League of Legends Previews 3 New Champion Select Features

Riot Games announced this week three new League of Legends features planned to be implemented in the game's champion select phase where people choose who they want to play as. Different goals are in mind for each of the features, but Riot hopes that they'll all effectively "upgrade the experience in ways that haven't been touched in a while." The current goal is to have all of the three features – Champion Select Anonymity, Pick Order Swapping, and Loadout Recommender – out by the end of the year.

The first of those features is one that might be a bit contentious for some players but will likely be a relief to many more. As those who play any Summoner's Rift League modes (and particularly ranked matches) will know, other players often look up their teammates to see what their allies are good at and which champions they have low winrates on. This often leads to the people doing the lookups telling teammates what they should and shouldn't play – or worse, it leads to someone banning a hovered champion based on info found when looking someone up – which isn't something received well by others.

To combat this, Riot plans to make it so that Summoner names are anonymous and hidden during champion select.

"We think the best version of League is not one where you metagame based on the players in your lobby, weigh who's on a win or loss streak or playing a different champion, and dodge or pressure others to dodge when your setup doesn't meet perfect conditions," Riot said. "We're still thinking about details of implementation here, but our starting point is likely to be hiding all Summoner names in Champion Select for Ranked Solo/Duo."

May third-party apps players use automatically pull data from the champion select phase to show what teammates are prone to playing as well as other stats. Third-party apps were specifically mentioned by Riot, but it's unclear at this time how the feature will affect these.

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The other two features require a bit less explanation. Pick Order Swapping will make it so that teams can easily swap pick orders without having to deliberate in chat who will pick first and figuring out trades when you're crunched for time. Similar to how item builds are recommended once the game starts, this new champion select feature will recommend runes and Summoner Spells to players based on their chosen champion and role. It's something that should help "help narrow the gap between players who are comfortable with the rune and Summoner Spell systems and those who aren't," Riot hopes.

Exact release dates for these new features have not yet been announced.