Once upon a time, ARAM (All Random All Mid) was just a way to mess around in League of Legends. Players who were fed up with the game's usual exacting routines of farming, item builds, and carefully planned team fights wanted to just let loose. They wanted to freely use all the cool abilities LoL champions, and even try new ones without worrying if their inexperience was costing their team the game. Riot provided, creating a one lane map where the champions were random and the team fights were constant and wild.
Now, years later, ARAM is a semi-serious mode of its own. It's not going to become the next esport, but Riot is taking it seriously enough to actually experiment with balance changes. For the League Of Legends 9.7 patch, Riot is going to be temporarily adding several things to ARAM. Among these will be a new Summoner Spell, nerfs to ranged attacks, and the ability to ban champions.
Perhaps the most fascinating of these experiments is the addition of champion banning to ARAM. As the name suggests, ARAM is focused on chaos, assigning random champions to players and then pushing them against each other to force fights. While the random champion allocation will still happen, each team will now be allowed to ban one champion before the random selection occurs.
It's a move more in line with the competitive side of League of Legends. Players have been allowed to ban characters they find overpowered in ranked play for years now. To have it in the crazy fun mode, however, makes a different statement. Maybe some characters are just way too good in team fights. Crowd control abilities and long-distance poke can certainly ruin even the best player's ARAM strategies.
Speaking of, Riot is also throwing in ways to mitigate the dominance of ranged characters in ARAM. A universal debuff will be applied to attacks used from too much of a distance. A new Summoner Spell called Backtrack will create a shield around the caster and zoom them back towards their home base. It's geared more towards helping melee champions engage and back away safely, and will even work better for them then it will on ranged champs.
All of these changes are temporary, along with new ARAM-specific items, rune tweaks, and more. But if they're well received, Riot may make them permanent in some form. ARAM used to be the little side mode players used to escape the seriousness of classic League of Legends. It'll probably remain that, but now at least it will have a little less obnoxious poking.