One Trick vs. Main – What’s The Difference?


There is a wide variety of player types in League of Legends. This is perfectly natural in a game that has over 150 Champions and 12 years of history behind it. With so many roles, classes and options, it is inevitable that infinite playstyles would emerge. 

Out of these many, two are always highlighted as umbrella terms: One Trick Pony and Main. Two terms are closely related yet visibly different; these truly represent most League of Legends players. 

Some if not all of you have heard of one if not both of these terms. Thus, you might wonder what they mean and their similarities and differences. 

I can bluntly answer this question for you. However, to keep it an actual article, I will have to delve a little bit deeper than that. I will detail these playstyles and then face them against each other for comparison. 

So, without further ado, let us begin! 

Also read: Is Yasuo Broken Right Now?

What is One Trick (OTP)? 

An OTP player is someone who strictly and exclusively plays a single Champion. This is sometimes extended to a particular role/playstyle but usually connected to a particular Champion rather than anything else. 

These players have likely played the game for a while and have become accustomed to all the game has to offer. In their prolonged exposure to the game’s variety, they’ve found something that just works for them. 

This can be reflected in many things, while primarily being a set of Champions or just one single Champion. They will keep to this singularity for as long as they can, for many reasons. I’ve spoken in much more detail about this playstyle in our OTP article, so be sure to check it out. 

Some pros and cons are surrounding this sort of playstyle. The pros are, of course, insane knowledge and skill in the particular field they are OTP-ing. The cons manifest in the lack of knowledge, skills, and understanding of other roles.

 This can have detrimental effects on their gameplay as they might find themselves in situations where they don’t know how to play against a certain Champion, playstyle, or role. 

Despite mainly being seasoned players, League of Legends is a live and changing environment. Not updating your senses with the latest changes in the game will eventually pile up and cause you to start losing matchups that would otherwise be easy. 

I won’t go on much longer on OTPs, as our more extensive article about them is much more descriptive and detailed than I could say here. 

What are Mains? 

Main players are players who pick out a particular role, class, or Champion that they turn into their main. This means that this will be their preferred and primary pick in most situations. 

Mains can often change and shift depending on what’s the current meta or what the player finds most suitable at the moment. For example, I am a Top Lane main, which means I will play Top in 90% of my games. However, if my tastes change through time, I might find myself maining Bot, Mid or Jungle. 

I have, of course, mained all of the above at some point in my extensive League of Legends experience. Mains can and usually do turn into OTPs. This has happened to me, and I am basically a Top Lane Jax OTP right now. However, I do not explicitly play that single combination and often diverge from it based on situations. 

I know this might seem like some personal rambling, but I am trying my best to explain through my own experience. Technical talk is not all that great when you’re trying to teach people something. 

Next, I will compare the two since many of you reading will have questioned the vast similarities between these two terms. 

Also read: Best CC Champions

What’s the Difference? 

The difference is slight but easily explainable. While Mains can change on a whim and are often more than one, OTPs are somewhat of an evolution of the Main. 

The Main can keep to a specific role or Champion for a while, opting for something else as they progress. OTPs spend a lot of time playing the game and have already likely mained multiple roles, Champions or classes. Thus, they’ve found something that seems the ultimate combination for them and their particular tastes. 

Mains and OTPs can go hand in hand depending on what stage of player development you’re at. However, OTPs are undoubtedly the final stage in the player’s evolutionary path. 

Each player in League starts off as an explorer – an adventurer seeking to investigate every nook and cranny of the game. They come across many combinations, Champions, mechanics, and they learn so many different things on their adventure. 

Naturally, they will eventually pick out one of these things and stick with it for a bit longer. The Mains can shift, the OTPs stay attached. That’s the core difference. 

Also read: Best Mobility Champions

Conclusion

While seemingly identical, the two playstyles are critically different in some ways. At some point, every player in League becomes one of these two, and that’s fine. We all have something we love, something we hate, etc. There’s not a single player that can do everything and love it. Well, except for the guys over at Dignitas some years ago, but that’s a beautiful story we’ll have to keep for another day. 

I hope you’ve found this article informative and enjoyable to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift! 



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