The biggest difference between League’s Solo Queue and playing as an organized team is the difficulty in coordinating your gameplan with the other teammates. Learning how to coordinate with your team and act as a leader for them can be quintessential for some victories. When one team is an unorganized mess with everyone having a different gameplan, the other team might succeed solely because of more organized play.
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 introduce multiple strategies on how to approach a victory that you then can try to apply to your solo queue games. We also give you tips on how to act as a leader for your team and have your teammatse listen to the plan most of the time.
Coordinate with your team strategically
I’ll go over the most important key points about strategic coordination in this chapter. We’ll be using the recent NALCS and EULCS quarterfinals that happened last weekend as an additional source for explanations and examples for some of these points.
Press and leverage every early lead your team has
Whenever you watch NALCS, there’s a lot of additional info discussed after each specific game, one of those things are these “Gold Difference Over Time” graphs. Graphs commonly look like the one to the left (yesterday’s first match of CLG vs. FLY) in that once a team get’s a small lead, they transition that advantage into a bigger advantage and that snowball just keeps on rolling.
This concept unfortuneatly doesn’t come into effect too often in lower elos or Solo Queue. In the latter, players tend to tunnelvision on their own screen and don’t keep track of what happening on other lanes too much. Analyze the enemy’s weakest link and coordinate with your team to abuse that player.
Using lane pressure to affect the enemy jungler
This is strategy that is risky to employ can, if it works out, help control the tempo of the early game and is a strategy I do not often see utilized by other people.
If your team has lanes that are weaker in sustain or more vulnerable and other lanes that are more robust and have better options for survivability such as high mobility, then the superior lanes should apply more pressure to draw or give more reason for jungle to show up.
Try to analyze your teams’ champions and judge who could apply additional pressure. Let your teammates know what they could potentially do, don’t rely on them doing it.
It is imperative that the players providing the pressure are comfortable handling odd-man fights and ganking situations. Proper execution of this strategy can force the enemy jungler to split their time between lanes or have to cover the less-potent lanes (for their team) rather than assist their stronger lane in gaining early kills or turrets.
Baiting and counter-baiting a gank
Sun Tzu once stated “Appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak”. Another seemingly understood tactic is the bait for ganks. In almost every match that I play, the attempts at baiting by the opposition are very poorly executed and tend to broadcast themselves to compromise. This may seem as simple as pulling back slightly or moving forward towards your target with low health. While this seems viable on the surface, such movements will generally cause reason for concern for your target if you haven’t normally been executing those types of motion.
Make a gank seem plausible by inentionally missing a skillshot and try not to broadcast the fact that you know what the enemy team is attempting.
Coordinate this whole occurence with your teammates. Ping the brush the enemy is in or just simply call for them to come help. If they don’t, bait the gank and get out alive to waste the enemy junglers time. When doing this, your team will need to set up quickly as the enemy team will not wait long to strike.
Take advantage of a pick-off or a single kill to upset the enemy team
Looking at CLG’s first game against FLY yesterday, there was a single error on FLY’s side around minute ~22 that caused them to then lose the entire game. Altec got caught out by Fizz’s Chum the Waters and followed up by Ashe’s Crystal Arrow causing him to be stunned for several seconds, allowing CLG an easy pick up on a kill.
Instead of keeping the fight going however, they decide for the major objective, Baron, since they now outnumber FLY.
FLY chooses to follow up CLG and aim for a Baron steal, but get caught out by CLG who we’re trapping them to begin with. CLG crush the 5 against 4 fight and proceed to pick up Baron and win the game in the next few minutes.
Especially when playing at lower ranks, people tend to not take advantage of picks. Try to encourage your team to rotate, or grab a tower or dragon when kills happen early on. Just remember that the team’s cooperation is needed, so if the jungler refuses to come to dragon, aim for a different advantage to take.
Understanding rotations during lategame
One matter that has lost me personally a lot of games already is the lacking coordination when a strategy other than a full-on 5v5 team fight ensues.
In this example (image above), the blue team has the worse teamfighting composition since Fiora and Vi aren’t that strong in a 5v5 scenario. They do have a lot of waveclear with Anivia and Ezreal though, and Fiora is one of the best splitpushers there is. Fiora also has teleport available.
In this scenario, Fiora decides Splipushing is the best idea. So what is important is that she tries to shove in as hard as she can and the rest of her team tries defending, avoiding to pick a fight at all cost.
In this scenario, communication is key. If you belong to the defense, let Fiora know when to tp and try to fend off an enemy engage as well as possible. If you have to, let the tower fall if Fiora can say get two towers out of it.
If you’re Fiora, since you’re not really in danger at all, keep an extremely close eye on your team and communicate your plan with them constantly. If a fight is unavoidable, decide whether you teleport in or maybe grab an inhibitor.
Make sure that situations like executing a 1-3-1 lane push don’t just become ‘they 5v3’d us and we lost an inhib’ by communicating with your team.
Being a leader to follow
One important last disclaimer is that you can only be a leader for your team if you treat them like parts of your unit.
Be nice to your teammates, compliment them, stay constructive and don’t give in to emotion. Make them feel like you’re someone who’s going to take care of them as a leader, allow them to build up some trust in the short time that the game lasts.
Also, do not forget that this won’t always work. There will always be those games where your ally doesn’t want to cooperate and is malicious to your goal. If you think a 5v5 fight would be best but your ally decides the stubbornly wants to splitpush, you need to be the one able to adapt and still be a leader. Essentially, you need to learn to work with the tools you are given, your tools being your teammates (sounds kind of harsh, doesn’t it).
Now that you know how to be a leader for your teammates and can show them just how much teamwork can accomplish, maybe consider reading our remaining articles on how to improve as a player. Or await our next “Why do i suck?” article on Friday, which will cover tilt resilience: Essentially how to fortify your mentality, which plays a bigger part in League than we wish it had.