Ah, tank meta. Whenever people hear this phrase, they think of Malphite and Maokai. They think of top laners locking themselves in wet noodle skirmishes and frontliners soaking ridiculous amounts of damage only to get away with a sliver of health and teleport back into the teamfight. These thoughts are certainly unsettling, yet could it be that the tank meta is the best way to play competitive League of Legends?
To answer this question, we have to decide what the tank meta stands for in the first place.
Champions officially classified as tanks are still common in the current LoL esports scene and, depending on the teams and regions, you can find three to four sturdy frontliners in a single pro game. But the mere fact that tanks are viable doesn’t mean that a tank meta is in place. No, the tank meta describes a situation where frontline champions aren’t simply present, but they bring so much value to the table that picking them becomes the optimal way of playing the game.
It’s easy to think of this playstyle as uninspiring. League of Legends veterans will point to the tank Fizz/Ekko era where these champions single-handedly took over games with their potent combinations of damage and durability. Or, perhaps, they will turn to the infamous season 7 highlight where a Draven kites the enemy Poppy for 20 seconds only to barely get past 50% of her health pool.