League of Legends is in its tenth season, which in turn brought massive tweaks to the game. One man who knows a lot about change is G2 Esports’ Luka “PERKZ” Perković, who recently returned to playing in the mid lane after last year’s stint as an ADC.
With change happening all over the place, we quizzed the Croatian pro about the process of returning to his old role, as well as his thoughts on Season 10 and the current meta.
In Week One we saw a much slower pace of games compared to last year. Is that something you expect to be in vogue for at least Spring?
PERKZ: I think it was first week jitters. At least for us and for me personally, I could feel it a lot. When you see the games, there were a lot of mechanical mistakes, missed abilities, missed Flashes. I think the game is still very fast-paced; it's the same as Worlds and the matches should be 20-30 minutes long. If one team isn't good enough to end though, the games will go longer – that's how it's always been.
There was a lot of talk in pre-season about the new Drakes; are the buffs really strong or are they weaker than last season?
They're pretty weak on their own. Last year, if the enemy team got an Ocean Drake in the first eight minutes I'd really tilt, it would feel so lost. But now if they have Ocean Drake, I don't even care. I don't think two Ocean Drakes this year are the same as one last year. But the Souls are really broken, all of them are OP but Ocean is probably the strongest, as you get so much regen. What makes them good is you get them really fast, and you can stack the buffs within something like 22 minutes.
How do you think the Elemental Rifts have impacted pro play?
I don't think it changes much but it's a nice addition. I like Infernal because it's easier to get the Blue Buff; I can kite it around the small wall so that's nice. I like Ocean too because the extra bushes make the game really fun to play I think.
You've only just got back to mid, but how has it been returning to the lane?
It's been pretty easy. I thought it was going to be hard to learn new champs like Akali, Qiyana and Sylas because I didn't play them, but I actually played Sylas a lot on my alt last Spring when he was released. I had like 50 games on him because I thought he was so fun.
I played Akali back in 2018, but back then everyone was really bad on her. In 2019, people actually got good on her, so I spent around 100 games on her during the off-season and a bit less on Qiyana, but she's easier to play. I think I've already caught up on those champions, and on the others I should have an edge because I have so much experience on them.
While bot lane has the clear strong picks of Aphelios and Senna, mid seems to be varied with no definitive strong picks; is that the case?
There's a hierarchy that depends on players and how confident they are in playing certain champions. I really like the meta because it’s versatile; I feel like there's eight champions that'll I'll say are strong right now, that I'd be comfortable picking and having an impact on the game.
Can any of the three new champions work mid?
I think Apehlios is definitely playable mid, but there are a lot of champions there that are better to play, like assassins, whereas bot lane doesn't have that many marksmen in meta. I think Sett is for sure playable as well, I think he's just busted. Probably better in top, but playable mid for sure.
And what are your thoughts on the Diana rework?
I like to play Diana; I can't wait to play her on stage. She's a bit tricky because once you go in, you have to commit. I don't think she's broken like I've heard others say, but she’s definitely playable.
Thanks PERKZ! Does anything else stand out so far this year?
Bot lane is still broken. Last year people were complaining about Xayah/Kai'Sa, but the fact is they're still strong, it's just Aphelios and Senna are so OP that the other two can't lane against them. That's how strong bot is right now!