So you want to take a chance on becoming the best in League of Legends? Well you’re in the right place!
Strap in and pull out your notebook because League of Legends (LoL) is one of the most complex competitive esports games to master. Reaching the Grandmaster league in each season will take a ton of gameplay and a lot of complex decision-making. That’s not even including the fact that as of 2021, there are over 150 champions to try.
There’s a lot to cover so let’s jump right in!
League of Legends is what the gaming community calls a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA. Players control a fantasy themed champion who is equipped with 5 abilities. One ability is passive (meaning you don’t have to activate it), 3 Basics, and a powerful Ultimate ability. Once you activate an ability, you have to wait a few seconds before you can reuse them. This is called the ability cooldown.
Each game in the main mode, called Summoner’s Rift, requires two teams of five players each to slay their way towards the enemy base. This base is called a Nexus. The Nexus heals players, acts as a store where items can be purchased, and summons AI controlled pawns called minions.
Each map has three main lanes that a player can fight their way down. Minions trudge down each lane and battle other minions and enemy turrets that defend each lane with ranged attacks.
In between these lanes are areas called jungles. These can be shortcuts to go from lane to lane. The jungles also house AI controlled bosses that, if defeated, provide buffs for your entire team.
As you play the game, kills earn the player experience and gold. Every player begins at level one at the start of each game. As they defeat minions, turrets, monsters, and players, they gain experience and level up. Going up experience levels unlock and/or strengthen abilities. The base stats of the champion also go up as well.
Dying is frustrating but it will happen a lot. In each match, the more times you die, the longer it takes for you to respawn. This puts your team at a disadvantage so it is important to avoid dying whenever possible. Essentially, it is important to know when to attack and when to retreat.
Gold is used in each match to purchase items at the Nexus. These items further raise stats, provide ability cooldowns, and just all around make your character better.
With League of Legends being a team based game, players will quickly find that there are a lot of game related terminology to be familiar with. Learning this terminology is key to developing and understanding strategies needed to win. To begin with, you’ll need to understand the different types of champions. Knowing what type of champion you chose will give you a baseline for how they should be played.
Assassin – High skill champions that specialize in quick kills
Fighter – Good beginner characters built for sustained offense
Mage – Ranged champions who use spells to trap, damage, and debuff opponents
Marksmen – Ranged champions that apply constant offensive pressure
Support – Healers, buff-masters, and all around team enhancers
Tank – High health players that push the action down the lane or soak up high damage strikes to protect other teammates.
Even with these champion types, there are more ‘roles’ that define which of the three lanes (as well as the jungle) they specialize in.
The key is recognizing where your teammates go when the match starts and recognizing what role you’ll need to play based upon the champion you chose.
Once you define your champion and your role, you’ll need to also get familiar with acronyms and slang phrases that teammates may use. Here are a few easy ones:
- ADC – Attack Damage Carry – used to describe a role for a champion who is expected to deal continuous damage and push the action down a lane.
- Creeps – monsters or minions
- ELO – a rating system for players
- Farm – killing minions and monsters with the intent to constantly build xp and gold
- Gank – to flank and surprise an enemy
- Jungler – a role where the player roams the jungle areas killing monsters and occasionally helps teammates in different lanes.
- Main – a player’s favorite character
- Smurfing – when a highly skilled player makes a second account to play against beginner or lesser players.
There are plenty more terms to learn but most can be found with a bit of research.
When you begin, you’ll probably ignore messages and just try your best to not die. Eventually, you’ll pick up on what your team is instructing you to do. When you understand them and can respond accordingly, that is a huge step! League of Legends plays like an evolved form of Battle Chess. The action is non-stop and the strategy needed to win is very complex. Games can become very lopsided very quickly. Again, the key to avoiding that is to know when to run and to recognize your role. League of Legends certainly gives new meaning to ‘stay in your lane’!
The last thing to know is that League of Legends is a time-suck. Once you get started and get into a groove where you are learning how to get kills, you’ll get hooked. Making that transition from getting kills to getting wins will come with time so strap in and find your main!
Check out the League of Legends workshop at Contender eSports Gaming in Cary NC
Monday: League of Legends 7:30-9pm
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