If you have played a game of League of Legends on red side recently and lost, it may not entirely be your fault. I wouldn’t go so far as to throw your teammates under the bus, but like the RNG that plays so heavily into pairing you with your DC’d mid laner, the seemingly trivial side of the map you get placed on has a significant factor in whether you win or lose.
The minute flip of the camera brings with it some not so small of advantages and disadvantages that can take effect even before minute one. In solo queue, blue side has a 52.9 percent win rate while red side has a 47.1 percent win rate. This delta in win rates is exacerbated in the North American League Championship Series where blue team has a 54.4 win rate and red team has a 45.6 percent win rate.
League Championship Series: Pick order rules
Having first pick is an advantage that is often neglected in solo queue environments despite the tremendous advantage it can give a team. First pick can often mean securing a champion that currently does not have counters. While red side gets the next two picks, there is often just one champion that necessitates being picked or banned regardless of matchups.
This was recently the case with Zac in patches following his rework. The poor flubber had to be banned by red side every game due to his power, effectively making red side have one less ban. While Zac was incredibly broken during this time, other champions were able to slip through ban phases such as Maokai, whose LCS performance was a treet for whoever’s team he ended up on. Zac has since been gutted and is now sitting at one of the lowest win rates in the game.
Solo Queue Gank Advantage
While this advantage applies to all levels of play, the advantage blue side has over red side during ganks on the top lane is enough to make Rumble one of the worst champions in the game when on red side. Rumble, who is most vulnerable due to his limited mobility, illustrates why red side has it worse than any other top laner.
Blue side Rumble is much safer from ganks as he can simply ward river in order to avoid most of them. But red side Rumble requires a ward in tribush and river. In general, blue side is better for top laners and red side is better for bot lanes in terms of safety because of vision.
Having your botside being more vulnerable to ganks through the need to ward both tribrush and river is not as much of a disadvantage. Because there are two people there, there are more wards to be dropped, both in river near dragon and in tribrush. While enemy junglers are usually spotted earlier botside, ganks are also easier to avoid due to double combat summoners. Heal and exhaust provide for excellent disengage while teleport will not help a toplaner escape a gank, unless of course, that top laner is Soaz.
Another map advantage blue side has is a safer entrance to Baron. While red side has a safer entrance to dragon, Baron fights are often more influential due to the death timers and power of the neutral objective itself.
HUD positioning advantage
Due to the way the HUD is positioned and the screen perspective in League of Legends, it is much easier to dodge skillshots on blue side, especially in the bottom lane. If you are shoved into tower on red side, positioning the camera to easily see everything you need to pay attention to is difficult. The minimap, your champion stats and your item box all cover up small portions of the Rift that appear to be even more annoying when you are playing on red side.
There are many factors as to why blue side has the advantage on the Rift. Some of these consequences extend onto other maps, such as ARAM’s Howling Abyss. Even in ARAM, blue side has the advantage, and since there is no pick order, this must be because of the perspective of the player’s point of view.
Feature image courtesy of leagueoflegends.com