Gold Funneling is a strategy in League of Legends where a team funnels all its resources onto one hyper-carry. Riot Games is once again targeting this in the 2023 preseason


What Is Gold Funneling in League of Legends?

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Gold Funneling is a strategy in League of Legends where a team funnels all its resources onto one hyper-carry.
With the introduction of jungle companions, this strategy has once again reared its ugly head, despite many nerfs in the past.

Gold Funneling in League of Legends is a strategy that turns even the sweetest of players into hot-heads. If you are new to the game, you probably would not recognize the term but it was one of the most hated strategies in the community, worse than Janna top. It was initially prevalent on the now-removed Twisted Treeline map and was also very common in the eastern regions before 2018. However, the addition of Pyke to the League of Legends champion roster saw the widespread use of gold funneling. The idea is simple: a team funnels as much gold as possible onto one hyper-carry champion, who will eventually dominate teamfights.

Gold Funneling in 2018

The first iteration of gold funneling reared its head in the Chinese Solo Queue where players used the combination of Master Yi jungle and Taric mid-lane. The idea is that Master Yi rotates from the jungle into the mid-lane and farms freely. Taric would freeze the wave for Yi to finish jungle camps and farm the creeps in the middle lane, turning Master Yi into a hyper-carry very quickly. 

Another variation of this strategy was employing a hyper-carry champion in the middle lane with Smite spell and choosing support champions in other lanes, especially a secondary support in the jungle. In 2018, G2 Esports played many instances of the funnel strategy in the European league. Against Spyce in the 2018 Summer Split, G2 Esports’ mid-laner played Kai’Sa with Smite and the jungler played Braum with exhaust. This forced Riot Games to nerf this strategy big-time. Likewise, other European teams including Fnatic used this strategy in pro play.

Funneling in the 2023 League of Legends Pre-Season

The 2023 preseason saw a plethora of changes in the jungle role and one of the most significant ones was the introduction of jungle pets. This allowed for champions like Taric to go mid with Smite. But Riot Games has already acknowledged the rise of the gold funneling strategy this time around. 

The new strategy takes advantage of the treat stacking passive on the jungle items. If a player purchases it and then sells it, the treats will keep stacking even without the companion on them or the item in the inventory.

On the League of Legends subreddit on 27th November, one user brought up the topic of gold funneling in this patch. They wrote, “I keep seeing mid-laners taking smite and somehow Yi ends up with like 300 cs at the end of the game and ends up 25-0 or some s***. What's the new funnel Yi tech now, and why is it always master Yi with these bull*** cheese strats? Can someone explain it to me so I know what I'm up against?

They also pointed out how every time Riot Games introduced a jungle change, these cheese strategies run rampant and questioned when the publisher is going to learn. 

Replying to this, Gameplay Analyst Ray “RayYonggi” Williams said, “This is known and we have mitigating tactics in mind. To refer to your point about testing, no we didn’t test funnel extensively. We spend a majority of the preseason dev time on tuning the game for the 99.9%, and when a niche abuse case pops up (like funnel) we ensure we have the levers to fix it when it does. Rather than spend time inefficiently anticipating, testing, and mitigating these strategies pre-ship, we instead observe preseason and make adjustments at 5% the cost.

Riot RayYonggi hinted at a possible solution to tackle this strategy. The idea would be that if a player does not have the jungle item, they will not get cookies.

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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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