With 134 champions to choose from, professional players theoretically have countless options to choose from when picking their team comp for a match. Of course, that is not really how everything turns out in reality, because once the meta is figured out, three to five strongest picks are figured out and variety goes out of the window. Still, for a long time now, the community has been asking for more bans. With the huge roster of champions to pick from, six bans hasn’t been enough for a long time.
Riot Games have finally given in into the demands for more bans from the community and agreed to increase the number of bans from six to ten—at least in Competitive matches. In the official League of Legends website, the decision is explained thusly:
“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. The plan here is to give each team two additional bans partway through the draft; this midpoint ban should encourage adaptability and reward teams who can accurately predict what strategies their opponents are planning then move swiftly to counter them.”
The Pick & Ban phase will now work like this: first, teams will ban three champions just like they’ve been doing for years now. Then, the Blue side will have first pick, followed by two champions picked by Red side, two by Blue, and one by Red. Then, teams will have a chance to put a wrench in their enemies’ plans, starting with a ban by Red side, followed by Blue, then Red, and Blue again, making for 10 bans in total, 5 for each team. Then, the Red side team will get to pick a champion, followed by two for Blue side, and the last pick in the game going to Red side.
According to the official announcement, Ranked play and Normal Draft (where this Queue is still running) should follow once Riot Games figure out how they want to implement it. The most attractive thing about teams getting ten bans overall is that this way, each player would get the chance to ban a champion he doesn’t want to play against. The increase in number of bans is sorely needed, so the initiative is good, however, player’s main concern concern of champ select taking too long, especially when someone dodges in the end, shared by Riot Games as well, is a very important factor in figuring out how it’s supposed to be done. While most players want the feature, hurrying could hurt the game more than it helps. Let’s not rush Riot Games too much, unless it starts looking like the Ten Bans in Draft is going to be stuck in Development Hell a la Replays.