One of the in my opinion most entertaining League videos out there is LS’ “The Legend of Silver Kayle“, in which he coaches a low ranked player and makes the following statement:
I feel like Brand is telegraphing to me what he is going to do before he does it. You are supposed to play an eye staring contest with your enemy in order to know what they plan to do.
Well, this feeling is also know as the ability to read your opponent. It’s a hard to attain quality but extremely important if you wish to play with maximized knowledge.
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 cover some methods on how to get started on reading your opponent through a few simple rules to abide to and i’ll also give an example scenario of how i fail to read my opposition that you too should be able to learn from.
Learning to read your opponent
If you’ve been consistently winning trades in lane, keep an eye on your opponent’s behavior, it could signal if you’re about to be in for a surprise. Players don’t just switch from an aggressive play style to a passive play style out of the blue, something has to have changed, something that gives them the advantage.
An aggressive play style is any type of play where the enemy laner is looking to harass or all-in you (kill you) when you approach the creep wave while a passive style of play would be last hitting only the creeps you can get without taking much damage. These styles of play are dependent on both your skill level as well as your lane matchup.
Depending on champion picks and counter picks, lane matchups are either going to be a skill matchup, or a complete stomp. Now don’t get me wrong, any lane matchup is winnable with skill, but often times in a poor matchup you’re not going to be able to win most trades. Look at the Zed versus Kayle matchup. Most Zed players are going to get pretty beaten up in this lane and will choose a passive play style while the Kayle will play aggressive. She will look to harass Zed at every opportunity in lane, but Kayle should be wary. If Zed starts to walk up in lane after playing it safe to go for CS that you would normally harass for and starts taking a seemingly awful trade for himself, it probably means Zed has help nearby and is trying to bait you!
Try to get a feel for how your opponent is playing the lane. A sudden change in play style from a passive play style to an aggressive one should be a red flag. Always keep in mind your strength relative to theirs so you know how your opponent should be playing the lane.
Wards have a bit of a dual nature when it comes to laning. Wards are great for giving your team vision and preventing ganks, but on the same note, if your opponent knows where you’ve warded, they can use that information against you.
Enemy junglers and laners can take into account where you’ve warded so they know exactly where to flank you from without you noticing. Next time you place that ward, be careful about letting your lane opponent see!
Showcasing reading your opponent – an example
In this example of earlier, i played Ashe AD carry in a Diamond 3 ranked game. Laning phase was going well as forced fights with Janna’s shield allowed us to slowly wittle down their hitpoints.
This situation right here is the one i found myself a few minutes into the game where Janna and i were trying to pressure the enemy away, when we approached them however, they chose to fight back, even though this is a fight they would clearly lose as we outsustain them in longer fights.
Now, if you are able to read your opponent, this should warn you of potential advantages the enemy could have … like a gank happening. Let’s take a look at the minimap at that moment.
Yup, we got ganked and ended up dying. The enemy botlane suddenly turned from passive to aggressive and both Janna and i got caught when Graves ganked us.
What you should take away from this scenario is that you should at all times watch the enemy behaviour and if they behave differently, think of WHAT their advantage could be. Is the jungler or midlaner missing, does the enemy toplaner have teleport etc.
If you want to improve on several other mechanical aspects of League, check out our other articles. The final post of this series will be about gathering as much valuable information as possible while disregarding the information of minor importance as the game flow continues, or as Riot called it, “Processing Information”. Have a nice day, summoners. 🙂