by JACOB PADILLA
Since the new League of Legends draft system was implicated, the league functions in two phases called the pick and ban phases. It consists of three champions to be banned from the game, and then each player picks their champion in pairs, going back and forward between teams. However, recently, Riot has announced that they are going to be changing the system for professional play and possibly public servers as well.
Over the span of the game’s existence, a significant addition of champions has occurred, going from the original 40 champions to 134, and has called for the need for more champions banned from each game. In the professional scene, the predictability of the champions being chosen has increased, and has began to diminish the entertainment value of games. Riots Meddler, lead champion designer, explains his intentions for the new change: “In pro play we think pick/ban changes can lead to an increase in champion diversity and strategic play. We believe that offering more bans will encourage deeper champion pools with more individual champions seeing the Rift – and that it’ll make a fun and engaging draft phase for fans to watch”. However, Riot intends to make LCS(League of Legends Championship Series) games more interesting by removing the ability to pick the commonly good champions and push players into playing more interesting champions. This change should ramp up the excitement of LCS games and in turn earn Riot more viewers.
The effect on public servers, however, is still up in the air. While having professional players choose more off meta and unique champions is exciting, it might not be as useful in casual play. It has the possibility to make it more difficult to play champions commonly banned (such as yasuo) and can be excessive. It does have positive effects too such as the ability to get rid of champions that make the game less enjoyable for certain people. Riot will be considering this change but has not confirmed anything yet
Along with the changes to the number of bans, Riot is also considering a change in the order of the phases as well. They plan on changing the two separate phases into a four phase set up. It will be arranged by a ban phase where three champions are banned on either side, a pick phase where three champions are chosen on either side, another ban phase where two champions are banned on either side, and a final pick phase with two champions chosen on each side.
While the changes are confirmed to be coming, how and when their coming is unsure at the moment and will hit the PBE and professional play fairly soon. According to Meddler, “Revised pick/ban for regular play will come somewhat later than the changes in organized play. We’re still assessing what style of pick/ban changes makes the most sense for regular games, given the different circumstances (unfamiliar allies, lack of information about your opposition)”.