The Riot team has been asking this question since at least 2010. Blue would win around 4% more games than purple (which is now red) in 2010, a statistic that has remained steady throughout the years.
Wait a second. Isn’t it true that people with the blue side in a League of Legends game have a better chance of winning? Yes. However, is this really just an issue for low-elo players? Not exactly. The blue team will win around four out of seven games in the LCS (The Highest League Of Legends ELO), according to various studies.
Have Riot made any efforts to solve the problem? They have attempted, but they have not been successful. Riot has altered the camera angle on the red side, adjusted the red side’s MMR, given the advantage in pick and ban to the red team, and even stated that the red team minions are naturally superior.
So, what’s exactly going on here? What’s causing this problem and how can Riot fix it?
We’ve already established that the League of Legends’ blue side has an unfair advantage, but why?
Blue Side vs. Red Side
1. Blue Side Gets More Dragons & Rift Heralds
Blue has slightly more dragons and more rift heralds. This is significant since both of these objectives are early game goals that influence the rest of the game. Rift Herald can assist you in acquiring your first tower, while Dragon buffs are powerful buffs that last for the rest of the match.
2. Red Side Gets More Barons
Baron buffs are generally more beneficial for the red side, however, it’s becoming increasingly uncommon for a team to contest the Baron once they’re behind. The early game is crucial, and by the time Baron appears in the game may have already been decided. This really solidifies blue’s early-game advantage over Dragon.
After any given objective in a League of Legends match, the blue team has a higher chance of winning than the red team. It’s a bold assertion, but it’s backed up by numbers. In fact, the last time the red team had a better win percentage than the blue side was June 2016. And it only lasted for one patch.
So, what’s going on? Why does the blue team have an edge in League of Legends?
Why Is Blue Side Better Than The Red Side?
1. The Layout
Everyone knows that the blue side of a game of League of Legends isn’t the same as the red side. The map is mirrored. This implies that there is no symmetry axis at any one location on the map. The rift, for example, includes objectives like buffs or epic creatures that are flipped along a diagonal axis.
This has an influence since it allows the blue jungler easier access to the dragon throughout the early game. It’s simpler for them to ward the pit, steal, and dominate the river due to the bot lane tri brush. “But what about the Rift Herald, aren’t those advantages are the same for red Side?”
It’s different because the Rift Herald is on the top side of the map. Count how many players are on the bottom half of the map; add one for each player on top. They will turn out to be distinct. This modifies the dynamic in this region, making it considerably easier to sneak or fight around with only three people.
Junglers are more likely to farm because there’s less of a risk for 5v5 fights, and the blue side jungle ramp makes it easy for them to escape any lost battles near this objective.
The Baron is the final objective. While the Red team does have an edge over this goal in the later stages of the game, this advantage has largely vanished by the late game. This late-game advantage’s value is reduced by a loss of control of their own jungle as well as the chance that one team will be behind.
2. Pick Orders
Champion selection is the place where you can win or lose a game. Unfortunately, many gamers are unaware that through the pick and ban stage, it is entirely feasible to win the game outright.
In the pick and ban phase, the red team usually has an edge. It’s one of the few times that being on the red side is preferable to being on the blue. RIOT has employed this strategy as a way to combat the blue side advantage in-game. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, most players are oblivious to how to exploit this advantage effectively, especially in low elo.
“Red side can counter-pick every champion!”
That’s true, though the blue team gets to pick the first champion. This is an edge for certain patches, such as the Worlds Patch in 2015, when Gangplank and Mordekaiser were played in nearly every game. However, there are relatively few occasions where this occurs.
3. Blue Side Champions
There’s also the claim that certain champions will fare better on the blue side because of the terrain distinctions. When jungling on the red side, it’s more difficult to gank a pushed top lane since you’ll have to enter their jungle. This benefit is noticeable in characters who prefer to farm from afar rather than risk being killed in their lane.
Then there’s the jungle clear. If you’re on the blue team and want to start red buff, you’ll get a pull from your support and ADC. If you want to start red buff on the red side, only your top and maybe the mid will assist you.
This completely changes the timings on the jungle camps, but players could play around this, right? Kinda.
Even if you ward and gank well on the red side, the terrain advantage and river control still favor the blue team. Some junglers will always perform better on the blue side, no matter how hard you try.
But these advantages seem minor. There’s a chance the blue win rate maybe around 51%, but it has been as high as 54%! There must be something else going on.
4. Camera Angles
The League of Legends camera isn’t a simple rectangle. It’s a trapezoid. This implies you’ll notice more at the top of your screen than at the bottom. To put it another way, there is more space at the top of the screen than at the bottom. In addition, consider that the UI will obscure part of your screen’s bottom.
When you think about it, the blue side in League of Legends is facing up, giving them a significant edge. The League of Legends blue team will see more than the red team. That’s a big advantage for them.
But how can we know if the camera angle is significant? Let’s get rid of all the other stuff. One for All Mirror Mode is a good place to start.
There was a One for All Mirror Mode on the Howling Abyss, in which all ten players were the same champion. There was no dragon or Baron, and no pick and ban, and the map was entirely mirrored. This meant that apart from player skill, there were no distinctions between the two teams.
We can eliminate player skill from the equation if we take a big enough sample, allowing us to study the influence of the camera on red versus blue. Here’s what we discovered:
Across ~3500 games: Blue side won 1946 games and lost 1505 games.
The overall win rate of the League of Legends blue side is 56.4 percent. Is this significant? Probably. It’s possible that it supports the idea that camera angle has an impact, but we can’t measure it.
How Can Riot Nerf The Blue Side?
Realistically, there is only one option for Riot: to find a method to mirror the camera for both sides. This has previously been done in other games that have mirrored the camera, suggesting you’ll always be on the left side of the screen. The game goes even further by mirroring your input commands; you’re always on the left side of the map.
Unfortunately, the camera would not work on Summoner’s Rift due to the monster and epic monster spawn locations. Perhaps Riot might learn something from other games and find a solution to these problems with their camera. They could consider moving the UI for the red side or utilizing a new camera angle that will work for both sides.
Until Riot does take this into consideration, you’ll have an edge on the blue team every time.
While the blue team has a slight advantage in terms of camera angle and sight, there are ways for the red team to exploit this. The pick order is usually where the red team has an edge, as they can counterpick champions effectively. In addition, knowing about the camera angles and utilizing them to your benefit can give you a significant advantage over your opponent. As always, practice makes perfect – so be sure to put in the time playing League of Legends on both sides to improve your chances of winning!