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League of Legends pick trade option was once a thing

A League of Legends pick trade option has been discussed since the dawn of time, and it turns out there was one back in the early days of Riot's MOBA

League of Legends is missing a massive feature: a half-robotic woman with white half strikes a battle pose

League of Legends pre-game lobbies are a fascinating experience if you know what to look for. Some games can be won, or lost, on the composition of your team vs theirs, with some positions being heavily hampered if counter-picked. A player has the ability to request a champion trade on the MOBA’s selection screen, but without decent communication with the rest of your team, this isn’t always understood. With that, a cry for a ‘pick trade’ option has been thrown about, with a developer chiming in saying it’s something they pitched a long time ago.

Being the first pick in a game of League might initially seem like the best-case scenario for a new player; you have the highest chance of getting the champion you want, as long as they weren’t banned, and can start masterminding your game plan from the first minute. Ask any world-weary LoL player if they want the first pick, however, and then the answer is most likely no.

A lot of lanes, most notably top, can rely quite heavily on being able to counter-pick the enemy. The higher the ELO, the fewer mistakes are being made on both sides (in theory), so you have to take any advantage you can. If your pool of champions is quite small, then being the first pick in a match can be disastrous; you don’t want to be forced into picking Yorick first, only for the enemy to counter you with Irelia later on in the draft.

A Reddit post goes into this a little and suggests that players should have the ability to request a trade of pick order. When asking someone in the draft phase of a match to exchange champions, you first have to ensure they own the one you want, and that you own the one they want. It doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve ever tried to communicate with strangers over the internet, even the most basic of conversation can be like pulling teeth.

From this conversation, a former UI developer for League of Legends, riotBoourns, chimed in to share that they once pitched this idea, but it turned out to be too complex for the team to implement: ” I had proposed this when I was working on the champion select redesign on PC, but my initial design was a bit too complex (you could trade positions and champions) so we shelved it.”

The mobile version of League, Wilf Rift, does actually have a version of pick trading, but after riotBoourns went into detail on how the development time wouldn’t be worth it for PC, it’s unlikely to see the draft phase changing any time soon.

If you are new to League and are worrying about having to first-pick all the time, you better start getting real good at whoever you’re playing – this guide on how to play League of Legends should give you the headstart you need. For those of the more-seasoned variety, check out the League of Legends 12.17 patch notes; trying to find the meta before it becomes the meta is half the battle – I think, anyway.