Deciphering Draft Picks: How Does Drafting Work in League of Legends?

Have you mastered wave management, taken charge of tracking, and refined your farming strategy? Now you’ve armed yourself with a solid set of skills, you’re probably looking for ways to up the ante when playing League of Legends. If you’re itching to take on a new challenge, Draft Pick is definitely worth considering. A staple of professional tournaments and ranked play, this game mode sees players take turns picking their preferred champions. To up the ante and balance the odds, players can also choose to ban certain champions outright.  

Still new to League of Legends? Perhaps you’re struggling to wrap your head around the concept of drafting or need some tips on how to turn it to your advantage. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know.  

An Introduction to Draft Pick  

Drafting in League of Legends is relatively straightforward. Drafting begins with banning. Each team is allowed to ban a set number of champions, with neither team allowed to pick any of those relegated to the banned list. Banning requires careful consideration and has a major impact on games themselves. If you’re thinking strategically, look to ban champions that pose the biggest threat to your planned line-up. You can also choose to ban overpowered champions that you think might prove a general risk. Although banned lists vary from game to game, champions like Blitzcrank, Smolder, and Zed are regular fixtures of Solo Queue banned lists.  

Once banning is taken care of, players then need to make their picks. Although players can choose the same champion in other game modes, in Draft Pick, champions can only be selected once. This means that there’s no chance of two Taliyahs going toe-to-toe or a balanced bust-up between a pair of Pykes. Champion selection is turn-based, with picking alternating between teams. The process can be a nail-biting one for players eager to nab their favorite champion, but certainly adds an air of strategy to the proceedings.  

What’s the Deal with Draft Picks?  

Draft Picks brings a whole new level of strategy to League of Legends, calling on players to start thinking carefully about their decisions, even before the game begins. Counter-picking is a key aspect of Draft Picks. The turn-based approach of champion selection can help level the playing field, even if one side boasts more in-game experience. However, players need a firm grasp on counter-pick stats, with insights into champion builds and team compositions.  

Draft Pick also lets teams nab some of the most versatile champions in the game. Many LoL champions can be played in multiple roles, with these versatile heroes often proving the most valuable. If you follow the professional LEC schedule, you’ll often find the likes of Varsus being deployed as both an ADC role and a mid-laner. Then there are champions like Katarina, who boasts so many build possibilities she can be put to use in any role.  

Why is Drafting So Important?  

Once you hit the higher levels of competitive play, League of Legends gets very interesting indeed. It’s easy for one team to enter the fray massively overpowered, but drafting brings some balance to a match. By being able to ban certain champions outright, there’s less chance of one side dominating the other. What’s more, by removing the most sought-after champion builds from play, teams need to get creative with strategy in order to finalize a winning combination.  

In order to make the right choices when banning and selecting champions, players need to develop a keen insight into the builds of each and every champion. This often calls for hands-on experience, with players forced to experiment with every LoL champion at least once. This helps refine general gameplay skills, helping a relative novice become a serious threat who can hold their own at the highest levels of LoL play.   

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