If Your Team is (Only) Defending, Your Team is Losing: Mentality of Keeping, Holding, and Building Advantages

Posted: August 9, 2011 by atenthirtyone in General

Whenever you play a game of League of Legends, there’s always the idea that one team is “winning” over the other team. This can be measured in various ways: champion kills, objectives such as towers, or map control. We can simply call these values advantages. The more advantages your team has, the more likely you will be able to win the game. However, I noticed something that many teams tend to do which does nothing to contribute to creating an advantage, whether your team is winning or losing – full team defending.

There are many times when I am on the losing team, and my team is completely content with defending or only wants to defend. While, this is the safest play, it relies on a limited tactic to come back from losing. This is the idea that the enemy team will screw up while attacking your team defending a tower. While, this can create success and reverse the balance of “whose winning”, this strategy is completely depended on the enemy team making tactically poor decisions (aka being terrible). More so, this concept assumes that your team will be able to fight on an even level against the enemy team with the help of a tower. A competent team (read competent, I do not mean professional teams or high elo blah blah teams) would not rush in and allow your ideal situation to occur. First, if your enemy team is already stronger in terms of strength, then chances are their tank or bruiser should be able to tank the tower while the rest of them should be able to cause enough kills to win the team fight. Secondly and more importantly, why would they attack you? They already have map control since your team is forced to defend. They have multiple options to pull even further ahead or win the game. They can choose to send one or two of their team mates to split push. Or they can even attempt Baron while your team idles at your tower, doing nothing. Yes, your team can try to disrupt their Baron attempt, but remember – if you were at a situation where you need a tower, then chances are your team will probably not win a team fight, even with the Baron debuff. In addition, the enemy team will already have a gold and map control advantage allowing them to place wards which will allow them to see your team attempting to contest Baron. In fact, the enemy team is probably content either to get Baron or force a team fight for it.

The same can be applied when your team is winning, and they do nothing to gain more advantages. Let’s say your team has gotten all six of the initial towers while perhaps losing one or two of your initial towers. Your team just won a team fight, which means that your team’s relative strength should be higher. However, the enemy team starts split pushing like crazy in hopes to even the map control (that towers give). Instead of pushing the offensive, your team decides to defend these towers as a whole group. As a result, your team ends up maybe defending the split pushes, but gain no ground in the process. In addition, the enemy team has been gaining more gold and experience during this whole time while your team is trying to defend. While, this example is far less likely than the one above, it still occurs, and I seen many times when a team simply gives up their advantage or allows their advantage to be lessen.

It sucks when your team is losing or feels your team is losing. This often puts people in the need to defend and play defensively. However, League of Legends is a game where you want to build up and keep advantages. By defending, your team is essentially idling and not doing anything to get stronger. Now, I am not saying that you should never defend. Yes, while sometimes your team can capitalize on your enemy team’s mistakes when they make poor decisions, that is not an active way to win. You want to proactively create situations for your team to win the game, not reactionary.

  1. damndirtycat says:

    What about when inhibitors are down? Do you think that full-team defending is a waste while waiting for inhibitors to come back up?

  2. atenthirtyone says:

    It would depend on the situation. The only time I would defend if not defending literally loses you nexus towers or the nexus itself. If there’s no towers left for your inhibitors, then defense might be your only option. I probably didn’t clarify this clearly, but your team should avoid having to defend (towers, specifically). Rather, roaming for ganks, split pushing, forcing team fights, or counter-pushing a tower are stronger strategies because it doesn’t rely on “who fucks up less”. I’m trying to say is that you really want to avoid the situation where you have to commit a full team to defend.

  3. The real question is how do you get your team mates to agree with this and act on it? Sometimes you’re not playing a character that can split push or gank and communication is poor on your team.

  4. […] Atenthiryone explored in a recent article the problems with the mentality of defending and why it leads to losing a game. I’d like to […]

  5. […] and decide what you think for yourself.  First I definitely suggest reading both Qwerthy’s and ATenThirtyOne’s because they both make good points, but I definitely disagree with the sentiment that […]

  6. […] a previous article of mine, I talked about the importance of playing proactively instead of reactionary using the situation of […]

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