Understanding 'meta' in esports
Defining what ‘meta’ means helps both esports fans and bettors understand the current landscape of the game, regardless of genre. Understanding this helps you understand how every player can perform in the next event and your betting predictions.
What is ‘meta’ in esports? Meta is not an official word for anything, and its interpretation spans both multiplayer and role-playing games (RPGs). However, its most universally agreed definition is ‘most effective tactics available’.
Metagaming in RPG is simple because it’s about wearing the best gear to beat the game. Meanwhile, in PvP titles, the meta focuses on counter-plays. Find out how meta changes the course of any esports game below:
Effects of meta in esports
The players who are most affected by the meta are the competitive ones, particularly esports players. That’s because they are exposed to numerous opponents per season. Everyone aims to win at all costs in this type of environment; hence, embracing the meta is the safest option. Even those who may not prefer to find themselves compelled to adapt so that they can improve their chances of winning.
Effects of meta in casuals
Meta’s importance is a subject of heated debate on whether or not it’s important in a casual setup. This side of gaming is a lot more chaotic because a group consisting of random players is never guaranteed to sync up strategically. They are still subject to the meta because those who know it will play around it, while those who don’t are doomed to be victims of it.
Example uses of the word ‘meta’ in common contexts
How players act on or respond to the meta depends on individuals. Thus, the word is given many versions used by gamers in different contexts. These terminologies help better communicate the player's intentions when looking for guides and strategies. Just like the root word, these types of metagaming are still broad terms but made more concise thanks to their respective contexts:
This terminology refers to optimal strategies for specific playstyles with full intention to maximise their positive traits. It revolves around synergy between two or more assets (items, abilities, or enhancements in video games). The challenge is finding the most reliable combination that makes a strategy work.
Game developers actively change their games through updates and expansions. Oftentimes, these will come with major changes like a new item, character, or even tweaks to existing assets. If the community identifies any of these as ‘meta-defining’, everyone will focus on that.
To define the meta means to propose an alternative that challenges the status quo. This can mean opening a more effective synergy than what existed or restructuring how the game is played. Sometimes, a change can be significant enough to disable a pro player’s signature style.
Pro players’ ability to define a meta is the variable that makes betting on esports a thrill. There will be unconventional tactics to subvert expectations you cannot foresee if you only look at trends. To make better predictions at Sportsbet.io, it’s essential to take note of players who are popular for their meta-defining stunts in the past.
Off meta means playing without adhering to the widely adopted strategies. It doesn’t disregard optimal build but simply works parallel to it. An example of this is if a player plays specifically to subvert enemies’ expectations, like playing a character in an unusual role. It’s still dependent on synergies, but the strategy is more personal.
Off meta build has a chance of being meta-defining because it’s about exploring new ways to play the game. However, what makes a strategy meta is also based on how many people can replicate its success. An off meta strategy is typically too situational to replace the current meta, making it negligible for most players of any game.
Contrary to off meta, the anti-meta was made solely to disable what makes the meta build work. It’s not the same as being better than the current meta because an anti-meta build will usually be bad under any other circumstances. Such a strategy won’t have its own win condition if it’s designed solely to prevent that of another play style.
Developing an anti-meta strategy works in random matches because an individual can assume that their enemies will follow the meta, especially in high rank drafts. It becomes a lot more complex when it comes to meta esports where everyone knows each other. Working towards an optimised build is much safer for winning a professional match than coming up with a counter.
General consensus over ‘meta’ as a concept
Metagaming in RPGs is often poorly received because part of the fun is defining your own playstyle and sharing it with others. Instead, it becomes a crutch players rely on because it is seen as the objectively more reliable way to win. Thus, it becomes unavoidable for competitive players who aim to climb the ranks rather than express themselves.
However, it’s important to note that there are advantages to metagaming. There are also plenty of people who like this new standard. It’s also now easier to view, thanks to the internet, where more passionate gamers share their insights. Some are influenced by observed practices from pro players, like how League of Legends memorable matches inspired its fanbase.
Pros and cons of meta in esports
Aspects of metagaming come with various ups and downs that are considered minor, but they are still worth mentioning. Here’s a brief list of all the most notable ones gamers are generally aware of:
The pros of having a meta
The meta gives players insight into how to play any character or role
It gives the developers a framework in how to balance the next update
Meta gives everyone in the same team a common framework to work around
The cons of having a meta
Players tend to rely on it too heavily, making the game feel uniform
Competition becomes unhealthy when a patch makes a strategy too effective
Gamers bully players who are trying off meta choices
How meta gaming affects your esports bets
Allowing meta to define your playstyle is the norm. After all, everyone aims to win their favourite games, and there is nothing wrong with adopting strategies deemed effective by the majority. The meta is built from trial and error from hundreds of players and further improved upon by the community. Thus, there is no point in trying ideas that are already deemed inferior.
Even so, video games are still just modes of entertainment for the majority of its community. You can still strive for greatness, but if figuring out your own strategy is what’s fun for you, then you have every right to explore outside of the meta. That’s why video games separate casual from competitive matchmaking with the addition of non-competitive game modes on top of it.
However, gamblers in crypto esports betting have a different issue to be concerned with. Guessing the victor of an upcoming match is all that is important, and they don’t have to be gamers to do it. Following the meta esports is the best way to predict the winner, but only if you have insights into players’ skills and preferences.
Understand the latest meta before you bet on esports at Sportsbet.io
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What is metagaming?
Metagaming is all about following the meta of a video game, most commonly to win as frequently as possible. This involves researching optimal strategies online and sometimes following a guide to a tee if one is provided.
Where do I go to see the meta?
The meta is just an observed gaming trend that players agree on. It is often discussed in tier lists of the best assets per patch version or esports season. Gamers talk about it for clarification so everyone has similar expectations of their next matches.
What should I do about the meta?
There are many types of metagaming strategies you can use. You can either learn it, counter it, or play around it. It can only be ignored without consequences if you’re playing a single-player game like RPG.
Why is meta so important?
Whichever way you choose to play, it will be affected by the meta. This extends to casual and competitive settings because everyone aims to win. Ignoring the meta is actively dismissing key information for making any functional strategy.
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