Always Ban Irelia!
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Red Bull Solo Q winners tell us their must-ban champions

With 1v1 League of Legends tournament Red Bull Solo Q kicking off later this month, it’s time to talk tactics. So, who are the must-ban champions in 1vs1?
By Pieter van Hulst
Published on
Typically, League of Legends is a team game played five versus five. However, Red Bull Solo Q does things differently. In this tournament, it’s just you against your opponent in the top lane. This means that there’s no jungle interference, weird teleports or roaming supports to worry about. With a different set of win conditions, your goal is to outplay your opponent in the top lane. Because it’s such a unique setting, it’s important to know what is strong, weak and what to pick and what to ban. We’re here to help you start your Solo Q journey.
We talked with previous winners of Red Bull Solo Q to give you some in-depth knowledge about what champions you absolutely should not let through the ban phase because, let’s face it, some champions are just a tad too strong.
To decide what to ban in Solo Q, first, you need to understand what kind of champions are powerful in an isolated one versus one. Trevis, the winner of the national Solo Q tournament in Ireland tells us that champions with sustain are the most difficult to deal with. He says that champions like Tryndamere or Irelia “can easily kill you if you miss position and at the same time they can take pokes and still recover with their sustain.”

Irelia

All five Solo Q winners told us that Irelia is a must-ban champion in Solo Q. Reptilezero, the winner of the first international EUW Qualifier in 2020, explains that Irelia wins every single melee match-up because of her five-stack passive. He also says ranged champions have a difficult time dealing with her “because they are squishier and Irelia has three potential Q dashes/engages if she hits her E and R. This means that an excellent Irelia player with outplay potential (dashing to the minions to dodge abilities etc.) should win all matchups.”
Kalista is also a champion that comes up often while discussing the different ban options with the winners. Trevis tells us that she’s one of the strongest champions in Solo Q because “she can CS easily and keep a distance from the enemy while poking and being able to fight long trades as well.” Other ADCs like Lucian and Tristana are popular as well. Being able to deal damage while keeping your enemy at arm’s length is very useful in an isolated top lane where there is no flank from a potential jungler. ADCs can play as aggressively as they want while only having to keep track of their 1v1 opponent.

Scouting

However, not every ban can simply be done by the book. The winners also say that it’s really important to study your opponents before going into a match against them. This can be done simply by using one of the many websites that the League API is linked to to look at your opponent’s match history and see what they have played in previous matches.
For example, if your opponent is mainly an ADC main, it might be a good idea to ban champions like Tristana, Lucian or Kalista. If your opponent mainly plays top or mid, you should definitely see if they have played Solo Q powerhouse Irelia, just to check if it’s worth banning or not.

Counters

If you have a hard time finding out what your opponent likes to play, then consider banning your own counters. Reptilezero tells us that he likes playing Lucian, Darius and Pantheon, and depending on the champion that he likes to play, he bans either Draven or Quin – since they counter his favourite champions.
One final thing to consider is your own win condition. Do you want to win by killing your opponent or hitting that 100CS mark first? If you want to win through killing, make sure to ban champions that prevent that quick first blood. Assassins usually don’t like playing against beefy top laners. While control Mages, that like to win by CSing, might have an easier time winning without champions like Akali, Zed or Irelia in their game.
Hopefully you’ve learned a little more about choosing the correct bans for the next Solo Q tournament. However, there’s a lot more to learn before you head out on the rift. Make sure to keep an eye out for more tips and tricks to help you win in Solo Q later this month.