Riot is adding way more bans in LoL Arena to avoid ‘stagnant’ metagame

League of Legends’ Arena mode will undergo significant changes when Patch 14.12 drops on June 12, with the number of bans available for players doubling.

Arena is a rotational League mode but has quickly become a clear fan favorite among players across the community, with many begging Riot to make it permanent. While Riot has yet to decide either way, the developers are trying to make the duelling mode the best it can be—and today that means stacking more blind bans into the mode; the number available in each lobby will spike from eight to 16 in June’s next update.

Brand standing in an abandoned temple.
Brand will surely be among the 16 banned Arena champions. Image via Riot Games

The devs did originally test 16 blind bans before Arena 2.0 dropped but decided on eight, League balance boss Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison admitted today. However, after the devs carefully “reviewing live behavior” and listening to community feedback, the team decided that 16 blind bans should be okay.

The main concern with the increased bans is more popular champions will be near-constantly banned. While this can be a good thing—we will see more different picks in every game—it does mean these popular champions will likely be permabanned across Arena. Some players already fear this will force people (especially one tricks) to “stop playing.”

On the other hand, Riot’s big change will very likely pour more diversity into the mode, especially because it’s going to forces you to try new things you otherwise might not have. With fewer lobby bans, players can continually pick the same champ every match, and that can quickly become boring for other competitors.

The most banned champions in Arena for League Patch 14.11 have been Zed, Garen, Vi, Alistar, and Brand, according to League stat tracker MetaSrc, mainly because these fighters, tanks, assassins, and mages can offer a very healthy heaping of utility and can be very oppressive in long Arena lobbies. They—alongside several popular characters like Sett, Master Yi, and Darius—also rank among the most picked this patch cycle.

Right now, there’s no way to know exactly how it will impact League Arena and its champion metagame; we’ll find out when Patch 14.12 arrives on Wednesday.

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