Riot announced today that the amount of ban picks in professional contests of League of Legends will increase to 10, with each side choosing five champions to ban from the entire match.
League of Legends Ban Picks
Ban picks have been around since the introduction of the Draft Pick mode in the Season One patch. Until now, players have had a total of six ban picks; three for each side chosen by the team captain. The announcement about the increase of ban picks for the Spring Split only applies to professional matches. Regular players playing Draft Pick will still only have six bans, at least for now.
Part of the goal of increasing the number of ban picks to 10 for professional play is to increase champion diversity. This is something that has been on the minds of Riot’s developers for a while now. By increasing the number of bans, Riot forces professional players to maintain a larger champion pool, which means more champion diversity in professional matches. This, in theory at least, is more entertaining for the fans.
The bans will take place in the middle of the typical draft. Pro players will have an initial ban pick phase, allocating six ban picks. Then, six players will choose their champions, in much the same fashion as they do now, in a one-two-two-one pattern. Then come the four mid-point ban picks, before the remaining four players make their champion choices.
No Change To Regular Play Yet
This change is rolling out in time for the Spring Split for professional players only. Riot’s reasoning for altering pro play without changing regular play (yet) is that the circumstances are entirely different. Pros know all their teammates, their opponents, who they play, and in a lot of cases, have played against them before. In regular play, circumstances are often much more random.
According to Meddler, Riot does see value in increasing the ban picks in regular play up to 10 as well. It will just take a little more testing and feedback before they make the change.