“Force is meaningless without skill.” – Lee Sin
Friends who I thought would never pick up a video game became addicted to League of Legends (LoL). There’s something about it. There’s a reason why it’s the most played game in the world. After getting suckered in by my boyfriend to play while studying abroad in Scotland, I easily got to level ten in a week. I got the addiction, too and still have it.
LoL is fun for me because it’s a way to blow off steam and it’s the first MMOG besides Halo that I consider myself pretty good at. I’m no way near the ability of a professional player, but I feel like I’m at the level where I can share my experiences. Through this series of articles deemed “Leaguing Ain’t Easy,” I hope to share what I’ve learned.
While LoL slowly integrates players through tutorials and leveling up by unlocking summoner spells and masteries along the way, it can feel overwhelming. There are over 100 champions, countless items, and four fields of justice to choose from. New players typically take one of two paths: mastering a champion to create a comfort zone in an otherwise complicated game or jumping into the cold water learning as many F2P champions as possible. While the first option is the most common, we will discuss why the latter is the most beneficial.
Learn Every Lane (Then Every Champion)
You will always remember you first champion. This character served as your training wheels as a summoner. But sooner or later, you need to put that Pikachu back inside its Poké Ball. After a month of playing, I finally gave up playing Vayne all of the time and branched out into other champions with similar builds like Sivir, Twitch, and Ashe.
After getting better in one lane, branch out. I know it’s hard, believe me. Every Summoner goes through a phase where they stick with one champion forever for comfort. But don’t ever stay comfortable in LoL. If you’re starting to get good with mid lane champions, play a few games as ADC. You can always go back. Just realize by the time you’re around level 20, no one in solo queue will listen to how you never learned how to jungle or play support. Use the time it takes to become 30 to learn a handful of every lane champion.
In my experience, most people dread jungling and supporting because it’s easy to blame them when a game goes sour. If you mess up a gank as a jungler, people say you don’t know how to jungle. If you don’t ward properly or don’t know how to stay back during a team fight, you’ll be called a terrible support.
Watch the Pros
Just like how NFL players analyze games from the past and see how certain plays worked in situations, e-sports enthusiasts need to ingest MLG tournaments. Pick a pro that provides learning inducive commentary and is fun to watch. I tend to love Doublelift’s games because he is an amazing ADC and has gone over his tactics via Razer Academy.
Don’t know any pros? Go on Twitch and watch MLG tournament streams.
Ditch the Bots and Play PvP
After losing three games in a row, you might think playing an easy game versus the computer will bring up your confidence. It will, but it won’t make you a better PVPer.
A.I. Annie has no true motivation to beat you. Her code dictates that she must destroy your team’s Nexus and that’s that. I’ve seen bots rush a tower at low health just to complete their objective. Bots will never be close to how humans react. Play a quick bot game to make yourself feel better then get back into the real fight.
Play ARAM Until It Hurts (It Always Will)
With similar item builds as Summoner’s Rift, a randomized guilt-free selection, All Random All Mid is the ideal practice field. Whether you’re level one or level 30, play lots and lots of it. It’s experimentation without the pressure.
Maybe I’m one of the few who doesn’t take ARAM seriously at all and go YOLO everywhere (C’mon it’s funny in a troll way) but it’s better than Dominion to test champions. So rush in, have fun, buy items you wouldn’t normally buy in 5v5 and most of all, learn new champions!