A hotfix to the League of Legends item Spellthief’s Edge has been met with backlash from the community after Riot Games intended to end a new strat that ignored “many of the skills learned playing [the game] over the years.”
Clutch Gaming’s Heo ‘Huni’ Seung-hoon stunned audiences when he took the support item to the top lane February 9 against 100 Thieves. Although the strat didn’t pan out for him, the trend still infested solo queue, leading Riot to quickly pull the plug.
In a tweet, Balance Team Product Lead, Richard ‘MapleNectar’ Henkel, said that they were issuing a drastic change to both Spellthief’s Edge and the Ancient Coin that requires a teammate be close by in order to earn gold.
offered via this strategy asks you to ignore many of the skills learned playing League over the years, provides very little counterplay, and also lends itself to a fairly poor viewing experience at the highest levels of play. We are choosing to act quickly rather than adopt a
— Richard Henkel (@RiotMapleNectar) February 12, 2019
MapleNectar said the fix was issued because the solo lane strat rewarded players for ignoring last hits to minions (CS) while still allowing for them come out even against their opponent.
“We'll be shipping a hotfix tomorrow to address the 0 cs top lane strategy that's emerged in both solo queue and pro play in the past few weeks,” MapleNectar said. “... We are choosing to act quickly rather than adopt a wait and see approach since the risk to the quality of many games of League is too high should this strategy become optimal/widespread.”
But now players who routinely take the item in its appropriate setting feel that they’re being severely punished, as their gold intake relies on “an allied champion being [within] 1500u range.”
Spellthief's already felt really bad when my lane partner died, and now it's going to be even worse. from r/leagueoflegends
The change leaves Support players in an extremely awkward spot if their lane partner is forced to Recall or dies.
Riot Games made the quick change to preserve the integrity of the game, seeing how old Spellthief was being abused by solo queue players. Those affected in the crossfire of the update will eagerly await how Riot decides to proceed with the item in a future update.