky plays and pick champions that work well with in a team.