My Journey to Getting an S With Every League of Legends Character in ARAM — Should You Try To?
League of Legends has been growing as a game for years. As a player who joined in Season 2, I've seen it grow every which way — from a massive map overhaul to dozens of characters getting reworked. Over the years, I moved on from the competitive Ranked mode of Summoner's Rift and instead jumped into ARAM because my wife and I are both Support mains, and the pain of either of us having to do the torturous task of playing ADC was... quite frankly, too much for either of us to care for the game mode. So, I did the heinous act of becoming an ARAM-only player, and over the years, I found a lot of enjoyment in the randomised game mode, but never quite so much as when Challenges were introduced.
When Challenges first appeared, I was surprised to see various ARAM-focused ones, especially considering that although Riot Games does a great job at paying attention to their lesser-loved game modes, it didn't seem like ARAM would get this type of love and upgrade. With it came a slew of challenges I wanted to undertake, none of which I thought I would be able to attain. From getting the title ARAM God to getting various of the Challenges to Challenger, it brought new life to the game in a way that I didn't anticipate. None, however, did this nearly as much as the (now retired) All Random All Champions: 2022 and All Random All Champions.
For the uninitiated, the All Random All Champions is an ARAM-exclusive Challenge that asks you to play as every character and get an S- or higher (the best rank you can get). While the former has now been retired, I was able to nab the #44 spot after the season ended. Though I was disappointed to see that the Challenge is now a limited one that only counts up to 150, you can still keep track of how many champions you have an S on both in-game and out of it, with Darkintaqt bringing back the leaderboards that the client has removed. From there, it became a challenge that I didn't think I would ever succeed in: I wanted to get an S with every champion in the game and "complete" the challenge once and for all.
While I've dabbled in a fair bit of League of Legends and taken up challenges that I thought would be unsurmountable, All Random All Champions takes the prize as one of the hardest undertakings I've done not only in the title but also in gaming overall. While getting to Gold (and later Platinum) was a mountain of its own, All Random All Champions forced me to get out of my comfort zone and not only play characters I'm not comfortable with but to get good enough to get the best rank possible with them. There were a fair share of hurdles I faced, and many of these slowly moved this challenge up to one of the achievements I am most proud of in gaming.
The first challenge I encountered was playing the characters that are considered "overpowered", with various players being able to perform feats of strength that would shame Hercules. From Samira to Master Yi and Katarina, the characters that are traditionally known as the mode-wide favourites, meant I had to fight not only against global threat caused by even picking these characters but also outdo all of those that play them, many of which main them.
While these were hard in their own regard, I was surprised that it wasn't the hardest one. Snowballing ensured that I could keep a lead for long enough to see the game through with minimal targeting or mistakes. This does mean that there were moments I got overzealous and dived the tower a few too many times, but after learning my lesson, I was capable of playing smarter and securing a win.
The second challenge was the more "niche" characters and the other end of the spectrum — the few that no one actually likes. While you'd expect that these should be easier because no one performs well with them (Udyr, Skarner, Sion), the truth is that those who do pick these characters are usually doing so willingly, meaning they are good with them.
These proved to be a far greater challenge than the others because oftentimes, I was fighting an uphill battle of poke, slows, and CC that stopped me from performing well enough to get an S. After all, I could survive through the entire round and bear through it, but performing well was an imperative part of the equation. Farming was out of the question with some compositions or characters, and killing was a tall order.
The hardest bit of All Random All Champions was actually the end. With around 10 champions to go, it became a task to get to pick one I hadn't gotten an S with, and whenever I did, it was often a character I'd played several times and failed. This section was mostly comprised of supports and champions I was simply not good at, and it was difficult to practice and "git gud" considering there were several rounds — oftentimes days — between me being able to get them. Practising through repetition was out of the question, so instead, I was forced to try my hardest with every round.
Interestingly enough, one of the characters I was most confident I'd get it on was one of the hardest: Malphite. As the second-to-last character to get an S on, I thought the consistent all-dive mentality players have would mean a tank build or hybrid ability power/health would be easy, but round after round, I consistently got A or A+. It didn't help that sometimes, Malphite was a highly contested champion, so just because he was part of the pool of champions I could play didn't mean I had the honour of doing so.
And finally, Yuumi was a mixture of all three categories, and she proudly takes the finale. As a niche champion that is often considered overpowered and semi-contested, getting her was the first part of the battle, as afterwards, it meant I had to beat ludicrous expectations that supports have, let alone Yuumi, who can easily get 100% kill participation with a death or less. Single-handedly, Yuumi took me several weeks of repetition and trying, as there were times I performed what I would deem expertly... only to get an A+. Supports are ranked for their shields given, healing done, damage mitigated, all the while, their score and Kill Participation — from all of the roles, Support was the hardest of them all.
Likely, the biggest challenge with Yuumi was actually that it oftentimes felt random. While getting her was a challenge of its own, ensuring I had a hyper carry that didn’t tower dive in overzealous ways or a team that didn’t consistently lose teamfights was the hardest part of it all. Despite playing her for weeks and her being the conclusion to the challenge, it was kind of… anticlimactic. The challenge didn’t end in an explosive 1v5 Pentakill round because it was the champion I was least confident with — unlike in most others where I could trust my own skill, Yuumi required a team that I could rely on. And despite Yuumi being one of the champions I least liked in the entirety of League of Legends because of her playstyle, I found that I couldn’t wait to play her again, even after ending the challenge with her.
The biggest appeal of All Random All Champions was actually that it was so difficult. Being one of only 28 people (at the time of writing) to have all 164 champions with an S- or higher, it's a journey I cherish. Despite the arduous matches I had and tear-inducing rankings I got where I felt I should have received an S, it was incredibly enjoyable to have to change my strategy and learn how to play with each new character — their abilities, builds, power spikes, snowballing opportunities... But, despite all of that, my favourite aspect of All Random All Champions is how much I learned to love characters from it.
There were times when I felt I was going to be stumped and get stuck. Whenever I was faced with some of my greatest hurdles (looking at you, Gwen), I found love for the characters in ways I didn't anticipate to. The challenge gave me a new perspective on champions I wasn't willing to try and learn to get good with, and whenever I finally did get the S, I found one of two things — I either felt catharsis at the idea of never having to play them again, or I just couldn't wait until the opportunity to do so one more time. This is why I can't recommend at least humouring the idea of All Random All Champions more — it enrichened ARAM in ways I didn't anticipate both pre- and post-completion. You might not have the opportunity to reach all 164 S required to finish the challenge... but I didn't think I could, either. And with every new champion came a wave of doubt that was overwashed when I did finish, and I did win, and I did face my new challenge…
Until today — at the time of writing — I finished it. My seemingly Sisyphean task was overcome, and despite the countless moments of doubt, I found that out the other side, I was able to beat it. And whether you get 164, 150, or even just a few dozen, you might just find an equal love for the challenge and a new admiration for yourself.
Oh, and in strange luck, all of my progress was (partly) documented by Nvidia Geforce, as every time I hit CTRL+Q to max my abilities, I got a screenshot of that round (until I stopped playing in fullscreen, unfortunately). So, all of the images are all captured from the rounds I was trying to get an S on each character.