Fearless Draft: A New Era for Tier-1 League of Legends Esports in 2025

Fearless Draft, a game-changing format initially adopted by challenger leagues like South Korea’s LCK CL and China’s LDL, is set to revolutionize Tier-1 League of Legends esports tournaments in 2025.

Kapish Khajuria
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Fearless Draft Tier-1 Esports 2025

Fearless Draft, a game-changing format initially adopted by challenger leagues like South Korea’s LCK CL and China’s LDL, is set to revolutionize Tier-1 League of Legends esports tournaments in 2025. Riot Games has announced that this innovative pick-and-ban format will be introduced at the new third international League of Legends esports tournament scheduled for March 2025, marking the first time it will be used at the highest competitive level.


What is Fearless Draft?

The Fearless Draft format, introduced in China’s League of Legends Development League (LDL), a step below the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), has been in effect since Week 5 of the LDL Summer 2022.

Here’s a breakdown of how it operates:

  • Game One: Teams follow the traditional draft process, with no modifications.
  • Game Two: Teams are prohibited from selecting any champions they used in the first game, though the opposing team can still choose them.
  • Game Three (if necessary): Champions picked in the first two games are banned from selection by the teams that used them, but the opponents can still pick these champions.

This evolving ban strategy introduces a dynamic element to team composition and strategy, forcing teams to adapt and innovate with each successive game. Riot Games has hinted that "a version" of this format will be applied at the new international tournament in March 2025, suggesting potential adjustments to suit the global stage.

Fearless Draft and Its Benefits in Esports Tournament


The implementation of Fearless Draft at the Tier-1 level of League of Legends eSports represents a monumental shift in competitive dynamics. The core objective is to enhance the diversity of team compositions and prevent the repetitive appearance of meta champions, thereby increasing the spectacle for viewers and the strategic depth for teams.

1. Enhanced Viewer Experience: By ensuring that each game in a series features different champions, the Fearless Draft mode keeps the audience engaged and avoids the monotony of seeing the same meta champions in every match. This variety can make each game feel unique and unpredictable.

2. Strategic Complexity: Teams are compelled to explore and master a broader pool of champions. The necessity to adapt to the absence of previously picked champions in subsequent games fosters strategic ingenuity. By the third game, up to 15 champions could be off-limits, challenging teams to devise fresh strategies and compositions.


3. Competitive Innovation: The format's introduction encourages teams to be more versatile and to develop deeper champion pools. This shift can lead to more balanced and competitive matches as teams are forced to rely on a wider array of tactics and champion selections.

The Fearless Draft concept isn’t entirely novel to the gaming world. Arena of Valor, another popular game under Tencent’s umbrella, has used a similar format known as the “Global Ban Pick Rule” since 2019. This rule, used during best-of-seven matches, bans all heroes used in previous games by the same team, but allows them in the final game if the series extends to a seventh game.

This approach has significantly enhanced competitive dynamics and strategic variety in Arena of Valor, a benefit Riot Games aims to replicate with Fearless Draft in League of Legends.


With its rollout on the global stage, Fearless Draft is poised to redefine competitive League of Legends by introducing a level of strategic diversity and complexity that will challenge teams and captivate audiences, setting a new standard for how the game is played at the highest levels.


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