Howdy Summoners! Usually when it comes to League of Legends, I write an article series called It’s the Climb which focuses on climbing the solo queue ladder. A little while back, I was asked about when to learn new champions and roles, so I wrote a more casual article on the topic. One of the pieces of feedback I got was to talk about communication between you and your team.
There is No I in Team
One of the weirdest concepts I’ve heard while trying to climb the ladder is being told “you need to carry harder.” Many of us have heard this phrase. Sometimes, I won’t lie, it is entirely true. Other times, it may have been your own fault; fed or not.
There are moments where you’re playing Fiora and you are 8-0-1 and all you did was split push Top. Sure, you can kill the enemy Jax a billion more times. But, what happens when the enemy team shows up? Maybe you get a Double Kill and then die. You’ve been shut down and that gold is pretty good. Then you try it again. The enemy team shows up, you kill one of them and then die. Third time is a charm, right? This time, you don’t even kill anyone.
What usually follows, is you talking about how heavy your team is. About how every time you get fed, your team throws. But there is a part of your logic that is flawed.
When I see these situations arise, is not when you’re fed and your team as a whole is also doing well. If this was true, the enemy team would not come to stop you as a roaming goon squad. No, when this happens, your team is either struggling or the game is slightly in the enemy team’s favor.
The term “carry harder” does not mean that you need to get so big that you can 1 v 5 the game. Instead, “carry harder” means to take your lead and use it to help your team get ahead. You’ve taken the outer turret in Top lane and are 4-0-1 at 10 minutes? Gank Mid lane and help secure their outer turret. Have your first core item finished early? Buy some wards and set them up in the enemy Jungle near camps. This will help tell your team where the enemy Jungler is and isn’t. When you use your lead correctly, you can turn your lead into your team’s lead. This is what it means to “carry harder.” And as corny as it may seem, Riot‘s Teamwork OP video is right.
Think Before You Type
Has your Jungler ever come for a gank only to die and give up double buffs? Has your support ever been Death Sentenced at level 2 and then immediately bursted down thus giving up First Blood? Have you watched Mid die to a gank after everyone has pinged them that the Jungler is coming and they still stayed in lane?
These moments happen. It’s how we respond to them that effects the way the rest of the game goes. Coming from a Jungler’s perspective I can tell you that when you call me a “noob” when I die ganking for you, all you have accomplished is me not wanting to come back to your lane.
This is covered in the Teamwork OP video, but I want elaborate a little more.
As gamers and competitive people when things go bad, we tend to get upset. Some of us let it go and continue playing like nothing happen. Some of us dwell on it and go slightly on tilt. Then there are some of us who turn to rage and feel the need to tell people how “bad” they are.
In case you didn’t realize by now, League of Legends is a team game. Teamwork and success require that you have good communication skills. The second you think it is a good idea to rage at a team mate is the moment you put yourself above the team.
If you’ve never played a team sport this concept may be hard to take in. Everyone wants to be the hero, the guy who scores all the goals and gets all the glory. But at the end of the day, the hometown hero got there on the back of the hard work his team mates put in and his faith in those team mates. When I played soccer in high school, we had an ace forward who would could get hat tricks without trying. But he was able to do that because the our defense was strong and our mid field passed well. It wasn’t because he was a god.
The same is true in League of Legends. That Marksmen who went 20-1-10 didn’t do it on her insane mechanics alone. There was probably a good Support who landed great crowd control, a tank who helped keep enemy carries off her, and a Mid laner who helped contribute to bursting down the enemy team.
Maybe the next time you feel the need to rage, just say it out loud. When I get mad about not having follow up on gank, I curse. I get it all out of my system, then I type to my team mate what I expected to happen. I then try to follow it up with what could I have done better to make the play clearer. Sure, it doesn’t always work out the next time. But at least now I have laner who is on the same page as me for future plays instead of someone who thinks I am an asshole.
At the End of the Day, League of Legends is Just a Game
I get it. League of Legends is an eSport and there are some of you out there with dreams of climbing the solo queue ladder, getting picked up by a Challenger team, and going pro. Or some of you want to get to Diamond or Challenger and becoming a full time streamer. To you all, League of Legends is a meal ticket. I get that.
But at the end of the day, League of Legends is just a game. Take that in for a second. Playing video games is supposed to be fun. Look at the pros of the LCS. Whenever the coverage crew does one of those sound byte reels, you can hear some joking around even when playing for high stakes. They are having fun.
If you can remind yourself to have fun there is a good chance you’ll enjoy the game even more. And when you are enjoying the game you are more likely to be a positive factor to the rest of your team. More positivity, better teamwork. Better teamwork, more wins. It’s not a that hard to figure out. If you tell me you’ve won more games being on tilt and reminding your team that they “are all a bunch of scrubs” I am going to have to call you out. Because I really don’t believe you. And I don’t think your team does either.