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The difference between balance for pros vs balance for general players in League of Legends

Image via League of Legends
Image via League of Legends
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Modified 11 Jan 2021, 15:55 IST
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League of Legends balance for pros vs balance for general players in solo que is something that has eluded Riot Games for years.

Players have often struggled to decipher the difference between balance changes for competitive health and general solo que. This fact often manifests in players complaining about a champion being too overpowered or Riot needing to fix some aspect of the game.

While Riot is constantly attempting to make League of Legends fair, players constantly find new things that they want balanced. Due to this never-ending cycle, Riot Games is tasked with finding the best way to balance the game for their professional leagues and general solo que.

What balance means to the everyday League of Legends player

Claiming to have a cure for balancing League of Legends solo que would be pure lunacy. In fact, Riot has an entire team dedicated to fixing and balancing problems on a bi-weekly basis.

The best way to understand what players want to see in terms of balance is to walk through the social media revolving around the game.

If a player wants to find things wrong with League of Legends outside of playing it, it is as simple as looking on Twitter or Reddit for what people are complaining about on a given day.

Players crave an equal playing field, where they can pick a champion they like and expect it to measure up to other champions in a similar role. For example, if someone was to play Janna against a Lulu, both are disengage/protective supports; the players should do similar things.

Balance here would mean that, assuming each player has the same amount of items, both champions would adequately shield their teammate to the degree that feels effective.

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Balance is more about feeling than raw stats to an everyday player. If someone is on a six item, fully build mid lane, and they get killed by a three item, 2/10 Akali; of course, there will be an outcry overbalance.

What balance means to professional League of Legends players

Professional League of Legends consists of ten teams of five active players and substitutes. This amounts to around 75 players per region based on their competitive structure. So why would balance for .0001% of the player base matter?

Balance at the professional level is important because it maintains competitive integrity. Balancing every single champion to a degree where one or two champions are not extremely powerful in a given meta is impossible, but that is why bans exist.

Competitive integrity in this instance refers to a team's ability to win with any given team composition in the meta if executed well enough. So, the balance changes made to champions with professional play in mind. are likely not going to be changes that affect lower than high diamond level of solo que play.

Nothing inspires a player more than seeing their favorite pro player pop off on a champion in a professional game. Pros are capable of making champions that are balanced look unbalanced.

The best example of this would be watching a side by side comparison of Lee Sang-hyeok, aka Faker, and some platinum-ranked players playi Akali. If the nameplates were turned off, the difference between the two would be easily decipherable.

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If watched individually, one of the clips would make a player think Akali is busted, and one would look like Akali needs a buff.

Balance for professional play is harder to pinpoint because the top-level League of Legends players often play a champion to its absolute best.

Being able to animation cancel perfectly on Riven or orb walk, a form of seamlessly auto-attacking and moving simultaneously, on any given ADC are skills that the average player does not have.

The importance of understanding balance

While everyday players' differences vs professional balance have been outlined, some people may still be asking questions.

It is important to understand that the League of Legends team is full of humans prone to errors. True balance, a place where every champion can be played, and someone in champ select doesn't complain about someone locking in Zyra jungle, will never be achieved because it isn't meant to be.

Part of what makes League of Legends so fun is that players can play whatever, wherever and have fun. However, to maintain a competitive game, a meta is often defined by what champions currently perform best in their roles.

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This meta evolves constantly, and certain champions fade in and out over time. Riot tries to bring in long time irrelevant champions in the form of reworks, but those don't always work out.

Being able to enjoy League of Legends is tightly bound to understand that certain champions will be unbalanced with every patch.

Once players learn to accept this, they can use the many resources in League of Legends that tell them what champions are strong on a certain patch to then play that champion and win their ranked games. Just do everyone a favor and keep the oddball picks/builds in norms and ARAM.

Published 01 Jan 2021, 02:09 IST
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