Now, losses happen in competitive video games, shock horror, but League of Legends holds a special place in the online world for being the largest example of people blaming others for their mistakes on an international scale. Frankly, the community is as toxic as it comes yet the title’s addictive formula and engaging edge keeps the world coming back to it time and time again.
The incentive for this addiction comes in tiers that a player can advance through, going from Bronze V all the way up to Challenger Tier. Gamers live and breathe through these tiers, so much so that a Gold player seems to look down on a Silver player with a mixture of pettiness and degradation. We all do it, hell, I am not exempt from the rage that this game unleashes but the points I’m about to make are all about how you can improve on the game as an individual by accepting some simple truths in the world of Ranked League of Legends.
1. Your Rank Doesn’t Make You a Better Player
Say what you like about ELO hell existing or not, this being the idea that one is trapped at a certain tier due to the teammates you are placed with despite your own skill level, but I do believe it exists. However one of the most fundamental issues people have on this game is that they think rank or division dictates the flow of the game. How often I have heard a gold III guy say, ‘oh wow I’m facing a Silver II scrub this will be a fast win’ and then subsequently loses his lane 0/3. Guaranteed this person won’t blame himself for being cocky, instead he will blame the jungler for lack of ganks, or the team for allowing this person to dominate his lane.
Newsflash, there is hardly ANY difference between a Gold I and Silver III player. Issues such as lack of communication, having a bad day or being forced into a role you’re not strong at does influence a person’s play. Thus checking an enemy’s tier through an online search system such as LolNexus is often counter-productive. If the person you’re facing is two divisions below you or three above it doesn’t matter. Stop treating your opponent like a breeze or an insurmountable challenge and just play each match on its own merits.
2. Champion Knowledge
This is a killer and it always shocks me as to just how many people do this. So you’ve won a couple of games in Ranked and you feel like a change of pace. You know that you’re a good ADC but instead you pick Sona support when you know near to nothing about her play style, item builds, team fight location or mechanics. Then you wonder why your ADC is raging at you when, had you been confident with your champion, their life could have been saved or a kill secured.
We all like to experiment with new champions, but that is what normal, unranked are for. Always play safe roles that you’re strong in, and don’t fall for peer pressure about particular, ‘counter-picks’ as well. Your opponent is Garen and you’re told to pick Teemo? If you can’t play Teemo play a champion you’re confident with. In the long run that knowledge of mechanics will serve you better than any individual counter.
Holy, mother of Moses, has this become a constant issue in Gold. Tied very closely to my first point the issue of over-confidence is a problem this game seems to generate with consistency. Text book example, the opposing team picks Shaco for their jungler. In a heartbeat my entire team is like, ‘LOL, they picked Shaco? Guys this is an absolutely easy win, who picks Shaco for ranked play?’ I kid you not, no more than ten minutes into the game this Shaco is six kills up, having decimated both our bottom and mid lane. What’s more, the team doesn’t consider the lack of wards, the opponent’s skill or their own play into this. It doesn’t matter is the jungler is Jarvan IV or Viktor, if your over-extending without wards, laughing all the way to tower because you consider their jungler pick to be weak and you die in a gank that is entirely your own fault and no one else’s.
A similar effect occurs when the enemy team selects Heimerdinger. I went against a Heimerdinger recently and my jungler Cho’ Gath couldn’t understand why I was losing out in farm and why his ganks weren’t working simply because the opponent was playing as Heimerdinger. With the exception of high ranked play the opposing champion pick really doesn’t matter (within reason) if that player is confident and aware of their mechanics then they are a threat. To condemn an opponent because of their champion pick is to invite failure. Furthermore, if you lose because of that then stop blaming others and wake up to the idea that this game is more than simply adhering to the meta set by professionals.
4. It’s a TEAM Game
“You want to 1v1 me *insert opposing lane champion here* I’ll wreck you”.
That, is perhaps the most common message I see on League of Legends. Why is this? It’s because players seem to believe that they can carry a match by themselves and when they are losing due to the other team having superior teammate skills they have to defend their pride by bullying the lane opponent they went against. Another example for you. I went top lane as Tryndamere against a Jax, I hate Jax. Suffice to say he destroyed my lane, killing me four times over, all the while he was sending me messages such as, “you’re so bad at this game, please uninstall”.
This Jax missed two vital points, one, I am playing as Tryndamere and therefore I knew, come late game, this Jax will die horrifically by my hands and two, this is a TEAM GAME. The rest of his team was struggling, with an overall score at the twenty minute mark being twelve kills to six kills in my teams favor. Baring in mind four of those kills were for Jax, instead of moving to help his other lanes through ganks or tower pressure he was happy enough to hammer me to death for another half an hour. Due to this his team had no damage as my teammates were able to win their respective lanes and I joined them to push through whilst this Jax stayed in top lane. We win and instead of this Jax realizing his mistakes he insults his team, telling his ADC to get cancer and that I was the worst Gold player he had ever met.
It’s laughable really that people believe truly savage insults will salvage a situation. League of Legends is a 5v5 team based game, it is won through pressing team advantages and supporting team objectives, not by dominating a single lane and staying rooted there whilst you blame the rest of your team for not reaching your skill level. The sooner people realize this then perhaps they may actually improve as a player.
5. Team Morale and Communication
Perhaps a culmination of all my previous points, it doesn’t matter what your champion pick is, what your kill to death ratio may be or what rank your opponent is, if you can’t communicate and work as a team member then you’re going to lose 80% of your games, if not more. By this I don’t mean be, ‘that guy’’ who communicates constantly with messages and strategic spam. Team-play is essentially organic and should be simple.
Ping when your opposing laner is missing, call your ss’s and help junglers with their buffs. If your team are pushing mid ask if they want you to join or push another lane. Are there no wards at Baron? Then be sure to plant one to allow for team awareness. If you go into a match thinking that you are superior to your teammates and the opposing team then disaster will strike. Lines such as, ‘I’m not listening to you’ or ‘I’m not going to work with these noobs’ are far too common place at all levels of play.
Your team is losing? Well buddy, farming all day long at top lane, staying afk at base or deliberately trolling your team does nothing but sow seeds of annoyance in your team and ruin an hour of your life. I think that’s what needs to be stressed most and where I differ from many people on this game. If you’re on playing ranked then it’s for one reason and that is to win it’s not just, ‘a game’ which many people dribble out as an excuse for their trolling antics or anger at a situation. All ten players in that match want to win and by asserting yourself as superior to others then you are going against what the game is designed for.
In many ways it’s like working on a team based project at school or university, believing that your ideas are better and ignoring the others simply lowers your marks and makes others less committed to getting the job done. Play to win yes, but work with the team. That isn’t rocket science and you may see an improvement if you do just that.
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