League of Legends Academy: Knowledge Always Beats Luck. (Part #1) | gamingX | Scoop.it
Introduction: First & foremost I'll be explaining what this is & who I am. I'll start of by covering the most important question, why should

First & foremost I'll be explaining what this is & who I am. I'll start of by covering the most important question, why should you pay attention to anything I say? I am a NA player who happens to be sitting in G1 on the brink of hitting Platinum Tier in ranked competition. I have played League since Beta through all seasons aggressively with a Top/Jungle position. I am not stating I am the best player, nor the epitome of information. However, I have insight on what it takes to rise in the ranks.

What this will serve as is a series of postings outlining the important yet often over looked concepts of the game that most of the times will sway the match in your favor. Miniscule gestures to important game play techniques that should become second nature to you. Practice makes perfect & knowledge will always rise to glory over luck. 

Topics of Focus:
Section 1: The Basics
Section 2: Team Select
Section 3: Pre Game Mentality
Section 4: Starting Items
Section 5: Initial Lane Play

Section 1: The Basics
Before even entering a game (ranked at that) you need to have knowledge of your own abilities, strengths, weaknesses & habits. These are some of the most crucial points of your play that will elevate you from a typical run of the mill player to dominance. 

Often players queue for a match & simply play as they go along. This will only get you so far, more than likely you will never move out of Bronze Tier without acquiring this information about yourself. The reason this is important is because the players you are facing will quickly pick up key information about you as well as use the loading screen & that initial minute in the game to do a quick background check (I'll explain this in a later entry).

The easiest way to decipher this vast amount of knowledge is by taking advantage of several tools at your disposal which are completely free. These tools range from LoLReplay to streaming your games for personal use. LoLReplay is a recording system which saves your games directly to your hard drive & allows complete view of the entire game. Streaming however allows you to view that same game only from your PoV.

You can pinpoint places in the game where you tunnel visioned possibly missing kills, places where you should have been on one target but were on another target, where your team was setting up for a fight while you were elsewhere, or even smaller things such as going back blowing an entire wave of creeps with no pressure. 

Watching your games after play also allow you to pick up on your strong points of play & develop them either further. Maybe you were aware of a gank coming prior to it even unfolding & didn't communicate with your team, perhaps you have strong cs control which will allow you to alter early spending on items you really don't need to purchase at that moment when a stronger item can be purchased, etc etc.

It also displays more important things such as habits. A great player will quickly pick up on your habit & use them to your advantage such as consistent lane positioning, poor cs control, over extending, being baited, cause & effect reactions. You never wanna become predictable, if you aren't in control of your game you have already lost.

Without knowing your limits, you will never be able to break them.

Section 2: Team Select
Yes, team select. Where majority of the games are already lost before the game even begins. Where you will determine if you have a strong team or a broken divided team. The infamous location claim screen. A rule of thumb here is to avoid fighting. If you feel you have a dominant position by all means call it, however never argue with someone who wants you position. Simply inform them you have already called it. If they continue to stress them playing that position simply select another position. It may not be your strongest position but a solid team will always defeat a stressed team.

Before selecting your champion look at what the rest of your team is playing, take note of their champion skills, possible builds & team synergy. It is better to have a team comp with great synergy via lane control, team fight control & advancement than a team full of rotation champions with no sustain, lane control or pushing force.

Team select also gives you a chance to do a little research on those you are playing with via online sources (again, I'll cover this in a later entry). You can dig up information on their general build with certain champions, determine if they are aggressive, make bad decisions & are possibly a risk to follow around the map.

Another point of Team select is to make note of who your opponent is selecting, countering their mid / adc is a great advantage to putting you ahead before even starting the game. Preventing farm, utilizing your ability to shut down ults (such as silences with Nunu) or determining if your going to need that ignite to prevent healing.

Never auto lock, even if you have already decided your champion. You can always use the time to communicate with your team. Another thing is NEVER instantly select the champion you are going to play. Either don't select them until the last second or if you really wanna be a pain select a champion that has no business being in your team synergy. What this does is gives the opposite team 30+ seconds worth of discussion & altering their picks to work around who you are choosing. Let them work out an entire game plan & then switch at the last minute leaving them to scramble & possibly re decide their deciding picks.

Section 3: Pre Game Mentality
Strengthen your team while making theirs uncomfortable. At the start of every game you should send a simple yet quicky message to your team. "Play well, stay safe, watch the jungle, make use of wards, dont over extend & last hit. Lets win this". This serves as a reminder, a focal point to last hit, a safer play & bonds random players as a unit. We all know teams that play together win. 

On the opposite hand it is always smart to rattle your opponent early into making bad decisions. If you have a strong bottom with an ADC capable of escape such as Ezreal & a support who has a slow/escape or safe play habit simple things such as sending a message to their jungle will get in his head. This will nine times out of ten have him focus on your lane & leave your top & middle less harassed. If you are jungle make a note to their mid informing them you will be looking forward to your encounters, forcing them to play safer & allowing your mid to out cs them. Simple gestures like this while not being rude goes a long way. 

Section 4: Starting Items
Remember when we discussed knowing yourself? This is where it first comes into play. Sure dorean items are a good starting item, heck a lot of the times they are the best bet against such things as heavy tops. Knowing yourself allows for you to take advantage of your skill set & possibly get ahead of the curve without spending early. If you know you have strong cs control saving that initial gold & maybe picking up a health pot or two for minor sustain will allow you to pick up early game influence items quicker than your opposing lane & throws you deeper into your end game build a lot faster. 

This is also your chance to possibly reverse a counter pick by the other team by investing in something more defensive then you normally would start off with. Being aware of if their jungle has any form of cc which may cause you issues when laning, boots & health potions may be a better investment early over your typical build. 

Knowing the champion you selected is a early game or late game influence should also play into your starting items purchase. The recommended items are a good idea sometimes but over 70% of higher ranked games the starting items are not purchased. What does that tell you? 

Section 5: Initial Lane Play
Last but not least in this entry is initial lane play. Lane control wins games. Going into your lane & just having a complete shoot out til somebody dies does one of two things. Puts you behind in the lane, or forces you out of your lane early. Even if you win the exchange your still going to have to back with not enough gold to make a huge difference in your build do to the jungle gank possibility. Meanwhile at least two minion waves have hit, thats cs you have missed & possibly resulted in a pushed lane & loss of lane control. Losing the exchange has even greater penalties, you end up missing 3-4 waves of creeps allowing the other team to free farm + the bonus gold from your death & loss of lane control. It simply isn't worth it.

Lane control is different than controlling a lane. Controlling a lane is simply having the ability to farm at will & keep the other team at bay for the most part with no real danger to you. Lane control is all of the previous as well as having proper warding in the river, your opponents zoned (out of range of xp without pushing the lane) & bush wards.

Early game your main focus should be cs, preventing mistakes & also helping watch the mini map for any missed map awareness that needs to be address as well as watching other lanes for opportunities for your jungle. Two and a half minion waves equal a kill. Remember this.

The last concept of Initial Lane Play I will touch on is knowing your match ups. If you are a late game champion verse an early game champion there is no reason to play straight up or even attempt to keep the lane at mid. Allow him to push to your turret where you have a higher level of safety. Even on the turret it is possible to last hit every minion. Caster minions = 1 hit, turret hit 1 hit - while melee minions = 2 turrets & 1 hit.

Knowledge is everything. Next time I'll be focusing on more detailed information such as Top Control, Jungle Control, getting ahead early game, disrupting the opponents strategy, sources of information & early game final moments & mid game preparation.