During the first week of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, Counter Logic Gaming jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen sat down with Inven Global to discuss the current state of the jungle meta and how the role has evolved in a competitive setting due to these changes.
We've seen a lot of changes in the jungle meta both before and after the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational. What are your thoughts on the new jungle meta, and how have the changes affect how you perform your individual role for the team?
I think the jungle meta hasn't changed much since what we've seen in spring, and especially what we've seen MSI. We're still seeing a lot of Udyr and Rumble, and outside of those picks, the champions being played are often similar. I think the jungle meta has changed a little bit from what we saw in the first week of LCS. Champions that clear jungle really fast have been the focus for a long time, but now we're starting to see some Xin Zhao and Lee Sin games.
There are some different junglers you can play now, though, the farming junglers are still being considered favorable here in the LCS. I think that with the changes, teams will slowly start to experiment with more new picks like Xin Zhao, for example.
Do you think teams will be more comfortable trying new picks now that the LCS has returned to offline play?
I don't really think being in the studio makes the biggest difference in terms of picks and other ways the game functions, at least from my perspective. If anything, I think some players may feel more pressure or stress now that we are actually playing on stage, which would make them more inclined to go for comfort, so I don't think being back in the studio is going to push anyone to try something new. If anything, I think it will be almost the opposite.
Do you think the recent changes to the jungle meta have played a part in other pros being willing to roleswap to the role for the first time this summer?
I think the jungle role is a lot easier to play this year than it was 2-3 years ago. The meta is pretty stale. You don't get as rewarded for planning ganks or being creative in general as much as before, and we're just not seeing as much early action right now compared to what we used to before.
I think it's comparatively pretty easy to jungle at a competitive level now. Obviously, there's still a difference between the worst junglers and the best junglers, but this meta is very different than the Scuttle Crab meta where you'd fight at level 2 with Xin Zhao and Lee Sin. It's just way slower, and I think that makes it easier to play the role.
Of your teammates on CLG, who would make the best jungler if they were to roleswap?
It's pretty funny you ask this question, because I actually saw Pobelter jungle for a while last year before I got my visa. I saw him jungle in scrims for Team Liquid in my place and there was even a point where we thought he'd be the starting LCS jungler for TL before I made it over here. He was not too bad at jungling.
I coached him a little bit, and I would like to think that after a few coaching lessons from me back then, my little student Pobelter would be able to jungle at a very high level right now.
From a purely individual perspective, how would you like to see the competitive jungle meta change?
The meta that I enjoyed the most was the ganking meta where you were rewarded more for ganks, finding kills, and looking for opportunities in the early game. It's no secret that the champions I'm known for are more early-game focused — they rely on early game action and fights — but right now, if you burn someone's Flash, you're going to lose a lot from it. You're going to get punished and you're going to fall behind.
I think bringing some experience back into the game would be a step in the right direction, because then if you fell behind it would be a little bit easier to catch up. I would like to push it a bit more in that direction and bring back a lot of the early game junglers for early game fights, ganks, and all of that stuff.