The Roshan Toss #6 – Topical Blend: Commence Your Game

Posted: June 24, 2011 by kingofgob in General

Let me start by apologizing for my hiatus last week.  It was my first week of work,I was a little busy and  my LoL time was significantly reduced from lack of sleep.  Now I’m back on a normal sleep schedule and settled in at my job so I should be back to regularly scheduled articles.  This week I’m going to do something a little different.  Back in my high school days I used to play Magic: The Gathering, but in the past few years it’s fallen off of my radar for one reason or another.  One of my favorite things about magic was the sheer volume of interesting and varied articles written each week about the game.  One of my favorite writers was Mark Rosewater head designer of Magic.  He had great insight on the direction of Magic and even more importantly he had a great writing style.  Some of his best articles were know as Topical Blends where he would take non-Magic topics (often personal topics) and discuss how they relate to Magic design.  These were often masterpiece blogs.  Since I’ve been off a week I figure I would try to write a Topical Blend of my own.

I, like thousands of others across the country (maybe world too? Do other countries also graduate in May?) recently graduated from college.  It was everything people told me it would be and more.  So in honor of that I am going to discuss what I learned in college and how it relates for the game of LoL.  Hopefully I can do this format justice.

So I’ll start off with the story that something that happened most recently.  So I was planning to go to a party with a friend, we’ll call her Maria.  We were texting each other about Maria being really tired and how long her day had been.  Then she sends me the text, “You’re driving!”  I thought she was scolding me for texting while driving because my texts were short and had a few misspellings.  I was just being quick and lazy so I replied, “Nope!”  About an hour later when I was ready to leave I called her.  She tells me that she’s mad at me and that she doesn’t even want to go anymore.  Obviously confused I implore, “Why?”  Then I realize that she had been tired when we were texting before and wasn’t yelling at me for texting while driving, she was telling me that I was driving her to the party so she didn’t have to.  This was one of many stories I could tell emphasizing:

Always communicate to the fullest extent you can.

Remember that time you pinged the river to warn mid about a gank, but they thought you meant you want to meet to do dragon.  Pinging does not give enough information on its own.  If you ping you must write or say something to accompany the ping.  If you’re going to gank bot say so, don’t just go and complain to the lane that they didn’t help you.  If you’re in voice chat speak up, don’t just play silent.  Make your intentions clear to everyone and your game will instantly get better

I’ve been playing sports since I was eight or nine years old so I’ve been brought up as a very competitive person.  Over my years in college I played a lot of pickup basketball games with friends.  I usually played with the same group of friends in different combinations.  I had two friends in particular who were on complete opposite sides of the spectrum when playing, Matt and Rich (Again not real names).    Matt was an extremely athletic person but just didn’t have the coordination to play basketball.  He just never really played organized basketball so he didn’t learn the skills required to play the game well. He didn’t shoot well, he was awkward with the ball and his only real positive was the fact that he was much, much strong than everyone else.  He was an Alistar in a china shop while playing.  He was also a rage-aholic.  I thought I was competitive but he made me look uninterested.  This caused a major problem when you played with him.  He would miss an easy shot early on in the game then get extremely angry at himself which would lead him to play even more reckless.  He would start taking and missing more shots.  I would always try to tell him something but he never really took it to heart:

If you screw up, trying to make up for it by trying even harder isn’t the answer.

So you gave up first blood.  All too often what I see people do is run right back to their lane, start playing hyper aggressive, tower dive and give up another kill.  You have to accept that you screwed up and move on.  A mistake like first blood should not make you more apt to go for a kill.  0/2/0 is much worse than 0/1/0.

On the other hand my friend Rich was a very good player.  His major problem was he would get down on himself very quickly if things weren’t going his way.  If he missed one or two shots he would stop shooting altogether.  He would give up wide open shots because he wasn’t confident enough to shoot.  He had the opposite problem of Matt:

If you screw up, not trying to make up for it by trying even harder isn’t the answer.

Wait, what?  Didn’t I just say the exact opposite of that for Matt?  Yes I did.  Here’s the thing, while being that guy who starts every game 0/2/0 is bad, playing afraid because you lost an early 2v2 can be even worse.  You can’t just sit at your tower all game while their Caitlin is getting every last hit and harassing your tower. Playing that way just going to hurt your team even more.  The real thing to take from thisstory is:

If you screw up, figure out why you failed, learn from it and get back in the game.

You gave up first blood.  Take the 10 seconds that you’re dead to take a deep breath, ask yourself what you could have done better, then get back to playing the game.  If you see an opportunity for a revenge kill get it, but if it’s not there that’s fine get back to farming.  Important to note, often times when a hero gets first blood they become more aggressive and, often times, stupid.  Don’t be afraid to harass and attack when they over extend.

There was this one time I was studying for a final with a friend, we’ll call him Matthew.  Matthew and I had been studying all night for this test.  We were exhausted, hungry and sick of studying.  The test was about half an hour away and we had just finished a long example problem.  We had the choice of getting a quick bite to eat before our test.  I quickly glanced at the next problem and decided it wasn’t worth the time doing just one more problem.  Matt and I finish eating, slowly gravitate to our test and sit down next to a few other friends.  The test starts, I flip over my paper and lo and behold the first problem is the one we skipped over for breakfast.  That just set me up for failure on the rest of the test.  It didn’t matter how easy the rest of the test was, I just couldn’t get over the one problem I should’ve studied but didn’t.  So what lesson can be learned here:

It’s always better to go the extra mile.

Get that last hit on the tower.  Don’t just recall right outside the bush.  Don’t recall when if it would be faster to walk.  All these little things can lead to major improvements in you game.  How many times have you gone into a 2v1 only to let the enemy get away at one hit because you thought your ally had it?  How about when you thought your ally was going to finish the tower but you both switch off to the hero before the tower was dead.  Just do that extra little bit and you will find yourself getting more wins.

So I hope I didn’t bore you with my life.  As always let me know what you think.  If you like it I can try and do more of this format.  If you don’t like it I’d like to hear about that too.

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