Do We Need More Bans?

I played this game since beta and I was able to experience he game when it had only a few champions and some of them were crazy unbalanced. You would likely see two Twisted Fate champions in one game at some point, you couldn't see what the enemy team was picking so your "fun" pick might just get screwed over, you had no semblance of order so players would just instalock. It was a huge mess. Eventually, picks and bans were introduced and we finally had our chance of forcing games to be less stressful. We had just two bans per team at the start and that worked out since there was not many champions at the time. It was later increased to three bans as the champion pool became significantly larger and it was getting harder to be strategic about bans.

The number of champions has continued to increase as well as "reworks" of older, out-of-date champions yet the ban number per team has not. It is believed by plenty of people that the game would greatly benefit by having an increased number of bans. It would not only improve the competitive scene but it would also improve the solo queue ladders. There are arguments that support both sides of this issue. I hope to present this as neutral as possible and I want to present a counter-argument to every counter argument.

The top video fits the theme of the article. It encompasses strong counter picks/diverse picks. I did not have a prepared headliner for this article.


More Bans Control Champion Imbalances

This is rather self explanatory. The argument is that having more bans would make it so you could ban the currently imbalanced champions and/or buggy champions that can completely ruin the experience of players in the game. This would force players not to rely on the currently imbalanced champions in order to win and force players to pick alternative champions.

Counter Argument #1 - Players in Solo Queue will just ban out all the "overpowered" champions and pick whatever other flavor of the month champions remain. The number of arguments in champion select could increase as it could become more difficult for players to get the champions they want. It could also increase the amount of time it takes to actually start a game.

Counter Argument #2 - Teams would just focus ban a player in a team and prevent them from picking anything they are familiar with picking. Teams could just focus ban all supports, tanks or etc and stagnate the potential picks.

Reply to #1 - Players in solo queue would probably just be petty and argue about the picks and bans. The reality is that they do this already and it thus it wouldn't change anything. As far as banning only overpowered champions - they also already do this. This would only increase the amount of time it takes to start the game. The rest would pretty much stay the same and it would make it easier for players to justify more outlandish picks.

Reply to #2 - The pro players should honestly just learn more champions. The Dota pro players have vast hero pools because they are forced to play different heroes and because most heroes are useful in their own ways. I think it is very disrespectful to assume that League pro players cannot achieve having such vast champion pools at a time. They are pro players for a reason. They should be able to adapt if they get banned out.

The same goes if the teams decide to focus ban all tanks or supports or something. There are plenty of champions that can adapt to the position (especially tank) or they can simply innovate new laning comps to deal with role drought.


 A Crafty Ban System Increases Diversity

Dota 2 has an interesting banning system that involves a pick break in the middle of phase. It is three bans per team, then three picks per team, then an additional two bans per team and finally two more picks per team. That break in the middle allows both teams to grab whatever characters they desire/need for whatever team comp they had in mind or to grab the power characters in the current iteration of the game. The second ban phase allows teams to either ban out characters that can defeat their team comp or to ban out a character that is crucial to the enemy team's composition. In either case, it ends up forcing the teams to make important picks earlier and then figure out which characters they could pick that would still fulfill the purpose of the team comp.

It could make it easier for champions that are unpopular to see gameplay. There is no doubt that there are champions in League of Legends that have other champions that are simply better than them. Imagine if a team was taking a pure AoE team composition. The first bans go as usual and nothing of theirs is targeted. Their next choices are champions like Miss Fortune, Sona and Vladimir. Suddenly their team comp is becoming apparent to the enemy team. The AoE team still needs a jungler and thus their opponents decide to ban Amumu and Malphite - two junglers that are strong in AoE team compositions. Fortunately, Sejuani still exists and she works well for AoE compositions and thus she is picked.

Counter Argument #1 - The second ban phase would not have any impact as the game has too many champions that can fulfill multiple roles who are also incredibly powerful. If anything, this means that picking a counter champion can become more difficult. Either you pick the counter first and risk your opponents taking other power picks or it gets to the second ban phase and the counter is simply banned. In the current pick and ban system, you can delay picking the counter until the end. If the enemy team snatches the counter pick, they may get stuck with a champion they do not actually need and that can be exploited.

Counter Argument #2 - This goes hand in hand with the first argument - League champion's are just too versatile. There are very few specialized champions that are actually used. In most cases, you sort of just adapt the same champions into fulfilling multiple roles. Teams will still probably not pick a specialized champions since they can just pick a champ that is already strong and contested that can be adapted into the needed role.

Reply to both - it is very true that League champions are too strong individually. This is an overall issue with how the champions are balanced. Even so, there are "strong" champions that are simply not picked because a champion that demolishes them in their respective lane/jungle has already been picked. If you could ban out their counters or if a team can notice that the first three picks of their opponents do not counter a certain specialized champion then they could ban those champions out in the next ban phase to further solidify that champions a choice. In simpler terms, teams can lower the amount of weaknesses certain borderline champions may have thanks to the second ban phase.


More Bans Will Improve Player Skill

It is argued that having more bans would overall increase the skill of the game's players. More bans could force players to learn more champions (as it was already somewhat already discussed) and players would be more encouraged to learn about team compositions so they could properly utilize the second banning phase and/or learn proper counter match-ups so they can make proper picks during the second pick phase. It gives them incentive to learn champions that are not exactly flavor-of-the-month such as champions that can heavily counter those characters.

Counter Argument - People are lazy. There really is not way to explain this better than to say that a good amount of people will simply not care. They will pick whatever they want to pick and ban whatever. Even if four people on the team want to make strategic bans or picks as long as the captain does not care that may not happen. To add to this, some players may simply not own counter-picks or know how to (or want to) play them.

Reply - I have no real counter to this one. It is very true...people are lazy.


Facts About Increasing Bans

- It would increase the number of champions you need
- It would increase the time it takes for matches to start

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