Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: Changing how bans work

January 18, 2017 by Adam Boyle, contributing writer

Before every game of League of Legends begins, players take turns banning three characters per team in an effort to prevent certain players from playing certain characters and to prevent any counter-picks for their own characters.

This upcoming professional season, Riot Games will be changing this format to one in which 10 characters—five per team—are banned each game.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

One of the biggest questions raised when they announced this was regarding why they were making the change. In their media release, Riot Games states, “We believe that offering more bans will encourage deeper character pools with more individual characters seeing play—and that it’ll make a fun and engaging draft phase for fans to watch.”

They go on to say that although they’ve tested the new system internally, they’ll be keeping a close eye on it and will be making changes if need be.

Currently, the last three players on the teams take turns banning one character each. After the bans have gone through, players take turns picking their characters in a back-and-forth format. However, with the new system, Riot could’ve just gone with a system where all 10 players ban back and forth. What they did, though, is unique and creative, and it will definitely help keep things interesting to watch.

In the new system, first phase will remain the same as the current ban phase. Following that, the first six players will pick their characters. After these players pick, a second ban phase will start, in which two more bans per team will be allowed. Lastly, the remaining players will pick their characters, and then the game will start.

These changes look great on paper—adding a second ban phase in between picking allows for diversity the level of which spectators haven’t seen for a long time. When these changes go through, be sure to look for your favourite characters being played by the pros; it just might mean they’re next on the list to get their power cut down by Riot.

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