Ten Ban System Coming to Casual Play "Pretty Soon"

by James Bates

patchnotes 2017header
(Photo: Riot Games)

The biggest change in the history of ranked will soon be on its way, at least by the reckoning of Greg Street, Riot's Design Director. Street gave some sneak peeks about what can be expected in the near future, and one of those peeks was into the future of ranked

"Yeah, we’re working on it right now." Said Street, regarding the new ban system's implementation in solo queue. "It’ll be pretty soon, one of the next few patches. As with many things we’re working on right now, there’s this chicken-and-egg problem of, do we make it for just the new client? Or do we build it in both clients? I think for the pick-ban stuff, we decided let’s just build it in both clients, or we’re going to be waiting too long."

The system that we would be getting in solo queue would bear only one similarity to that which the pros use, Street later revealed. While the number of bans would remain the same, very little else would. Unlike the competitive system, which uses two ban phases and two pick phases, the new solo queue system would simply have a single ban phase in which each player gets to ban a single champion.

"Because we don’t anticipate the kind of strategic level discussions of how you’re building your comp and what does the enemy comp look like — which pros certainly engage in — in solo queue, we think it’s fine to just have the bans be simultaneous. There’s going to be less discussion. Anything that feels like organized play, like an actual tournament or five-person ranked, we would probably make it work like the pro system of banning one at a time and discussing your strategy."

Thus, the changes to solo queue are going to much less sweeping than those that competitive play have experienced. Whether or not the bans would be truly simultaneous or whether that was meant to mean that there would be only a single phase is as of yet unknown, though the former possibilty certainly raises quite a few questions. What if two players on opposing teams attempt to ban the same champion? Would the ban phase become a game of banning as late in the phase as possible that risks more dropped queues due to player not locking in their bans in time? These are undoubtedly the questions that Riot is wrestling with at this very moment. 

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.