10 Tips to Become Top-Tier Support

“Support is a very difficult role in competitive play because the only two skills that transfer over from solo queue to competitive play are the laning abilities and team fight abilities. All of the warding and map rotations are totally different making it a little bit of a challenge for a lot of new supports. There is definitely room for people who are in the master and low challenger realm to improve just a bit and challenge LCS players.” ~ Silver

Want to improve your support play in League of Legends? Whether you like to play Janna, Alistar, Bard – or even less traditional supports like Gragas – in this guide you get 10 universal tips to become a good support player.

Tip #1: Learn One Champion at a Time

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you when learning support is to take on one champion at a time. This means you should become very comfortable with one champion before proceeding to learn the next. Learning how to play all the support champions at once is inefficient as you fail to learn the ins and outs of each champion. The ultimate goal is to have a champion pool of four to five support champions, where you are very comfortable on two to three of those champions. These are the champions you main for support.

Here’s some advice from challenger support Lohpally:

“Find champions that fit your style and are comfortable and just focus on getting better at those first before branching off, don’t overwhelm yourself with champion mastery.”

Here’s some advice from challenger coach Silver:

“Try to focus on one or two larger ideas and once you master those, move on.”

Tip #2: Learn the Specific Capabilities of Each Support Champion

The champions in League of Legends designated for support can be categorized into different groupings. There are a few different kinds of supports, in terms of method and role. Many of these champions may be capable of doing different roles, but not all champions are able to do them equally. Let’s go through a few different types of supports.

I like to call champions such as Soraka, Sona and Janna “dedicated supports” because they allow their ADC to farm safely, help set up potential kills, and they  make sure that their ADC is healthy. They generally rely on the strength of their raw abilities. On the other hand, champions like Zilean, Karma and Morgana can be referred to as “AP supports” as they focus on winning their lane by using their abilities to contribute damage to the enemy lane. Play to the strengths of each type.

Tip #3: Identify Your Mistakes as a Support

I find lower elo players ask questions like, “I main support but I just can’t get out of Silver elo… what do I do?” Well, the first step to improve is identifying what you’re really struggling with. You have to realize that every champion for the role of support is powerful in its own unique way, and you have to make sure you’re playing these champions right without making mistakes. For example, knowing when to engage with a champion such as Alistar is necessary in order to win your lane. Engaging at the wrong time can give the enemy bot lane a double kill and put your ADC along with yourself behind in gold.

One of the best ways to recognize your mistakes is to watch replays of your gameplay. “The main tip I have for people improving in solo queue in almost any role is to look at your own play before you start blaming everyone else,” says challenger coach Silver. “95% of the time there is something however small that you can improve on that would have made at least a little bit of a difference in the outcome.”

Tip #4: Vision Control

A big mistakes I see with low elo supports is a lack of vision control. Many low elo players believe that putting out wards and maintaining good vision is not necessary. Ggood vision around the map is one of the biggest factors in winning a game. If you recognize that you do not have good vision control as a support, force yourself to put more wards on the map.

Tip #5: Keep in Mind Cooldowns of Your ADC and Opponents

While it is difficult to know the exact CDs of your ADC and lane opponents, top-tier supports have a good idea of when the abilities of their ADC and opponents are on cooldown.  Knowing the CDs of your fellow teammates and opponents can help you recognize when to initiate and when to play safe.

Tip #6: Melee Support vs Ranged Support

When you play a melee support against a ranged support, try your best to hit level two first and then use this advantage to immediately engage. After this first engage, be cautious when trying to engage, and ward the opposing bush to have vision of the enemy support. Avoid getting poked down, and try to all-in when possible.

Tip #7: Observe Lane Patterns

Depending on the enemy lane’s champions and play-styles, they may choose to play the lane aggressively or passively. It is your job to recognize this pattern. If the enemies are passive for the majority of the time but they suddenly begin to play aggressively, be cautious as there is a good chance that your lane is getting ganked.

Tip #8: Harass as a Ranged Support

It is vitally important to harass the enemy ADC and support if you are playing a ranged champion such as Nami or Morgana. Even if it means harassing the enemy champions with just auto-attacks, taking that bit of health away from them will relieve some pressure off your ADC and help your lane overall. Your spells can be very effective as well.

Tip #9: Summoner Spells

Summoner spells are very important. Having your summoner spells up while the enemy bot lane doesn’t gives your ADC and yourself a huge advantage in a two vs two. Keep note of summoner spells and try to force a fight if you have this advantage.

Tip #10: Try Lead the Team

“Support players are the leaders in lane and not enough people realize that,” said challenger coach Silver. As a support, it may be effective for you to make the calls in solo queue on when to engage, which objectives to go for next, etc. Helping the team be organized can lead you to victory. I often find that teams in solo queue need a leader who can step up to the plate and make the calls. In addition, make sure that you keep a positive mindset throughout your games as a support because a negative atmosphere usually leads to defeat.

Found these support tips helpful? You will like Summoner School, the complete guide to become a dominant player.

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Yasuo Mid Guide And How To Counter

Transcript

G’day, I’m UberGiantsBro and welcome to this concise Yasuo guide. In this video I’m going to teach you what you need to know to play Yasuo mid as well as how to counter Yasuo if you’re versing one.

The first thing you need to know about Yasuo is that he’s a high risk, high reward champion – he’s easy to stuff up but he has a fairly high skill cap so he feels great when you outplay someone with an awesome combo.

So with the runes build and masteries, I don’t want to talk about them too much because they’re fairly self explanatory. Ofcourse you can try other stuff but this is what I’ve fuond to be the best settup. The reason for the 5% crit runes is that with this build it puts you at a neat 100% crit chance.

So with laning with Yasuo there’s a few things you need to keep in mind.

Firstly with skills you’ll want to start with Steel Tempest (his q) and max it always because it does the most damage. The only exception to this is starting with e against someone with skillshots like Syndra or Gragas so you can dodge their harass by dashing through minions.

Never stand still in lane, moving charges up your shield (passive) which is really what gets you through a tough harass lane. So make sure to time your trades for when your shield is up. The other reason you want to keep dashing in lane is because it increases the damage of your dash.

So Steel Tempest, Yasuo’s q is either a little stab skill shot or if you use it while dashing it’s a small spin attack. Every 3 casts you get a knockup on the q which turns the spin attack into a spin attack with a knockup and the stab into a whirlwhind, both of which you can use to set up your ult. It’s good for farming and it’s got a really low cooldown which is actually reduced by attack speed. It helps to charge your knockup before you engage, like in this example. I block Lee Sin’s q with my wind wall and then dash away and charge my knockup which I use as a whirlwind to set up my ult and die as a hero samurai.

Alright so you can close a lot of space with Sweeping Blade his dash but if you’re chasing it really helps if you have your 3rd q ready for the knockup. If you don’t have 3 stacks of q ready like in this example you can easily charge it up by using q when you dash through a minion but it might slow down your chase.

Most of Yasuo’s kill potential comes from his ult and you can activate the ult on your own by getting 3 stacks of q and then q’ing for a whirlwind like in this example or dashing and then q’ing for a guaranteed knockup like in this example. Make use of your windwall to block any retaliation damage but I didn’t need to in this example cause TF’s card was down.

One of the things I love most about Yasuo is that he’s a great roamer. As soon as you hit 6 you should be looking to roam, preferably to a lane that can set your ult up. Yasuo combos really well with AOE knockups in team fights so that’s another reason the Rock works great with him. Monkey and Cow are all great picks with Yasuo but outside of lane there’s literally a tonne more champions that Yasuo’s ult works with. Almost any displacement or knockup ability can activate it. Not sure how many of them are intentional but it even works with things like Vayne’s condemn if you can react fast.

This was one of my first games with Yasuo and I didn’t anticipate his ult to work with Lee Sin’s ult and so I bungled it up really bad, but the next time he came back I’d learnt from my mistake which is the important thing and something I talk a lot about in my other videos.

Another cool thing you can do if you’re running away is you can run next to a wall and then skirt around them and dash through them to get over the wall. You can do the same thing with jungle creeps if you stab them over the wall first so they agro on you and you get vision.

One of the main things you have to remember is that you can’t dash to the same target within 10 seconds so be calculated in how you use it.

Alright how to counter Yasuo. A lot of Yasuo’s matchups come down to skill and jungle pressure so there’s not too many champions that counter him directly. It’s impossible to go past Riven though because she can out-trade Yasuo with her shield if he ever gets too close and also she can match his mobility especially if there’s not many creeps around. It’s worth noting though that Riven’s Wind Slash can be blocked by Yasuo’s Wind Wall, pretty tough to do.

So instead of talking about matchups and counterpicks here’s what you can do to counter Yasuo DESPITE what champion you have. Like all champions it helps to know what his cooldowns are like and his ability ranges and so it’s a good idea to play him yourself a few times.

Firstly you need to be aware of what his knockup looks like, it makes a special sound effect and he has a glowing aura around him. This makes it easier to know when he’s going to go in on you or you can be ready to dodge the tornado. Don’t confuse the knockup aura with the shield animation.

You can dodge his q fairly easy by sidestepping tiny bits as it’s so short and narrow. Be aware of all the things I told you about in this video like the bonus damage from consecutive dashes (especially early on) and also be aware that he can’t dash to the same target for 10 seconds and be aware of his windwall and HIS KNOCKUP! Hue Hue Hue Hue

That’s all for now, please follow me on Twitter @UberGiantsBro, like and subscribe and I’ll catch you in my next video.

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How to Get Gold Before Season 4

With Worlds fast approaching, and Season Three coming to a close, I’m sure a lot of people in Bronze and Silver are trying their hardest to achieve the gold league milestone so highly sought after. You get a prestigious gold border for season 4 as well as Victorious Elise skin.

Most players will blame their team if they will not achieve gold in solo queue. This mentality is counterproductive and explained in a video by UberGiantsBro on why you’re stuck in silver. So if you accept the fact that “it’s all up to you” then the next question is “how do I do it?”

The easiest way to explain how to single handily carry a solo queue match is through the concept of resource. When I refer to resource I refer to a culmination of CS and kills of all players on each side. So for five players on a team, your resource is spread across five players. The ideal distribution of resource can be seen below. As you can see, each of your allies should be equal with the enemy but you should aim to equal two enemies (not including your lane opponent).

Ideal distribution of resource in solo queue

The problem in bronze and silver solo queue, is that resource advantage seldom matters. This is because unskilled players who are fed do not push their advantage. It can also be assumed that your team mates will lose skirmishes vs opponents of equal resource. It is for these reasons that it is up to you to attract a majority of the enemies resource, and waste it.

To do this there first needs to be a large deficit in your lane opponent’s resource compared to yours. This means zoning them from CS and killing them. Early-game, the most dynamic resource is the jungler. Junglers can single-handily create a resource imbalance. The opposing jungler can counter-gank which then creates a neutral balance in resource.

To carry a solo queue match you need the enemy jungler to gank your lane and your allied jungler to do anything EXCEPT gank your lane. This is vastly different to most people’s mindset of crying for a gank. It allows for two things to happen:

  1. A resource advantage for your team mates. When the enemy jungler ganks you, he is not ganking your allies. They have a higher chance of not dying and your allied jungler can counter jungle, take dragon, or gank another lane.
  2. This gives you an opportunity to either trade a kill or waste the enemy jungler’s time. Great players can even get a double kill.

The next step is to help your team mates further. This can be done by taking an early tower, roaming to another lane, taking an objective. The most important thing at this point is to never stop the pressure. Go back to your lane and push hard. The resource deficit between you and your lane opponent will mean their jungle HAS to come to you – and if you’re lucky (not unlucky!) so will another laner. It is also usually beneficial to type over team chat: “push when I push”. From here one of two things happen:

  1. They will send more resource to stop your pushing.
  2. They will send more resource to gank your allies.

In the first situation, you again need to trade or waste their time. For the second situation, kill your lane opponent and push as hard as you can.

The fundamental principle of this style of carry is you do not rely heavily on your allies. Your contribution to the team is fairly subtle through reducing the enemies’ available resource and acquiring global gold.

The biggest factor that the game will hang on is YOU. Your map awareness, mechanics, and decision making determine your win or loss. All concepts are explained in detail here at Summoner School.

For an example of the concepts discussed in this article please watch this Silver match I played earlier:

Below is the resultant resource distribution. As you can see, if they wanted to match my resource they would need to allocate at least three players to me. If I had gone equal in lane to Cho’Gath, we would of lost.

Example resource distribution

Another thing to note from this example is that it is not enough to hold a large amount of resource. Almost as equally important is pressure. A majority of that game I put pressure on their team by pushing towers, they chose to fight the rest of my team and ultimately paid for it.

This style of play alone will not guarantee you a gold ranking, but coupled with solid mechanics and decision making, there is no stopping you. Go get your rewards.

Goodluck,

Daniel ‘Kingpin’ King

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The Best Solo Queue Cheese In LoL

Solo Queue Cheese

There are plenty of good Cheese tactics out there – sly tricks that catch people off guard or nab easy kills – that players like to use gain elo, but what are the best ones? Keep reading as I try to avoid making cheese related puns…. and as I give you my top 8 solo queue cheeses.

1. The ‘Blue Buff Bum Rush’.

Commonly known in low elo as the ‘we have Blitzcrank, let’s invade’ tactic, this cheese works surprisingly often in solo queue. Normally it depends on how fast your team gets out of the blocks to decide if you actually want to sprint to their blue or not. All you do is tell your team to buy fast in champion select (“Cause we’re invading yo”) and then make a beeline for their blue (if everyone bought fast). You can go through the mid lane but I would recommend crossing the river and getting your support to explorer ward that middle river bush on your way past (to make sure no sneaky hobbits spot you). Then run straight to the blue and ward it and back out if you don’t catch anyone.

This strat could be dangerous, especially against an aware support but it more often than not does good than bad in solo queue. And hey if it back fires, have a quick laugh about it with your team and move on to the next cheese tactic.

2. The ‘Level 2 All-In’.

Great for top, bot lane and those mids that are reliant on snowballing early (like Pantheon) this tactic requires you to push a tiny bit (not too much or the enemy may just back off completely) so that you can hit level 2 first and use your level, skill, health and damage advantage to ‘all-in’ your opponent(s). Red pots are a great start for this strat because of the extra AD and Health they give you depending on what champion you’re playing. The key to executing this cheese comes with how you push the lane. You don’t want to push too hard else they may just let you push all the way up to the tower and not lose anything because none of your creeps will have died yet. You want to push just fast enough so that you hit level 2 one or two creeps ahead of them but not so fast that you scare them off.

***BONUS CHEESE (Flat Out Early Pushing).

Most LoL players generally suck at last hitting under their tower (especially in lower elos) so one thing you can do to reduce how much cs (and therefor gold) they acquire is to push them under their tower hard early game. The reason early game (level 1-5) is the best time to do this is because players generally start getting more abilities or items that help them last hit under the tower easily after their first buy or simply when they level up. You want to start being careful around level 5 or 6 because that’s when the enemy Jungler may be looking to gank you with his ultimate. In general, hard pushing someone against their turret allows you to harass them easier (because they have to be stationary at some point to get cs) or put damage onto the turret. ps. make sure you have wards for this or tell all your lanes to push aggressively (this may be hard to pull off as a team in solo queue).

3. The ‘Recall Bait’.

This one is a bit tricky. There is also two different types of recall baits which I’ll explain now. The first isn’t as good but it can work sometimes. Simply recall to town in sight of your opponent to bait them in closer for a kill (preferably with your Jungler nearby, out of line of sight). It’s similar to this classic ‘fake dc’ by Dyrus. The second one, well I think the best way to explain it is for you to watch this recall bait. Basically, you stand right near a bush but not in it as if you were supposed to go into the bush to recall and start your recall, but right before you recall, cancel it and run inside the bush. This can trick them into thinking you actually recalled when you recalled didn’t, lulling them in to a false sense of security. Then you kill them.

4. The ‘Red Buff To Red Buff’ Invade.

This tactic requires two things, well three things actually;

  1. An aggressive Jungler or someone who is strong at level 2 eg. Lee Sin, Nocturne, Shaco.
  2. An enemy Jungler that usually starts blue or alternatively early vision to see if  they are indeed starting blue.
  3. Balls. Not even kidding. If you mess this up you may put yourself behind because of the fact you wasted so much time going to his buff instead of just taking your second buff with smite and snowball the game in the wrong way!

***An extra note about Shaco here. You can actually perform the same trick except at level 3. To do this you need to follow the double buff strat, explained by FoxDropLoL.

An aggressive summoner spell (exhaust or ignite) is also a possibility here, although it’s not a necessity. Flash can help you escape if the mid lane happens to collapse on your position fast. What you do is you get a smiteless on your Red then run straight to their red (the sneaky bush way, not the wraith way). Here you make a decision. Either try to kill them while they are taking agro from red buff  (because nearly all Junglers go straight from smiteless blue to red) or smite steal the red (very risky) to get the extra exp and then go on them. If you perform it correctly you can continue to put heavy pressure on the enemy Jungler, taking their wraiths and/or mini-golems.

You should have the advantage in any duel due to the fact that you have a red buff and a stronger level 2 (hopefully) while they just have a blue buff. The risk is, of course, that because you are in enemy territory the enemy mid laner is likely to get there before yours, not to mention they may have warded the entrance to their red. This may not matter though if you coordinate it with your team. Make sure you tell your team what your plan is and to either push aggressively early (so their lane enemy can’t come to help or at least they lose more if they do) or ping like mad if a lane goes MIA.

5. The ‘Proxy’.

Uhh. Just the word makes me cringe. How many crazy ‘Chemical Men’ have you seen farming behind turrets? If you’ve played against one before, you’ll know how annoying it can be. If not, I’m sure you’ll experience the joy of it one day. Yes, it can be a tad risky sometimes but on certain champions and against certain matchups (like Shen because of his low amount of dueling potential and wave clear) this can be a great tactic you can use to pressure the enemy team.

The delicious cheesy benefits of proxying? The main benefit is that you force the enemy’s attention upon yourself, relieving pressure elsewhere on the map. Unfortunately they did nerf this tactic a little bit a few patches ago with the changes to death streak gold and experience values. Now enemies get a little more reward for repeatedly killing you instead of the squat-all they got for killing a 0-6 -0 Tryndamere. It just means you have to be a bit more careful when proxying so that you don’t get snowballed on rather than helping your team.

The other benefit of course is that you get to keep your lane opponent at their turret – especially useful against champs like Shen who have very slow pushing power (especially early on) or a teleport. If they teleport away to help their team, you’ll be making sure to deny as many creeps (and therefor gold and exp) as possible as your creeps run straight to the enemy turret to die.

So when is the best time to proxy? As Singed, anytime is a good time to proxy. But more generally, you might be able to proxy if you get an advantage on your lane opponent through a couple early kills and/or they have a hard time pushing waves out like mentioned before. Here is an example of proxying with singed if you need to see an example.

Champs that you generally see proxying are those with quick wave clear or lots of sustain. Good examples are Tryndamere, Singed, Renekton, Zac or almost any other champ that gets ahead. Try it in a normal game before trying it in ranked! Oh and hey, it’s even possible in other lanes! Check out the start of this funny video of Chauster and Doublelift doing a bit of proxying as they duo bot lane in Bronze.

6. The ‘Support Carry’.

Supporting can be real boring sometimes for those of us that don’t enjoy support that much. Why not try something different? People are so used to playing against the standard Flash/Exhaust/Ignite supports with support masteries and runes that any variant may catch someone off guard. Try running barrier or heal on your support and try running different runes rather than gp5 stuff. For example if you’re playing Zyra you can either go full AP and surprise people with your burst or you can go full AD and abuse the enemy lane opponents early with your long auto attack. Or you can play AD Janna and auto their ADC twice with the shield on yourself. It hurts and can win you the lane early and give safe farm to your ADC for a few minutes.

Generally people run exhaust on support for a reason – it’s great for later team fights when you have to exhaust someone diving your ADC. But if you can get away with it, a random (surprise) barrier might just be all you need to win a 2v2 duel. aAnd they always forget about it! Running hybrid pen marks on supports like Sona/Zyra/Lulu has been fairly common for a while due to the massive mixed harass they can put out but why not take it one step further?

I once ran AD runes, masteries and summoners as Blitzcrank while my duo partner started off as support Graves. This wasn’t intentional (we forgot to trade haha) but it ended up working because I baited the enemy jungler into diving me at level 3 while I had barrier. They also all-in’d Graves at level 1-2 which allowed me to dps their ADC. Big mistake but next level stuff on my end ;-). Again, this might be worth trying in a normal game before you jump into a ranked with it. I do not advocate the useage of support mastery and runed Graves under any circumstances.

7. The ‘Ward Bait’.

Ahh the old ward bait. Put a ward down where the enemy support sees it or is likely to see it (say, on top of a pink ward) but have allies nearby when they come to clear it – like a bug attracted to the light – so that you can zap them. This cheese works at all elos and never gets old. Be careful for counter ward baits – while very rare, smarter foes may read the situation and bring their own backup! Here is an example of a simple ward bait for you to watch.

8. The ‘Garen’.

Possibly the oldest trick in the book. Stand in a bush and wait for an enemy to facecheck it. Simple yet effective, players have been using this strategy since before the ADC/Support bot lane meta became popular. Just check out Doublelift’s famous facecheck (I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point haha). If you don’t have to give a leash, there are two great places where this usually works.

For top lane, wait in the tri bush if you’re on the blue side or if you’re on purple side wait in that little brush near the river entrance to the lane. If the enemy is leashing blue they may run up through the river to save time. Perfect if you have a strong level 1 character so that you can chunk them right away.

For bot lane, either wait in the tri bush or in the enemies lane bush if you’re on purple side or in the river entrance lane bush or the enemies lane bush if you’re on blue side. Same again, wait for them to leash their buff and walk to lane and give them the old ‘Garen treatment’ (see picture below).

Where to wait if you have a better level 1.

Where to wait if you have a better level 1.

Well, that’s my list of the best solo queue cheese tactics, I hope you found it useful and that you can use them to grate your way to victory on Summoners Rift.  If you have your own ‘cheesy’ tactics that you would like to tell me about, I would love to hear them! Tweet me @UberGiantsBro or comment on this post. Also check out Summoner School, the only complete League of Legends guide with everything you need to get better at LoL. Until next time, all the best in solo queue.

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How to Team Fight in League of Legends: A Video Analysis of TSM and Vulcan

Transcript

What’s up Summoners! UberGiantsBro here and I’m proud to bring you the first episode of Learn to Team Fight with Summoner School. Today we’ll be doing an analysis of the big teamfights in TSM vs Vulcun’s game from day 1, week 7 of the NA LCS summer split and we’re focusing mainly on decision making so I encourage you to put yourself in these players shoes and see what you would have done differently in each situation. Alright let’s get into the first Team Fight!

Hey Summoners, I’m UberGiantsBro and today we’re having a look at teamfighting dynamics and the risk-reward factors that come with decision making in teamfights. I’ve hardly seen this taught anywhere else so I’m excited to share it with you and if it goes well I’ll look to do more teamfighting videos so I hope you learn something!

So what we’re gonna do is we’ll be break down some Pro level teamfights to see exactly why these players make these decisions so you can learn from them and improve. This episode we’ll be using the TSM vs Vulcun game from week 7 in the NA LCS . One thing I highly recommend you do is putting yourself in these players positions and thinking what you might’ve done differently in each scenario, so you can be critical of yourself and learn more!

[teamfight at 37.08 mins].

TSM looks to engage here because they have super minions coming down the mid lane, Xpecial pop Shurelyas to try and force the engage – you only have split seconds to make these decisions – OddOne follows up with a Flash Cocoon to try and force the engage further and even though it only hits Nasus it gets the flash out of Ashe which gives TSM’s dive comp an advantage.

So Regi is making a beeline for an Ashe with no escape while ManCloud on Ahri is sitting off on the wings because he wants to flank Twitch. As a small side flanking Twitch is a good idea because it makes it harder for him to AOE the teamfight. So right now Dyrus would be watching Regi for when he goes in. At this point Ashe should just distance herself from Zed as much as possible and wait for him to use some CDs before re-engaging. If you were Ashe, you’d want to be staring at Zed respecting his zone because he’d one shot you before you even auto attack.

So we go forward a bit more and notice that Bloodwater burns his hook on Elise and Regi goes ham.

So there’s a couple things, Ashe burns her arrow instead of holding it til after Zed uses his CDS, Regi is going ham – he may have got a bit lucky dodging under the arrow like that – and importantly Thresh burns his deathsentence on Elise.

This play was actually pretty big so I’ll explain why he did it. Bloodwater is in the mindset of ‘engage, let’s go counter engage’ rather than thinking about the exact abilities he wants to save for peel. So if instead he chose to save it for when Zed jumps in just moments later, the small amount of lockdown on Zed may have allowed Vulcun to burst him rather than Zed bursting Ashe, and the teamfight might have been different. It might seem like nitpicking but this (very small) mis-step from Bloodwater leaves Ashe open for assassination. What is a Flay and The Box going to do against Zed? Not much.

What you can take out of BloodWater’s mistake is that you should always be thinking about how you want to use each of your abilities in advance before you get into a teamfight.

Another thing to mention now is that Dyrus is ready, he would be watching Regi to time his ult for when he goes.

So as we play forward slowly a and Ashe gets popped despite the Thresh Flay, Ult and Exhaust and Zac’s Let’s Bouncedown being used on Zed.

The rest of the fight plays out a bit messily, OddOne bails like his ship is sinking but eventaully returns back to the fight to clean up.

So despite the Thresh Flay, Ult and Exhaust and Zac’s Let’s Bounce all being used on just Zed alone Ashe still gets popped because of the flash they managed to burn by forcing the engage with Shurelyas.

[teamfight at 40.17]

So the arrow comes in but instead of TSM backing off, they all move forward to cover Dyrus! [pause][arrows everywhere plz] So the reason why TSM did this instead of backing off like a lot of lower level players would do is to cover the guy who gets arrowed, this forces Vulcun to run past the other guys if they want to chain CC Rumble. Dyrus would be calm right now because he knows he is tanky and all he has to do is get his ult off. So Dyrus’ mindset now is looking for a good opporunity to hit as many people as possible with the Rumble ult.

So as we play forward a bit Xmithie withers Zed and BloodWater deathsentences Zed. Xmithie wasted his wither on Zed because the attack and movement speed debuff doesn’t really effect Zed here compared to say if he used it on Twitch instead. The reason he did that is because Zed is clearly still their #1 priority but again it’s just thinking about how you want to use your abilities before you get into a teamfight. But hey, Bloodwater learnt from his mistake and saved his Death Sentence for Zed – good players learn from their mistakes!

So the biggest thing that happened here is that in the rush to burst Zed (spirit rush get it?), Ahri clumped on Ashe and Thresh. Whenever you’re playing a carry position (and ESPECIALLY against AOE champs like Rumble) you always wanna try and stay split so it makes it harder for you to both get hit by AOE.

See that Rumble ult chunks the carries so hard. Here we have a 3 versus 4, a perfect example of a high risk, high reward situation where you have to make an instinctive decision. It’s hard to make this sort of split second decision but the more you do it the more confident you will become in yourself and the better decisions you will be able to make. Elise and Thresh choose to go in.

So I’ll just talk a bit more before recapping. These dynamic teamfight decisions are, I think, the most stressful but rewarding decisions in LoL – a game of decision making. You feel terrible when you make the wrong decision but you also feel great when you make the right one. Nobody makes perfect decisions all the time but the more you practice it and put yourself in that situation, the better you get at it. It’s like most skills in LoL that you can learn about in Summoner School, but there are sometimes blocks in the way that stop you from learning and you don’t even realise they’re there. This is one of the things Summoner School can help you reconise, if you’re interested in Summoner School check out the link in the description.

Well that’s it for this first teamfighting dynamics episode, I hope you learned something and enjoyed it. And if you did and you wanna see more of these videos make sure to let me know with a like or comment and share it with a mate who might find it useful. Also you can follow me on Twitter @UberGiantsBro. Thanks for watching and all the best in solo queue!

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Do You Make These In-Game League of Legends Mistakes?

League of Legends is like any other skill from a scientific perspective. Each time we learn a new skill, we create new neural pathways through our brain to our central nervous system then muscles. And like a muscle, this pathway can be strengthened. If worked on enough, this pathway becomes so strong that the skill happens instantaneously without conscious thought.

Have you ever become so good at something that you don’t think about it? You have.

Walking is a prime example of a skill the majority of people can do without thought. Sure you think “I’m going to get a drink”, stand up and walk to the fridge. What you don’t think is “I’m going to straighten my legs, bend my right knee slightly… etc etc”.

So how does this apply to League of Legends?

Every little thing you do in-game strengthens various pathways. Whether it be movement, last hitting, using an ability, etc.

These pathways are dedicated to your mechanics and like your fingers on the keys of a piano, should flow easily through your unconscious mind as you play. To consistently weave character movement with ability combos, summoner abilities, and camera control without thought is something all players should strive towards before looking into the meta-game or playing for a serious team.

If you find yourself panicking, losing track of your character, or stutter stepping then you need more practise. You need consistent mechanics through all situations if you want to play at a high level.

Concepts like positioning and decision-making are no different. Like all skills, you have to think about them as you initially do them. This is process is slow. You will feel noob at first. To determine what the right decision is and where exactly “out -of-position” is, you need to make mistakes. Furthermore, once you determine the correct way something is done, you think hard about doing it the first 50 or so times. This process of skill competence is elegantly illustrated by Noel Burch and can be found in UberGiantsBro’s guide found here.

Every game is about you.

Get the correct mentality during a game to focus strengthening your skills. Due to the social nature of LoL there are many distractions that cause you to deviate from personal growth. Every game is about you. View everyone else in the game as champions with four abilities and two summoners.

If you’re in low rating then you can instantly assume your allied champions cannot be depended upon and that your enemies are of equal or greater skill than your own. If someone berates you, ignore them immediately – time spent arguing in chat is time wasted. This is not to say don’t communicate with your team, but rather only communicate through a professional manner using pings and stating objective timers, enemy summoners etc.

I see many people focus on their team as players labelling them as trolls or complaining that they are the cause of their loss. While their observations may be true, they’re not bettering themselves in the process and often spend more time typing than analysing their own play. If you truly had a perfect game and played to a high level but still lost, you should be content. If you died to a fed enemy player who is at fault? Your ally for feeding them? Or you for not factoring a fed enemy into your play-style?

Create a notepad document. Open it up every game you play then read it over before the game starts. Every time you make a mistake, write down what you can do to avoid repeating this mistake.

One problem you may encounter is that you cannot identify your mistakes. This is natural; if you haven’t been exposed to high level play then how can you know? One way is to look at your deaths. It is extremely hard to get less than 3 deaths on average per game. This is really the benchmark that you should set as an individual. Anything over 5 deaths in a game and you should seriously be revising what you do wrong.

Below I’ve listed a few key things many players do not do. Run through them. If they’re all ticks then you’re in a good place:

• Always orb walk – yes even when CSing.
• Weave movement and abilities.
• Get 95% of last hits in lane and under tower.
• Control the lane dynamics by pushing/resetting/freezing the minion wave.
• Trade with enemy opponents properly and punish them if they over-extend.
• Juke skill-shots.
• Know when to disengage and escape on 1 bar of health.
• Bait opponents with a fake disengage.
• Track enemy wards, jungler, objective timers, and summoner abilities.
• Combo abilities using 1 second queue timer to effectively cast 2 spells at the same time.
• Reset auto-attack swing timer with abilities for extra damage.
• Know how to get an early advantage in lane against any lane opponent.
• Use your ally’s mistakes to get kills/objectives.
• Know the most damage efficient builds of every situation.

Identifying the correct way to execute these skills is each a topic in itself. You learn all these skills in Summoner School.

Ultimately, at the top level of play, everything is automatic. From the start of the game, you buy all items you need for level 1 based on your opponents revealed during champion select then walk straight to the area best suited for invasion or protection. From there, everything you do is a product of past experiences. You know what the 6 abilities your lane opponent has, what order they will do them in, and how much damage they do. If you’re saying things like “omg they do so much damage”, “if they didn’t do that, I would of got the kill”, “I’m only losing because of jungler camping me” then you’re still at an early stage.

The only surprises you should encounter are the ones developed by top players to get the better of those on equal footing. This process is one of the ways the game evolves. Eg. The Koreans invented teleport support fiddle with distortion boots. Having tried it in solo queue myself, I managed to surprise many people with plays they hadn’t seen when I climbed through Platinum rating this season. Video can be found here (press HD).

The great thing about playing League of Legends with this mindset is that you don’t have to care if you win or lose. The only thing you have to focus on is whether you successfully executed specific skills correctly or not. When you come across new surprises, it feels good to write them down so you’re prepared the next time around.

I used to have a problem with predicting Sona’s ultimate and often died to it during laning phase. I have fond memories of trying to overcome this by focusing on baiting then flash dodging her ulti in subsequent games.

In a game with such a high skill cap as League of Legends, expect to never stop learning. Every new skill you master bumps you above the rest who do not display that skill. The most valuable skill I have come across is the one that makes all others possible: a self-focused in-game mind.

Good Luck,
Kingpin

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