Organized play and League’s Solo Queue are terms only few would pair up. Apart from Duo Queue, people usually do their own thing, maybe indicate a few thoughts with pings, and flame eachother more than talking about anything constructive.
You yourself might not have control over the entire game (read this post if you want to learn to get better control though), but what you certainly can do is make decisions for yourself. And always making the most ideal strategic decision can be hard, even when behind.

Part 1: Knowledge
Part 2: Positioning
Part 3: Breadth of Roster
Part 4: Mechanical Execution
Part 5: Map Awareness
Part 6: Team Coordination
Part 7: Resilience
Part 8: Strategic Decision Making
Part 9: Reading Your Opponent

This post will make an attempt to explain to you how to play the map strategically as well as giving you a guideline on how to judge which decision is the strategically most optimal, even as a newer player.

Playing the map properly

When playing League of Legends, there is dozens of possible decisions every second. Every move you take, every attack you make, alters the flow of the game. There is no miraculous solution to always making the best decision, but here’s a few disclaimers for every phase of the game and every role in the game so you know what your task is in a rough scale.

Early Game

Top Lane – Top lane is probably the most isolated of the lanes. With dragon being around the bottom lane and bottom lane having the weakest turrets, as well as you usually having teleport, early game revolves around bottom lane. Thus, being able to score a lead is incredibly helpful with getting yourself kickstarted to have a huge impact on the flow of the game. Vice versa, avoid dying at all costs, as it can cost you your pressure for a very long time. Ward a lot, don’t overextend too much, but keep on trying to outplay your opponent to get control of the game.

Jungle – Look for a decent first clear and attempt to follow it up with a succesful gank. Usually, an early kill mid or top proves to be most valuable in the long run so those are great first gank targets. Also try to foil the enemy junglers planes and make your team aware of their intentions.

Mid – Mid lane is probably the lane that varies the most. If your character is a mage with powerful area of effect spells, look to farm up for those first roams of yours or the first mid game teamfights. That is where you shine the most. As an assassin, look to punish the enemy and in specific stop control mages from farming up early game. I generally do not recommend roaming unless you have a champion with an ability dedicated to it (like Aurelion Sol). Stay in your lane and be wary of junglers.

AD Carry – Aim to farm up as well as you can. Bottom lane is usually where most of the action revolves around during midgame, so getting creeps is very important. Other than that, avoid the enemy supports harass and look out if your support provides any openings for a decent trade or fight.

Support – Your job early game is to keep the enemy support off of your bottom partner so that he is enabled to farm. The AD carry will be of extreme importance later so make sure you enable him through harassing the enemy and keeping wards up as well as you can. Just never throw away your own life if your AD carry is a reckless player.

Mid Game

Top Lane – If you are ahead, definitely look to make map-wide plays with the use of your teleport summoner spell. The best way to put the enemy team under pressure is by constantly forcing fights top lane and pushing hard, but still keeping vision up so the enemy has to dedicate forces to you.
If you’re behind, attempt to salvage farm as well as you can. Warn the enemies about potential teleport plays, and keep your teleport safe so you can counterteleport.

Jungle – The bottom lane should be your home turf by now. Enable your teammates by pressuring lanes and removing vision with control wards and the scrying plant. The picture above serves as an example in which Xerxe enables UOL to press a lead in the bottom lane.

Mid – By now, you should have your first item finished. As a control mage, shove your lane in hard and look to force small scale teamfights on other lanes or in the river. As an assassin, try to stop the enemy mage from executing their plan or roam to pick off solo kills like the enemy jungler.

AD Carry – Approaching the midgame AD carries usually already have a few items at their disposal in order to push objectives. If you’re ahead, make sure you push hard and start getting global objectives for your team like turrets. If you got the enemy bottom turret, rotate mid and get the next turret. Just make sure you never play on your own, your team is vital to you.
If you’re behind, attempt to survive and just salvage as much team as possible, opposing the enemy pushes. Eventually, you too will become stronger.

Support – You should be the primary enabler for your team by now. Provide your team the vision necessary to make map-wide plays like jungler invades or teleport ganks and when your AD carry is safe, provide other means of pressure like invading with your jungler and getting deep wards or roaming. Your role as an enabler is crucial, even if some people think supports can’t carry.

Late Game

Top Lane – Your primary role as a top laner during the late stage of the game is either acting as a frontliner for your teammates or apply pressure elsewhere on the map through splitpush and keeping teleport ready. Especially for the latter, make sure you communicate a lot with your team and if the splitpushing doesnt seem to be working out, just group up with your team anyways.

Jungle – Make sure you stay alive at all costs. Your smite is crucial in securing late game objective like Elder Drake or Baron. Other than that, always move as a unit with your team, splitting as a Jungler is one of the worst mistakes you can make.

Mid – As a control mage, you are a primary source of dealing with large scale teamfights. Stay safe until you see the opportunity to wreak havoc in a fight. Stay wary of enemies flanking to catch you out in your position and turtle behind your frontline. If you’re an assassin however, look to scare the opposition by disabling vision and constantly threatening the flanks of the enemy.

AD Carry – You are the main way of dealing with the enemy front line in the late game. Stick around your support and make sure you stay alive at all costs, always hitting whatever is in range, never overreach. Keep on kiting and orb walking until the enemy falls or retreats, and attempt to keep your team from dying to their marksman.

Support – Your primary task usually is either initiation (if you’re a support with displacement tools like hooks or CC) or protecting your backline with shields and heals. You should also always keep vision up in order to keep your flanks free and avoiding ambushes.

Quickly judging the strength of forces – how to make the ideal decision

If you need a quick way of understanding an enemies strength, here’s how i recommend you doing it. Go to champion.gg, find the champions you want to compare and look at their “Win Rate % by Game Length” graph. Compare theirs to the average of champions and you’ll have an about right representation of when a champion is how strong. In the example to the right, we can see that Khazix is much more potent during mid-game while Amumu takes his time to wind up until he reaches his full potential with big teamfights and long deathtimers.

 

Now that you know the ways of making decisions, you might be interested in reading our other articles on how to further improve as a player. For the time being, the next “Why do i suck?” article will revolve around “Reading your opponents”, as in understanding their intentions and game plan from their playstyle and movements. Have a nice day, summoners. 🙂

Title image courtesy of eureka747