Riot has announced changes to the pick-ban phase of professional play, increasing the numbers of bans from six to 10. The changes will include a pick-ban system that is segmented into four phases instead of two as it was previously.
The changes to the system are listed below and have given the blue side first pick and first ban in the first two phases, while the red side has the first pick and first ban in the latter two phases. Red side will have the counterpick in both stages of picking champions, and has a doubled up pick and ban at the end of Pick Phase 1 and start of Ban Phase 2. This is counterbalanced by a double pick on the blue side.
The changes to the system come as professional players and spectators complained about the lack of diversity in picks and strategies due to the limitations of the existing pick-ban system. The segmented system serves to provide that diversity, by allowing adaptability against compositions. A leaked copy that was similar to this format was reported earlier as the Singaporean leagues's pick-ban system.
While the system is coming into professional play, it will take some time to come to ranked queues. Riot stated in their release that, "Revised pick/ban for regular play will come somewhat later than the changes in organized play. We’re still assessing what style of pick/ban changes makes the most sense for regular games, given the different circumstances (unfamiliar allies, lack of information about your opposition)."
The new system will also come into effect in the NA Challenger Series, according to J.T. "Tiza" Vandenbree, senior esports coordinator for Riot.
Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a news editor for theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.