Oct 2, 2016

Are Professional Picks Good For Ranked Ladder Play?

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Are professional picks good for ranked play? Professional picks do not always translate into strong ranked ladder picks. Champions with difficult mechanics tend to be more rewarding for players that can master them, but these champions are generally nerfed to a "balanced state" for pro play.

Champions that are balanced for professional play are often subpar in the hands of players that are not professional players. However, there is still a lot you can learn from watching pro picks, specifically counters and seemingly off-meta champions that worked.

Below is a simplified mathematical example of why this is the case:


Picks From the World Stage

Professional picks do not always translate into strong ranked ladder picks. Champions with difficult mechanics tend to be more rewarding for players that can master them, but these champions are generally nerfed to a "balanced state" for pro play.

Champions that are balanced for professional play are often subpar in the hands of players that are not professional players. However, there is still a lot you can learn from watching pro picks, specifically counters and seemingly off-meta champions that worked.

Below is a simplified mathematical example of why this is the case:

Simplified Example

Champion A: Deals 250 damage once every 10 seconds - 100% chance
Champion B: Deals 100 damage every 2 seconds at:
  • Professional player: 70%~100% chance to hit = (100*70%*(10/2)) = 350 damage every 10 seconds (max 500)
  • Average player: 20~30% chance to hit = (100*30% or 20%*(10/2)) = 100 to 150 damage every 10 seconds
In the scenario above, a professional player would certainly pick champion B, as this nets a higher potential output over time and potentially twice as much as the champion A.

However, an average player ends up doing significantly less damage over time because well, they are average.

Meanwhile, utility-based champions are even more difficult, as a mechanical failure can cost the game.

But SSJ, What If I Get GOOD?

Here, you might be saying to yourself that with practice, that 30% could quickly rise to 70% and you can potentially also play this one champion at a professional level and rise through the ranks.

This is certainly possible, and if you have the time and skill to do it, then more power to you. 

However, keep in mind that only the top 2% of the world are in Diamond and professional players can crush most diamond players with ease.

Things to Learn From Pro Play

Personally, I try not to read too much into the "must pick/ban" champions as ranked ladder law, but it is always good to take a look for yourself and see if they work for your specific skillset.

Meanwhile, ideal things to learn from watching include the following:
  • New combos from champions;
  • Initiation timing and methodology;
  • Good ways to counter troublesome champions (who will likely become popular soon); and
  • Yes, potentially new champions to use if you like what you see.

Conclusions

Similar to how you should not "salt-pick" champions just because someone else dominated on them, professional picks are not always the strongest champions for you personally. See what kind of champions work best for you, but you really do not need to pick Lee Sin every time you jungle. He isn't that good.

What are your thoughts? Agree/disagree? Comment below!





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