Welcome fellow Summoners, I'm writing this
because I'm bored a bit to find out/reveal the possible ways/directions of the adaptation to the current meta.
About the meta
The meta in the current game can have may meanings. While the current meta, we can say, is the duo lane with a marksman (it's called now by Riot, and we should adapt, but for the oldschools its hard carry/ranged carry nevertheless) and a support, two bruisers/casters/assassins on the two sololanes (in any combination) and a usually bruisrr/tank jungle. If we look strictly, it's a adc/sup bot, caster mid, bruiser top and tank jungle. But we would like to understand the meta (and through it the changes to it), we should realise that it's more than the roles and their positions. It contains the different playstyles. The different popular and unpopular champs, and their different popular and unpopular builds, the combination of multiple champions/builds. It contains the overall lane strategy, and even the map strategy (warding/counter-warding, ganks/counter-ganks, roaming etc.). Now we can see that the meta is not constant but constantly changing by the very players who use it. We could also say that every different setup, every different playstyle, every different team composition, every different team in every different match is a different meta. But, for the pupose of speaking about it, we are speaking about an avarage/usual build witha round the top 30-50 champs used, ommon builds, setup, and playstyle.
Spreading as fire
From year to year, month to month, week to week, the meta is changing faster and faster, and therfore adapting to it becomes harder every day. The main reason for this may be the increasing number of champions and items, and therfore the higher number of combinations. Another reason may be the multiple sources of changing the meta. let us take a look on these
Ways and reasons of spreading
Many people watch streams of professionla players, tournaments and championships. They can also watch highlighted ranked games via the client, watch videos, read guides and exemple builds. Therefore, if a new player/team comes up with something new/effective, or something spreads throughout a tournement, players lower on the ladder start using the new ideas which came from the professionals. Let's see for example the Midlane Jayce or the Jungle Jarvan. The problem wih this may be that many of the tactics used by the professinal teams require a proper setup for that, and may be situational. As they spread, more and more players play them, and eventually, they winrate may drop drastically (just look at Ezreal, since the Blue Build became overused, his winrate became the third lowest of all AD carries, just behind Corki an Urgot, despite he was picked in the 30% of the matches, however, he has thankfully became less used, so his winrate started to slowly climb up). While this problem persist whether the change came from the pros or not, maybe this is the most dangerous to the lower-used champs.
Just as the community can lear new techniques from the Tournements, the professionalss, may get ideas from the "regular" player, and may use it on the higher level competitions. While this is highly unlikely, it has the chance, and some builds may become popular (AP Master Yi I think) amongst higher level players. And after that, the whole community can witness and adapt it.
As a new champion or a phenomenal new skin is released, its pick rate is increased drastically for a couple of weeks/days. íthis, combined with the constantly changing meta can really break many games. The unreasoned popularity spike may result in high ban and lose rates, which may result in a fast decrease of the playrate.
As changes come in the meta, new champs and items arrive, they became stronger against other champs/builds/strategies. Let's take a look at Morgana: she was one of the most banned and feared midlaners in Season 1 and early Season 2. Then the AD assassins became popular, so she disappeared. Riot did not do a single nerf, it's just that Kha'Zix and Zed became popular.
Touches from outside
As some champs became more dominant and popular, they are nerfed, resulting in a drastically lower pickrate. While they may still be strong (see Jayce, he was considered useless after his first nerf), just the fact that they became weaker may make players pick other champs instead.
While this may sound silly, the common champs and playstyles on different servers may be completely... different. For example, teams from the Asian regions (Korea, China Taiwan etc.) used their fast pushing tactics to utterly dominate and destroy European and North-American teams in the Season 2 Championship Finals.
Popular vs. Unpopular
But what does that mean? Some champs are picked in more than 20% of the matches played worldwide, while most of them do not reach the 5%. That causes the popular champs' winrates to evetually drop and sink in the endless ocean of Champions (or not, for example Caitlyn has been one of the most popular champs for a while). What is important, this does not mean that popular champs are stronger, but they are generally not the weakest, and usually considiered a strong pick with a cause. But as the meta changes every day, you are free to experiment and try new things. Who knows? What is even more important that lower pickrate champions may still be great in a given situation (or even in overall). For instance, Galio may still be a great midlaner/support. Never judge a champ by its popularity, because it changes from day to day.
So, while the meta is changing constantly, many champs rise, many builds fall, tactics are made, setups disappear, there are many possibilities to try and experiment with. Bee open to the new an unusual, as it may turn out to be fantastic!
And as always, have a nice day, and feel free to share your insight on the topic.