[Solo Q Secrets #003] The Skills Of Strangers (Or... Not)
NOTE 1: I don't have ELO to back me up. My rank sucks, but I still have wisdom to share, and I do play with many high-ELO friends. I've written a book about League, and I run my own business as a life-coach.
I share what I've learned here aimed to help others. I offer people Fresh, Creative Ideas they may not have heard. I offer a chance to EXPERIMENT and potentially IMPROVE your game EXPERIENCE.
I know you can appreciate the time it took to write, and I trust you'll be gentle and kind.
But, hey... if you gotta hate, or take sides, or pick fights -- best of luck to ya, I'm sure it'll take you far in life ;)
NOTE 2: Like my other Solo Q “Secrets”, these are just my own experiences, and conclusions I’ve discovered. I’m a human being, I’m sharing things I feel will help others. They are SUGGESTED EXPERIMENTS.
[Solo Q Secrets #003] The Skills Of Strangers (Or... Not)
Will the skills of 4 strangers shine and deliver a victory if those players don’t have a handle on:
What I’m trying to say is this:
If you had the most talented player in the world, his micro insane, his ability to win fights – epic, but he instantly pissed his 4 teammates off because of his failure to co-operate or be flexible, and he only used those skills to win his lane, and his lane only, because he was completely blind and unaware of the morale and skills of the other lanes, and he didn’t lead, communicate, teach, advise kindly, gently or well… would he be helping win the game?
If so, how much?
What’s more important, some l33t builds and skills and lots of practice, or co-operation, awareness, and communication?
Can you have both?
I say... Sure.
But what are the chances that Riot’s gonna match you up with 4 people who are:
Slim to none! :)
Because Riot's match-making formula doesn’t measure those traits yet, and it works off of wins, losses, rank, etc.
So it might help to recognize:
In 5s solo queue, you’re gonna be teamed up with 4 strangers, maybe of similar skill levels, but of hugely different maturity levels.
So what happens next?
You’re plunged straight into a 5 vs. 5 wargame/eFootball, with very little prep time, with a bunch of strangers.
And you need to know who’s best.
It's key to know who’s the leader; the carry for your team.
When you have 5 people together, there’s basically no chance that they’ll all be equally good players, overall.
One of the 5 on your team will be “the best”, but not just the best in skill, they’ll be the best in map awareness, in leading, in making wise moves – and they’re the one’s that need the farm.
And here’s my experiment for you to try, solo queue secret 3 is all about knowing how to handle the skills of strangers, so here’s two ways to handle this, experiment with them!
1. You figure out who’s a good player, leader, etc., who’s friendly, mature, able to co-operate and communicate, and you admit that they feel the smartest—and you help them carry. This may even mean that you die so that they can live and continue their killing spree or assist spree of whatever. It’s np, you’ll respawn, and you’re feeding your teams MVP.
2. You assume that for the next 20-60min or so, you’re the most valuable player on your team, and you very clearly, very selfishly, keep yourself alive and fed no matter what. You steal farm from weaker players who wont even use it well, and you basically aim to single-handedly win the game vs. the other team, and if any of your 4 teammates help… “bonus.”
The faster you can choose one of these methods, the smoother your game will go.
It’s when you’re going back-and-forth, acting like you’re the best and letting everyone else burn and derp around, and then suddenly deciding “oh wait, that other guy does seem smart, maybe I’ll co-operate with him”,etc. – that things go less smooth.
If you choose way #1, you wont rage as much or have a problem dying or being under-farmed, just so that Power Darius on your team can own.
You may even choose champs that can get by with less gold and farm, because you can tell someone in your pre-game is an excellent player/carry (Alistar, I’m looking at you).
If you choose way #2, you wont rage as much because you’ll be using every ability you have to stay alive and get fed and ‘ks’ and ‘steal farm’, while the other 4 on your team crash and burn … or maybe help, if you’re lucky.
You may even choose AOE farm champs who practically auto-feed themselves (Mordekaiser, I’m looking at you.)
Experiment with *figuring out who’s the best* in your team of 5, as well as experimenting with *assuming you’re the best* in your team of 5, and see what works for you.
No one talks about or thinks about this stuff much -- but to me -- it’s a key aspect of Solo Q’ing with strangers.
Just this single skill I feel will help your game-experience in a big way, and it's something I'm experimenting with myself lately!
Hope you enjoyed it, and I’d love to hear your results, happy solo q'ing!
Like this? Read more of the series:
[Solo Q Secrets #001] Surrendering Wins Games
[Solo Q Secrets #002] Boring S*** Gets You Kills
[Solo Q Secrets #003] The Skills Of Strangers (Or... Not)
[Solo Q Secrets #004] ELOs Like Money - Use It Wisely
[Solo Q Secrets #005] P-P-P-P-P-Pokerface.
[Solo Q Secrets #006] Breathe In (The Soul-Crushing Defeat)
[Solo Q Secrets #007] Clash Of The Titans … Personalities
[Solo Q Secrets #008] Kills, Kills, Kills… Using Smart Aggression Secrets
[Solo Q Secrets #009] Make Sense Of The Chaos
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Thanks so much, guys!
Best, most sound and fundamentally practical installment of your series I've read. Win or lose if one applies the exercise with diligence and honesty, I think they're likely to come out with a big fat plus. Now if only there were more u-tube videos to help people develop awareness, communication and co-operation, all of which are fairly complex skills to "develop" (say from a void...) in a game--sport!? with a huge learning curve (At least for most who may not have any experience with RTS/gaming or whatnot).
Thanks for this jewel of a contribution to the community!
You had my upvote as soon as you said "morale" and not "moral".
+1 to you, good sir.
The problem with this is that if I'm the best player on the team we lose 100%. If I play support, not only do we lose 100% but I also get to have zero fun watching my adc feed the enemies for 50+ minutes while I get so little xp I become a free kill - but leaving is supposedly worse than trying to play when you get oneshotted?
Most of the time the people who fed the hardest won't even surrender, just to force you to stay in something as unfun as possible while they presumably have fun laughing at how horrible they make the game for everyone around them.
I've been playing for a little over a month. In order to have fun at this game I would have to somehow magically be such a pro player in this little amount of time to carry 4 feeders to victory who don't deserve it. But if I don't, it means I just get put in with the same type of people again.
Because I'm not even level 30 yet, losing not only means losing, it means I'll take even longer to hit 30 and have a chance to get placed in with people who play the game instead of just trolling the game constantly.
It's just not fun anymore. When I started out I didn't know what I was doing and it was fun. Now that I know what I'm doing I'm expected to magically be a pro in order to have any fun at all. There's absolutely nothing I can do to improve at this point, except for time playing a hellish game where I get trolled every single match.
I can't practice adc because there's never a support on my team, but always one on the other team. I can't practice mid because I can't afford runes for it. I can't practice jungling because not being 30 means I take too much damage and don't get enough xp from it to do anything at all to affect the game if I jungle. I can't practice solo top because whenever there's actually a jungler our team, the other team doesn't have one and it's me vs2 op champs that can towerdive and kill me at level 2. I had to stop playing support because every time I did, the adc would repeatedly suicide onto the other team's carry and then I'd be stuck completely helpless as they got so far ahead I'd just get oneshotted over and over and over and over and over and over and over... by their support.
I've had fun once in the past 3 weeks. Maybe I should just stop playing. It doesn't get better.
A friend of mine, who has been playing for half a year, invited me to a game. Now, for the record, I'm a good player, but I've never experienced level 30, or ranked yet, so I was basically dragged from the minileague into the pro league. I am lvl 25. I occasionally play against level 30's, but by joining my level 30 friend, I got into a match with mostly level 30's that have experience of over 500 matches. I also rarely play draft pick.
So, what happened is the following;
I ended up picking Lulu as a bottom support. I like Lulu, I'm also very good with Lulu. Sadly, what I forgot to calculate was the fact that we were up against Blitz + Graves. Why Blitz wasn't on a ban is beyond me, but Lulu isn't exactly the best pick against Blitz, since she's slow and not very tanky. So that's my first big mistake right there.
The second mistake, was made by my bottom lane partner. He chose Kog-Maw, which is great when you have the combined power to pressure a lane, but with my overal squishiness and with the range on Blitz' grab, combined with the diving Graves, I could not pressure the lane enough to keep Kog- Feeding. I warned him before the match started, but he stuck to Kog.
Early at the start, I took 3 Wards, 2 potions and manaregen. I warded the bush in the cross to mid and the bush on the map border side. I then proceeded to deal damage to the minions to prep them for last hit. Apparently that's something wrong, so after a few seconds I was told to stop. I asked for a reason, which was that we pushed the tower too early. I can see that point of view, so I stopped. Makes sense to me, not so much to the Kog Maw, who kept repeating that I sucked and didn't get the game and how I should uninstall, even though I only set up 3! minions for last hit and didn't even take any CS in the process. He then proceeded to complain that I didn't set up wards (we were pushed back to our tower and I had just warded the bush close to our tower, but my bot to mid lane ward had run out.)
Kog kept getting hit by Graves. My mana couldn't cope with shielding all the time and my CD's weren't al that low yet, so instead, I decided to try and poke Graves out with Q. Everytime I tried it, Graves dived in and shot me with a volley. Kog went completely berserk. Accused me of trying to get CS, in caps, and proving that with the CS I had taken when Kog had to teleport back to base. He kept on claiming that all the shots I fired (even the ones that didn't hit any minions) weren't meant to poke out Graves, but rather to take CS from him.
Things went from bad to worse. I was just typing to reply to him, when he decided that he was the only one entitled to an opinion and he dived straight in. Completely suicidal, in my opinion, but since I was typing, it was definitely lethal. He died within seconds. The rage and demoralizing comments didn't stop from that point. He threatened to report me and kept that up pretty much the entire game. Even when I started having a positive effect on the match when the teamfights started (took 5 speed boots and ran around warding pretty much everything) he found ways to belittle me. I hadn't warded dragon and baron, which I should have done, he said. But our current state was so bad, that we couldn't even leave our own half, let alone prevent a dragon or baron kill. I had warded every jungle crossing, using all my money on 10 wards at a time to keep us going. I was there with my Ult every time we went in, but I was completely pulled into negative thinking by this particular player. I somehow couldn't even muster any willpower anymore to play my best.
We lost that match, inevitably and I lost the match that followed. I picked Leona, with which I rarely lose, and ended up with 0/7/1. I had to crawl through the dust, realizing that in that one stunning game, I had been completely cut off from any logical action in my brain. It felt like I was sedated. I played like a wet noodle trying stand up straight. I probably got reported for feeding in that one game and I wouldn't even blame them.
I didn't realize, up till this moment, even though people can be angry, even though people can get mad, that such demoralizing speeches can have such an effect on you in a game. I made mistakes, I won't contest it, but I've never seen myself play like that before. Thankfully my team seemed to agree on the toxic behavior, because they mostly asked to report the Kog'Maw, who obviously didn't get why, but my day/night was ruined. I slept horribly, I woke up horribly and I almost didn't dare entering a match.
I wonder, was I that stranger that the OP mentions?
"Practice" in the solo blind, not the ranked queue (aka Solo Q).
Thank you so much, this and stuff like it encourages me to write part 4!
I loooove video and being "on air", so I have no problem addressing this. Perhaps I will start livestreaming with commentary about the stuff I see in games? :)
The thing about support is, unaware, immature, inexperienced players will NOT respect anything you do.
For me, I've found a solution that kinda works, or at least makes my games more fun.
I say this:
"Hey, I don't feel my support is a good investment with this ADC guys, I'm gonna break the meta and roam/ward/counter jungle, or support a lane that can use it."
Other times I start farming hard, because I know the gold will be used well under my care.
I'm not saying it'll work for you, but I'd love for you to have a better game experience, and it might be worth a shot.
I also sometimes take Clairvoyance, so I can buy less wards and so I can help all 4 members of my team, even if my ADC sux.
I've done what I can to help people understand more about this, and if you get the chance, spreading the word about my post: "Solo Q Secrets #001 - Surrendering Wins Games" may help :)
Hopefully though, what I've shared here, and other helpful things will come to you, to make things easier and more fun.
I really appreciate you sharing your story, and I liked your response in the matchmaking thread as well.
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