This years League of Legends the preseason added and changed many aspects of the game, including alterations to items, champions, and certain positions. The biggest changes to the Rift were between lanes, with the jungle receiving a mountain of relative tweaks.
The most obvious of these are “jungle pets” – companions that follow you around and help you perform jungle-related tasks throughout the game.
The jungle pets make playing the jungle much simpler than it has been in the past, and the “simplification” of the position (including the addition of optimal jungle routes and objective voting) has left to much League fans and players on the fence about his impact.
So, League Developer Matt Leung-Harrison took to Twitter earlier today to explain why Riot added jungle pets to the game with the launch of preseason 2023.
“In preseason, we set out to make the jungle more accessible to new (and existing) players,” Leung-Harrison said on Twitter. “Newer junglers playing the game don’t understand any of the text wall mechanics in older jungle items.”
Going into the year, Riot made it a priority to revamp the jungler role, as it has traditionally been one of the most difficult roles to understand in Rift, especially for newer players. While solo and duo lanes are mostly straightforward in their PvP-focused, poke and lane-oriented gameplay, the mix of PvE and PvP for junglers (and optimizing that balance effectively), has often pushed players away. role players completely.
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Jungle pets were among the sweeping changes that occurred to the role prior to the new tier. League season in an effort to make the position easier for new players.
“Pet gives an understandable metaphor for why camps get damaged, why you heal, why [jungle] you get bonuses from clearing camps and an understandable metaphor for why unlocks happen when they do (evolve), recovery mechanic (pet starves) rather than some arbitrary rules,” Leung-Harrison said. “For newer players, this is much easier to understand.”
And so far in 2023, the changes that have hit the jungle seem to be working pretty well. The effectiveness of players at the position is higher than ever, and according to statistics, junglers have more influence on the individual. League games than ever before in the early part of the 2023 ranked season.
For League On stats site op.gg, nine different jungle champions have win rates above 53 percent, the second-highest among all positions (mid leads the way there). Additionally, 33 of the 47 champions with sufficient data in the jungle position have positive winrates in solo queue games played at Platinum Elo or higher.
Additionally, jungle is the second most popular role to start 2023, with more than 21 percent of all players filling the position, according to League League of Graphs statistics site. Meanwhile, at Master rank and above, jungle is the most popular position in the game.