Suppose you’ve got four guys to play a semi-pro tournament, or perhaps Riot Games finally figured out Clash and you’re fighting for chests with your friends. Both situations imply the champ select format from pro play, which differs from what you get in ranked modes. Let’s look at what you need to know about drafting.
Keep your side in mind while drafting. As the team on the blue side, you have a slightly easier time delaying with OP characters. Your squad has first pick, so you may intentionally leave one extremely strong champion open to make the opposition choose between using up their ban on a must-ban character or facing that said character.
The red side team gets to wrap up the champ select. This is the window to choose a cheesy or situational champion, because there’s nothing your opponents can do to address the pick. Well, almost nothing.
Flex your pick. I’m not talking about bragging about your champion—just like the first line, this tip is about ambiguity. Depending on what your teammates can play, try opening your draft with a champion that fits several positions. It makes counter picking harder and keeps opponents guessing for the second ban phase.
Flex picks work well for both sides, but are actually vital for the Blue team. Assigning champions in an unpredictable manner is about the only thing they can do to negate a surprising last pick.
ADC seems to be the only role pros aren’t flexing Sion in
Draft towards the strongest teammates, but don’t neglect the weakest. Capitalizing on mismatches is a good shortcut to victory at all levels of play. If your best player is a mid laner, try to give them an edge by picking the champion after the opponents choose theirs.
On the other hand, a good player can win or, at least, hold their own with bad matchups. It’s at their expense that you can secure your friends’ comfort picks.
Zoom in, zoom out. Ideally, you know what strategies your team is good at and can proceed building a composition around the game plan. For example, it’s essential to secure several defensive champions to the protect the ADC strat.
However, sometimes champ selections offers opportunities you simply can’t pass up. If the red side team is bold enough to leave Cassiopeia open, pretty much any pro squad will pick her no matter what.
Don’t get carried away by draft shenanigans. Avoid picking champions your teammates can’t perform with even when they appear to be good counters. When you’re going for a flex pick, make sure that the second-in-line can actually play it. Once again, keep both the general plan and individual champion strength in mind before every move.