Close Quarters

In “League of Legends,” a basic technique that is emphasized a lot is focus-firing “the right target(s)” in a given team fight. Ideally, your allies should be directing their damage and abilities toward high-priority threats, such as the enemy AD carry. Taking out immediate threats right away makes a team fight go much smoother. How can the opposing team stop you when you stifle their damage output?

Though focus-fire is fine and dandy, I believe that there is an inherent misconception with how to execute this basic maneuver and strategy in LoL.

For one thing, I think people get a bit too gung-ho about focusing specific targets that they neglect their own positioning.
Scenario: You see the enemy team’s ranged carry in the back of an upcoming fight. Your teammates want to rush past the enemy team’s front-line to dogpile the ranged carry no matter what. Your team may succeed in killing the ranged carry, but the damage to your own forces becomes very noticeable. Your team suffers heavy casualties at the cost of taking down the enemy team’s carry. Was it worth it? This scenario happens quite a bit in LoL. More so than people realize.
Also, I want to make it very clear that I am not opposed to focus-firing specific targets in team fights. If I had a choice of going after the ranged carry or the support first in a team fight, I of course would want to go after the ranged carry.

To elaborate on what my basic philosophy is when it comes to fighting battles in LoL, it is simply, “Hit whoever’s closest.” I find it far more effective if my teammates just unleash their fury toward the nearest target we can hit (doesn’t matter if it is the tank or not), we take down that given target out and then rinse and repeat with the hopes that we come out on top at the end.

The reason for this is very straightforward. Wading through the enemy team’s front-line is often dangerous, and unless you have specific champions who are supposed to do so (e.g. Akali), I just perceive this as a reckless tactic in a lot of situations.

Team fights can get hectic, but proper positioning and instinctive thinking makes all the difference.

People in LoL will get on your case if you don’t attack this or attack that. We all get lectured with the same, “Don’t attack x champion!” or, “Why isn’t anyone attacking x champion?” complaints that we lose count. Again, if you can in fact choose a key target to damage on the enemy team, then do so to your heart’s content. I just think you should preferably strike whoever is closest.

Far too often, and I do mean far too often, do I see some players try way too hard to reach a certain enemy champion that they lose out on so much damage output. They take a boatload of unnecessary damage in the process that they usually die before they accomplish much good.

Honestly, they are overthinking something that is in fact simpler than they realize.

In LoL, positioning is everything. Having your beefy champs up front to protect your weaker, but important ones in the back can immediately change the outcome of a fight. When both teams clash, the side with better positioning and execution usually wins for this reason.

However, there are many players who let this formation concept affect their play too much. You just need your bulky champions in front with the ranged carry/mage in the back providing support fire in many cases. It doesn’t get more simpler than that. I believe it is when people overcomplicate easy scenarios is when they start running into trouble. If you just unload your moves and attacks against the nearest target(s), you should deal more damage while also mitigating the damage coming your way. Safe-and-reliable damage > reckless damage output in my book.

Obviously, dividing your damage across multiple targets is often inefficient and is frowned upon. It is silly to see your team fight go awry because everyone is not attacking the same target(s), and thus no one the enemy team dies in a quick manner. The longer your enemies live, the longer they can harm you. And this is why focus-firing is so vital. I just think more people should realize that dumping everything they have on the same, CLOSEST target will usually lead to better results. This way, you can ensure that someone is going to bite the dust while minimizing your own potential losses.

I realize that going after key targets will always be “the” way of thinking over my personal philosophy that I know some people wouldn’t agree with. A lot of people are still going to place a bull’s-eye on a target and then go for it, regardless of how many enemies are nearby who are ready to punish them for doing so. But hey, it is not to say that this specific-target strategy doesn’t work or anything. It can have a huge payoff, actually. It can in fact be effective if you can take out the other team’s key champion(s) before they can make use of them. I just find this particular strategy much more riskier than it has to be.

To each their own, I suppose.

TL;DR: Focus-firing is very important in LoL, but I think focus-firing the CLOSEST target(s) in a team fight is superior than mindlessly gunning for a perceived, key target on the enemy team. This is because I think hitting the nearest target(s) is safer and more efficient, damage-wise (in regards to the damage your team versus the amount of damage you are inflicting to the opposing side in a given scenario).


4 thoughts on “Close Quarters

  1. NicoLite Великий September 18, 2012 / 1:47 am

    It’s a very common concept to strategic games. I myself am a fan of the draw-eliminate tactic, where I have a small group of tanks, an equally large array of buffers/controllers, one or two long range high frequency harrassers and covered positions full of flankers (about 50% of my fighting force). Anyone who wants to get to the harrassers has to overwhelm the Tanks, who are being buffed, surrounded by explosions and under constant fire from snipers. Depending on terrain, forces ten times as strong as mine in raw values can easily be worn down


      • NicoLite Великий September 18, 2012 / 1:39 pm

        yeah it’s really all about aoe dot on the enemies van while the flankers take out their support. What is vital to the plan is that the flankers remain undetected until the van hits the tanks


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