How to win when you're having a bad game
In League of Legends, there are a lot of very important skills that may influence your ranking. You can climb the ladder by being a highly mechanical player, by having great knowledge of the game, or by being a leader and directing your team towards the right objectives. But even if you possess all those skills, you will still have bad games from time to time.
We have all had those games where everything seems to go wrong. You reduce your opponent to a sliver of health and he gets away; the enemy jungler successfully ganks you from the only path that isn’t warded (because we always place wards down, right?); you have a bad early trade and get so behind that you can’t even show your face in lane without getting murdered (especially if you’re a top laner).
What you need to understand is that bad games happen to everyone, regardless of skill, and there’s plenty of reasons why. Maybe you lost the last three games and were already tilted before this one even started. Maybe your first mistake frustrated you so much that you’re not thinking clearly anymore. Whatever happened, when you’re in one of those games, one thing must be clear in your mind: you’re not going to carry. In that case, if you want to win you need to let your team carry you.
Getting carried is a hard concept because it messes with your ego. Most people think they’re too good for it and if they’re having a bad game they will most likely lose. That may be true in games where every lane loses hard – after all, you can’t win every match – but there are a fair share of games where you can win even without playing well. You just have to learn how to let it happen.
The first thing you need to change is your mindset. If you died two times in lane already, you’re probably pretty behind your opponent, so you need to accept that you’re having a bad game. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it was your fault - that’s not the point - what matters is that when you are not in position to carry the game, you need to change the way you play.
Supporting your teammates
Let’s say you’re a Nautilus or a Trundle top lane who’s now really behind. What can you do to help your team? As Nautilus or Trundle, you will always have CC and utility, so instead of providing a front-line tank to the team (which would take a lot more gold to do), you will provide peel and protection instead. Stay on the back-line and wait until an enemy is in position to go for your carries. Then, you can protect and peel for them using your utility – that’s what your job is going to be.
But what if the champion you’re playing doesn’t have any CC or utility? If you’re playing as Tryndamere or Master Yi, for example, what can you do to help? Assuming split-pushing isn’t an option, the only thing those champions have in a team fight is damage, so you will, once again, stay on the back-line and try to deal safe damage. DO NOT go for their backline, you’re just going to die without getting much done. You will help the most if you just stay behind and use your damage to assist your carries.
The lesson here is that you need to adapt. League is, above all, a very situational game, you can’t play every game the same way and expect it to work. If you’re able to adapt, you will find yourself winning more games instantly, especially when you’re not doing so well.
Being a team player
Another important part of winning games that you’re not going to carry is to be as good a teammate as possible. Remember, you’re here to win and climb the ladder, if it improves your chances of winning then it’s probably a good idea. Do not start blaming your teammates or get into arguments if they start blaming you, nothing good will come out of it.
Follow your team and go with any plans they want to make, even if you think they are wrong, because five people doing the wrong thing together will always be better than five people doing the right thing separately.
Don’t give your teammates more reason to complain. If you are already behind in lane and start dying over and over again, they will get upset and stop trying to win since they think the game is probably over (especially in lower rankings), so what you need to do is simple: don’t die.
You’re probably thinking “great Korean advice, but it’s not like I choose to die”, but actually sometimes you do, everyone does. I’m sure you once went for that minion when you were almost certain the enemy jungler was there, or when you could easily die for it. I’m sure you once went for that all-in when you had a 30% chance of winning but you just had to see what would happen. And the list goes on. You need to learn to lose the minions, lose the experience, get zoned, and even lose your turret. All of those are better alternatives than dying because if you die you will lose all of that anyway, but the enemy will get an even bigger advantage.
If you can adapt to the situations presented to you, be a good teammate even when you’re getting blamed, and do your best so you don’t die, you won’t have to worry about losing every game you’re not doing well. You will still lose - even the best challenger players rarely have more than 60% of win ratio - but you will acquire skills that most people don’t have and you will be able to proudly say that you know how to get carried.