Is it time for more Champion bans?
I am writing this article solely for the purpose of posing this question and to debate what would be best for the current competitive environment. I would love to hear people argue and debate the pros and cons of either adding bans or keeping the same 3 bans per side. Having this conversation will help us understand what really is better for the competitive scene. I am suggesting 1 additional ban per team, making it 8 bans in total instead of the usual 6.
Ever since competitive LOL started we have had the 6 bans, but we can also say that the game is continuing to evolve. The number of champions have now risen to 128 from 77 when the Season 1 world championships concluded. Riot is also continuing to update and rework old champions to match their playability with the newly released ones. A lot has changed and the clear rise in the number of champions has made me curious and wondering if we need more bans.
I am in favor of adding more bans, but on the other hand I am not completely convinced. I would love to hear arguments and counterpoints about this topic. I am not sure how these changes would affect the competitive environment as I am not able to experiment and test it. Does additional bans result to a more restrictive metagame? will it suppress certain compositions? These questions are hard to answer unless we try them out. I’ll mention some possible or theoretical effects I foresee. Here’s how I see additional bans will affect the current competitive and solo-queue environment:
Increase Player Proficiency
An additional ban means a player can be targeted with 4 champ denials. How does this improve player proficiency? It forces the player to widen his champion pool. It raises the bar for the pros, as star players already have wide champ pools and might not feel the effects of an additional ban. However, middle of the pack and lower tier players in the professional scene are now compelled to learn more champs, as more targeted bans will surely make it more difficult to compete against these said stars. Pocket picks will become more commonplace, players not known to be proficient on certain champions well be compelled to bring them out and therefore result to exciting and never before seen compositions.
Some might be surprised by this, how can adding bans promote diversity when it’s trying limit to the champs available for selection? Well, in my opinion there are so many unplayed champions in competitive play simply because there’s a more powerful champ which would fill the same role or would do the job better. Adding more bans will push teams to innovate and try other champs to fit in certain tested compositions, or better yet get creative with new compositions. We have to admit that some champs are just too good to not pick, adding bans will open up more options by conditioning the players that some compositions might be harder to pull off in drafts and therefore would lead to better preparation in substituting other champs that could fill the role.
How does this affect Solo-queue?
Adding more bans in solo-queue will surely be more restrictive and make it harder for players to enjoy ranked if their mains get banned. Although other players might not really know what you main in, there’s a higher chance that your champs get banned just because the number of abns has increased. On the other side, It sets the bar higher to succeed in solo-queue. It makes ranked queues more competitive as it reinforces players to practice more champs before going into ranked. Does this decrease talent getting into the higher tiers? possibly, but this ensures that you get into higher tiers much more polished and well-rounded. This also reinforces players to use normal queues more often to get better and acquire a bigger pool of champs. There might be cons but I feel there can only be positive benefits for players in adding another ban.
Finally, There might be things I have missed and I welcome your opinions and thoughts on this topic. As I have said I want this to be debated and talked about so we can collectively consider what’s best.