League of Legends – The State of Ranked

If you have never played / heard of League of Legends before then you are missing out on a MOBA game where players pick ‘champions’ with different roles and abilities where their team of five tries to destroy the enemy’s ‘nexus’ who in turn will be trying to get theirs. It’s basically like a massive game of tug-of-war. Now the most played gamemode in blind pick 5v5 on Summoner’s Rift (the map) in which players pick their champions in secret to the other team so the matchups are unexpected. This is what makes LoL fun, the expectancy of what your enemy will pick means you can pick whatever with no real consequence since you didn’t know it was going to be your counter (Just don’t give them kills because then you will see why League of Legends was voted the most toxic playerbase).

 

Now there’s nothing I like more than logging on with my friends and playing a good half an hour game that has ups and downs through out. It’s like a good story book adventure but you’ll probably get to a point where you think you are good enough to challenge the ranking system, can’t be different to what you normally play right? Well…

…your wrong. Lets start with Draft pick, this is a new system of picking champions instead of the blind your probably use to. In this, the randomly selected top player on each team can ban three champions of their choice that no one in the game can use, which is okay to get rip of those terribly OP champions that riot makes viable in patches but it also could just be some troll who got picked and decides to ban Taric , to be honest I see this as the best part of Draft pick since it mostly is done right and can give you some ease of mind knowing you aren’t straight away at a disadvantage.

My biggest issue is the fact that the both teams can see the others champion selections. Now in pro level play this is good, because the whole team can develop a tactic around the picks and is all very structured but in normal rank play it means if you pick first your enemy is just going to search ” <insert champion name> counters” and boom, the first link tells you with detail what to expect as a    match-up going against them. Now in a way I guess this is good right? it trains you to play against hard matchups and if you get it EVERY game surely you’ll get use to it after a while? It’s not that really, it just takes the enjoyment out the game knowing that your going to have a tough time trying to win your lane or at least make an impact on it (like destroying a turret or getting kills), even worst, when you pick second for your lane you are expected to pick their counter so you can say goodbye to that champion you have got use to and enjoyed playing and say hello to a whole new set of abilities to get into the feel for again.

So, you’ve got to pick your champions but you have been put at the bottom of the pick list, well, guess what? you are playing support, that could be good or bad depending on the player but sometimes you just want to stretch your legs and have a big impact on the game but just because a random number generator assigned you that role you are going to spend the next thirty minutes as a role you don’t want. Oh, and if a teammate on your team doesn’t stick by this rule and screams in chat for Top lane and he doesn’t get it? expect a lovely troll you have to clean up after.

So, you’ve got past the ridiculousness that is Draft Pick, you’re loading up and when you finally get in you realise that one of your players is afk or didn’t load in. This is very common in ranked and of course means everyone is at a disadvantage because someone decided to use his dial-up internet for the game. Now you can’t hate the player in this scenario, who knows? his parents might have called him for dinner but what is the most annoying is that he either gets kicked for afk or stays in spawn for the whole game, not even a bot takes control and goes to the lane. That means you are forever a player down until he reconnects. This just a lose-lose system because the team doesn’t have a player and the player gets banned for (normally) something they didn’t do. I honestly wouldn’t mind an afk so long as a bot took control and just walked to the lane and defended the turret but no, instead we get a sad player and an angry team because they’ve been demoted for something they haven’t done.

Ok, maybe you didn’t get an afk? maybe your lane wasn’t your counter pick? maybe your getting all your minion kills so you have  lots of gold for items? Well then, congratulations! you have got lucky but don’t get the party poppers out yet, your rank still lies in the hands of your team. Too many times has an argument between my team has cracked off because the support went in too deep to get a champion kill and ended up dieing, Too many times has the jungler refused to come onto my lane and help me get a kill because he doesn’t speak English. There are way too many variations of situations that affects YOUR rank, you could get an enemy on your lane who just runs up to you and dances but you could still lose because your mid laner decided he wanted to go for a swim and went afk.

My solution? only use draft pick when you get to higher ranks (like diamond, gold etc.) and use a variation of blind pick where you can ban champions so it can still be a fair game. Introduce a more lenient system for afks and bring in bots so the team doesn’t lose because of them but most importantly, don’t base the players rank off whether it was a win or a lost but more what actually happened in the game, trust me, bronze is not a nice place to be stuck in.

Thanks for reading one thousand words of me rambling,

-Sam Burdis

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League of Legends – The State of Ranked

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