We really needed the extra bans.

You've probably heard the term "Fearless Draft" thrown around in various League of Legends (LoL Esports conversations. If you want to learn more about Fearless Draft in LoL, read ahead.

What is Fearless Draft?

Fearless Draft is a fairly recent addition to top-tier professional leagues. It spices up the draft phase with additional bans and can be used for any game that isn't a best-of-one.

With 167 champions, soon to be 168, the five bans per team sometimes seem ineffective in restraining teams at the highest level of play. This is where Fearless Draft comes in. It adds restrictions to which champions can be picked during the draft phase.

Currently, the only major LoL Esports region that uses Fearless Draft is the League of Legends Pro League (LPL).

There are two types of Fearless: "soft" Fearless and "hard" Fearless.

Soft Fearless

In Soft Fearless, teams that pick a champion cannot pick that same champion for the rest of the series. However, the champion can still be picked by the enemy team.

An example scenario in a hypothetical T1 vs Cloud9 match would be:

  • T1 picks Thresh in Game 1
  • Cloud9 picks Nami in Game 1
  • T1 can pick Nami in Game 2, but cannot pick Thresh
  • Cloud9 can pick Thresh in game 2, but cannot pick Nami

The LPL is on this type of Fearless Draft.

Hard Fearless

In Hard Fearless, a champion picked once cannot be played by either team for the rest of the series.

An example scenario using the same T1 vs C9 match, but on Hard Fearless, would be:

  • T1 picks Thresh in Game 1
  • Cloud9 picks Nami in Game 1
  • T1 and Cloud9 cannot pick either Thresh or Nami for the rest of the series

The League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) Challengers League features Hard Fearless.

The North American Challengers League (NACL) will be using a modified version of Hard Fearless in its upcoming season. They will follow the rules above, but modify them slightly for best-of-five series, such that:

  • In Game 4, only three champions can be banned by each team
  • In Game 5, no champions can be banned by either team

In the scenario where a Game 5 occurs, the 40 champions previously picked in the series will act as the bans.