It’s been over 10 years since LoL esports was introduced to the world and the veteran viewers can’t help but reminisce the old times as they remember old names that dominated the scene before. Oftentimes, someone would mention how players from the older generations would smash competition today. But if we would look at it realistically, are the old LoL esports teams better than the new generation of LoL esports players?
The Generations of LoL Esports
When we talk about the old generation, we’re looking at players from Season 1 to Season 7, which would often be referred to as the Korean Dynasty. Season 8 and onwards saw the evolution of LoL esports with the death of the conservative playstyle and the rise of other regions such as the LEC and LPL. Old LoL esports teams have been forgotten and many new fans probably won’t recognize some of the most iconic names save only a handful.
In the new generation, there are many names that come to mind if you’re looking to discuss who the best player is whether it’s per region or role. These players don’t “seem” like unattainable gods as compared to the older generation of players who innovated how the game was played. In fact, even the best players today always get criticized by armchair analysts unlike before where the top players are respected like kings.
Is the Old Generation Better than the New Teams?
The old generation is NOT better in any way than the newer players and teams. In fact, the old generation is objectively worse if you were to let them play head-to-head on a patch that they’re both equally comfortable on. Nostalgia glasses can often cloud our judgment and even though we want to believe LoL was more competitive in the olden days, it’s simply not true because strategies, tactics, and training methods only get better in time.
Teams today are more coordinated, have better macro, and have advanced training regiments as compared to the old generation that didn’t have the same resources as the teams today. When League of Legends was starting out as an esport, everybody was still learning how to play the game. Nowadays, everybody has a counter for everything and there are protocols that they observe depending on the state of the game.
Sure, we may remember how Faker beat Ryu in a 1v1 after falling to 15% HP, how InSec popularize his Lee Sin signature move, and Madlife being remembered as a god of Thresh but players today have mastered the ways via experimentation and years of watching other players add to it. It has even become a basic prerequisite for players to know how to do these before they can join any of the professional LoL esports teams.
The new generation only seems less impressive than the older ones because they have very little room to innovate the game that we’re all already familiar with. Most new interactions in the game are already posted on forums like Reddit before they even reach the Pro Scene. Nowadays, we’ll notice the bad players more than the good ones because there’s already an established standard for playing the game.
Why Did It Seem Like the Old Generation Was Better?
What people need to understand was that both League of Legends and every LoL esports teams in the old days were in their beta stages. Most teams looked bad as compared to the decent ones who were relying on superior teamplay, macro, and scaling. Teams stood out because the competition wasn’t fierce, which is recurring theme even in today’s era, especially in the LCK who almost always has two or three top teams already set before the season even begins.
After the conclusion of Worlds Season 3, every region was trying to replicate the LCK’s playstyle. However, if that was the case then it was obvious that the LCK, who has mastered this methodic way of fighting, would dominate the esports scene every year with very little contention. While this playstyle may seem like two teams playing chess, it was actually a terrible meta because it punished the team that would make the first mistake rather than reward the team that would make the least mistakes, with very little room for a comeback.
The Effect on Viewership
LoL Esports may seem like it was more popular in the early generations, but the truth is that the number of viewers grow every year and reach wider audiences and become available to more countries. However, the esports scene dropped in quality and interest lately due to the Covid-19 Pandemic which affected all of the different tournaments around the world. If you’ve only started being a fan in the past 3 years, you might not be as invested into esports as you are now.
Many players say that esports isn’t as fun to watch as it was before. Most of the people who say this are the original fans of the game who have started being burnt out by years of watching and getting disappointed by the LoL esports teams that they are rooting for. In truth, modern League of Legends is much more fun to watch because it’s harder to predict which team is going to win because of how close the gap is between the top 4-6 teams in the world.
What to Expect In League of Legends Esports?
Like any sport, we can expect esports to continue evolving and produce better LoL esports teams in the future. The game is still relatively young and we can expect it to survive for the next 10 years at the least. During that time, many teams and regions will find new and more effective ways to play the game, shifting the meta in their favor and produce better results for both the tournament scene and the viewers.
Teams today are still rough around the edges and probably isn’t as organized as a lot of coaching staff want them to be. Many legendary players will simply become names mentioned to reminisce the good ‘ol days while new players will show even more mastery of the game. No matter what era LoL enters, we can expect that we’ll have fun rooting for the teams and regions that we want to win.