This week on Exit, Pursued by a Volibear, we are going to have a relatively short post. Really, I think that is just because the lesson here is very, very easy. Stop banning new champions in normal games. Stop it.
Look, I know that everyone hates losing games. When a new champion hits the Rift, it seems like a premium opportunity for bad players to try out a role that they are not familiar with to check out at a champion that they don’t know the kit of. It is a recipe for disaster, but banning them because you think its OP or because you think its bad is a less than stellar way to allow for them to settle into their new role.
New champions present a new challenge to all of us. How do I play them? How do I play with them? How do I play against them? These things take time, and most importantly, experience. Normals are a great place to try out a new role or a new champion. Almost everyone can agree on this. So why then do we as a community ban away our newest learning opportunities?
If you jump into ranked the first week of a champion release and your jungler hovers Kayn: ban that shit immediately. Players need time to get good at champions. If some jerk wants to try and play their fun new strats in ranked and you don’t feel adventurous, dump it. That is your right as a player, use your ban however you would like.
Normals are a different story. Allow those who want to play the new friend to play them. It helps everyone. It helps you learn what they do so that you can better support them in the future. It helps the enemy learn how to defeat them, or how powerful they can become. And lastly, it helps the player playing them to ready their skills for a more advanced challenge.
On a less verifiable note, not banning champs in normals is also a nicer thing to do for the Riot balance team. They have all sorts of analytics and fancy numbers that tell them how something is performing. Allow the new champion to get played and it might just make a difference on whether or not they get buffed or nerfed in the upcoming patch.
Everyone is afraid of what they don’t understand. New champions are the most prime example of that. So you go in and you carelessly ban a learning experience away from everyone on your team and the enemy. Allow it to go through. Take the losses and the wins with an understanding that things will even themselves out sooner rather than later.
Your local new-champion-enthusiast thanks you for your sacrifice.