Riot's Official Stance on Pick Order vs. Call Order

Posted on at 12:57 PM by Moobeat
Riot has provided an update in the long running Pick Order vs Call Order debate.  Riot has decided to officially side with Pick Order OVER Call order in champion select, although they still encourage communication and team work over all else.

A deliciously short version of this latest statement can be best summarized by these two lines:
" For a while, we've been asked what our own official stance is on Pick Order versus Call Order and, after much consideration, we've ultimately decided to endorse Pick Order over Call Order as an underlying system"
and
Pick Order is meant to be a last resort when settling discussions - this is why we are endorsing it and not mandating it. Communication and collaboration are still the most important things when it comes to playing ranked games, and we hope players will continue to uphold the Summoner's Code in all of their matches"

Continue reading for the full discussion, including what this means for the future of champion select, how Riot arrived at this decision, and more.

Here is Riot Socrates with the full announcement.

"Summoners, 
As you all know, we value communication and collaboration above all when it comes to choosing roles in ranked games. According to the Player Behavior team's studies, teams that cooperate together have a greater chance to win. Naturally, cooperation and communication is something we want to encourage within all games of League of Legends. 
That said, we do know that there have been some problems with coming to an agreement at champion select, and many players have defaulted to one of two systems: Pick Order – where players higher on the pick list have first choice of their role – and Call Order – where players believe whoever “calls” a role first gets the right to it. For a while, we've been asked what our own official stance is on Pick Order versus Call Order and, after much consideration, we've ultimately decided to endorse Pick Order over Call Order as an underlying system. There are many reasons why Pick Order works better to encourage communication and cooperation in teams:
  • Players with faster load times shouldn't have an unfair advantage in Call Order
  • Pick Order occurs naturally in the current design, so it's more intuitive
  • Over time, players get an equal number of opportunities to be each pick slot
  • Players shouldn't have to race to type a position at the start of each match

At this point we would like to stress, once again, that Pick Order should not be the first thing players turn to in determining who plays what role in ranked games. Pick Order is meant to be a last resort when settling discussions - this is why we are endorsing it and not mandating it. Communication and collaboration are still the most important things when it comes to playing ranked games, and we hope players will continue to uphold the Summoner's Code in all of their matches. If you refuse to communicate with your team and rely only on Pick Order to determine your role selection, you are still being a toxic player and this will reflect negatively upon you. By officially endorsing Pick Order, however, we are hoping this will give more structure to players and may help settle some disputes. And, of course, this isn't the only thing we're doing to address champion select as a process. For more information on our long-term plans, turn to this discussion with Lyte, status kwoh, and davin. We've also included a mini-FAQ for players who have further questions on our endorsement of this philosophy.

Happy hunting,
Socrates"

He also followed this up with a bit of an FAQ to elaborate on the decision.
"Q: How will Riot be able to enforce this?
A: The short answer is it won't be strictly enforced. We want to create an environment that encourages collaboration when creating team comps. Strict enforcement here could potentially obstruct that. However, in the event that somebody is breaking the Summoner's Code in champ select, players can use the existing reporting tools like the tribunal.
Q: I'm last pick and I have no idea how to play the role left to me – so I get reported either way. What do I do?

A: It's best to go into ranked with at least a basic grasp of how to play every role. Having said that, behavioral and game skill reporting is handled differently. Receiving an ‘unskilled player' report can't result in a ban. 
Q: I ALWAYS end up last pick so this will have a significantly negative impact on me – how does pick order even get decided?

A: On average players should be seated in each pick order roughly the same number of times over a large enough set of games. 
Q: So if I play with a friend who's significantly higher ranked than me, I will never have a choice in my role?

A: In this specific case, you could ask your friend to make a pick for you and then trade. More generally it's pretty rare to find a team who all insist on playing specific positions. It's worth communicating your strongest and weakest positions to your team since usually a compromise can be found."

Lyte also popped in to clarify,
"The philosophy here isn't that pick order defines everything and is king. You should still communicate with your teammates and can see if they'd be willing let you play top--in many cases, players will be happy to still swap roles with you even if they have a higher pick order"
He continued:
"Most of the player behavior team is currently working on potential solutions to Champion Select. Socrates and I were discussing our design philosophies on Champion Select in its current form and whether we felt Pick Order or Call Order was the better choice--we just felt like we should share our thoughts on the issue and generate some discussion to see what the community thought as well. 
This isn't necessarily an official stance or how Champion Select will always be, we're working hard on the future solutions everyday." 
In turn, Riot Socrates also chimed in:
"Our stance isn't that the player who has first pick should ignore his team and auto lock. It's that players should try to collaborate to form a team. If for whatever reason players come to an impasse and disputes arise, we want players to have some generally agreed upon set of rules to resolve the dispute in a civil way." 

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