League of Legends

Examining the Effect an Invasive Species Such as Ranged Top Laners Can Have on the Ecosystem of Top Lane

LeagueofLegends2 - Examining the Effect an Invasive Species Such as Ranged Top Laners Can Have on the Ecosystem of Top Lane

Hello, my name is Airmez, Ph.D. I earned my Doctorate in Advanced League Mechanics from Esports University, where I learned how the shifts in the current state of the game can often mirror real life events. Today, I'm presenting to you a short essay on how an invasive species such as ranged top laners has the potential to adversely affect the ecosystem of top lane.

But first…

What is an invasive species?

An invasive species is, in words I did not steal from National Geographic, "an organism that is not indigenous, or native, to a particular area" that has the potential to "cause great economic and environmental harm to the new area." However, not all non-native species are invasive. To be invasive, a species must have the ability to quickly adapt and reproduce, and it must harm the native plants or animals in its new environment.

Now that that's out of the way…

Why are invasive species harmful?

Invasive species can bring great harm to an ecosystem because they can often outcompete the native species in the area. With no natural predators, the population of an invasive species can explode out of control. An example of this can be seen in the Northern Snakehead fish; after its introduction in the United States from Asia and Africa, the fish quickly became the top predator in numerous areas, massively disrupting the natural aquatic feeding structures in those areas.

But, how does this pertain to ranged top laners in the top lane?

Ranged top laners are, by definition, an invasive species.

Since the dawn of time (or, at least 10 years), top lane has been the sacred hallowed battleground of melee bruisers and tanks. After the ancient warrior-god Jax created the Summoner's Rift, top lane experienced a golden age of prosperity. In the eons that passed, mighty tanks and bruisers of unfathomable power clashed; the sheer intensity of their battles reshaping the Rift, and even causing a visual update. Though they fought, there was a mutual respect between all of them, a form of kinship. A brotherhood, even (not Darius). However, there were others. Invaders from the blasphemous middle and bottom lanes. Ranged champions. Seeing the power of the immense titans of top lane, they were consumed by jealousy and sought to make that power their own. Using their superior range, the ranged top laners gunned down the bruisers and tanks in the streets, like the degen–

…what? Invasive species?



As I was saying, ranged top laners are an invasive species. Ranged champions like Vayne, Lucian, and Kennen were typically played in the middle or bottom lanes. After their introduction to top lane, they quickly adapted and began to show up more and more, similar to the explosive population boom that invasive species experience in real life after arriving in a new area. Like the Northern Snakehead, ranged top laners have no natural predators. With their large range, they can easily outcompete and bully their melee counterparts. Without outside influence, many melee champions will potentially go extinct from the lack of sufficient resources, causing their players to uninstall the game and play Valorant instead.

It is clear that ranged top laners have an adverse effect on the top lane environment, so…

What can be done about ranged top laners?

The first solution I present to this problem is to remove the range advantage of ranged top laners. With their auto attack range being the same as a bruiser or tank, they will be on even ground with melee champions. Naturally, their ability ranges will have to be reduced as well, to make their kit make more since with their shorter range auto attacks. With this change, melee top laners will be able to compete for minions and flourish, instead of being minion blocked for the duration of a Morgana bind in both directions.

The second solution, admittedly a little more reasonable, is to remove all ranged champions from the game altogether. This solution makes more sense, as it prevents potential balance problems that come with reducing a ranged champion's range, allowing Riot to spend more time on developing the next Lux skin.

The last, and best, solution that I have come up with so far, is to make playing a ranged top laner federally illegal. After locking in a ranged top laner, the player in question will have their IP address pinged. When the authorities arrive, they will be taken into custody pending a trial. I have several rough drafts of this idea that I am preparing to send to domestic and international leaders if my idea gets enough traction. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement, and could possibly be charged under "domestic terrorism", but we'll have to see.

Ranged top laners are a scourge upon this game, but together we can make a difference and return things to how they are supposed to be. Thank you for reading my essay.

Signed, Airmez, Ph.D.

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