League of Legends Patch 8.1 Changes Everything for the Upcoming LCS Season

Following the longest preseason in League of Legends history, Patch 8.1 has finally arrived, and it is here to shake things up. The game's next esports season is set to kick off in less than a week with the LCK, and all teams will be playing on the new update.

Patch 8.1 changes everything. Players will need to adapt to some balance changes along with a change to solo-queue designed to make it easier for players in the Challenger Series to practice with new teammates.

NA LCS teams are going through growing pains at the start of this season. New money flooded the league as a result of franchising, leading most organizations to upgrade their player rosters. These new teammates now have to learn how to play together while simultaneously learning the ways of the latest patch.

Other in-game changes include a slight nerf to LoL's newest champion, Zoe, and a buff for Brand. However, the new character is still expected to be among the strongest this season, which may make her a top ban pick.

Brand's change, on the other hand, is substantial and will likely take many players by surprise. Brand could make a major return this season as a shock pick for mid-laner or a damage-dealing support.

Riot also made major changes to LoL's PBE, introduced six new skins, and ramped up the role of support. These changes, which include removing three active support items from the game, fundamentally alter the function of support characters.

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