This questions got in my mind when I was watching the LoL World Championships. I do not know who it was, but one of the broadcasters made a statement like this:

When playing on red side you always want to ban Alistar.

(Well, I'm not quite sure if it was when playing on red side or on blue side)

I have a decent knowledge about team composition but I did not really understand this statement. Even though it would be interesting to get the answer to such a specific question like "Why is Alistar regarded to be stronger at red side?", I want to ask a more general question instead:

Why are some champions considered to be better at blue/red side?

Even if this does not matter in Soloqueue, I do not see why the side you are playing on influences the strength of any champion.

  • 7
    Jutschge answer incoming... Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 8:07
  • Or the red side kassadin ban
    – Damek
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 8:10
  • short answer: mostly because of the bushes, jungle leashes, dragon and baron Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 8:23
  • 1 reason I know is when purple side's bottom lane overextended up to the 3rd bush (closest to the blue) and Alistar just ruins their day.
    – Randomizer
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 2:20

4 Answers 4


Haidros answer is correct but pick and ban popularity aren't the only reason. There are still 2 (or 3 depending on how you see it) things in the game that show benefits or disadvantages to a certain team.

Dragon is closer to the Blue team but leaves more space to fight when the purple team approaches from their jungle. This is especially important during early and midgame since everyone wants the winged lizards head during these game-stages. Also champions like Lee sin that can just jump into the pit to steal it are slightly stronger when played on the blue side, since the jungle behind dragon is Blue-Territory and thus much safer for Blue team. Trying to steal a Dragon during Early and midgame is usually much harder for Purple Team than for the blue team. These things don't apply to baron, since you usually kill him in lategame and there the jungle territory isn't that impactful anymore.

The Tri-Bushes
This is by far the biggest difference when it comes to team-specific champion viability. There are two Tri-Bushes, one on the bottom lane and one of the top lane. Both team have a disadvantage there. The toplane for Purple side and the Bottom lane for Blue side. The tribush allows you to cut off or siege a laner which makes escaping ganks extremely difficult. You usually want to pick a champion with a good gapcloser or disengage on the respective handicapped lane. At the same time champions that have hard CC or even heavy Knockback spells (Lee-Sin, Janna) are extremely strong in ganking said disadvantaged lanes.

For your point about banning Alistar:
If you bait a fight as alistar and you manage to headbutt your opponent further into your lane, there's almost no chance of escaping an incoming jungle (+ midlaner) gank from the tri-bush. That's the main reason why he's so scary.

  • Dont forget river bushes (rengar love them)
    – kiwixz
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 20:48

You're right, most of the time the side you are playing on doesn't really influence the strength of any champion. (Debatable with Nautillus maybe if you consider walls)

The reason why the casters said that red (purple) side should ban alistar is so that blue side don't get it.

In draft mode (bans included), blue side pick the first champion after each side bans 3 champions. Purple then pick 2, blue pick another 2, purple pick another 2, then blue pick their last 2 champions, while purple pick their last champion.

Thus blue side is most likely to pick the champion they most desire first to keep it away from purple side. And Alistar is great top lane and is well wanted from both teams.

  • 1
    I think you forgot some coffee. You got the last 2 mixed picks messed up: 1B, 2P, 2B, 2P, 2B, 1P
    – clcto
    Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 15:00

Aside from the differences in draft order and map layout, there is also the perspective.

Blue side players will generally have the enemy towards the top of their screen, where the view is wider, while purple side players will have enemies on the bottom of the screen, where the view is more constrained, both by perspective and by the UI elements. Because of this difference, champions who rely on long-range skillshots tend to do better on blue side where they don't have to fiddle with the camera as much.


One example I can think of is top lane Nunu. If you're on red side, you are closer to the Golems which will allow you to consume them on a regular basis to get the 10% bonus hp. If you're on blue side, you'll be closer to the Wight, which gives you the Spooky Mystery Meat buff. "Killing a unit grants Nunu 15% bonus movement speed for 3 seconds." While that's useful, the 10% max hp is going to be more useful in laning phase.

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