Master Yourself: The Basics
Hello, friends. Welcome to Master Yourself, a series of guides focused on helping players of every level improve their gameplay and mentality through self-analysis and rational, objective thinking. Since this is the first part of the series, I’ll be going over some basic topics which will be expanded on in later posts. While I’m sure many of you already understand and take advantage of these principles, I hope these pointers will be helpful to some.
First off, why so much focus on self-analysis? It’s pretty simple: You’re the only constant factor in your games. Even with the occasional complaints about a stale metagame, there’s no denying League of Legends is an incredibly diverse game. Many factors, from champion select to item builds and the ever-changing cast of players contribute to making each game a unique experience. The only assets you’ll have access to every game are those you bring yourself, and it’s critical to make sure they’re as sharp and polished as possible.
Self-analysis doesn’t just mean the basic things, like looking at your mechanical mistakes and poring over your stats. It means taking a step back and looking at everything you contribute to a game, from your champion pool to your team play and even how you interact with your teammates from a clear, objective point of view. Analyzing all these factors will allow you to play to your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and hopefully eliminate any critical flaws in your mentality.
It’s easy to look at another person and pick out flaws in their playstyle or mechanical errors, but it’s an entirely different matter to do so for yourself. It’s totally natural to subconsciously filter out your own mistakes or flaws, and breaking that habit is a key part of improving your gameplay and mentality. Learning to think objectively and analyzing situations from perspectives other than your own are valuable tools for improving your gameplay and ability to deal with teammates.
Play to Your Strengths
Every player is unique, with their own array of champion styles and strategies that work best for them. Blindly sticking to meta champions when they just don’t fit your style of play can really hurt your gameplay. Always be on the lookout for new things and don’t be afraid to try new champions and strategies, but when push comes to shove, play what feels right.
Minimize Your Weaknesses
There will always be some champions, matchups, and strategies that you have trouble dealing with, and you won’t always have the luxury of banning or counterpicking to handle them. It’s important to analyze why you have so much trouble with specific situations. Once you understand what factors lead into problem scenarios, it becomes much easier for you to find ways to avert the situation or compensate in other ways.
Work For Your Team
Once you feel comfortable with your own playstyles, gameplay, and mentality, you might think it’s time to start working on your teammates, but that’s a dangerous path to go down. You can have the best intentions in the world, but what really matters is how other people interpret your actions. When you objectively consider the risks versus the potential rewards of trying to educate or micromanage teammates in the middle of the game, it’s often as bad a decision as a risky Baron call.
A better way of looking at this issue is to ask yourself, “How can I use my own skillset to best help my team?” When see problems with your teammate’s champion select or in-game decisions, instead of critiquing them, look for ways to apply your own champion pool or game knowledge to compensate.
There’s Always Room to Improve
There are so many factors that go into any given game of League of Legends that a perfect game is impossible. Even in the most one-sided losses, you can always find some way to improve your gameplay, mentality, or teamwork. As long as you keep moving forward and growing as a player, and you’ll make steady progress towards your goals.
I hope you all find at least some of these basic principles valuable. Please look forward to more guides in the coming weeks, as I delve into more specifics in a wide array of topics like maintaining a good champion pool, dealing with criticism, and a good mindset for starting games right. Until then, good luck and don’t forget to have some fun.