Many people who play League of Legends will spend a good part of their time smashing their fists and gnashing their teeth. This is because they play solo queue and have become hooked on the idea of raising their Elo to a level they believe they belong at, which is most of the time greatly inflated and divorced from reality.
Caught in the vice like grip of the Dunning–Kruger effect they persevere with the exercise, bemoaning the bad players that hold them back when they lose, triumphantly trumpeting their own ability when they win, but never really grasping the reality of the situation. Sure, there are bad players in solo-queue and maybe Elo isn’t a great measure of individual skill. However, there’s no wider reaching conspiracy in the bowels of the internet to make sure every time you play you are put on the same team as four hallucinating, blind morons with no hands.
Solo Queue is a shock to the system. People who have played non-ranked games and done well always struggle to come to terms with what it is. They can’t believe that some of the things that go on do, they can’t believe that they have to put up with it and they can’t believe that they can’t emerge from every game victorious. Well, if you’ve not ventured into it yet or if you have and you’re having a bad time, how about instead of getting mad you just get better?
This is probably the most important part of the process of improving your game. While many will debate the existence of “Elo Hell”, there can be no denying the existence of “MOBA Madness” – namely the condition where MOBA game players feel compelled to blame the lost games on other players, ignoring their own shortcomings and focusing on the perceived failures of others, most of the time them not being real. In the same way they say the first step to alcoholism is admitting you have a problem, you have to admit that maybe you’re nowhere near as good as you think you are to allow for improvement.
You might believe that the blame never can be laid at your doorstep but the reality is that most games can be salvaged if you want to focus on what needs to change as opposed to who’s to blame. For example the feeder who is getting owned in the solo lane… You’ve typed the abuse as he’s died for the third time but have you done something about it? Have you offered to change lanes, got the jungler to babysit, co-ordinated mass ganks until the opposite hero has been brought back down in line with everyone else? Chances are you haven’t because it’s far easier to call him a shitter, spam tab looking at your own score and think to yourself “I’m fucking owning IT’S ALL THESE NOOBS HOLDING ME BACK”. Then it happens to you and you spend your time typing “OMG TEAM HELP ME”.
Mentally you also have to get past the whole Elo thing. Not everyone you play with is going to be of a similar level to you because some are passing through your Elo in an upward trajectory and even more in a downward trajectory. However, the best players can adapt and work with what is happening around them and raise the game of those below them. If you can’t then you might have to brace yourself for playing a shit ton of games for the law of averages to give you all the breaks you think you’re due.
There are so many ways you can influence the game if others around you aren’t performing to turn what looks like a loss into a win. If a carry is struggling to get into the game in terms of farming or is too many kills behind to catch up for the late game, then you know you need to end it quickly. Pushing lanes and taking towers when possible should be a priority. If you don’t commit to this or convey this to the players around you then you’re as much to blame as they are.
Just remember that no game is going to have everything you think you need to win. You’ll get the troll pick, insta-lock, Master Yi who should have been a ranged carry. You’ll get the guy who says he’ll play support then spends all his money on attack items. You’ll bemoan the player who doesn’t counter-pick a champion and chooses someone who is naturally weak against the one he’ll be facing because it’s the only one he can play competently. Most of the things you think you NEED to win you don’t. No fighter goes into a bout 100% after training, no team is at their optimum in a tournament and certainly the chances of everything coming together in solo queue are so remote you will discover extraterrestrial life before you play that perfect game. Just roll with it and stop moaning.
Ultimately the key thing to accept is that you’re not perfect, almost certainly far from, and you have a lot to learn. Even if you feel you play at a high Elo, realise that given the sheer volume of players this really doesn’t single you out as special and there’s always ways to improve your game. Stop blaming everyone else and accept that you contributed to the loss as well, even if you “carried”, and you’ll be much better off down the road when you’ve been able to identify weaknesses in your own game.
If this sounds obvious I would urge you to watch a replay of yourself playing. See all that needless auto attacking you’re doing on that creep wave? You don’t even know you’re doing it and here’s why you are – because at early levels it’s a lot harder to get a guaranteed last hit on a minion because you do less damage. So you cheat a little and you give them two, three, four little blasts to the face. No harm done right? You got the gold.
Before you know it you’re camped right next to their tower pinning them back and thinking “I’m fucking bossing this lane… Look at them. Their tower is taking all the farm. What a fucking pro”. You don’t think about the ward that ran out ten seconds ago, just enough time for their jungler to pop out of the shrubs like a viper and before you know it you’ve been slapped with exhaust and fucked three ways. You rage at the support for not buying wards, you rage at your jungler for no ganks bottom and you rage at the game for being so stupid that you can’t just kill three heroes by spamming the Q button because fuck it, you’re better than these players. In reality the only person deserving of any anger is yourself because you can’t fucking last hit.
The concept of last hitting is so integral to any MOBA game that to not do it is the same as playing a game of chess but refusing to take pawns. If you last hit you keep your lane neutral, conferring no advantage to people attacking you and you are guaranteed gold. Gold gives you items, items beef up your damage or defence, this makes you win fights, which gives you more gold and so on and so forth.
Timing last hits at earlier levels can be difficult, especially with heroes that don’t do a lot of damage early game. Ideally you should be stood behind your own wave just picking off the minions as they reach low health. Once you’ve mastered your hero you will recognise the sweet spot, the amount on the health bar, that will give you the desired result. Until you have mastered this though you have absolutely no bragging rights in ranked play.
The other cardinal sin when it comes to the matter of farming is the number of players who think that best approach to winning a lane is constantly burning mana attacking their opponent. Early game the focus shouldn’t be on having a level 1 tear up with your opponent, it should be on farming minions. Indeed if you think about logically the only impetus there is to kill an opponent is because it removes them from the process of farming minions and defending towers for a set time. It’s not the goal in and of itself.
A huge number of players who have flooded into LoL from other titles carry the attitude that you have to be getting lots of kills in order to be considered a good player. However there’s lot of ways to be “successful” that can only be analysed at the end of the game. How much damage did you deal? How much damage did you tank? Well, if you want to boost those scores you’re going to need items and the way to get that is to farm minions.
There’s a world of difference between harassment, zoning and constantly initiating battles to the death because you want DA KILLZ. A good player is going to try and keep an opponent’s health low enough so killing them when an opportunity presents itself is easy enough, but not so low they feel the need to unload back on you or bite the bullet and recall just before an incoming gank. But of course, any time they spend out the lane NOT FARMING means that, provided you use that time to farm yourself, you are winning.
If you can see that you’re playing against someone who is going to constantly harass, a player who is looking to towerdive you with no boots at the first opportunity, don’t play them at their own game. Just be passive, last hit and wait for the jungler to do his rounds. These players always get owned because they don’t even understand the game they are playing and there’s nothing more satisfying them watching one of them type “OMG 3 OF U?” when they get rinsed, leaving you to add to an already healthy farm and smash the game out the park late game.
Even if you’re having a bad time in terms of kills to deaths don’t get deterred from sticking to the plan. Don’t go looking for some cheap kill steal in a lane you shouldn’t be in while a wave of red goes untouched that would have put 300 gold into your account in less than ten seconds. Scores only give an indicator of who is on point and as long as you’re not feeding like an Italian’s mum chances are you can be confident, if you’re farming and spending the money wisely, you’re making a difference. Assists are an under-rated measure in the minds of the average player.
|Richard Lewis // Richard_Lewis|
Posted 10 months ago: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 00:25:54 +0100
|North Am||May 24||China|
|CPH Wolv||LIVE||EYES ON|
|More results ...|