Wednesday, November 20, 2013

League of Legends - End of Season 3 thoughts

Season 3 ended a little over a week ago and I did not make my goal of getting to Gold (made it Silver 4 though).  I vastly underestimated the difficulty in climbing Silver and also vastly overestimated my own skills.  Not a bad thing as I've been forced to get better by refining a lot of my skills as a League player.

Here are a few things I learned while trying to climb Silver to Gold.

  1. Learn to play as a Support.
    This has got to be the best thing that happened to me in my solo-queue adventures.  I used to play as a jungler exclusively and if that was taken, I would play ADC or top.  I got frustrated though that as ADC I rarely got a good support who knew how to ward or how to peel or how to initiate and as such made laning much more difficult.  Didn't help that at the time I was not a good ADC (my last hitting skills and positioning were horrid so my terrible laning phase was not all due to the poor supports I got)
    I decided to play the other side one day and picked up Sona (my only other support was Janna but I gave up on her after going on a massive losing streak with her) and proceeded to play a bunch of ranked games with her.  Having a good support made such a difference with how the ADC performed (I tried my best to emulate good support players like Xpecial and Krepo).
    Good ward placement meant my ADC almost never got ganked and even helped our jungler gank for us as they would know when/where the enemy wards were.  I've actually taken to just buying an Aegis (and eventually Locket) and wards as my items for the entirety of the game.  If I get more gold I'll look to get a Frozen Heart or Randiun's but that's about it.  I almost never leave base without 2 pink wards and 2 green wards or an Oracle's and wards.
    Similarly knowing when to initiate with a good flash + crescendo meant we could secure lane dominance very well and really helped ganks out.  I currently have a 60% win rate with Sona over ~50 games.
    But it got even better once I started playing Leona.  She is so much tankier than Sona and her style of initiation is very reminiscent of Jarvan (who is my favourite champion).   I have a 70% win rate over ~30 games using Leona and most of the time I get congratulated by my ADC or the other team for my outstanding play.  I can obviously get better at the role as I am only in Silver 4 but playing Support has certainly boosted my win rate immensely.
  2. Ward everywhere.
    This is important no matter what role you are.  The pro's tell you do it, the YouTube tutorial videos tell you to do it, and the Riot Teamwork OP videos/posters tell you do to it.  Surprisingly very few people ward oustide of the support and then wonder why they get ganked or get no jungle support.  For those who top lane or mid lane, junglers generally don't want to gank your lane if you don't have wards up.  It just begs to be counter-ganked or have your targets flee and waste the junglers time.
    On the flip side, I can't remember how many times my team (or the other team in some cases) has set up good initiations based on all the wards thrown around the map (I almost always have 4 wards on me when I leave base and I throw those around at the good spots so my team has great vision).
  3. Don't rage or dwell on a loss but always reflect on what could have been better.
    The hardest thing to do in this game is accept a loss or accept that no matter how well you do, some games just weren't meant to be won by your side.  Whether it was because I initiated a bad fight or just misclicked/missed an ult or someone fed or whatever, I've learned to accept my losses (most of the time), reflect on what I could have done better and then move on.  Because of this attitude I've improved my ability to peel for my carries (I now try to use each of my crowd control abilities on a different champion so I can maximize their effect on a team fight or chain them properly so when one effect ends, the next effect starts), I've improved my ability to initiate (I am better at gauging when I can initiate and survive) and improved my overall game awareness (I'm better at predicting a jungle gank or where the enemy is so we can hit an objective).
I'm surprisingly happy about being in Silver 4 despite being 4 divisions out of Gold and I think that's because my attitude has changed considerably since the start of my ranked play.  I'm looking forward to Season 4 and I might have some duo-queue partners as a few of my friends want to take the plunge into ranked games.  My friends and I have been playing some normal draft games and practicing some team compositions and we've even considered starting a ranked team once 5 of us hit 30 (4 of us are at 30 and we have two other friends in their mid-20s).

I'm especially excited for the increased gold supports and junglers are going to get as that means I can buy things other than wards!  I am not looking forward to vision being everyone's job as people are going to take a while to adjust to that and if I can only place 4 wards total (3 greens + 1 pink) the amount of vision I can give my team is going to be very limited compared to Season 3.

Can I hit gold in Season 4?  I hope so and if not I will definitely be a better player throughout this next season.

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