What Is The Stopwatch Meta in League of Legends?
The League of Legends Worlds Championship 2021 is in full swing with Day 2 of the Quarterfinals ready to go live soon. The current aggressive burst meta has seen some staple picks like Miss Fortune, Leona and Lee Sin emerge and when it comes to items, the Zhonya’s Hourglass/Stopwatch meta has dominated not only Worlds 2021 but also proplay in three of the major regions sending teams to the World Championship. According to , Zhonya’s Hourglass currently has a 12.4% popularity rating. We will look at what exactly is the Zhonya’s Hourglass/Stopwatch meta and how it has changed the game.
What is Zhonya's Hourglass/Stopwatch Meta?
Zhonya’s Hourglass is a legendary item which can be purchased on both Summoner’s Rift and Howling Abyss. To build it, players will need to pick up a Seeker’s Armguard, a Stopwatch and a Fiendish Codex. Stopwatch and Zhonya’s both grant a unique active called Stasis. Stasis makes a player untargetable and invulnerable to damage for 2.5 seconds, but they also cannot move, auto-attack, use any summoner spells or cast any abilities. Players can go into Stasis only once with a Stopwatch, after which it is transformed into a Broken Stopwatch. This cannot be sold and replaced with a normal Stopwatch since once broken, all future purchases are also broken. From here on, it can only be upgraded to a Zhonya’s Hourglass and used again to go into Stasis. The unique active then onwards has a 120-second cooldown.
Why is it so effective?
Players now buy a Stopwatch from the in-game shop or pick one up through Perfect Timing in the Inspiration path in their runes. After which they upgrade it completely to Zhonya’s Hourglass without using the Stasis active and then purchase another stopwatch. Doing this lets players get a 2.5 second Stasis from their completed Zhonya’s Hourglass and also get an additional 2.5 seconds of Stasis from the Stopwatch they purchased afterwards. This means a total of 5 full seconds of untargetability and invulnerability. With the current burst damage meta in Season 11, 5 seconds of vulnerability can be game changing in a teamfight.
While initially, Zhonya’s Hourglass was more of a situational purchase, the unique active is too good to pass up. This has resulted in the popularity of the combo to skyrocket. All AP champs in the game are now buying Zhonya’s while AD bruisers and assassins end up buying at least the Stopwatch. ADC is the only class in the game where stasis is more situational right now, but those building a Guardian Angel will usually get it. The Zhonya’s Hourglass and Stopwatch meta was quite popular in LPL (China) after which it was adopted by teams from other regions and now has become a staple even in Worlds 2021. Zhonyas is currently the most purchased item in the game for solo queue and currently has a 55.1% win rate.
DAMWON KIA’s mid laner ShowMaker used the double Stasis trick against Cloud9 during the Worlds Group Stage Day 4. He picked up an early Zhonya’s Hourglass to use its normal Stasis active and later picked up a Stopwatch. He ended up using the Zhonya’s Hourglass and Stopwatch actives together to dodge damage for 5 seconds and keep himself alive after being hit by a Twisted Fate Gold card. He then managed to clean up for his team and got a double kill.