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Patch 7.12 state of solo queue: More bans, same champs

A new, weekly column about playing League of Legends, a video game.

Coming up over the next week or so we have the new Dayman Yasuo and Nightman Riven skins (not their real names) and the event that coincides with them. These skins are both very, very cool. So remember, if you want to win any games this week, ban Yasuo and Riven, lest you end up with both of these winners on your team.

Speaking of bans, I have been feeling real bad about banning the same champion every game. I have effectively eliminated a champion from every game that I am a part of, and it makes me feel a little empty.

And yet, the new ban system is incredible. Somehow, they fit four extra bans into the draft and made it take half the time. However, it must make playing popular champions very difficult.

My go-to ban over the past two weeks has been Zac. I love Zac, he is probably my favorite champion in the game. And yet, I say goodbye to his sweet, blobby face every game. Why?

The answer is pretty simple: he is OP and I don’t want to lose. I have been playing mostly support recently, so its not like I have missed playing Zac, but I feel for my blobby brothers and sisters who love their messy man.

With there being more bans, it makes me feel sadder about doing it, which is a strange side-effect that I certainly wasn’t expecting. Austen Goslin, The Rift Herald’s esports lead — as well as my good friend — bans Xayah every game.

First off, I keep telling him that he should learn how to be a better Xayah so that we can slay with the duo Rakan/Xayah bot lane and he still bans her. What a jerk. Second, there are a ton of people out there who still want to check out the newest ADC. Any game that we are in, they can’t.

This makes me feel a little ... responsible. Back when I only got to ban in three-fifths of my games, I never felt guilty for taking out the most OP champion. I would still have to play against them sometimes when my randomly assigned Riven main decided to ban Teemo instead (sorry to beat up on you so much Riven mains but you kinda deserve it). Those champions that I thought were broken would occasionally slip through because I wasn’t always there to stop them. Now, I can be.

But, what does this say about our responsibility as players? If nobody can ever practice an OP pick, how truly OP can they be? Similarly, if none of us learn how to counter an OP champion through experience, what happens when someone forgets to ban them or picks up a new favorite ban? We are responsible for our own betterment when it comes to League of Legends. By eliminating the greatest threat in a game with a single ban, are we doing ourselves a disservice in exchange for a little bit of comfort?

Let me know what you think in the comments below or by tweeting @RyGilliam on Twitter. I will be back next week with a new topic. Thanks for reading and beware the Ides of Mao.