Will Riot Games be introducing a ban phase in Valorant, as they did with League of Legends?

Image Credit: Riot Games
Image Credit: Riot Games

For those of us who have transitioned from a game like League of Legends to Valorant, we know the importance that the pick and ban phase has in every competitive game.

In a game which has close to 150 champions, banning 10 at the start ensures that the meta stays balanced, and also works in the sense of removing counter picks that the opponent can have for your strategy.

The importance of champion bans

Image credits: Esports Edition
Image credits: Esports Edition

In a game with so many champions, it can get quite difficult for devs to keep the overpowered champions in check.

Each patch update makes at least one champion broken, and capable of single-handedly taking over games. Riot will not be putting out hotfixes and new patches every three days to keep things balanced, and this is precisely why we have ‘picks and bans’.

Valorant might also be moving towards a draft phase

Earlier this week, Chief Executive of Valorant, Anna Donlon, announced future plans for the game, and said that Valorant will be having six new agents a year.

So, keeping this scheme in mind, we can safely say that in just two years, the number of agents in Valorant will double, and start to grow exponentially as the years go by.

And just like with League of Legends, as the number of agents in this shooter game starts to grow, the possibility of a draft phase in a few years' time gets all the more real.

Riot doesn’t feel that a draft phase is required at the moment

In a recent blog post, Valorant’s senior game designer Trevor Romleski talked about the possibilities of a drafting system, and said that they will not be considering a pick and ban feature as of now.

“We expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific agents,” Romleski said. “Banning an agent would invalidate that entire strategy, and we don’t want to discourage practice.”

As a banning system right now will take away a player’s individual strategy, which he/she might have developed after hours of practice, picks and bans will not be on the cards any time soon.

As there is not going to be a draft phase, the Valorant devs will be putting extra attention in creating a much-more balanced meta. But as more and more agents come out, that will be one of the hardest things to keep pulling off.

Edited by Ravi Iyer
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