Hi all! My name's SpiritSentient. I'm 30 years old, I run multiple highly successful businesses, play multiple games with some of the best and brightest, and organize multiple events in various industries. I'm also something of a renaissance-man, well-versed in traditional art, design, photo, video, and audio.
I love League of Legends, Riot, and the community. It's a pleasure to write you all
I know that a number of people feel some frustration with a good portion of their games. I wrote this to alleviate and relieve some of the frustration. It`s part 2 in a series (The first was called: 5 Things To Know Whether Playing With Friends or Strangers, and was posted in the New Players forum. - There is now a third part called: A Fresh Perspective On Practicing.)
I made this because I felt it might improve your games, I care about you guys
Skip to the bottom if you like
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Hey... psst... hey you... feel powerful, because you ARE powerful.
If you want to change your game experience, hopefully it's clear, you must exercise some kind of power. League of Legends is a game about Power-Balance.
People who FEEL POWERLESS, change nothing.
People who FEEL POWERFUL, make changes.
Every person, in every activity, can offer ATTENTION, or withdraw attention, and this is the basis of POWER. If you are able to attract and maintain other people's attention, you HAVE EXTREME POWER. If people`s attention wanders, it's a sign your power is dwindling. If people are riveted and hanging off your every word, it's a sign your power is growing.
If people are watching your every move, and every ping, in the game - You are POWERFUL. Period. They have secretly voted and declared you the powerful leader, whether you like it or not, whether you -- or they -- even realize it.
You're a leader. Even if you're a follower, you're a leader, and you can and will have people's attention.
The number of people I've seen in League of Legends who are blessed with tons of power every game, and then piss it all away, practically ruining the game for themselves, is ridiculous. If you're tired of turning all of your games into ****ty experiences, this article is for you. If you're tired of crappy team leaders who can't deliver, SPREAD THIS ARTICLE. It will create another powerful leader every time someone reads it. I am sharing and expanding some extremely high-level concepts and ideas that apply to ALL GAMES (and all life).
Okay, Let`s begin. First, it's key to understand your own potential for power, and holding attention.
1. Potential For Respect (Power)
Perhaps you're thinking "WTF, no one listens to me, I don't have ANY power to hold attention, you're nuts, Spirit."
That's okay, it's cool, a little bit of the ol' crazy never hurt anybody, and on top of that...
The way life works, is that every human being has power, and every human being can creatively figure out new ways to increase the power they are exercising.
Also, in any group there is one person who is being given the most power/attention, and the others in the group* are eager and enthusiastic about following that leader, and will gladly do so. Secretly, deep down, everyone has the same goal - which is a smooth, enjoyable, flowing, guided, game experience.
*Occasionally there are power struggles
Each player on your team has a certain "respect-level", or "amount-of-attention" they can get from the other players. You've probably played a game with someone like this, and felt the difference. Some say these people "seem experienced", are "natural leaders", have a vibe/aura, etc. -- Even in a team of complete and utter n00bs, one of the players will easily and naturally command more respect/attention.
Some of the easiest ways to have a high "potential-for-respect" (respect-level) are the following:
Have a High Summoner Level (or Stats, Wins, Year, Experience etc.)
This one generally requires some effort/practice/time devotion, but again, if you are playing with a whole bunch of new people, as long as you are a few summoner levels above them, they will probably willingly give you their attention and look to you for authority, guidance and leadership. Let's say you have ths, and people give you their energy, attention, and support -- how you use this is vital, a powerful leader who rejects the power and attention offered him leaves his/her team severely hampered.)
Have a Reputation and/or Community Respect (Celebrity Factor)
This one also usually requires some effort/contribution/time devotion, but can be short-cutted by making friends with someone of reputation. One public vouch from Reginald, HotshotGG, or ihatehumans can cement your "respect-level" pretty hard. It can also be short-cutted by writing or contributing one brilliant idea/creation to the community. Run a League Of Legends website, write a tier-list or guide that gains some popularity, and it could be a lock. This means people have a very high chance of listening to you and giving you their attention.
Be friendly, sensitive, and loving. (The Beyond Decent Human Being Method)
This one requires mainly focus, social taste, and naturally kind habits, and can instantly garner at least a medium level of respect in any game, but can often be overlooked / easily hindered by players who are focused on the above two characteristics.
Note: You may be kind, communicative, supportive, and encouraging others to team up and collaborate to victory, but if they've already given all their attention to that "UBER PRO LVL 30 Reginald-Friend FTW!" then they will not be listening to your friendly-polite-level-15-ass.
What you do with this Power is up to you, but no matter what you think, people are consistently giving someone else their attention, and in game, this could easily be you, and I recommend using the power to shape your game experience into something you enjoy.
If you feel like people should listen to you, if you feel like you're a leader, it's important to share and demonstrate the qualities of a leader. To command attention, be aware that people respond bly to your "respect-level". If you feel you barely have one, what's step 1 for you? Build that respect-level. Master some of the above. Improve your stats and experience, connect with some people in the community, and expand your friendliness and evolve beyond being simply 'a decent human being.' Be extraordinary, be different, be outstanding - be loving, its tricky to find people who enjoy being around, and giving attention to... Haters.
If you really, truly, want to shape your game experience, if you want people to listen when you speak -- there are a handful of shortcuts, (and you may even come up with more of your own), but a focus on some of the above methods is suggested.
2. Directing (or flowing) Your Power To Command Attention
Okay, so you've got step one down -- you've got some reasonable "game-cred". Now ask yourself, when you enter a game, are you using it? Are you using it in a way that feels right to you and powerfully affects your game experience?
There are 5 players on a League of Legends team, and a number of things generally need to occur between them each game.Who is the best person to lead/make these decisions, or exercise power? Who has everyone's attention? Who has the power to steer the game?
YOU DO. If you've handled step 1 at least a little, then you're in a position to do quite a bit to affect your game.
What's very interesting, is what the powerful players on a team choose to do. It can go either way. They can use their game-cred + respect-level, or abuse it, or reject it. For example...
Do they talk/type/communicate a lot? Or barely at all?
Do they play roles that round out and support the team? Or choose whatever habitual, unconscious, insta-lock they can?
Do they ping targets, call retreats, prioritize lane-switches and ganks? Or do they play one-handed, on the phone, or while eating without a word?
Do they co-operate, collaborate, and patiently wait for the team? Or do they solo the game, barely aware that they are other human beings around?
Do they suggest items, counters, and play-styles that will help their team? Or do they type "learn n00b," "fail", and "don't feed pls"?
Check out the above questions, and if you command some respect, you can use these questions to aim your power properly.
It all starts at the Champion selection screen.
Actually it starts before that - it starts in your green LoL Status, or your forum posts, or how you fall asleep at night. For now though, we'll focus on the Champion Selection Screen.
So it's you and 5 other people, and you're a good player, and people know it. You hold their respect and attention; they gave it to you as soon as they got matched up with you, or the second you said 'hi, i have 10 wins with champ released today', and you have the power to check if there is a decent jungler. You can call for another tank if the team needs one. You can ensure you have enough ranged DPS, or enough tower-pushers or Crowd Control for the current meta. You have 90 seconds while most people are sitting around with their thumb in their ass, and you have the power to make friends and start leading your team, and shaping your game experience.
You can let everyone know kindly, and humbly that "Hey guys, I recently passed my 900th game mark, and I'm pretty excited. If anyone wants to improve their game feel free to ask." You can say to everyone "Hey guys, don't lock in your picks if you can, so I can figure out who to choose to balance out the team." You can say "Hi! I'm ready to tank/initiate/backdoor if you guys will follow my lead!"
Longest sentence you've ever typed at the champion screen? Maybe so - but it's also one of the most powerful.
Next we have lane-selection. Another opportunity to exercise massive power.
Not many people enjoy a completely imbalanced, overwhelmingly difficult lane-matchup. I know I don't. I like balance, I like a reasonable-challenge that suits me.
Two, slow-starting, poor farming melee characters against a power-tank and a ranged-carry is not generally desired. You have the power to stop this with a kind word, and the power of your reputation/experience. "Hi guys, Cait or Anivia are our best solo-mid champions, is either of you confident mid?" sets the tone. Follow with "It'd be good to have a tank in each of our lanes, but I'm going to jungle, so is someone comfortable soloing top for a while?" -- You are playing to people who may or may not have experience with jungling, soloing top, or soloing-mid. You can find out quickly and easily, and direct them somewhere that will have your game going smoothly. OR...
You can buy-items-rush-solo-mid and RAPEFACE LOLLLll!!11. Then blame your team for their ****ty lane match-ups and early feeding, who had the power to easily change things? You did.
Which choice/behaviour will result in a smoother, more co-ordinated, more effective game, not just for you, but for all 5 players on your team?
There's more... these opportunities to exercise power go on through the entire game.
Generally during the game, there will be some successful team-fights and some less-than-successful team-fights. Many, many players you will encounter will be COMPLETELY UNFAMILIAR with what to do, what to focus on, where to position themselves, and so on immediately after these semi-chaotic and intense battles.
Remember that as the attention-holder, secretly, your team is hoping, waiting, and expecting you to step up and exercise your power, and direct them. They are happy to support anyone who seems confident/powerful.
After a team-fight (successful or unsuccessful), should you
a) go shop while you Pimp Your Champion for xtreeem Deeps
b) get yourself to a safe spot asap
c) direct each member of your team individual, or as a group, towards their smartest/most helpful play or position, taking into account their personal playstyles and preferences.
d) take their outer tower, inner tower, inhib, nexus towers, and nexus RUSH FTW!
Did you answer B followed immediately by C? Of course you did, because you understand how to exercise your power and manage your team's attention.
After a team-fight you would realize instinctively that "Yes, we just killed 4 out of 5, and yes we pushed an inner tower, but that the enemies respawn timers are up, 4 of them have teleports, and they are pissed.", you would know that your team just rolls with momentum, if they are pushing they will keep pushing no matter what, because they are on a roll, unless the Leader who Has Their Attention, directs them elsewhere. You know the safe move is to be content with the gold and experience from the kills, to be content with pushing a tower, and to get back to base and shop fast, because of the inevitable "pissed-off-enemy-revenge-push".
So great, you have all this knowledge that can change the course of the whole game. If you fail to exercise your power, your team DIES. Hard. If you fail to direct them, your 50%-mana team keeps pushing, they have an over-extended fight near the enemies Base-Turret, get stunned by all the fresh Champions with full health, mana, and cooldowns with a turret assisting them. Maybe you get away because you are smart, pro, and experienced. Maybe you rage a little bit in your head or in chat, and blame them for dying, "they should have known better." - Wrong. They don't know better. Period. YOU knew better, you held the knowledge, AND their attention. YOU could've changed things with a quick sentence. Even easier in vent. So easy in Vent it's almost a tragedy people won't speak up and use their power. Especially the experienced players, especially the pros, the K/D/R superstars, the Carry's -- YOU GUYS HAVE THE POWER. The rest of your team is supporting you and giving you more.
So, let's say after the fight you do exercise your power, and right after the team-fight you quickly ping two times, and type "back, back" "not safe" "get your asses behind the river, we had a great push, its over now. A safe move for us is to grab dragon quick, and then defend Mid."
Guess what happens now?
Your 4 teammates are thrilled that the Leader they Gave Their Attention to is offering his advice and experience. They respond to your pings, and your team got 4 kills, a turret, and plenty of time to shop, heal, benefitted from Dragon gold and experience to get that next-sexy-item and now they defend an advantageous fight on your territory with zero losses.
Bravo, you power-leader, you <grin>
3. If For Some Reason You Currently Hold Minimal Power
If for some reason you don't hold people's attention (a series of poor decisions, a brand new Summoner-Account, low community-standing, etc.) you stll have opportunities to quickly raise it. These are 'looser' moves, that involve more risk, but higher reward.
They are Bold Moves.
And Bold Moves command attention.
Some examples of bold moves:
-Charge To The Rescue: "I know I've been feeding but, my Shaco now has Guardian Angel, TP, and Boots Of Mobility" I know I can backdoor any lane and get out if you guys defend the base super-super-safely."
-Creative and Innovative Strategy: "Hi all, I play AD Alistar, it's unique but watch it in action." (It's important to deliver on your innovation.)
-Taking The Lead When Others Are Not: "Guys, we need a leader, and I may be a ******ed leader, but it's better than none - Let's 5-man Push Mid all together."
There are many, many more ideas, hopefully you are rarely in a situation where these sorts of massive risks are necessary, but hey
4. How To Quickly and Easily Lose Attention
Rage And Blame (Failing To Take Responsibility)
You have your teams attention. You are the leader. You have the power. You are making the major calls and directing the flow and course of the game. If you tell everyone NOT to extend far and to stay safe under your towers, and then you stray out and get killed and they rush in to Save Their Fearless Leader and THEY proceed to get facerolled -- DON'T BLAME THEM. They were staying safe under towers, and YOU extended. They merely trusted a human instinct to save their favourite player. If you want to exercise power in this scenario, make sure it's clear to them that they are NOT TO COME SAVE YOU as you extend and take risks.
Or let's say you initially told Player's 3 (First time Alistar) +4 (Decent Tryndamere) to lane together bottom. It turns out, they have a super-rough lane matchup there and are starting to feed. They don't say anything, because you told them to lane together and they do not have the same 'match-up analysis' experience you, as the 'better-player' have. So they continue to feed. You can see it happening, you know why it's happening. It's because the CC and DPS of Ryze and Xin Zhao plus the enemy jungler are overwhelming for Tryndamere and Alistar. They are doing the best the know how. They're not used to calling lane switches, and they've have minimal experience against a jungler. They are underfarmed, underlevelled, and can barely afford items/wards. The clear, overwhelming solutions to you are a) switch lanes, b) ward hard, c) gank their lane to relieve pressure, d) let the lane fall and everyone push an alternate lane. YOUR TEAM WILL LIKELY NOT REACH THESE SOLUTIONS ON THEIR OWN. They have already given you all the attention, power, and leadership. If you want to exercise power, you walk back to your tower or a bush, stop farming your lane for the split second it takes to type, and to Teach Them. Offer them a solution, explain a bit, reassure them. Compliment them on trying hard against a tough match-up.
An interesting flipside to this, is that if you make a whole bunch of poor decisions but choose not to rage or blame, and calmly take responsibility for each one, and focus on doing better, you will maintain your power, and perhaps even grow in it, because people ADORE honesty, integrity, and personal responsibility.
Allow Your Teams Inexperience and Mistakes to Make Your Play Sloppy
Let's say your team is winning, and some of them are becoming cocky and aggressive. They chase excessively, wander the map solo, they stop placing wards and generally are begging to be ganked. So instead of communicating or leading, you start to try 'coming to their rescue'. They *almost* kill someone way out past the river but they die, so you attempt to clean up or finish the enemy off. By this time, the entire enemy team is MIA and on their way to save their low-hp friend. Should you be following your over-extended teammate into enemy territory? No, but you got sloppy, and wanted payback for the kill. Not only do the two of you die at enemy hands, but you LOST THE ATTENTION OF ALL 4 PLAYERS ON YOUR TEAM. In their heads and hearts they just said to themselves "This guy isn't nearly as smart as we give him credit for. Maybe I'll solo a bit more or do my own thing."
You didn't hear them, they didn't say it out loud, they may not even know they said it to themselves, but they did. Believe it. (You can rectify this by communicating "Guys, I got sloppy and slipped up -- I did not take my own advice. When it's not safe to go out past the river, I WILL NOT come to save you from now on.")
So the game is going a more and more downhill, it feels like your team NEVER LISTENS and are a bunch of n00bs. You're pinging less, typing less, chatting less on vent. You wander the map, trying to rely on yourself as a one-man-army taking care of any lane that needs it because well... "can't rely on anyone else, n00bteam, sigh." In a time when the game needs some serious changes and direction -- You are exercising less and less power. This starts a landslide. Without your guidance, players 1-4 begin to reclaim their attention, and follow your lead. You act like you don't have a reliable team, they act like they don't have a reliable leader, and they do MORE of their own thing, MORE solo stuff, MORE unco-ordinated bull****, and your team gets steamrolled. If you want to exercise your power, you communicate powerfully. You say "Guys, they have a b leader and they've been steamrolling us, I've come back from worse if anyone wants to lead." -- Give them the choice, does anyone want to lead? If they do, follow, if they do not, you are still the leader. Communicate.
Another example would be to start eating, answer a friend at the door, or play while on the phone - WITHOUT letting your team know. You are taking their linchpin, their leader, their MVP away from them, operating at 50% effectiveness/focus, and not putting a second-in-command. Make a better choice, shape your game experience. Remember, you want a smooth game, and so does everyone else.
Compare Players Against Each Other
Tanks for the most part cannot, and will not, and should not compete with a ranged carry or pro-junglers K/D/R. Some champions have a much harder time farming, period, and they may not fill out their items well. Things happen. It's okay. Choose to skip comparing people. Comparing one member of your team to another, in your head, or in public serves no one. Everyone can already see the difference, there is no need to highlight it. It will prompt the 'weaker-stats' player on your team to feel frustrated, not calm. Do you want frustrated players on your team, or calm ones? You choose. It will lose you respect and attention, because no one wants to follow a leader who picks favourites and is prejudiced against other team members, encouraging them to compete against one another for K/D/R dominance, instead of encouraging them to co-operate towards defeating the other team and having fun.
Ignore Your Followers
They may be whining, they may be silent, they may be raging. Whatever they are doing they are giving you feedback, and they aren't doing it for no reason, they are doing it to communicate something to you.
"if cait wasn't so fed" or "my ult is bugged" or "i'm usually better" translates into "Leader, I feel pissed and sad that I'm not contributing like I see myself doing. I could really use a self-esteem boost or someone to stand up and tell me to focus on smart play."
"i told you they were coming" or "i did what you said and we still died" or "come on, wtf, baron - i said baron" translates into "Leader, I'm rapidly losing confidence in your decisions, I feel I can lead better."
"where i go?" or "what item to get?" or "when i use ult?" translates into "Leader, I feel confused and out of my element, I'd really love some specific instructions from you and then I'll shine like a star."
Silence usually means you've lost their attention. Maybe something happened at their house, maybe they are tired of following you, maybe they are so focused on kills/ganks that they no longer see the chat log/hear you on vent.
Whatever the case, IGNORE THEM AND WATCH ATTENTION DROP. All the power you have to lead and direct the smoothness of the game will shrink.
It`s easy to lose attention, but it`s just as easy to maintain it. You're smart, choose well.
TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR - TL;DR
Guys, I spent quite a bit of time and energy writing this, you help you. To help your games. No one's forcing you to read it, and I'd really appreciate it if you didn't downvote it because it's more writing than usual.
1. Everyone, secretly wants their game experience to go smoothly and enjoyably. That is the goal.
2. A leader holds a vast majority of the power to help things go smoothly and enjoyably.
3. Become the leader, then exercise your power and choices towards the goal of smooth, enjoyable gaming, not frustrated BS gaming.
How To Do This
1. Attract attention, hold attention, you are the powerful leader of the game, with tremendous options on how to shape the game experience.
2. Let blame, rage, comparing K/D/R, assumptions, and expectations go, and communicate (A LOT), lead (A LOT), and exercise your power to uplift, elevate, and expand your team's play.
3. Watch the beautiful results unfold.
I feel it`s clear, I wrote this to encourage and guide others towards fun, smooth, enjoyable gaming experiences, and that starts with the leaders -- and there are leaders in every single game. You could be it next!
Thanks for reading!
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