Ever wonder how a guy can play golf every day for 40 years and yet not be able to break 90? That’s because practice doesn’t make perfect. If you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, you will never truly get better.
Perfect practice makes perfect. Always practice how you play, because you play how you practice.
How many play ranked to get better? I’d argue very few actually do, even though there are many different ways to improve your play in soloq until you reach a certain subjective point. Once that point is reached, other means become necessary if you want to continue to take your game to a higher level.
But there’s that word again, “higher level”, “get better”, maybe even competitive. How many people play soloq with those ambitions, those goals, in mind?
For those of you that have those ambitions in mind, this is for you all. For those who don’t, why are you even playing soloq? It’d be like joining a sport’s team at school with the only intent of chatting and hanging out with friends. If you want to chat and hang out with friends, and your goal isn’t to take yourself to another level, then you’re in the wrong spot. Join a club team or a rec team, something where the goal is only to have fun, and not to improve. Play normals or arams instead.
Every game at a high level has its own unique skill level and intriquices. With Starcraft, there’s a myriad of different options to beat your opponent with. Out think them, out play them (macro-wise, micro-wise) and many variations thereof. The struggle with lower level players is… “Where do I start?”
With League of Legends, I feel that avenue has not been talked about nearly enough as it should be.
Where do you start, what do you look to as a benchmark to improve upon and get better?
Where do I start with the lot of you? Pay no attention to what any of the pros are doing. You don’t know the whys, how come, you can’t feel the map pressure like they can, why they’re moving and acting certain ways, just ignore all of that, it’s pretty much meaningless to you at your level.
1) Work on last hitting. If you’re not hitting close to 200 cs by 20 minutes there’s an issue with the way things are going down. Open up a custom game by yourself, and work on last hitting minions in your lane only. Start writing down the numbers at 3 minutes, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 minutes. CS is the most abundant gold source for you in the game. You can always rely on a wave of minions to come and fill your pockets with.
2) Get comfortable with the way champions feel and fit your style of play. Not sure what that is? Now is as good as time as any to find out. Do you like using skill shots and pressing a lot of buttons in the correct sequence to do damage? Do you like pressing 1-2 buttons to deal terrible terrible damage? Find out and get use to those type of champions across the board.
3) Start being aware of when you can die. If you’ve just hit level 5 and your enemy laner has just hit 6, chances are you could die. Wait for them to push the wave to you. Maybe ask your jungler for help. You’ll start seeing your deaths go down and you may even see your kills go up, because the great thing about self-awareness is you start to realize, “Hey, I can kill this guy.”
4) Be aware that objectives win games moreso than kills. Kills allow for objectives to be taken.
1) Work on last hitting. Yes you still suck at it but being able to admit you suck at something allows you to improve that much more quickly, because you’re aware of your faults to begin with.
2) Comfortable with a few champions yet? Good. Now how many of them are in the meta, or close to it? If they’re far off, can you justify them in your team comp? If you can’t, it may be one area that’s holding you back. Start to become aware of team comps. Do they have a lot of poke? Then you’ll need hard engage (poke is weak [on even terms of level] in a straight up fight). Do they have a lot of hyper carries/people who scale extremely well the later the game goes? Then do your best to end it early. Do you have a lot of hard cc? Get control of vision and make some plays.
3) Start becoming aware of lane mechanics. If you AA every creep you’ll push the lane. If you last hit you’ll freeze it, learn when waves start to build up, and realize how lanes reset.
4) Do you have correct runes/masteries? Most ADCs run AS. Most mids run hybrid or ap pen, hpl or arm/l, mr blue or ap pl (or even CDR). Begin to use your brain as to why they’d run certain things in certain situations.
5) Start becoming aware of rotations. If they’ve taken top t1 and bottom t1 turret, and they all have full health, chances are they’ll be knocking on mid’s door soon, providing the waves from top and bot aren’t pushing back against them hard. Realize this and be in the right place at the right time.
1) Work on last hitting with all of your champions. Not just one or two. Be aware that if you have an advantage vs. your laner, and your siege minion is almost dead… the enemy laner wants that gold. Well, make him pay for it. If you’re jungling, he just may tunnel in on that creep. Make him pay.
2) Junglers, if they’re not doing it, ask your laners to let you know when people’s summoners are down. If your bot lane has no summoners, are weak, and have a lot of minions pushing into them, they are at risk of getting dove on (with a lot of factors involved but generally speaking this is a good time to dive someone). Are you farming golems or are you in the right place at the right time?
3) The more you can mess with someone’s source of income (farm), the better you can control the game. If you’re 30 cs up on top laner and your wave is pushing into their turret and the jungler comes and you can’t get out, trading 1 for 1 with their top laner is still a good trade you want to take. If you know you’re dead, don’t blow summoners, because there will be a repeat gank if they try to get their top laner back into the game.
4) Are you building correctly? No but seriously, are you? Seriously… are you? Raise your hand if you’ve ever built athenes vs. an all ad team. I’ve seen it happen. Yes it’s cheap and allows for a quicker power spike than building morello/tear/seeker into Zhonyas, yes there a pros that will just build Athenes but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right 100% of the time. Never blindly follow anything. Start questioning “Why are they doing this in this situation? How would it change based on X, Y, and Z?”
Building correctly affects your chances of winning the game.
5) Become aware of your actions. For every action in the game you should be able to talk it out to someone and explain your thought process. If you think going ham on the mid laner when your bot lane has lost and you have no vision control of your bottom jungle, get ganked by 3 other people and are surprised, then you’re not aware of your surroundings. Saying, “Well if they weren’t there it’d be a kill,” isn’t good enough. Because they were there. It sucks, I’m not shaming you.. if you can work this in, you’ll start winning more.
How? “Man their mid is so weak I could kill – wait, I’ve got no vision of their bot. I’ll just play safe until I see someone, then I can still kill them if they stay out. If not I can hold turret until my team rotates.”
6) Start to grasp the concept of engaging, disengaging, and kiting. If you can’t team fight well, split push and try to set up a pick somewhere because at some point you can’t keep bashing your head against the wall over and over.
1) I’m still going to say it, because you still suck at it. Last hit. For the love of god, it’s the most reliable source of money in the game… get it!
2A) Meta champs. They’re there for a reason. Slightly off meta champs can work but you have to have a good reason for it. You can still win with few meta champs but you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage if they don’t fit into your team comp at all. You’re effectively lowering your chances to win the game, and if you have any desire at winning games, then you’ll do your best to win.
2B) Lane mechanics are a simple tool to help set up ganks, deny gold/exp, and getting objectives. If you’re weak early vs. your enemy laner, don’t get the lane frozen at their turret or you’ll be shit out of luck for awhile.
Knowing how lanes work, how to soft push, hard push, allows you to create pressure on the map for the enemy team, right? Think about it. This scenario has all T1 turrets on both sides destroyed, and bottom and middle lane with a huge wave crashing against the enemy T2 turret. There should be at least 2 people in the middle/bottom half of the map to deal with that pressure. This immediately opens up opportunities to catch someone out on that side if you choose, or set up vision on middle/top side for baron. All because the people on your team were aware that, “If I kill a handful of these creeps, it’ll build into a large wave in a couple minutes and crash on them,”
Ultimately realize with this that if you’re making a baron call with 1 ward, no sweepers, and all 3 lanes pushing against you, even if you succeed, be aware that that’s a bad call. Even if you’re way ahead of them, when you’re ahead you get more ahead, you don’t play even riskier to get them back into the game.
3) By this point your runes should be correct and so should your items. Stop with the 9 armor yellows mid. HPL or arm pl but not flat armor. By the time you’re level 6 you’ll have the same armor level as if you had flat armor. It’s really not needed.
Build correctly. They’re all ad, don’t build MR. You need CDR/mana? Build morellos, get a tear. Are you a bit behind and can’t afford that? Okay, then guess you’re just going the athenes route, but at least you’ve recognized why.
Are you an ADC and they have 2-3 people that can get in your face? For some you may need a QSS, for others a BV or maybe even a GA, but even a BOTRK as a defensive item (after BT, LW, PD/shiv) can really help peel them off of you.
4) Rotations rotations rotations. Where would you be if you were them? Great, now be one step ahead of them.
5) Team fights… the farther you go in, the more you seperate your squishies from the big bad bullies. Typing worth after you killed one while three of your teammates died does not make it alright, unless they surrender afterwards.
1A) A few of you have really gotten down the concept of creeps = gold = big shiny items. Use that to hit your power spikes and do something with it.
1B) Junglers, if the enemy bot lane finished IE before your bot lane, chances are they’re going to look to do some uneven trading if you catch my drift. Help them out, then cash in on dragon.
1C) Junglers, if your bot lane finished IE before the enemy laners, chances are (with many factors involved) the enemy jungler might be looking to get his bot lane back into the swing of things. Smack a bitch, would you?
2) How many of you still don’t prep minions for your ADC, you just let them lose cs under turret. YOU HAD ONE JOB! One of.. hundreds, but really, it’s in the job description.
3) What is your team good at, what do they suck at? Play to the strengthens and weaknesses.
4) Open your eyes. Still a lot of tunneling going on. If you practice like shit you’ll play like shit.
For those that experience too high an arousal level (which is what it’s called when someone’s focus is too high and they tunnel vision), one technique that works very well is concentrating on your breathing. Try to inhale and exhale slowly, focusing on each breath at a time. By slowing down a physiological response, your other anxiety responses will also slow down.
During practices, focusing on cue words to help break you from the tunnel vision can also help. Something meaningful, or as weird as saying “banana” every time you notice yourself start to become too amped up can help snap you back to the here and now and focus more appropriately.
5) Is your job to engage, peel, what? Well, do it, then.
I’ve only played a few of you guys during WCG 2013, not enough information to really go on here except quite a few still do stupid shit so stop doing stupid shit and you’ll win more. Weird concept is weird.
Bronzies: Last hit.
Silvers: Last hit, play a plethora of champions to figure out what you like.
Gold: Last hit, start playing meta champs, know when you can get killed and when you can kill. Take objectives.
Platinum: Last hit, lane mechanics, objectives, rotations.
Diamonds: Lane mechanics, snowball the hyper carries, don’t tunnel so hard.
Challenger: Teach me how to Dougie.