It's no secret that Riot Games live on skin sales. As such, their business model is centered on marketing their champions, and subsequently, their skins. as much as possible. Once that influences the game balance though, it becomes a problem.
And, while quite a few instances of this behavior have been pointed out by fans over the years, this time, another has popped up which has taken place in the current patch. This time, the issue is with Fiddlesticks, and the raising of his win rate, to affect his pick rate, during the same patch that his skin is released.
Why is Fiddlesticks Getting Buffed
Fiddlesticks is a champion whose win rates hovered around a comfortable 50% win rate in the game, with Riot Games not paying him any heed for months at a time. All in all, it was a champion stable in his meta, and poised to stay there.
However, it only took Fiddlesticks to receive a new skin, with patch 12.13, for Riot Games to give him a sizable buff:
- Q - TerrifyFear Duration: 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 --> 1.25/1.5/1.75/2/2.25
- R - CrowstormTotal Damage: 625/1125/1625 (+225% AP) --> 750/1250/1750 (+250% AP)
These buffs have propelled this, at the time, mediocre champion, to an incredible 54% win rate. The last time Fiddlesticks had such a win rate was once the durability patch had just come out, and his W was beyond broken.
What Skin Did Fiddlesticks Get
As the Star Guardian "event" is underway, Riot Games have, once again, just like during the Rise of The Sentinels, found the most out-of-touch champions, and handed them event-themed skins. Fiddlesticks' skin was released alongside:
- Star Guardian Ekko
- Star Guardian Ekko Prestige
- Star Guardian Kai'Sa
- Star Guardian Sona
- Star Guardian Nilah
- Star Nemesis Fiddlesticks
The rest of the champions listed are, either, champions with a high win rate such as Sona, or champions with a high pick rate, such as Kai'sa and Ekko. The apparent goal of the Fiddlesticks buffs was to raise his pick rate to what the rest of these champions have currently, and Riot managed to do it. After all, no one buys skins for champions they don't play.