League of Legends Pro Guide

A League of Legends Pro Guide?

Welcome to Diamond.

Some of us are determined to never peak in a competitive video game. We grind the same game for days on end so that when the time comes, we are able to face the ones who are already considered legends among the community. It used to be more difficult to make it into the pro scenes. However,with the introduction of Franchising in League of Legends, along with Dota 2 and other games contributing to the longevity of esports as a whole. Or maybe some are more excited to be recognized as a high ranking player, the rewards and the level of competition increases in this case too, which is all any of us want.

How are some people so good at League?

Unfortunately there is a common misconception that must be addressed. Most of us are not able to achieve such feats as Master Tier. The ability to play at such a high level of play in any game requires a bit more than just  practice. For those of us who were not born with an innate ability to perform 200iq plays, there is some wiggle room and a seat for us near the High Elo table, but without consistent performance, we won't breach the upper echelon of players sitting atop the Top 200.

Of course this is a generalization, most of us just don't put in the time required to make it there, and that's the first step to getting up the ranks as a recognized High Elo player. If you put in the time, make it very near a full time job where you’re required at least 40 hours overtime. When putting the time in you aren’t just spamming solo que, you’re going back and watching frame by frame every mistake you’ve made in every game, you’re going into custom matches to practice last hitting minions with different itemizations or memorizing Jungle spawn times. 

Commiting things to memory such as how long it takes Summoner Spells to  come back up and taking advantage of them being down with good macro and team communication. The more you focus on all of these macro aspects, the easier it is for everything to become second nature and the fewer mistakes you will make, and the more you’ll be able to punish whenever possible.

If I can’t rely on Macro, what can I rely on?

Micro is a little bit harder to master and even when you do, the stakes are relatively the same with the opposition also having mastered it. Micro pertains to the small movements and positions you take with your Champion. Outplay potential falls under this category as the player who better predicts what the other player is going to do and micros better within the fight is going to win the lane flatout.

Understanding that Micro is a secondary way to win lane or make plays is essential. It will increase your odds greatly in the fights that come but slow and steady wins the race. There is strength is playing for things other than laning phase. Players who believe they are outclassed in the professional scene by their opposing laners they will play for their team by roaming and assisting the Jungler with objectives wherever possible. Micro makes solo carrying easier, it makes you look like a better player, and it can help increase the rate at which you gain LP but more importantly having the knowledge to work well in a team environment will improve those odds drastically.

When should I focus on one roll?

By now if you haven’t already, you need to choose one role and an off-role and play a decent handful of Champions in those roles if you are looking at breaking into the higher elo’s. While being able to play any role is a great feat, it won’t carry you as far as specializing in one or two roles will. The reason you need an off-role with a few Champions you can play well is because of the Fill system. Sometimes there aren’t enough players around your MMR that play a specific role. Because of this, every once in awhile you will be put into a role that you may not want to play.

Currently there are fewer Junglers and Supports than the other three roles.

It doesn’t happen too often but it occasionally does, thankfully if you fill a role in a game then you are protected for the next one or two from being put in that situation again. Many people ask if they can play their preferred role, and sometimes it may be more worth it to give up your role that game, or stay in your filled role just for one game.

What should I do as a Mid Laner?

Let's get into specifics of what each lane is responsible for in game, things that everyone needs to consistently do and improve on. It is one of the major carry positions that the team relies on to outperform or out roam their opponent. With this in mind, while no position should be taken lightly there is a bigger emphasis on the Mid Lane as it offers extra control on either side of the map when one Mid Laner is winning over the other. 

If the Mid tower falls then the enemy Mid Laner is able to more freely move around the map and continue pressing their advantage in other lanes. Selecting strong Champions is important, going below A tier might really hurt your LP.

Attempting to get the counter matchup is important and more often than not your team is willing to trade picks to allow you that opportunity if you aren’t given it during the Pick and Ban phase. It isn’t entirely the Mid Laners job to outright win their lane, they should expect ganks from their Jungler to help turn the tides of the lane. At the same time it is important to remember that the enemy Jungler is always looking for their opportunity to trump you.

Snowballing can come really easily to the Mid Laner, especially when the ganks come through on their side. Keeping up vision and looking for roams when you can will ensure you scale faster than your laner.

Dodging skill shots and managing the waves are a lot more difficult in this lane, but prove to be much more beneficial whenever a player can do these things. Kill the Cannon minions.The control that Mid Lane offers over the map means that teams should always be wary as to how their Mid laner is doing, if they need help then help them.

What should I do as a Top Laner?

The island in the Top Lane is nothing but a struggle. Top laners get the least amount of help from their team during the Laning Phase, and on top of that can have many different responsibilities depending on the game they are in. Longevity is the overall name of the game, “just don’t int and you’ll be fine” you’ll hear often times. Although you should always play to the best of your abilities, it is not always possible. Some Junglers understand that even just one kill can make a difference Top Lane. This comes with some good and bad experiences with Jungle ganks. If you help set you Jungler up for a gank then their assistance can prove to be fruitful, and make it easier to snowball yourself to be an effective carry or tank.

Most Champions should be taking Flash/Ignite or Flash/Teleport in the Top Lane. People will argue with you all day and night if you try to take Ignite over Teleport, but there are pros and cons to each. Taking Teleport offers more mobility and can be used to help put pressure on objectives or be elsewhere on the map but still make it to a teamfight to keep the odds from tilting heavily in the enemy team's favor. Ignite allows for more kill pressure in Lane, offering a stronger chance to snowball the lane.

Losing Top Lane has fewer repercussions than losing Mid lane might, as the Jungler and Mid are able to rotate on top of an enemy Top Laner that continues to push down the Top Lane. That being said, leaving a Top Laner alone for too long will just increase their power scaling and increase their effectiveness later  in the game.

Top Lane is closest to the Baron Pit which is a very heavily contested objective, controlling the Top Lane and Vision around the pit is a huge part of the game and is one of the main reasons why it can be important to focus more on winning Lane.

Wave management is probably the easiest in the Top Lane as there is little outside interaction with your lane. Gaining control of the lane can help keep yourself one up on the opposing laner. Kill the Cannon minions.

When you do fall behind in the Top Lane it is harder to come back, don’t let that tilt you. Play smart and make a path to recovery. Look for Teleport plays on the other side of the map to help gain an advantage elsewhere or even take the advantage away from your opponent by forcing them to teleport into a fight they may die in.

What should I do as a Jungler?

The Jungle may not be the most flashy position, but it is crucial to take the role seriously. The main job of the Jungler is to assist the rest of the team wherever possible. Giving your Laners an advantage and then attempting to continually snowball that advantage helps create an unstoppable teamfight.

Objectives are the second job of a Jungler, when snowballing Lanes fails, then finding advantages in the neutral objectives like Drakes and Baron offers your team a way back into the game and hold a winning position.

In some cases you will need to prioritize losing lanes for your gank routes as damage control is just as important as snowballing people who are holding the advantage in their lane. Keeping track of the enemy Jungler’s Jungle pathing is also an important job that mostly falls to the Jungler. If you can warn your team of the most likely next gank attempt or even be there for the counter-gank, you will save yourself and your team a lot of strife.

Vision score stereotypically is the most important on Supports and Junglers. Information wins wars, this is the same for League of Legends. If you know what is happening at any given moment you will more easily figure out what the next likely move is going to be from the enemy team.

Vision and Jungler tracking will also allow you to move into the enemies Jungle and steal away their side’s Jungler camps for a chance to gain another advantage over them.

Practice using Smite. Being able to count down the perfect amount of damage that is going to be done and smiting at the last possible second for it to do lethal damage and securing the objective will put you miles and miles above other Junglers.

You can do this in Custom games or the Practice tool, there is also a third part site called Smiterino that has been utilized by all levels of players to help give them different scenarios in which Smite timing and reaction time are trained thoroughly.

Practicing with reactionary games like OSU is a good idea to help build better response times in any game that you play competitively. Strategy games help keep the brain fresh and can lead to better overall gameplay. Effective Jungle pathing is important as well. Figuring out the best possible routes along with proper communication will lead to better ganks, and stronger teamfights. These routes will change as the Meta changes but more importantly will change depending on which Champion you are and what each team comp consists of. Some games you’ll need to gank mid early and ganking at level 2 to bait out a Flash or kill will be enough to win the lane early, but without a proper understanding of a Jungle path will put you behind a little bit making the next gank late and harder to execute.

The most effective paths will sound like: buff- camp- buff- gank- scuttle- clear- gank. There are many different combinations and any of them can be effective depending on the situation of the game you are playing.

What should I do as a Bot Laner?

By now you’ve probably played enough games to realize that the Attack Damage Carry position is just the name given to the position, people have played Mages and fighters and run two supports as well as two Marksman in the Bot Lane before. The type of Champion may vary but the idea is the same. Scale enough to wreak havoc upon the enemies health bars.

The most common Champions used in the Carry role in the Bot Lane are usually ADCs. They build attack damage, speed, and crit items usually that help to scale them up as the game progresses. By the time an ADC gets three items built they are usually the most threatening Champions in the game.

The most efficient items for this role fluctuate depending on which Champion you are and which Champions are on the enemy team, but the idea stays the same. You want to shred armor, dish out crit damage, and stay out of danger.

During the Laning Phase of each game the best case scenario is to get all the farm you can while not taking any poke damage. As the ADC you will get hard focused in every fight to come and need to be prepared to deal damage and kite back enemies.

Positioning is crucial for an ADC as one wrong step, or being just a little too far away from your Support or team can swing a fight hard in the other direction and give up some important Objectives or even the game

Make sure to keep yourself safe as best you can and hope that your team has your back when possible, you are usually the one that dishes out damage in teamfights and if you aren’t, you need to be in order to win. Staying behind minion waves and you support while in lane will increase your longevity and make it easier to farm waves. That being said, sometimes you’re support will want to poke and take a small fight, make sure to have the open communication to let them know you’ll help or you don’t want to fight.

Back timings are super important for the ADC, when you have enough gold to start your first item you’ll want to get the power spike. Wave management and comparing your health and you Supports health against the enemies will help decide when the right time to back is. Normally if you’re up in CS and the wave is pushing away from your tower, you can safely back and make it back to lane in time to catch half a wave and start to push the enemies, if they didn’t back when you did the power will be lopsided in your favor while if they did back they will be down in farm anyway, meaning one of these backs, they will return far weaker than yourself.

Wave management is strong in the Bot Lane as last hitting at the last possible second while your enemy is out of lane will result in them missing out on a few farm per wave, snowballing your lead.

What should I do as a Support?

Hey, I know, I KNOW how hard it is to be a Support main. I know how under appreciated you are, I know how much it sucks to be doing everything right but still lose the game. Just remember, you still have a lot to improve on. Supports can solo carry their team to being able to carry the game.

First things first, cooperation. Work with your ADC not against them, you want to ensure that their weaknesses are taken care of. If they aren’t a good aggressor, make sure that you can sustain them in fights or soak up enough of the damage that they can deal their own. If an ADC doesn’t want to fight until you Jungler ganks, than just steadily poke at the enemy, try and keep them off the farm, don’t go headfirst into them thinking you’re ADC will just follow up, you will die, most likely for nothing but an argument and blame.

On the reverse side, if you’re ADC is bad at being passive and wants to continuously poke and fight to keep the enemy of farm, be there to sustain you partner and use that ignite to Kill Secure. Otherwise if they die it turns into an argument and blame.

Vision score is really relevant to the Support role. All three Support items upgrade to allow Supports to carry four Stealth Wards. Getting vision in the Fog of War allows for you and your team to recognize what areas are safe and which areas are not safe.

It seems so basic but the importance of vision should not be understated. You can track the Jungler for incoming ganks as well as make sure the enemy has no vision of an area, making you Jungler able to move around in the Jungle and River freely, ensuring they can gank easily and help your lane stay or get ahead.

Neutral objective vision are always important, having access to four Stealth Wards makes it so that the Support can buy a Sweeping Lens and use that with their Control Wards to snuff out enemy vision and lower the risk level of enemies coming in to fight for objectives 

Rounding out team compositions is a strength for the Support role, if you’re team lacks a frontline, being able to effectively play Tanks can patch that problem right up. If you’re team lacks utility or CC, plenty of Supports offer one or the other or both and can make a great addition to a composition.

There are other things to account for, running a “Kill Lane” in the Bot Lane can be beneficial if there is a need for more damage threats in the game. The main drawback is if you’re playing a damage focused Champion as a Support, you will still be expected to build the Support item which doesn’t offer as much power, meaning you’ll be slower to scale up than if you were in a solo lane.

So I don’t need to practice?

While it won't make you Masters overnight, it is important to note that practice still makes perfect. It just helps to utilize all the other tools available along with putting in the hours and hours of gametime. Make sure to look back at your mistakes, make sure to put the time in to not just playing a Champion, but understanding their individual matchups and micro capabilities. Learn how to effectively play as a team by watching pro matches, even the losing team is doing everything in their power to try and work together to win.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that it is a game, maybe one day we can compete at the highest possible level, and by then it won't be a game anymore, it will be a job. That being said, until then, let's remember to take a step back, and enjoy the competitiveness of League of Legends, read up on the lore, be active in the community and watch the pros duke it out at Worlds every year.

I’m rooting for you to reach the top.

Cameron Carr image

Cameron Carr

9 November 2019

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