Win more games through champion select

Imagine champion select and the worst case scenario: a guy is blindly picking the same champion over and over again, if he feels like it he goes against the pick order. All this without communicating because he either is afk or doesn’t really care. Chances are you’ve been that guy. We’ve all been that guy.

Being that guy means you’re keeping your team in the dark and giving an opportunity to the other team. During this first encounter with your new team you also managed to state you couldn’t care less about playing as an actual team. This goes against the nature of League of Legends, which is still a team based game. Not only that, but you probably know how several phases in one game of LoL snowball towards victory or defeat. Starting items, mid game teamfights and taking drakes, it all adds up. What if I tell you: champion select is one of those phases. Yes, the snowball starts to roll during champion select. Become better at this phase and you will get better at League of Legends.

5 reasons to put more effort in champion select

In this series of 5 articles I will give you reasons to put more more thought and effort in champion select. Each article will describe an way of thinking that should improve your winrate. Even if you do not fully agree, thinking about these kind of things will make you improve. As always: give us your take on the subject in the comments.

Article series: 5 reasons to put more effort in champion select
Make champion select count

Reason 1: Not all champions are equal

Pick strong champions. The Flavor of the Month exists for a reason. Strong champions dictate the meta creating a climate where playstyles and picks are centered around them. A strong champion can be a versatile champion, a champion who fits in the meta perfectly or an imbalanced champion.

Versatile champions are not necessarily always the best champions but they have a lot to offer in many different strategies and can survive meta changes. Even after nerfs and seeing parts of their kits disappear Elise, Ezreal, Orianna and Lee Sin stood their ground. Their kits simply allow them to build in different directions and skills can be used creatively to compliment whatever your team needs. Whatever changes Riot Games makes to League of Legends, the champions in this category usually survive. If you firstpick Orianna you still have every chance to make yourself count even if you’re matched up against a current OP midlaner. Put your time into versatile champions and you have a friend for more than one patch.

Tip 1: Get comfortable on several versatile champions and don’t be afraid to pick them early.

The complete opposites are niche champions like Trundle and Tryndamere.  Champions like these fill a niche with clearly defined strengths that come with clear weaknesses. Tryndamere is a crazily good duelist and splitpusher while proper coordination will severely weaken him. Trundle punishes soft initiates and literally eats meatshields, but only one at a time. Trundle is a good weapon against Shyvana and Mundo. If the meta craves for their strengths they are simply perfect picks since it means their weaknesses aren’t as relevant. Additionally, if the enemy picks aren’t capable of exposing their weaknesses these champions can be great picks during the later part of champion select. There’s no reason to neglect their existance based on some weak spots, but realizing that not every champion fits in every game will help you in the long run.

Tip 2: Learn a few niche champions that you like and use them when the time is right.

Imbalanced champions are… eh – imbalanced. They shape the meta, can be toxic by nature and get permabanned to a point where the community bronze to LCS is asking for changes. Riot usually replies by gutting the champion or do a partial remake like they did with Kassadin. Don’t just blindly pick the current strongest champions. Every champion has a weakness, learn how to exploit it. They’re probably popular so you can use this to your advantage a lot. If you know how to play the imbalanced champion that wasn’t banned, sure you can go for it. It’ll not only be a strong champion for your team’s roster it will also hit the morale of the enemy team. Preseason 4 Taric is an example and also the Kassadin and Yasuo from just a few patches ago fell into this category.

Tip 3: Ban, play or be prepared to counter imbalanced champions.

Pick and play whatever you feel like, but do it responsibly. Certain champions are great first picks, others are better picked later or as a counter. I hope you enjoyed the first part of this series.

Read part 2: Using the LoL champion select chatbox wins games

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