Hello, all! Mandaray here again.
So recently, I kind of took a break both from blogging, and from playing League. While I was gone, Riot decided to kick off Season 3 with some very exciting changes to the ranked ladders. My friends and I are pretty stoked about these changes, and I for one am always happy to have a chance to prove my mettle in ranked queues.
Last night, I had a bit of free time, so I decided to hop into a solo ranked queue. Most people equate this to running a cheese grater over you knuckles, but I often find solo queue to be amusing if approached with the correct attitude. (Also see: Not a super-serious one.) The first queue dissolved after a summoner on the enemy team decided to dodge, which kind of sucked since we had a fairly decent team synergy. Second time around, though, everything stuck–though unfortunately we had a jungler who was unhappy with us for banning Rammus who was, quote, “their favorite jungler.” (They said nothing about what jungler they wanted, or that they were only proficient with a single jungler. But who cares about details like that?) They picked Sejuani instead, though they were sure to let us know that they were unhappy about it.
The game progressed pretty normally from there. I was supporting my ADC bot; we got a few ganks; it was pretty uninteresting. Eventually the enemy team managed to grab First Blood, though it was really more a matter of bad luck on the part of our jungler rather than anyone’s failure to be competent. I figured that maybe we might have a rough start, and that was fine. Not every game has to be an exercise in complete domination, after all.
But then it quickly became apparent that there were problems within our team. Bot lane did poorly, which drew the ire of mid lane. Top lane kept getting ganked, which again drew the ire of mid lane. (Our Annie was a confrontational sort. I muted them after about five minutes.) The enemy team’s AP Yi began to snowball, which drew the ire of everyone.
And then, as we moved into team fights, I began to notice something: We had no teamwork.
Our Sejuani would often initiate fights when other team members weren’t present, or were in terrible positions. Sometimes, a few of us were even buying items at spawn when she would jump in. Naturally of course, this made them very angry; doubly so since they were the kind of personality who liked to blame others for their own mistakes. Which led to more bickering, which led to even worse teamwork.
We had an Annie, a Kha’zix and a late-game Twitch, plus me as Nidalee. We had plenty of damage. But because we could never manage to focus or work together effectively, we fell apart at almost every team fight. No one else besides me seemed to notice this, and unfortunately I knew any attempt on my part to fix the situation would simply draw more “why did bot feed?” comments.
I know it’s been mentioned before on this blog, but last night’s game really drove the point home for me: When you’re playing League of Legends, teamwork is more valuable than anything else.
You can have all the DPS you want; you can hand-craft a team comp that would make the pro tournament players weep with joy; you can even use the latest over-powered champ to their fullest. But if you don’t have any teamwork? You will fail. The only time in which you won’t fail is when the enemy team doesn’t have any–you guessed it–teamwork of their own.
I have seen it time and time again. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize, but it’s always there. If you want to be a successful League player, you must to understand how to be a team player.
Will this mean you win every time? No. But it will definitely increase your chances, and will probably inspire confidence in the rest of your team as well. That’s not always easy in a community like League, but if you can do it: The rewards are more than worth it.