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Our tips for picking your champion in Red Bull Solo Q
Picking the right champion is vital to going far in the 1v1 League of Legends tournament Red Bull Solo Q, so here are some tips from those who went before you.
With over 150 champions to pick from, making the right decision for the Red Bull Solo Q tournament can be tough. Red Bull Solo Q is a yearly LoL tournament where players face off all over the world in a 1v1 format. If this is your first time (or if you’ve played before, but would like to know more) then worry not! We’re here to help you get started.
We’ve talked to previous winners of Red Bull Solo Q to find out what kind of champions you can expect in Red Bull Solo Q, running through each champion type, and giving you the rundown on how strong they are and why.
Zed, Yasuo, Le Blanc and Talon are all champions that are a part of this subtype. These champions want to kill their opponent before they reach their win condition. They are often coupled with some kind of strong gap closer and an incredible amount of burst to bring down squishy targets. However, Ravenno, the winner of the EUNE International Qualifier of 2020 and All-Stars representative for Europe tells us that they might not be a great choice for Solo Q: “They are getting smashed by any champion who is a little tanky or has a decent amount of sustain. Akali would be an exception here – as she does really well.”
Dark Wings, the winner of the USA Qualifier and the All-Stars representative for North America says that Assassins do have their strengths, however: “They usually have very strong all-ins at level 3 or 6.”
The biggest problem for Assassins is that they have difficulty controlling the wave, says Trevis, the winner of the Irish National Solo Q tournament in 2020. Most Assassins lack the range that Marksmen or control mages have. They get pushed in early and need to find an all-in in order to turn things around.
Fighters are the champions that like to get up close and personal. Irelia, Trydnamere, Pantheon and Riven are all examples of this class of champion. Ravenno thinks that Fighters and Bruisers are the strongest class in Solo Q: “They usually have a great sustain and have the best trades. The only issue here could be gap-closing and that's only for some of them.”
The other Solo Q winners agree, though Trevis also adds that due to a lack of range they can suffer from the same issues that Assassins have. If a Fighter gets poked out of lane early or they have a bad trade, it’s difficult to come back without winning a miracle all-in to save the game.
Caitlynn, Lucian and Kalista are all staples in Red Bull Solo Q and belong in the Marksmen (often called ADC) class. The ADC player always has the auto-attack range advantage against any of the other classes. This means that they get to control the minion wave and decide when they want to push or freeze it. ADC players like to win by the 100 farm win condition. They are squishy and die easily against all-ins from the other subclasses, so they need to be on their toes at all times. Ravenno thinks that ADCs are the second best class, right after the fighters. He explains, “They usually have great early/mid-game due to the poke and pressure they apply, but can easily fall in later stages of the game.”
Other than being squishy, ADC’s also rely heavily on itemisation. The more items they get under their belts, the more damage they do. Their base stats are often very low compared to other classes. In Solo Q, players don’t have the time or money to build a mythic item. This means that while other classes get stronger because they simply buy AP or resistances – the ADC gets weaker as the game progresses.
Mages come in all forms and sizes. Champions like Orianna, Syndra and Ryze are all part of this class. Mages deal most of their damage with their abilities. To cast abilities, Mages use mana, which is a very important resource to manage in Red Bull Solo Q. Reptilezero, the winner of the first International Solo Q Qualifier in EUW tells us that mana is the Mage’s biggest weakness. “When Mages run out of mana then they are forced to base and will lose so much gold/CS, and if they do not base, they will lose the round over time because CS-ing under turret as a Mage is a pain. The enemy will also be able to get turret plates, which puts Mage players even more behind”.
Ravenno calls Mages “a worse version of Marksmen in 1vs1”. However, Mages do have the all-in potential that ADCs usually don’t have. Hitting a clutch Orianna ultimate or a Ryze root can turn things around in an instant. Most Mages will play for the 100 CS win condition – but can kill if their opponent makes a mistake.
Tanks like Maokai, Sion, and Ornn are a rare sight in Solo Q. Reptilezero tells us that he would never play a tank in a 1v1 because they are weak against all ranged champions and lack damage. For Reptilezero, the only exception he would make is Ornn, “because of his item buying passive on the lane”. Ravenna tells us that he doesn’t really see tanks in the 1v1s that he has played in Solo Q.