In the richly diverse world of League of Legends, there are certain characters that players dread going up against. Whether you're a solitary top laner, a mid laner desperate for a gank, or an ADC reliant on your support, there may be one character you dread encountering.
For a lengthy period, Zed, known as the Master of Shadows, has been feared by many a League of Legends player—the type of character that quickly tops the 'ban list'. Interestingly, despite its overwhelming unpopularity, Zed's place in the game's meta can be described as quite anaemic.
Indeed, Zed has carried the burden of one of the highest ban rates in the history of the game. Why then, one might ask, has this particular character not received any sort of buff to level the playing field? Well, the developers of the game have shed some light on this intriguing issue.
Considered underpowered in the current meta, many players have inquired about a potential buff for Zed. However, the game's developers have repeatedly stated that this scenario is unlikely to occur. But why?
The Intentionally Underpowered Zed
During a recent livestream held by Riot Games, a player questioned the team's decision not to buff Zed despite his current 'over-nerfed' status. Their appeal was heartfelt and desperate: 'Zed is D-tier right now. It's going to get worse if you guys don't do something.'
The player's plea sparked a fascinating and insightful response. The lead designer, August 'August' Browning, revealed a deliberate decision to keep Zed underpowered in the current meta. The intended weakness, he suggested, was anchored on Zed being potentially the most ‘frustrating’ character in the game.
August admitted openly to this intentional design choice: 'Yes, Zed is weak,' he said. 'But that's intentional. Zed must remain weak simply because he is the most infuriating character in League of Legends.'
The explanation elicited a mixed bag of reactions from the player community. Some players, according to a thread on an online discussion platform, seemed to think the decision was logical—after all, Zed had consistently topped the list of most-banned characters.
Players' Reactions to Zed's Intentional Weakness
'I understand why,' one player noted. 'Zed has almost always been in the top 5 of the most banned champions in every patch for quite some time, so this makes sense.'
However, not everyone was in agreement. Some players argued that there were other characters, like Yone or Fizz, that could be infinitely more frustrating than Zed. They disputed the claim that Zed was the game's most vexing character.
Regardless of differing opinions, the developers' intention is clear: Zed, it seems, will likely 'be slightly weaker than he should be', for eternity—or, as long as he remains frustrating in the eyes of the players and frequently banned.
For those players curious about other aspects of the game, you might want to check out the detailed explainers on the upcoming changes to the map and the addition of new void monsters expected in League of Legend's 2024 Season. In addition, the changes being made to the Dragon character are also worth looking into.