Why You Lost (Extended Edition!)
Hey guys! Back from the past, I decided to bump this guide back up, see if it can help anyone else. I figure with the S3 changes and whatnot there's a few sections that will have outdated info (mostly talk about "Elo," since that's hidden now), but the majority (95%) is still incredibly relevant and useful.
EDIT: Again back from a short hiatus from League. I've added a few helpful sections as well as fleshed out the Q&A. The last question in particular I think you guys will find the most useful there. Pretty proud of the changes, give it an upvote if you like it guys.
Be warned though, this thing is massive! Uh. There's still more I want to add to it too. I've got a list of topics up so if you are here for a specific reason feel free to scroll to it.
And honestly if you are reading this for the first time (or returning and remembering) and you find it useful, please upvote and bump, keep it alive. I'd like to help as many people as possible, and when people see +84 they're much more likely to pay attention to the info. :)
And without further ado, here it is:
List of Topics (the actual titles are a lot more entertaining, but for search purposes, I've posted cut-and-dry titles here):
2. The Point of the Game
3. Zombie Mode (BRAIIINSSSSS!!!)
4. Stupid Theories
5. Supports, and Why They Can Carry (Nope You're Wrong, They Can)
6. Communication in Queue
7. The Importance of Auto-Attacking
8. The Difference Between Knowledge and Action
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9. Understanding Your Role - What Is It You're Supposed to Do!?
10. The Difference Between "Doing Well" and "Carrying"
11. The Psychological Snowball Effect
12. More On Carrying
13. Stop Dying!
13a. Positioning (NEW!!er than #18 even!! :) )
14. Productive Teamfights
14a. Why Some Champions Can't Carry
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17. Map Awareness
18. More on Map Awareness (NEW!! Post-S3 Update!)
19. Why You Won!
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Elo Heaven Community Information
When I picked up this game again after a long hiatus, I was parking at an Elo of 500 (hence the reason I quit). It's taken me awhile to throw that number out, because it's embarrassing. Before making this guide I shot all the way up to 874 Elo (This was RIGHT when they introduced Diamond, and made the changes to how the Elo bracket was displayed, so I saw that number every time I logged in). I then had, after typing this and posting it, a string of either really bad luck or a horrible "non-carry" attitude, or both, and dropped all the way to...I think the lowest I got was 687. This upset me because I thought I had gained considerable skill to carry. I took a little week or so break from ranked, improved my skills a little, took my own advice, and I'm currently sitting (after a 14/1 win streak) at 906 Elo.
Not a horribly impressive Elo, I understand, but it's over 200 Elo above where I was a week or two ago, and it's 400 Elo above where I started. The **** in this guide is true. I realize I'm the one who wrote it so I have a slighted opinion, but it's still true. Stop. Blaming. Others. It is possible to carry 14 wins - especially if you duo with someone you trust.
I'm also part of a community that helps out lower Elo players. I've learned a lot from players that are as high as 2200 Elo - and let me tell you that after experiencing a custom game where I had to LANE against one of these guys, they earned that Elo fair and square, and if you think you are on par with them you're dead wrong. If you want to be a part of this community ask me about it, and I can give you details. There's honestly nothing that will help you more than a massive slice of Humble Pie. Getting dominated is the best way to understand that you really do have a lot to learn, so if that sounds interesting let me know and I will hook you up. I'm a recruiter for the community so I have special powers and stuff. Also I have a shiny name on the website. Go me.
So, as we established, I am in low ELO, and there are a few things that I've noticed that will help you immensely. This is sort of going to be a list of things that cause your game to go south, and then tips and "Did You Think of This?" type stuff as well.
The Plan is to keep adding to it as I experience and remember more things. Other input is appreciated (but don't be offended if I don't put it in). This guide is not intended to have obvious things in it, it's intended to have things that perhaps you've never thought of before.
Also, keep checking back because I am slowly updating it with more information. If you find this information valuable, please give me a +1. The more a post is upvoted, the more people pay attention to it and consider it "good advice." I think it's good advice, and I want the word to get out. If you feel the same a contribution of one upvote (it's free!!) would help immensely in this regard.
Comments and encouragement are always appreciated as well guys! Thanks and enjoy reading!
I'm going to begin with something that many others have said and yet I feel it should be reiterated:
How's your mood? Imagine if instead of reading this you were just getting into a ranked queue. How do you feel? If you have that "pit in your stomach" feel, then chances are you are going to play like you have a pit in your stomach. What I mean is you are going to play passively, and this can allow someone who is in a better mood than you to bully you. If you are pissed off because of flamers and trolls, then you are going to play like you are pissed off. I have a friend that does this constantly. He's incredible at League of Legends with just about any champion on any lane, except for when things don't quite go as planned. Especially when he feels robbed of a kill because they got away with like no health. He gets really mad and then continues to feed and feed because he plays too aggressive. There's a reason humans don't hunt lions with their hands - they're a lot stronger than we are. Grabbing the smarter kill instead of the gamble kill is a lot easier to do when you are in a relaxed mood. League of Legends is not a relaxing game, don't use it to de-stress, it will only make your life worse if you do.
2. THE POINT OF THE GAME
Another point to bring up that is often said: You win the game by destroying the Nexus. You do this by destroying towers. That's it. Everything is secondary to these two fundamental parts of the game. You can't win the game solely by having 300+ cs. You can't do it alone. Complaining also won't win your game. Shift + Enter will not help you in any way, in fact it won't even help your mood. Consider going into your settings and not allowing yourself to see /all chat.
More on the whole "destroying towers" thing. Stop chasing champions around in the base or through the jungle when your team is pushing, please. Let them escape. By running away they are saying "Here, have my tower," you are in turn responding "**** YOU *****! COMERE!" Meanwhile it takes three pushes to do what one push should have done just fine.
I don't think many people realize the advantage you get when you destroy a tower. I read up on a guide once and it was enlightening. Destroying a tower opens up a section of the enemy's jungle to you. Before, it was their territory, a "go in at your own risk" sort of thing. After the tower is destroyed all of a sudden it's a lot safer to enter it.
I hear a lot of people saying to wait to destroy a tower because it unbalances farming opportunity. I say they're full of ****. You still have just as much opportunity because their jungle has just been opened to you. They're at just as much risk as you when they're farming. Say you destroy bot lane's purple tower. Their Ashe is now farming behind (for her) where her tower used to be, she thinks she's safe, well, Lee Sin (on your team) decides to be smart and goes through the tri-bush at their blue. Guess what? Ashe died. Opposite scenario, say their tower is again destroyed but YOU are now farming ahead of (for you) where Ashe's tower used to be. You were smart and warded the river and see them coming around to cut you off. Guess what you do? You go through that same blue tri-bush and hit "b," laughing at them futilely trying to make it to you. Obviously this doesn't work out all the time, but you get my point. Destroying towers is what advances the match. Towers take priority over everything except perhaps Baron and Dragon (Because teamfights at Baron and Dragon not only net you gold, but give you opportunities to...you guessed it...push more towers).
A Disclaimer on this that has been brought to my attention:
The moral of the story, however, is to stop chasing people away from their towers and start focusing towers (and inhibitors). Kills. Are. Not. Important.
I want to talk about Zombie Mode. Some call it auto-pilot. It's basically when you've stopped thinking and you're just letting your fingers fly around the keyboard and mouse.
This is a bad thing. It happens most frequently when you're tired, upset, or hungry. You can fix the hungry thing quite easily. Sleep will have to wait until tomorrow, and if you're upset you should simply not play the game until you've calmed down. You make so many mistakes in Zombie Mode. You'll do things like engage a 1v1 without realizing how fed they are (sound familiar?), you'll forget that you are the support and you haven't warded for the past 5 minutes (sound familiar?), you'll be so focused on cs'ing your lane that you won't notice the jungler coming up through your warded bush (sound familiar?). Fix this root problem, and a lot of the surface problems fix themselves.
You can recognize how prone you will be to Zombie Mode by your attitude and thought process while starting up a new queue. Are you excited, anticipating playing another ranked challenge? Or, are you simply hitting "Play Again" without any thought process whatsoever other than the desire to keep playing the game? I promise when you are feeling good and excited about playing another game it will go better.
4. STUPID THEORIES
I need to make something very clear before I go on, because much of the rest of my points will defer back to this single-most important point. That's right, this is it, the Big One. The God of All Points, if you will.
People are full of ****, but they like to act like they're not full of ****. Especially if someone else (who is also full of ****) agrees with them.
There are a lot of random theories and whatnot circling this forum that everyone is accepting as fact, when in fact there is no way to prove that they are even remotely correct. They are a cancer, and they are destroying the fun that this game can be. A lot of very popular, very false information circulates the forum and everyone simply accepts it. One of these notions is both sides of the ELO Hell argument. I'm not here to discuss it, so I'm not going to get into at all other than to say that there are way too many factors to consider about the existence of "ELO Hell" to say whether or not it exists.
Ok, actually, I want to provide my own theory about ELO Hell. I don't really think it's there, however I do agree that low-ELO play is far less enjoyable than higher-ELO play. What I think is that many people are really as skilled as they think they are, but when you think of that in a mass-effect sort of mindset, then everyone is as skilled as they think they are, and they are all playing against each other. They also don't realize that the people above their ELO are actually even more skilled than they themselves are. To say that people in the 900-1300 ELO Range are unskilled is dumb. Try grabbing a smurf account and playing your first few blind pick games. THOSE people are unskilled. It's a joke, because they're just beginning. There's a drastic difference between those players and the players I play with every day. As in drastic. That's all I'm going to say.
5. SUPPORT LIKE A FKING BOSS, YO
Okay. I want to address all those that are saying support is worthless, or that you can't raise your ELO by playing support.
I hate you people.
I hate you because you're full of ****.
Let me repeat that. You. Are. Full. Of. ****. That's right. I said it. You are a cancer that is infecting the entire 0-1300 ELO bracket. No one wants to play support because everyone thinks that support has the least impact on the game, due to the rampant discussions and guides about making it out of ELO Hell and **** that is all over this forum talking about how worthless of a role support is.
You know where that idea stemmed from? The fact that support gets little gold and never gets kills or cs. We LOVE comparing ourselves to others, and the fact that you can't really see or compare your skill at the end of the game as a support other than by assists means they got mentally pooped on.
Almost every single guide I've seen that the actual author got out of "ELO Hell" has mained support. I'm serious. There's even a guide where the guy mained support and then said you can't get out of ELO Hell by supporting ("except I did"). The **** did that logic come from dude?
Support has a massive influence on the game. Why? I'll tell you why:
- It's the support's job to ward. Wards win games right? How did the support somehow get removed from that equation?
- It's the support's job to keep a watchful eye on things right? If they do their job correctly their team should basically know where the enemy team's jungler is at all times. Knowledge is power right? How did the support get removed from that equation?
- It's the support's job to poke the carry and either set up kills for his carry or sustain his carry through the laning phase right? Well according to our friends that are full of ****, the AD Carry has the strongest late-game influence in the game, and yet the person responsible for getting him fed and keeping him alive gets **** on again. How did the support get removed from that equation?
- You ever had your support disconnect and you had to 2v1 on a bot lane? How fun was it? What was the cs differential at the end of the laning phase? Don't ever tell me support has the smallest influence on the game again.
What I don't understand is why people don't want to support, when their role is the easiest to fulfill! (at least at lower Elo) He's required to heal or poke (or both), ward, and keep an eye on the map. That's it! But no one wants to do it, so people that should be doing it aren't. Half the time people feel they are "stuck" with support, and generally have a bad mood about the game. How sad.
This single bit of false knowledge is probably the #1 contributer to the ELO Hell mindset, I would say. Bad moods and unskilled players playing where they shouldn't. People trolling because they don't want the support role ("I called top so I guess we're gonna have two top, huh?"). Last picks hopelessly try to call a role so they don't get stuck with support. Honestly last pick should be ecstatic, because he'll have the best chance of countering the other team's picks, support should be one of the first roles picked, because you can't really counter a support. If support was instead glorified (like it honestly should be, it's a ****ing important role), then those that are good at it would play it much more often, and even though, from a mass-effect point of view, win/loss would remain the same, games would be drastically more enjoyable. Honestly when I'm feeling sort of lazy I pick support all the time because of how easy it is to succeed at the role.
You want to know the reason I think so many people that main support got out of low ELO? They WANT the role, and they GET the role every time. They're excited to play every game because they got the role they wanted, therefore they play their role at 100%. Pretty philosophical, huh?
6. DON'T JUST CALL YOUR DAMN ROLE IN QUEUE
Team composition is SOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOoooOOOOOOOOOooooOOOOOOOO!!!!!! !!!!!! important. The way to win a game from the queue screen is like this:
1st pick: Hey guys I'm gonna take top. Malphite.
2nd pick: Sweet, hey I'll support Alistar if he's not banned. Otherwise I can Taric or Soraka. Whatever we need.
3rd pick: Alright guys, Well I'm best at jungle and mid, I can do either really. Jungle I'd do Lee or Cho. Mid I'd probably grab Kennen.
4th pick: Go Kennen, we need the cc. I can ADC. Ezreal or Vayne, depending on their picks.
5th pick: Actually I'm not that good with jungle, care if I mid (3rd pick)? I'm really good with Malzahar.
3rd: Go for it dude. I'll grab Cho, we need the health and CC, especially if we don't get Alistar.
Then make sure you have everything needed - health, CC, damage output (preferably an assassin), and hopefully some sort of utility as well. Make any necessary changes.
If teams did this (or even half the team) they'd win every time. You can't beat organization, but everyone's too god-damned lazy to be bothered with it, and so stuck on the "role they want" that instead the convo goes like this:
1: Taking ADC.
3: Jungle then.
2: Dude I'm not supporting, I'm taking mid, sorry.
5: **** you dude, go troll somewhere else
2: I pick before you dude, deal with it. You want to call roles go to blind pick normals.
5: I'm not gonna support, guess we'll have two in mid.
4: ****ing ELO Hell.
And so on...
The point of calling roles should be to inform others below you what will be available once you're done picking. You should know every goddamn role before going ranked. "I can't support/mid/jungle/whatever" is totally unnacceptable. LEARN to do that role, for like a freaking week or more, then come the hell back.
7. DEERRRRRRRP, I LIKE TO MOVE AROUND!
While sinking into the furthest reaches of low ELO (and I mean the furthest reaches), I gained great skill at mid lane and jungle. Fizz was my main and even though I've basically stopped playing him except on occasion, he's still my most played champion by far. I learned Lee Sin and Amumu jungle as well. Whenever I got stuck with ADC I did horribly. I didn't understand why. I was last hitting well, getting fed early often, grabbing the right builds (I made sure of this), etc. etc. But by end game I'd always have a reasonable amount of assists and a ridiculous amount of deaths. My Miss Fortune stats (who I haven't played since learning what I'm going to talk about) are like 3/6/5 on average, with 136 average creep score. She's still my third highest CS average champ (all three top CS Champs for me are, by the way, AD Carries).
Then I realized something as I was getting destroyed during a game one time. It was incredibly funny, because it turned the entire game around, I think I ended up getting a triple kill (I was completely starved beforehand), and we ended up winning. The intuition was this:
All that time spent in mid-lane with Fizz had taught me valuable assassin lessons, and I am to this day a terrifying assassin with Fizz. However, an AD Carry is not an assassin, nor should they be played like one in the slightest! As an AP Assassin I would spend time on the outskirts of the fight, moving around to avoid randomly thrown skillshots, either waiting for cooldowns to end or for an opportunity to dive a carry. This is how they are played. I realized that this habit followed me when I was playing AD Carry, and I was walking around constantly in a fight, still using abilities and whatnot, but missing valuable auto-attack time - I'm sure my damage dropped by a considerable amount, as much as half of the potential that the AD Carry has. Once I realized this my AD Carry games skyrocketed.
What I did to fix this problem was I bought Ezreal, fell in love with the guy, and have used him as my go-to carry ever since. The fact that you are constantly spamming spells with him keeps the assassin feel I had, but every time I cast a spell it reminds me that I need to focus on auto-attacking. My average stats now with Ez are 8/5/9 with 160 CS. He's my top CS, and my second highest KDA champ. I'm not throwing these stats out to impress you at all, by the way. Those stats are laughable compared to other people I've seen and I realize that, I'm just showing you the incredible difference between my Ez and MF stats. Also, I'm 2 wins, 7 losses with Miss Fortune, and I'm 20 wins, 15 losses with Ezreal.
Never underestimate the effect of auto-attacks during a teamfight, and I'm not talking about just the AD Carry here. Even the odd attack thrown by a Soraka here and there can sometimes be a clinch factor in a teamfight - often times people escape with very little health, or *barely* kill someone before dying themselves.
Also, auto-attacks in lane are what separate a consistently won lane from a randomly won or lost lane (at least at my ELO). Especially if you're ranged and can avoid minion harass altogether. If you have the opportunity to throw out a random attack against your lane opponent, DO SO, especially if they are slightly overextended, (in the creep wave, not the lane) meaning if they attack back they'll receive the worse end of the minion aggro. Obviously if you know you're going to roflstomp a champion, then poking them here-and-there won't do much. But if they're reasonably intelligent, and the lane matchup isn't ridiculously in your favor, you need every advantage you can get, and all that poking adds up quickly.
8. NAW DUDE, I'M REALLY GOOD! LET ME TELL YOU WHY I'M GOOD
Knowledge and Action. The difference between the two is vast. They are both harmonious with one another and yet poisonous to one another. Essentially you can DO something without realizing why you're doing it or that you are even doing it at all, and you can also KNOW something and not do it at all. KNOWING helps you realize what you need to CHANGE in order to ACT, but it can also get in the way.
How do I mean? Let me tell you.
There was this kid awhile back, FaerellG probably knows who I'm talking about because we both had to deal with this kid. Any and every forum topic about ELO Hell that popped up you could be sure this kid would post something in it.
Every 30,000 word essay (I kid you not, most of his posts were longer than all other posts on the page combined) consisted of this format:
This is the second cancer plaguing this forum. Knowledge without action. Remember always this wisdom:
"Knowledge without action is foolishness, and profiteth a man nothing." - Me, or maybe not me, it just came to me, perhaps it's in Proverbs, idk, who really cares?
If you know it's important to ward, you'll find it very easy to throw insults at the support for not warding. And yet, where are your wards brah? Also, on the flipside of this (just so we can go full-circle, I don't want to start another form of the blame game where the support feels justified for not warding), as the support, you know it's important to ward, so somehow it's not really your fault because you knew it, you just didn't do it. This is where the blame game starts. Someone knows something should be happening, doesn't want to take responsibility for it, and starts throwing blame around. The game starts going south because everyone's in a bad mood, and you lose. At the end you feel justified, and throw out statements like "report my [random champion] please," and have thoughts like "Man, stupid ****ing Taric never dropped a single ward, I hate ELO Hell."
Stop. Doing. This. It is crippling you. You are giving yourself a MASSIVE handicap, because you are "protecting" yourself from being at fault in some way. By not accepting your part of the blame, you cannot improve. You will never improve, and you will be like my friend The Example Above, always blaming and never improving.
9: KNOW YOUR ROLE FROM CHAMP SELECT
Okay, this ties into the “Everyone just wants kills” mentality. There are certain things that some champions do that, when your team is organized and coherent, make godly plays possible. Forget every single one of them. You are playing in Low Elo, people aren’t going to be capitalizing off of your sick Xin Ult, etc. But, there are a lot of things that every champion can do that makes them unique to a team, and doesn’t really require a lot of reaction from teammates.
For instance, Amumu. Q in, WRE. E E E E E EE E E E E E E E E. Not that complicated. It’s also not that complicated to see “Hey, everyone is snared for two seconds, maybe I should engage and start killing things!” Amumu’s kit is a no-brainer for teamfights. Gragas has a wonderful ranged displacement tool. He’s like Janna except he’s not in the middle of it, and it hurts them rather than healing you. When you see a displaced anything fly into your team you’re gonna destroy it. Even if it’s the tank, they have no chance against 5v1 focused fire. The enemy team just lost their tank too, they have no means of protecting their carry, and you just won a teamfight because Gragas used 3 brain cells.
There are other, less obvious roles though. Many champions are simply there to shut out their lane partner and get other champions fed. This is LeBlanc, Fizz, and Kha’Zix. They are basically useless late game besides diving the carry. Their burst damage doesn’t contribute much more than that to a teamfight. However, because they have such a strong early game, and because they have such strong ganking potential, their primary responsibilities are this:
1) Shut out their lane opponent. They do this with ease.
2) Push the hell out of their lane
3) Go gank! DON’T TAKE THE KILL! I can’t stress this enough. A fed Fizz cannot win the game by himself. A fed Ezreal can, as can a fed tank.
You ever heard of the “Unstoppable Nasus”? You know why he gets this name? Once he’s fed, he’s basically unstoppable. Cho’Gath and Darius are the same way. They can build tanky as hell and still dish out tons of damage to the enemy team. The enemy can’t afford to ignore them like they can Amumu or Nautilus – who, while they provide great team utility, don’t dish out that much damage – because as everyone knows, Nasus’ Q hurts like a mother, Cho’Gath’s ultimate hits like a truck, and Darius is just Darius, everyone knows why everyone fears him. Nasus and Cho’Gath also provide broken CC. Nasus can win games by himself. I’ve done it before. I had a game where I was laning against a try-hard Pantheon. Our support was dc from the beginning. Luckily my friend was ADC and he was decent, and actually won his lane with the help of our Malphite jungle. Pantheon killed me three times in lane. I didn’t care. I didn’t even fight back, really. I just kept farming dat Q. My end game stats were something like 8/12/15. Not that impressive as a KDR, right? Well, I personally had 7 turrets destroyed (granted it’s easy to ‘ks’ towers with Nasus, but still), and 3 inhibitors. Nasus and Malphite together basically dominated, and Pantheon’s 12 kills couldn’t do anything to us, while Ezreal sat behind us pew pewing at their team, as well as Ahri. Alistar was our support, and there’s no telling how much of a ROFLstomp it would have been had he been there. End game I had the most gold, most damage taken, and second most damage done (next to Ezreal of course). Pantheon can’t carry bad teammates (or some other form of unfair advantage like 4v5), Nasus can. You have to know this going into the game. As Nasus (especially as 4v5 Nasus), I knew that the early game didn’t matter, what mattered was farming his Q and grabbing all the tankiness that I could get + TF for increased Q damage. They were up on us by two turrets before Malphite and me went god-mode on them. They never touched our inhibitors.
Again, I’m not telling you this for praise. It was the champion, not me. It wasn’t hard to do at all. THIS is why people at higher Elo are looking at you and saying “Dude, you’re just not carrying hard enough.” There are things like this that they just know and do because it works. Champion skill means very little – that was my third game ever playing Nasus, I’m not skilled with him. But for the most part, their team left me alone and let me farm. High Elo knows not to do this against Nasus, and is one reason he’s not used there as often (the other being he needs a specific team comp to work at all).
Please also note that I’m not endorsing using Nasus to raise your Elo. Cheap tricks like that don’t increase your skill, they just increase your Elo until they don’t work anymore, and is another reason the Elo brackets from 0-1300 are so scattered with the unskilled and the semi-skilled. Using one champion to raise your Elo sounds attractive, but it doesn’t teach you anything at all. I mean, isn’t the point of the Elo system to belong where you are? You get no intrinsic value from “cheating” your way there, you just get a shiny 4-digit number. You won’t get further than 1300ish using tactics like that, no matter what you try.
10: I DID WELL THOUGH, WHY AM I NOT WINNING MY GAMES?
Dude. Dude. There’s a difference between “doing well,” and “carrying.” Doing well means you pulled your own weight. Carrying means you pulled others’ weight as well. THAT is why any role can do this. Including support. It means you see who the scrubs on your team are (or you recognize if you yourself are acting like a scrub), and pull them together.
I just played a ranked match where I had a competent support, and I was playing Ezreal. The opening KDR 10 minutes in was something like 8/14, with me having 5 of our team’s kills, and Taric picking up one on accident with Shatter. Now, this is playing well. It means I dominated my lane (with the help of my Taric support, he really did well). This is not enough to carry. As in, at all. The way I carried this match was, first, I let them in on my personal game knowledge:
“Guys, don’t worry, we have the late game by far, plus the carry’s fed.” We had Kennen, Malphite, Wukong, me (Ezreal) and Taric. We countered their team ridiculously. Jax was the fed one on their team, and then Katarina. A quick stun from Taric, an initiation from Malphite, then Kennen, THEN Wukong = I have plenty of free time to auto-attack whoever the hell I want. I could see all this happening and orchestrated it before teamfights even started.
We dominated them. The only reason we dominated them was because they saw me doing well, Taric made a comment about how good I was (“supporting” me in a different way), and so they listened. They pulled together, morale was high (Kennen: “They got 1 tower, no biggie.”), and we ROFLStomped them. Keep in mind these guys were all bad, other than Taric. But by keeping morale high, having a game plan, and understanding the best course of action (don’t baron, don’t farm, just keep pushing and forcing teamfights because we’ll win every single time) we destroyed them. One-on-one they wrecked us, but together we were unstoppable.
You won’t always get blessed team comps like this one, I understand that. The job of someone who carries is then to figure out the best course of action for the team to pursue, and then get everyone working together to pursue it. Some teams just dominate teamfights, some are good at picking off stragglers (Rengar/TF based teams), some are incredible at split pushing (Sivir/Yi on the same team), some are just tanky as hell and simply force their way slowly to the Nexus (Nasus/Cho based teams). Some teams are burst heavy and have to rely on good positioning and focused fire to win (APC mid and top, or mid and jungle). Etc. Figure out what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are early game. As in during the first minute-thirty. Or during the loading screen. Figure out your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. This already gives you a massive advantage because they won’t be doing this. I guarantee it. (If you don’t believe me just ask yourself how often YOU have evaluated anyone other than your own champion’s strengths and weaknesses, if even that).
Sometimes you’ll simply be at a severe disadvantage, either due to troll picks by teammates, or just not a very well-thought out composition. This goes back to my discussion on the queue screen dialogue. Most people are usually just interested in playing one or two champions, with no regard to how this affects their team. It’s not your job to yell at these people, it’s your job to compensate – silently – for their incompetence. If they’ve left you support and all they have are squishies, you better as hell not get Soraka. If they’ve left you jungle and they picked an APC for top lane, you better as hell not grab Diana, ESPECIALLY if they’ve left you with no health and little cc. Grab Malphite, or someone similar, that can both tank and disrupt their team to compensate for your teammate’s stupidity in the picking order. The best way to do this is to try and coax from your team what they are picking and where, because you will sometimes be first pick.
11: HERE COMES DAT AVALANCHE!!
Snowballing. You’ll see it quite often. Team gets First Blood, team gets second kill, then third, then fifth, then sixth and seventh double kill. You’re already down 1/6 and it’s the first 10 minutes of the game. The rest just goes horribly, your entire team is just ROFLstomped and it turns into a 20 minute surrender.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. This happens all the time. Why does it happen? Well, there are a number of factors that go into this.
1) You simply got outpicked. They countered you both in lane and as a team. All things considered equal, there’s really not much you can do to stop this. You can only control the amount that YOU feed, not your teammates. You can still win these games, but it will be very rare. This situation isn’t very common though.
2) They got lucky, you got mad. This is usually what happens. The enemy team *barely* gets a kill, then again, and now they’re simply more fed, but you’re angry because you almost killed them the first time, so you go at it again. Again they kill you – this is where it’s your fault for sure. You’ve shut off the rational thinking center of your brain and you’ve started to think with your emotions. This is stupid. Stop doing it. It’s probably the #1 contributor to raging. Think logically, think rationally, and figure out how to dig yourself out of the hole instead of complaining about how deep it is. If all you do is jump up and down in frustration all you’re gonna do is make it deeper.
3) “First Blood!” “…great.” “Noob.” “**** Elo Hell.” This is the second (or possibly the first) biggest contributor to that snowball. You gave up (more on this later as well). Experience has taught you (falsely) that First Blood often leads to a loss and a snowball, so mentally you’ve just given up. You play at half of your capacity – keep in mind your individual skill with your champion likely won’t be affected nearly as much as your intelligent decision-making ability will, so it’ll still seem justified at the end of the game. This leads easily into the afore-mentioned “Zombie Mode.” Stay clear of this mentality if at all possible. If you notice you have it, figure out how to un-have it, as it will improve your game by leaps and bounds, especially if you have the ability to dig your teammates out as well.
Essentially they snowballed because you and your team allowed it to happen – whether that was at champ select or in game, it’s still your fault. Commit to less Zombie Mode Time!!
12: MORE ON CARRYING YOUR TEAM
One of the most important factors that go into carrying your team is getting them to both trust and follow you. This means that in order to “carry” you have to both “do well” and “act well.” It means never berating your team, but always encouraging. It’s helpful if you are a duo, to compliment each other (without the team knowing you’re duoing), as this enforces in their heads that you should be followed.
However, it’s only half the battle, you actually need to do well enough to be followed. If you’re having a derp game you can’t carry it, nor should you. More importantly, though, is that if you are having a derp game it means you are outmatched in some way. You need to figure out why. Don’t blame it on a disconnected support or jungler either. Don’t blame it on a feeder. Blame it always on yourself. It might not be your skill that needs improving. It might be your Zombie-mode button. It might be your game knowledge. It might be that you are getting gold, but not really using it effectively. Or it just could be that you weren’t good enough all-around to carry or do well in that game. Perhaps your support is d/c and their carry is just as good as you. Unless their support is a complete ****** or a troll, there’s no way you’ll win that lane.
Here’s the most important thing you will read in this entire guide: It’s still your fault. You weren’t good enough. You couldn’t beat that Graves/Sona combo. Get better. Improve your zoning abilities. Improve your laning knowledge so you know how to not only control the position of the creep wave, but the flow of it as well, allowing you poke time that they simply can’t match. Know your matchups, and how to beat them.
13: STOP DYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RAAAAAAAGE!!! You died again. What. An. Idiot. Watch any pro stream and you’ll see how often they die. The only time these people truly die often is during the laning phase, and during teamfights. You’ll never see them derping on top lane farming two waves of minions without plenty of vision to warn them if the other team is headed their way.
The biggest thing you won’t see, though? Going all in and then realizing how ****ing stupid it was to do so. You. Will. Never. See. Them. Do. This. Unless there is outside influence such as a mid-lane/jungle gank that the other party didn’t know about somehow (guess what, 90% of the time the lane will be warded).
Here’s what you do to fix your dying problem. Play 30 normal games. Ten for 3 champions each. Go all in with these champion every time. Doesn’t matter who you’re laning against, doesn’t matter if it seems like you’re gonna die at all. Learn their burst, learn what counters their burst. Learn what they can handle and what they can’t handle. Learn who they destroy, and who destroys them. You’ll actually find that a lot of champions can kill Darius pre-six. He’s just scary as hell so people back off while he laughs at their health slowly ticking away. If you stick to whoever your fighting you’ll discover you would have actually done a lot better than you thought.
I was laning against Irelia once as Nasus. Her burst was insane. I had my Q farmed up to about 100 when I got jumped by the jungler and killed, I went top, tried to passively farm and she killed me again. She was up on me by two kills at this point, and about 15 cs. I went top again and decided the only way I could turn this around is if I somehow get free farm. I decided to go all in. Irelia was a little overconfident I think. She had me down to ½ health while she was at ¾ health. I ulted, withered, threw down the aoe, and q’d her in the face a couple of times. She died. I didn’t even have ignite, she did. From that point on she left me alone unless the jungler came. I learned something about Nasus in that encounter. His ult is a lot stronger than it seems at first glance, and it completely turned the fight around, now I know that for the future and can bait other champs into a similar situation.
You need to learn the very edge of what your champions can handle. MOST of the time that you begin to run away, you shouldn’t have. You just got scared before the other guy. When this happens you die anyway, because they chase you, they exhaust you, they ignite you, they counter-flash you, and they keep auto-attacking you all the way to your turret while you do nothing but run. “First Blood.” “Great.” “Noob.” “**** Elo Hell.” Yeah, never get that from your teammates again. Learn your champ and know what they can handle.
On another note. Don’t derp in teamfights. I’m so sick of seeing this. Stop chasing people around. Let them go! They’re out of the teamfight! Zone them out but keep doing damage to their team. Stay the hell away from the assassins. Save any and all escapes for the purpose of getting out of there! Don’t. Die! I think a lot of people think it’s “okay” to die in a teamfight, for some reason. I don’t know where the logic comes from but it’s quite common. They feel like they made their contribution, they blew cooldowns, they did some damage, and they died because they got focused or whatever. No biggie. It’s a HUGE BIGGIE!!!!! Stop. Dying!! For example I see a lot of assassins dive the carry, deal out massive damage to them, blow all cooldowns, and then die. Someone else picks up the kill on the carry, Hey, no biggie, I got them the kill on the carry. You’re an idiot. Had you saved your escape for ESCAPING, instead of ALL-INNING, you would still be alive, and in 5 more seconds you can finish off that pesky carry, and, guess what? ESCAPE again. That’s the nature of the assassin.
13a: WHY YOU'RE DYING (new section!)
So it's recently come to my attention how incredibly important positioning is, especially late game. I mean, work on the basics first - cs and map awareness, etc. - but once you have those basics down I'd say the *first* thing you should focus on learning is proper positioning throughout the game and in your lane. Along with this is when and how to engage a teamfight (I say "engage" and mean it, I'm not talking about "initiating a teamfight," I'm talking about when YOU yourself physically begin engaging in a teamfight), as it is different for every lane and role. Tanks will obviously be the first ones in with the bruisers sort of hanging back for a second to wait and peel or engage and chase down, the assassins will then follow up and dive the carry and gtfo (seriously assassins should be in the fight for maybe 3-5 seconds at a time), the ADC should normally engage last, after cooldowns have been blown and cc has been used - as well as focus given to specific champions (hopefully your tanks and/or bruisers). It's hard to force yourself to focus the ADC when Jarvan has 15% health. This is why you will often lose those teamfights when you were ahead or thought you had the teamfight advantage, it's all due to positioning, and HONESTLY, if YOU are the only one on the map with correct positioning (at least on purpose), you will win every otherwise nearly evenly-matched teamfight. Obviously if they have Wukong, Amumu, Lux, Miss Fortune, and Sona, you may want to rethink even engaging teamfights at all, but otherwise positioning will fix 90% of your problems late game, I would dare say.
I can't begin to really tell you how to position as I'm still horrible at it, however I do *know* it's important. I posted a video in the Q&A section that makes it a bit more clear. Check it out.
14: DAT CARRY
Guys. Help your carry “not die” too. Late game everyone sucks except the carry (I’m talking ADC here, the only APC’s I can think of that are still incredibly useful late game for their damage output are Veigar, Brand, and Karthus, though there are probably a few more) and the tank. No one else is doing anything besides walking cc or assassinating, I promise. The purpose of the “walking cc” is to protect the carry. DON’T BLOW THEM FOR DAMAGE! EITHER PROTECT YOUR GODDAMN CARRY, OR DESTROY THEIRS!!!
The perfect example of what I’m talking about here? Lee Sin. I see a lot of Lee Sin players going all in and basically q, kick, q, HEEYAAAAAAAA, EE, W to an ally, YES!!! FULL ROTATION OF SKILLS, CHECK ME AND MAH BAD SELF! Again – you’re an idiot. Go with me to a land of pretend for a moment, where everyone realizes that protecting the carry = win. Malphite sees Ezreal and becomes very hungry. So hungry he feels like “R”ing him. BOOM, R TO THE FACE *****! Lee Sin looks at him, laughs, and says, R TO YOUR FACE BRAH, BEAT IT! Ezreal now has free reign to destroy their team, because Lee Sin patiently waited to use his cooldowns for the opportune moment. Another amazing use for Lee Sin? Q the carry, Q them again, EE, flash, R them to your team, W to your team. Dead carry. Proceed to win.
If you aren’t the tank and you aren’t the carry, chances are you are the walking cc. If you can’t perform this function, then you’re useless in the teamfight. The only thing you’ll be able to do is ks. This is why so many champs are “not viable” in tournament play, because even if they have a beastly early game, they’re completely useless late game, and are simply adding a miniscule amount of damage + meat shield during team fights. Don’t be that guy, grab somebody useful.
14a: WHY SOME CHAMPIONS CAN’T CARRY
Each champion developed by Riot is honestly well thought-out to perform a specific purpose. To save paper space, we’ll talk about the most general roles that each has.
There are assassins, sustained dps, bruisers, tanks, supports and disrupters. There are probably more (in which case let me know, I’ll add them) but what you have to know is who can carry a game (meaning they can make up for bad teammates) and who can’t. Most assassins cannot carry a game. They are reliant, still, on their team to push and to finish off the team. I’m talking about champions like Fizz, Kha’Zix and LeBlanc here. They go in, focus a target down, use cooldowns to do it, and then until their cooldowns are done they are basically useless. This is why they can’t carry. Champions like Lee Sin can be categorized as “assassins” but they are also disrupters as well. Lee Sin’s kick in a clinch teamfight can be the difference between a game lost and a game won. Fizz’s Shark does a lot of damage, but usually isn’t the deciding factor. Lee still DOES fall off in usefulness late game, but dat kick is still incredibly important, as is his shield and his mass team slow/AD slow – especially if he can catch the ADC with this. Assassins seem to be the most common “wanted pick” (mid and jungle are often assassins), and once again, that “full of ****” mindset plays in here. People have been saying forever that mid and jungle are the most influential lanes in the game. I say they aren’t. I might be full of **** myself, but most mids and most junglers simply can’t carry a bad team. They can do their best to get them fed, they may even GET them fed, but at the end of the day if your ADC and your tank are derping in the jungle, there’s no way you’re going to win your game.
This is how I see the whole mindset of how to carry from what lane you’re in. Top lane – get farmed, get beefy, don’t worry about early teamfights (low Elo you shouldn’t care that much about dragon, people don’t make as good use of their gold as high elo players do, and the gold difference doesn’t really add up much in low elo). If you know you need to help @ dragon for when the time comes that it’s important to do so, that’s enough. Don’t worry about actually doing it until you’ve carried yourself higher. I’m thinking champions like Darius, Cho’Gath, and even Lee Sin here. By farming the hell out of top lane, you give yourself a massive advantage over the rest of the players, and it shows when you start entering teamfights. I’ve seen an 0/0/0 Cho’Gath finally enter teamfights at like 30 minutes turn the entire game around and end up winning for the team. This doesn’t ALWAYS happen (nor am I saying wait until 30 minutes to enter teamfights), but it CAN happen.
A farmed LeBlanc can’t do this, so her focus should be on early game, getting fed early, feeding the ADC and the tank early, and then providing as much assassination as she can late game. This, essentially, is most mid-laners’ roles. They can’t carry late so they carry early. If your late-game players are all derps, then you’re screwed, but if they’re moderately intelligent and just outmatched in their lane, then, yes, mid lane has a huge influence on the game, because they can tip the scale to get them fed. Junglers are much the same though they often go bruiser, and have a marginally larger impact late-game. Their early game isn’t as strong, usually, though, and often have to wait until level 6 before they truly shine for their team. Again, mid and jungler can influence the game in a large way only if your teammates don’t derp late game. It’s always a gamble to take these lanes, as you are showing trust in your teammates. Decide if this is a good idea or not.
Most tanks and all sustained dps champions can carry. They are not reliant on any time constraints to do what they need to do. Tanks go in, soak up damage, usually disrupt the team (think Amumu here), and try to keep the damage on them while the sustained dps and the assassins take out everyone. I’m grouping mass AoE champs like Karthus and Brand in the sustained dps category. They are cooldown dependent, I understand that, but both are safely away from the fight (usually) and do massive damage to the entire team, whereas assassins are single-target killers. Keep in mind the ADC and the support’s job is to farm the hell out of bot (sound familiar?). Keep farming. You will be a beast late-game if you do this. If you enter teamfights too early (keep in mind sometimes you are NEEDED in a teamfight even if all you have are 2 doran’s blades and zerks) then this can severely cripple your late game.
Many supports can carry – as they are often tanks (Alistar), but also they provide needed utility to the team (Taric’s stun, Soraka’s silence, Blitz’s grab/stun/team silence, and Sona’s team stun, as well as wards). Essentially zone out their carry, attempt to starve them, and hopefully pick up a few kills for your carry while you ward the hell out of your lane and make it a nightmare for the jungler to come in. This is your job, and it’s much more important than people seem to think. You are shutting down three champions in this case – that’s your early game job. Your late game job is to ward, and either tank or disrupt (or sometimes both).
So, in a nutshell, mid and jungle usually have early game influence, and depend on their team late game. Top is usually self-sustaining early game, and will often carry either mid game or late game, depending on the pick. Bot lane needs to be carried early game, and is self-sustaining mid game (as long as the support isn’t a derp), and will carry late game.
In another nutshell, and getting to the meat of why I posted this, here is my conclusion. If it seems like your allies are somewhat competent, then mid and jungle is the way to go. If you have someone who is going to throw the game (unskilled wise) then you’ll need a champion that can carry the late game, and top or bottom (either role bottom, stop hating support! Love it!) is usually your best pick.
Keep in mind this is one of those “theories” I talked about before. It is mine (sort of, I realize other people have talked about this, even in detail, before. However, all of this that I’ve talked about is why I believe it). I might be full of ****, but I feel like it has a pretty good foundation to be considered.
15: PUSH HARDER THAN A PREGNANT LADY!
Congratulations! You are the proud father (or mother) of a brand new destroyed Nexus! Why? YOU PUSHED! You didn’t derp in the jungle. You realized that gold becomes less-and-less useful the longer the game goes on so you didn’t waste time doing dragon that could have been spent pushing. You realized that grabbing a turret and an inhibitor is much more important than baron, when deciding between the two (usually). ESPECIALLY in low elo, all you should be doing all game is pressuring as many lanes as you can. People here are so disorganized that they have no idea how to counter it. They’ll usually send the entire team in to stop one push, only to realize that you’re split pushing across the map, and they have no way to get there before the tower dies. Again, I’m gonna say it. Towers win games. Much more than wards do (though wards help you get towers quite often, and are incredibly important as well).
This is the most important thing you can do when you carry – get your team to realize they need to keep pushing and pressuring. Another thing pressuring does is protects other lanes from being pushed by your opponents – they have to save their lane, and so they will abandon a lane that you can later push as well. Take Dory’s advice from Finding Nemo and “Just Keep Pushing” (those are the words to the song, right? ;) ). Most games are lost because people are off derping by themselves because they have no direction. GIVE THEM SOME!!! PUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16: KILL DEM MINIONS!!
This is more of a symptom than a cause (if you need an analogy, then think of a cough suppressant versus an anti-biotic. The cough suppressant helps with the symptom of coughing, while the anti-biotic actually helps you get better overall), but it’s probably the most important symptom to improve. It’s like the fever that you need to break if you want to survive.
Yeah, I’m talking about CS. Holy **** it’s so ****ing important! I can’t tell you how many idiots (myself included) insta-rank at 30 without having solid CS skills. I have the opportunity to play some custom SR games with people of Elos ranging from 300 to 2200, and let me tell you the major difference is in their ability to both farm and deny farm. I laned against a guy with an Elo of 2200 in top lane once and he had me zoned at level 1. I ended the game with probably 1/3 of his CS, simply because he knew how to deny my farm and keep me bullied. It was incredibly frustrating but also a great learning experience. It was the entire reason I lost that lane – I couldn’t get farmed, and if I tried to counter-harass he came out on top every time.
You’ve all heard everyone talking about CS, and how important it is, so I don’t need to repeat something you’ve already heard. All I have to do is say if you are not averaging about 80 CS per 10 minutes (8 cs per 12.33 available) you have some serious training to do. There’s about 100 CS available in the first 10 minutes, and then around 220 available in the first 20 minutes. Play a custom game against an ADC bot, and try to balance harassing with CSing. Play to 20 minutes and just leave, you don’t need to practice killing towers. Aim for 200 CS, as this is “CS Easy Mode.” Don’t go back to ranked until you can consistently get 200 CS. Realistically in a game you’ll be going back more often and getting zoned on occasion, so aiming for 200 will realistically net you about 160. Too often, though, I see 80 CS at 20 minutes. You realize you missed out on 140 CS right? That’s 3-4000 gold. Don’t complain about losing your games to nubs again when you could have straight up bought a trinity force with all the money you let pass you by. After your bot games, play a few normals and don’t go to ranked until you can get 160 CS (I’m talking in a lane, obviously this doesn’t apply for jungling and supporting) consistently per game at 20 minutes. Don’t focus on anything else until you can do this. Once you consistently are grabbing all that yummy gold, THEN you can start worrying about harassing, roaming, counter-harassing, invading, and pushing.
The sad thing is 95% of you reading this are going to read it and say “Yeah that’s a good idea.” and then never do it. It’s up to you. Do you want to improve your ability to win? Then take a week out away from ranked games and start practicing like I outlined. Like I said it’s completely on you. I promise if you do this you’ll see dramatically improved results.
17: SERIOUSLY DUDE, LOOK AT THE MAP!
So CS is incredibly important, but the number one symptom in losing games (and it is a symptom not the cause/root problem) is little to no map awareness. I admit it’s something I still struggle with. It’s those moments when you kick yourself in the shins because you should have seen Shyvana frolicking passed your ward to gank you…but you didn’t. And you got ganked. And you died. And your lane snowballed against you. And you eventually lost. Sound familiar? You bet it does.
Nobody seems to want to improve on this though. “Call MIA. ****ing noob mid.” How common is that phrase? The funny thing is, half the time the MIA wouldn’t have even helped because you weren’t reading chat either, you just needed someone to blame. You’re an idiot.
Here’s what you do. While you’re practicing your CS skills as outlined above, you glance at the minimap every time you are in mid-animation to last hit. So you right click on the minion, look, move around, right-click on the minion, look, repeat. Keep using that as a cue to look at the minimap (you can’t do anything in the split-second it takes for your champion to attack the minion anyway, might as well use it to your advantage). Keep doing this until it becomes automatic. It’ll take some time. Probably a few hours’ worth of CS practice at least. But if you combine these two skills I guarantee an increase in Elo, an increase in % of games won, an increase in kills and assists, a dramatic decrease in deaths, and an overall MASSIVE increase in your game knowledge. Once this is automatic, you will be learning things without realizing it. Things like “Lee Sin will usually gank mid right about now.” You’ll look at mid and sure enough, there’s Lee trying to Q you in the face. You learned that from your experience on top and bot watching the map, passively learning Lee Sin’s route.
Again, for the 95% of you that aren’t going to take this to heart, it’s all on you. I think a lot of us are stuck in “I want my Elo to improve now” mode. Therefore “practicing” seems incredibly stupid and an enormous waste of time. It’s not – it might be a tad boring, but it’s only a few hours, and it’ll be worth it. My theory is that we think of the 1-29 range as our “practice time” and then go into ranked for “game-time” and then never go back to “practice time” because we can always just do “game time” instead. Imagine if college football teams only had the freshmen practice, and the sophomores to seniors basically just played in the games. How effective would they be? Yep, they wouldn’t. Neither are you.
Think of it this way: You can either spend 400 more games parking in the same Elo (maybe improving it by 100 or so), or you can spend a few concentrated hours learning and practicing and making the most important skills 100% automatic, and improve your Elo in 10 games instead.
Up to you. My suggestion is don’t be an idiot though. Start practicing. Sadly there’s nothing I can really type and post here that will cause you to just “do it,” it has to come from you, so I hope it does. Good luck.
18: MORE ON MAP AWARENESS AND IT'S EFFECT ON YOUR IDIOCY
After spending some time away from the game for awhile and then returning and attempting to soak in all the S3 changes at once, I've also noticed a few other things that I wish to share, some of which will be later, but right now let's talk about paying attention to the entire map.
I've come to realize that the number one reason that people suck at this game is because they aren't paying attention to their surroundings. This has to do with real life too. Any game you play, any business you're in, if you don't pay attention to what's going on in your sphere of influence, you won't succeed. People get so stuck on mechanics that they forget basic common sense. How many times have you been jungling at wraith camp and have seen the enemy jungler invade mid and you haven't thought to help until you've killed the stupid blue wraith? BAM, they kill your mid and get away with 1/4 health. Step away from the goddamn wraith for a few minutes, kill their goddamn jungler, peel their mid from your mid, and THEN go back to that big blue ghosty bastard.
This is the type of thing that I'm talking about. Pay attention dude. I've noticed how rare it is that people have map awareness, and how incredibly ****ing annoying it is when they do. So often I've had my top lane ally tell me (as jungle) that the river is warded and I simply don't care, because I know that 9 times out of 10 the idiot isn't going to see me coming anyway. It's kind of funny really. I just waltz right up through their warded vision, continue to them, and RIGHT when I enter what I know is their screen vision they start reacting. I main Diana jungle, so that is far too late for them to see me. HOWEVER, I was completely shut down by a team that had incredible map awareness on top and bottom lane, as well as their jungler. I couldn't do any of my normal tricks because they saw me and reacted before I could reach them every time. Not to mention my laners weren't really paying the best attention either. We lost that game hard.
Honestly I pride myself, now, in my laning awareness. I almost always see the enemy jungler now, and can react appropriately to what I'm 99% sure they'll do. I take Cho Gath top quite often and I know I can ward the river and push like crazy because they can't touch me. I'll see them way too soon, drop my rupture right into their pathing (that 99% of the time won't think to even TRY to dodge), and simply waltz back to my tower laughing my head off.
My game awareness after laning is still in need of drastic improvement though. As is my awareness of weaknesses and strengths of both individual champion matchups and total team compositions. But as far as looking at the map and reacting to it appropriately goes, I'd say that this has the greatest influence on your games won in Bronze, Silver and even the lower echelons of Gold Division than anything else. Forget skill, forget landing your skillshots, forget dragon and baron, forget buff timers and counter-jungling, and all of that - forget all of the mechanical and monotonous things - until you learn how to react to the map. Seriously. Take my advice in (16) and (17), then take it into practice and constantly work on it until you are never caught on your own, you are never jumped by the jungler, you are never throwing games because you went into Zombie Mode and started derping in the jungle or jumping into the teamfight too early or too late, etc.
Disclaimer: I know "never" sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. I mean never. How do I mean never? I mean that because you're playing in Bronze or Silver, but your map awareness is on par with Gold, you will *never* be caught unawares by a Bronze or Silver jungler/mid/top/whatever. You'll see it coming from so far away that by the time they realize they've wasted all that time coming to your lane, you're already cs'ing safely again. You might try throwing out a "Maybe next time, Xin. ;)" to goad them into not coming again (or into coming and failing again and again and again. Depends on their personality). Now, if you get all the way to Gold, then sure, sometimes you'll be caught unawares by a gold jungler, who knows how to surprise you a lot better than most bronze and silver junglers. Capiche?
19: BACK TO THE END GAME: HOW TO DESTROY A NEXUS!
Alright guys, this is a brand-spanking new section just for you. Before we've basically been talking about how you lose games, here I'm going to talk about how you win them, from my vast (laughable) experience playing in the lower echelons (Which, admittedly, I'm still a part of. I'm leveling up an alt account and had the pleasure of going toe-to-toe as an ADC against a Gold III smurf. It hurt, to say the least. Humbled me once more and made me realize I have a lot to learn and that the lazy tricks I do in lower Elo (things like standing there pelting on someone assuming they're going to stand there and let me pelt on them) didn't work on this guy. He dodged almost every single one of my skill shots, ESPECIALLY when we were "dueling" it out. It was sad.).
Honestly, I'm going to outline quickly how a destroyed Nexus goes down, but I'm going to talk about one of the points in detail, here it goes:
1. Own your lane - use those CS skills. Map awareness!!! DON'T FORGET TO POKE THEM!! If you can't get a kill or two on them, then you still deserve to be where you're at. Don't blame jungler presence on either side, remember you're here to win your own damn game, and take responsibility for your own part in it! This applies to if you're a jungler as well, it's considered a "pseudo-lane." Invade, counter jungle, set up a gank on the jungler if one of your lanes is willing and able.
2. Own another lane - Roam. Take the path least traveled. If you're top and you're going to roam to mid, DON'T GO THROUGH THE LANE BUSHES. EVERYONE and their goddamn mother goes through the lane bushes in this division! Stop doing it! Go around behind that little path near their tower. If you can go through their own jungle to do so, do it. Ward the jungle while you're at it. Feed the kill to the laner, not you. Let them get an advantage. Keep doing it.
3. Destroy some towers, get dragon, get baron - Push dem towers. You'll likely lose some while you're at it, that's okay, just make sure you aren't trading tower-for-tower. Contest dragon, figure out where your team is strong, and where they're weak. If you have a lot of burst, you're going to want to pick off people quickly and run (guerrilla warfare) rather than fighting head-on. If you have tons of tanky and CC, then you're going to want to chain CC and peel for your carry, etc. I can't stress how important understanding your teamfight strengths and weaknesses actually is. Ward everywhere so you have map control. I don't care if you're the goddamn ADC, if you don't have at least 5 wards on the map at all times, you buy a few and lay them down yourself, no excuses. This is your game after all, take control of it like a big boy.
4. I'll get back to #4.
5. Push inhibitors, keep pushing towers. Keep pushing, grabbing baron, and pushing and pushing and pushing. If you're behind (you shouldn't be, but if you're meeting someone else on the battlefield who is also following these steps and they're doing it better than you), then go out *always as a team* and start warding. Wards are so goddamn important in this phase. You *need* to know what locations are safe, and where you can safely push out without running the risk of getting destroyed in the process.
6. Destroy Nexus. Yay.
Okay. Number 4. Take advantage of the derps. Yep. This is the Big Cahoona, I've realized. There will *always* be a derp or two on the enemy team. Even in high elo/divisions/whatever-we-call-it-now, someone is going to derp in every game, I guarantee it. It's human nature.
Here's what you do. You pay attention to who has the most deaths, lowest cs, or who you just constantly see in random places on the map. They're your sucker. You're going to destroy them (keep in mind you still need to ward, because the enemy team is going to be like. "Ezreal, why the **** are you derping in the jungle?" and pinging "V" like mad to tell him to get the hell out. When they see he's derping and completely ignoring the "V" ("I'm just gonna finish this last wave, it's like 150 gold!), they're going to high-tail it to him to protect him. You don't want to get caught in the jungle when this happens. Just saying.). Then, *immediately* after you kill him in whatever lane (or near whatever lane) she/he's located, you're going to PUSH the HELL out of that lane. When all are MIA, or you can see them coming, (it'll usually be all four), tell your teammates to start pushing ANOTHER lane while you get the hell out. BAM, you grab a tower, and it goes to standoff again. You see him again (because you warded their jungle and noticed he's just derping around killing jungle creeps), BAM he dies again. You push a lane again, and it starts all over again.
When things are at a standoff, you have to gain some sort of advantage, I've found out, before pushing a tower will work. Because all that will happen is you'll push the tower and there will be two people waiting for you at the tower, laughing as you leave with your tail between your legs. But if you can make it a 4v5 for about 30 seconds, you can easily start pushing towers all over the place and there's nothing they can do about it.
Keep in mind that it's likely that the derp you're taking advantage of isn't doing very well to begin with, so it may seem like taking out a higher-priority target would be more effective. While that's true, that's only *if* you can take them out, and that's a big "if." The derp still acts as a meat shield and a small amount of damage, plus it acts as a psychological thing. It's now 4v5, they have a derp, they're pissed, they're likely raging, they're not playing at their best. Take advantage of that.
And while you're at it, do your best to pull your derps into line by having something for them to do. And don't derp around yourself. Please, don't be that guy. It's like having mustard all over your shirt. It's embarrassing.
TL;DR – As you can see (even if all you read were the headlines). There are SO many things that you can control in your games, and so many factors that can go wrong that basically all come down to how you react to them. Stop blaming your teammates and start taking responsibility.
Disclaimer: If any of you ever use the information in this guide to berate a teammate, point out another's flaws, or justify your loss by throwing the blame on someone else, I will personally come to your house, rip your ********s out, shove them down your throat, and force you to swallow them with a heaping helping of stomach bile. It won't be fun. I do this because if YOU do this after reading this guide, you haven't learned a goddamn thing, and missed the entire ****ing purpose of what I'm trying to say. Any comments that mention how their teammates don't do these things (from here on out) in a negative way (but that you know and do them) will be downvoted to hell.
Small Edit: Just realized I named the topic "Extended Addition" instead of "Extended EDITION," which is basically a redundant pairing of words instead of what I wanted it to be. Uh. Sorry. Ha.
"I have some questions for you."
"Then ask, Youngling"
"What would you say that the low-skilled community (Bronze and lower Silver) suffers from the most?"
Honestly I'd say it's CS, Map Awareness, and bullying and winning your lane. It seems from comments in both threads that what people appreciated most was the talk about CS and Map Awareness. However, keep in mind that both of these are symptoms and not causes of games lost. There is a deeper thing going on than just "missing cs" and "not paying attention to the map." Usually it's Zombie Mode, but this, again, is simply a deeper symptom of something else that I can't begin to guess, because it'll be different for everyone. Likely it's mental laziness, not wanting to work to get better. If you really want to improve your gameplay, you're going to need to work at it, it's going to be a little grueling, but the payoff will be great. Take some hours away from "Play Again" ranked games and go into some customs and practice. Pay attention to your mood. Never start the day with a ranked game if you can help it, instead start it with a more relaxed Normal game to both warm up and gauge where your head is at.
"Yes Youngling, what is it now?"
"I do all those things pretty well, I usually have the highest CS, I notice the jungler coming in, and I almost always win my lane, but still lose a good portion of my games, what am I doing wrong?"
Ah, Youngling, what a fantastic question. Positioning. This is why you are losing your games. If you have won your lane, and the other lanes aren't doing HORRIBLY either, but you end up losing a lot of your games still, 90% of the time it's due to horrible positioning on your part. If a majority of your deaths come after the laning phase, this is your cue that you need to learn to position and gtfo better. As was said above, if you are carrying your team and you are the first one to die in a teamfight, your team just lost a majority of its carrying capacity. Whether it's damage, mitigation, CC, or peeling that you're providing, once you're dead you are no longer providing it. Stay alive. Position yourself so you won't get instagibbed (unless you're the tank, then position yourself so you will eat most of the damage but can still get out with at least 10% health when you need to). If this means entering the teamfight a little later then so be it. Just make sure your pathing to the teamfight isn't Grade A stupid. Don't be the idiot who runs through mid bushes to get to the 3v3 skirmish happening at Baron, please - especially if their team is between you and your team.
A great video to watch is this one, it's from the above mentioned community, how to carry in bronze elo, where everything goes horribly (including his own lane), and he wins it late game by amazing positioning and smart gameplay as the ADC. Watch the whole video, it's really good.
Also guys, check out this demographicreally quick. So, basically, this is the statistics on how many people are where, broken down by division. As you can see, nearly half of them are in bronze, and approximately 80% of them are below gold.
Think of a sport like Basketball. You have your pro players who everyone knows, then you have the "other" pro players, then you have the top college picks, the rest of the college teams, the high school teams on down to the little league (or whatever it's called) teams.
So, like, yeah. Challenger is like your Kobe Bryant's. Everyone knows them because they're SO GOOD. Diamond is like the rest of the NBA who people sorta know, then you move on down to where you are, the EIGHTY PERCENT of the rest. I mean, if you're in Silver IV you're better than half the people out there. That's like high school level, which, to be honest, at age 26, I don't think I could compete in High School ball. Go you. If you're in Bronze V then I guess this isn't that motivational for you, however to think you're horrible because you don't have the skills of what we can consider a "college level skillset" is ridiculous. MOST of the people are in Bronze and Silver. And I mean *most*, the Gold+ is the elite, they worked hard for it, if you want that you'll have to work hard as well, get better, improve and you'll get there. But just like any competitive sport it takes hard work.
Best of luck in that endeavor guys!
"Hey Thanks Lethadind."
"Hey, I enjoy it, so no worries."
"So, Lethadind, I've been watching some pro streams lately, particularly some where there's a diamond/plat smurfing in bronze and basically winning ALL of his games. So, like, I know it's possible, but why can't *I* do this? What am I missing?"
What a great question to end on! So here's the deal guys. Diamonds and plats and even golds sometimes do something I call "hyper-carry" (not original I know) when they go into bronze and silver divisions. It means that basically every single game all they focus on is outplaying their lane opponent by a large margin and basically effing up the entire team by mid game, before they have a chance to catch up. I recently watched a stream of a diamond level player smurfing in bronze and she used only burst-heavy + aoe heavy champs like Katarina and Wukong, and basically just **** on her lane opponent over and over and over, then continued to 1v2, 1v3, and 1v4 the enemy team. When it gets that ridiculous there is no late game. If she's doing her job correctly she can one man push towers and there's basically nothing the enemy team can do about it, especially if she has her meatshields...err...teammates with her.
The thing is though, the tricks she's using in Bronze will not ever work in Diamond. No one in Diamond is going to be stupid enough to allow Wukong and level 2 E, AA, Q for 3/4 of their health, so the lane advantage that she instantly grabs will basically never happen.
So, should you emulate these plays? Certainly, they are incredibly useful for destroying noobs, I just did a ranked game on my bronze V alt account that I haven't touched in forever and went 15/3/6 as Wukong basically copying what she did and it worked perfectly, however, you will quite suddenly hit a wall at Silver II or I where those tactics will no longer work, and you will end up dropping to a lower level. Here's the thing: Did you learn anything in your climb? Yeah, you learned how to stomp Bronze, so you probably will never end up in that MMR again. Did you learn anything else? Not really. Watching her with this mindset I noticed that:
1) She never wards.
2) She never helped her teammates unless it brought her a personal advantage.
3) They downed sub-objectives like Baron and Dragon about 1/2 as often as you'd expect a bronze level team to do, simply because she was mopping up the entire map...all the time.
4) If she didn't get the margin she was expecting against her opponent (due to bad luck or a slightly smarter opponent than most), and her team wasn't really pulling their own weight in the lanes, she still ending up in the end game with a lot of kills and cs, but lost almost every time. It's that ridiculously OVERPOWERED early game advantage that gave her the wins, her team picked up the scraps in that case and through that were all more fed than the enemy team and they steamrolled. But when she just got **** on and focused to like 2/3/0 or something in lane, she'd end like 12/7/6, with the team kdr like 20/37 and a loss.
So, yes, take it and learn it, it's valuable for outplaying bronze players. However don't expect it to get you to Diamond, as it's not teaching anything besides DESTROYING idiots in your lane and man-moding a map, something that you will never do once you hit gold. As in ever.
My advice? Watch some idiot who's in Bronze streaming his own "My voyage out of Bronze!" stream. You'll see a lot of mistakes. It's much easier to see other people's mistakes than your own, and I've personally found it much more helpful for myself. Watch your own replays still, but also watch others at your current rank.
[More Questions Will Follow. Feel Free to Ask Some.]
ELO HEAVEN - AN AWESOME COMMUNITY OF CONSTRUCTIVE PLAYERS HELPING EACH OTHER OUT:
As a disclaimer before I post anything about this community, let me tell you about it. It's a community of people from all Elo ranges either trying to improve their game (not their Elo), or helping others to do so. Sometimes the "middle members" (1300-1500 Elo) are doing both. It's a rage-free community with a no-tolerance, banned-from-the-community-at-the-first-offense policy.
I hesitate to post the information here because I know some of you are tools, and will use the info to simply troll the community. I pity you if you do, and ask that you don't, but I know how effective that will be.
Elo Heaven, this is the community website - though it's not updated often. What you do here is go to "getting started" or whatever, and check out the information about raidcall. Download raidcall, go to the community portal on RC, and apply to be a member.
A mentor/admin will accept your application when they get to it (sometimes it'll take an hour or two, depending on who's on and what they're doing), and you're in.
There is also a community Chat Room in the League of Legends PVP Client (Where you search for games, see the beautiful Nikasaur do her art thing, and check out recent updates as well as spectate high-elo games, etc.) called "eloheaven." Just open up your chat button (the one with two speech bubbles next to friends and the "!"), Click the speech bubble with a plus on it (the tag says "Create/Join a Chat Room" and type in "eloheaven." Lots of announcements and LFG happens in that chat room.
The community does inhouses (5v5 SR custom games with every member being from the community) all the time, some mentored, some just for fun, and you'll find people doing things like 5 man premade normals (sometimes ranked) and a TON of people looking for a duo partner.
I encourage anyone who wants to improve their ability and has humbled themselves enough to recognize that you NEED to actually IMPROVE your ability to stop by and say hello. The community is friendly, though sometimes the chat room appears full and it's actually like 30 afk people - don't be discouraged if you jump in and say something and don't get a response for several minutes, or even at all. Just keep trying back.
Good luck guys, don't make me regret posting this info here please! :)
IS BRILLIANT ^-^
Currently about to head into some normal games for some CS and map awareness practice, because what you say makes so much damn sense.
This one should be a sticky, so much good information!
Wow, just wow.
I loved reading this. I have to stop myself from saying; "See, this is what I kept saying in-game as well", because I guess that would be one more of those symptoms you discuss in here.
Let me just reply by explaining a bit about myself, so egotistical, but allow me.
- I'm a 27 year old male player. I started LoL about 3 months ago and I'm currently level 23. As you can see, I'm far from playing any ranked, but I can still relate.
I like to think I'm a good player. I'm still learning, I'm not the best, obviously, but I try and regularly end up getting "honored" by both opponent and teammate (currently have green + red Ribbons).
When I started playing, I asked some lvl 30 friends of mine, what I should start with from the free to play selection. The gave me advice to start with Ashe, or Sivir, or any Carry in general. I sucked utter balls, which makes sense for the first week, but I just didn't feel it.
So I started looking around and read each and every champion description, after which I decided to blindly buy Leona. Leona was perfect. I started out passive, I didn't need to lasthit anything to be good and after level 3, if my carry was any good, we could roflstomp pretty much any bottom lane. Her burst is terrifying in midgame and her stun terrifying in late game.
- I didn't ward. It felt like something useless, plus, it doesn't (still doesn't) fit in my first buy sequence.
- These days try to ward more and more, mostly spots that seem important to me, depending on what our situation is. If we're being pushed back, I ward our own jungle entrances, if possible. If we're pushing, I try to Ward the obvious paths an opponent would take to counter pushes.
I started seeing, slowly, how warding was very important and how I didn't need to upgrade all my items as fast as a carry would. If a carry did his thing, I would be carried far enough to get the money without pushing more and more items. Wards became one of the first things to get after my initial setup that supplied me with gold and I buy wards with any leftover gold that I have.
My skill also increased with her. I managed to place my R's more tactically during teamfights, instead of the onetrick pony WEQR. A wellplaced R can slow down a retreat and pick people off, effectively destroying any teamfight. My skillshots have improved massively. If people wouldn't have Flash, or similar, I would never miss a skillshot, even when crossing the opponents path, instead of following it. The hardest shots are actually those that you aim on an opponents that stands still. Anticipating the movement from standstill into full motion resulted in many failed skillshots. Some foes didn't move at all, due to lag, a lack of skill, or just being plain unaware. Some would simply challenge me directly.
After Leona, I tried, succeeded and failed playing many champions.
I play a mean game of Katrina, better than most I encountered, but yesterday, I faced a Sandstorm Katrina. I was hungry, I was tired and quite frankly, the knowledge of those two and that skin, made me afraid as well. So basically I started with a major mental setback and I lost my lane quite early. Our top lane was also getting push out.
I have no clue what happened after, but we started teamfighting early in game, due to our lack of laning power. We actually won our first teamfight and after that we somehow managed to snowball this into something bigger. My lane opponent never came back from the groupphase. She went in and she went down, fast. I waited in the bush, let them empty their CD's on our first advance, jumped in and got 11 kills and 14 assists (5 deaths, of which 3 to Kat in my lane and 1 in my lane by an assassin). We should have lost that match, based on how horrible we did during the early game phase, but our team awareness somehow made up for the lack of individual power. To me, it supports the claim that never giving up, mentally, is paramount to the victory of a game. It's one of the reasons I absolutely hate surrendering when I play against a good team and play it until the end.
I also picked up Lulu and play her as a full support. I start out with Phil.Stone, then get t1 boots and then kage's. I buy a minimum of 3 wards every return and focus on CDR + Mana Regen + Aura items. My money often goes through the roof. I don't know how, but my endgame gold often rivals the income of our carries. They might have 14K, I'll be at 13.2K. I don't get last hits on purpose (although I don't dodge them either, Lulu's Q is worth more than the 9 CS I get during a lane phase). I ward half the world and if I could I would bring more than 5 at a time. My R can be such a pain in the butt during any phase of the game. Opponents start targeting you, because they know that tank will come in and knock them up at least once, depending on the particular champ. Fighting with 1 alistar, 1 Lulu and 1 AD blitz is like knock-up galore. They simply can't survive. If we have 2 good carries, they die before the last knock-up ends.
Yesterday, my lane partner, a Yi, decided to be afk to eat, the first 15 minutes of the game. I faced a Riven and Caitlynn in bottom. I just hugged my tower, asked my jungler to protect my lane when I wasnt there and kept poking (from under my tower, mind). Cait was annoying, she hurt me a lot. I killed her, twice (I quote Olaf; "Solo bottom Lulu LOL!"). They towerdived with 3 to get me down and succeeded, but I took down another one of them. Q 'spam' + R + Tower + W + E ends anyone early game. Sadly, it doesn't end three players.
My jungler popped up with our mid and ended their misery. Our Ward presence kept us alive the entire match. We saw them, they didn't see us. It was the only way to stay afloat. Yi went solo too often, once he came back, so the fights were mostly 4v5 and surprisingly tied.
The match ended in a loss. We were tied pretty close. Our Nexus was open, their Nexus was open. In the end phase, Mal went into our jungle for whatever reason and got himself killed. He was our only tank. They had Darius, Garen, Shen and Riven. But damn, that match was epic. 7/5/26. I love playing support. Not all of them mind you. Sona is useless in my hands, but I play most fairly well and will continue to do so even in ELO Hell.
I just wanted to share these moments with you to explain a bit about why I support your topic. I'm not a saint, I often fail the criterium you wrote down, but I try to get better and better and your rules are my rules, most of the time.
Here's my stats;
Completely love all of what you said. +3 :p
Bumping for Justice.
And I thought the original Why You Lost was the best thread possible. This thread is the reason my friends like queueing with me in ranked, rather than normals. I keep positive, ward often, get my AD kills during laning phase, and sit there and keep my AD safe in teamfights. Do I end up waiting for their Riven to dive in, instead of diving in myself? Yes, but then that ***** gets stunned and melts away, and I'm ready for the next person to feed my carry.
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