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6 Clash Tips from a Challenger Coach

Challenger Tips and Tricks for Clash

The global Clash beta is officially here and we’re excited to get even closer to its final release (fingers crossed). 5 on 5, organized League of Legends is really how the game is meant to be played in its purest form. Instead of the selfish nature of solo queue where it benefits you to hoard as many resources as you can as an individual, cooperation and synergy shine more in Clash.

It’s sort of similar to playing pickup basketball with strangers rather than an organized team environment. They’re both technically basketball, but pickup ball is more of a substitute for the real thing. Over time, who knows?  Maybe Clash will take over as the premier measurement of someone’s ability as a player rather than their solo queue.

To help you and your team prepare and perform your best this upcoming Clash weekend and for future events, we have X tips from our Challenger Coach Moriarty to help you and your team make the best of your Clash run.

1. Understand your team’s champion pool and playstyle

Before your Clash tournament begins, it’s crucial that you and your team are on the same page in terms of knowing what champions are at your disposal.

Understanding this will help you define your team’s optimal playstyle and help you make the best of your pick and bans.

clash pick bans

For some of you reading this, you may have already been playing with your four friends for years. If so, awesome, you probably already have a good idea of how your friends like to play and you may even already have some regular team comps that you’ve used before.

If you have only recently joined or assembled a Clash team, that’s totally okay as well. You’ll want to sit down with your team and discuss the top five or so champions per each role that each player would be comfortable playing during your event.

Based on your collective champion pool, take note of the common threads in regards to factors like playstyle, synergies, and power spikes.

League of Legends Team Comps

Does your team have strong Varus, Lux, and Jayce players? Sounds like you’ll want to play poke and siege.

Kog’Maw, Lulu, and Orianna? Consider playing a protect the hypercarry teamfighting comp.

To learn about all the different team comps out there and how they’re played, we recommend revisiting our in-depth guide on team compositions and teamfighting.

At this point, you may be wondering…should you have multiple playstyles prepared for Clash? Our answer here is no.

Since Clash is a best-of-one format, your time is better off spent planning around how to optimize your team’s preferred playstyle.

By doing this, you can really flesh out and refine your strategy. Odds are, you’ll be able to execute your gameplan better than teams that spread their attention between different ideas.

2. Prep your drafts ahead of time

Once you understand your team’s overall champion pool and preferred playstyle, you should walk through different draft scenarios and how you’ll handle them.

A good starting point is to pretend that bans don’t exist and define what your ideal team comp would be. As a quick example, let’s say that your team’s preferred playstyle is wombo combo and your ideal lineup is:

  • Top: Malphite
  • Jungle: Wukong
  • Mid: Orianna
  • ADC: Sivir
  • Support: Rakan

Wombo Combo

Now, let’s bring it back to reality and consider the possibilities. Remember that the enemy team has five bans (just like the usual ranked mode).

What would your team do if all five of the champions from your ideal composition were taken away? Do you have a plan for that?

What happens if they focus on banning out your best player? Your worst player? These are the sort of questions you should be considering as a team and finding solutions for.

back up champs

The beauty of focusing your strategy around one playstyle is that it makes it much easier to have substitute champions that fulfill a similar niche prepared. Five bans can be annoying but it’s impossible to ban out an entire team comp concept.

For example, if Sivir and Rakan are banned, Miss Fortune and Sona can slot in and your team comp can maintain close to the same identity.

Let’s say your top laner is your best player and the enemy team decides to use all five bans on them. Even if they banned Malphite, Rumble, Vladimir, Kennen, and Sion, you would still have more options leftover that could work for a wombo combo team such as Gangplank or Ornn.

If you’re unsure about which champions can be used as replacements or how to adapt accordingly, find a pro team that has a similar identity and use their drafts as a template.

For example, let’s say that your team likes to play a style similar to IG, who like to play the 1-3-1 and give their solo laners the spotlight to shine.

IG draft

Take a note of the champs that they prioritize and how they adapt their picks to still fit their playstyle. Now, we aren’t expecting you to be able to play Fiora as well as TheShy, but if your team has a strong Jax, it can be used in a similar way.

Finally, when it comes to using your own five bans, look to exploit the most advantageous matchup that you have. In most cases, it’s very unlikely that every role to role matchup will have equal skill levels.

If your mid laner is your best player and the opposing mid is one of the lowest-ranked on their team, target that enemy mid’s preferred pick or the counters to your mid laner’s champion pool.

Note that are automatically scouted within the client aren’t necessarily the most recently played champions so be sure to scout the summoner profiles of each player.

Doublelift summoner profile

If you’re able to get the advantageous matchups you want but still have bans remaining, have a list of champions that your team doesn’t like playing against in general and opt for banning those.

Don’t be baited into banning to protect your worst player. If your best players are nullified and put into positions where they can’t carry, your team will most likely struggle if your worst player has the keys to the carry castle.

3. Designate a final shotcaller or shotcalling system

Every team is different but we recommend, in most cases, deciding on one final shotcaller to help your team in crunch time when you need to make split-second decisions.

Although it’s true that some professional teams lean more toward democratic shotcalling systems that divide duties, it takes a great deal of structured practice and guidance from a coach to get it right.

If you have a ton of time, it might be ideal do divide up duties between early game shotcalling, teamfight shotcalling, and late game shotcalling. However, for most people that have busy school and work schedules, there simply isn’t enough time to implement these sort of systems.

With Season 10’s increased emphasis on objective control, due to the additional Rift Herald and the new elemental drakes, it’s even more crucial to be on the same page.

Elder buff lazer

You don’t want to be on the wrong side of an Elder Drake…

Sometimes, finding your shotcaller can happen naturally since some players are more vocal than others.

However, if you run into a situation where you have multiple loud voices that tend to conflict, come to an agreement method as a team to settle on one person.

Whether it’s through a blind vote, rock-paper-scissors, or 1v1 combat, make sure everyone is content with the result and willing to opt in.

Note that your shotcaller doesn’t have to be your absolute best player (it shouldn’t be your worst player though). One of pro League of Legends best shotcallers of all time, C9 Hai, was rarely the best mechanical player on his team but decisionmaking could often win games for his teams.

Although your best player and shotcaller can certainly overlap, it’s a much different skillset than being mechanically gifted. Ideally, you’ll want someone who is vocal, decisive and has a strong macro sense.

When the game is at its most tense moments, whether it’s before a big engage or Baron contest, the shotcaller must step up to make the decisions for the team and the team must be ready to follow. Even if a call isn’t perfect, a united team that’s making a suboptimal decision will likely get the better of a smarter but divided team.

4. Optimize your team communication

Now that you have your designated shotcaller for crunchtime decisions, it’s time to clean up and refine how your team communicates general information on a play-by-play basis. What do we mean by this?

To help balance your team’s concentration for mechanical execution with the exchange of important information, you’ll want to keep your voice comms clean outside of necessary information.

Here’s a simplified general flow that our Challenger Coach recommends:

Present crucial information Team evaluates informationA decision is proposedDecision is executed → Repeat

In a real game, this would be something like this:

ADC: “Ashe just burned her Flash and is pretty chunked, do you think we could dive her sometime soon?”

Jungler: “I’m going to hit level 6 in two more camps.” 

Mid: “I’m being pushed in, I won’t have priority to rotate”

Top:  “I have Teleport up if you need me.”

Support: “We should do it.

Jungler: “Sounds good.”

ADC: “Let’s start shoving the wave in.” 

The ADC and Support shove the wave in time for their jungler to successfully dive the tower with their ultimate. 

The cycle restarts…

In the above example, the players exchanged concise information within seconds and coordinated a play that would be attempted around 25 seconds later. Organized 5v5 League of Legends is made up of many small conversations like this one.

The more efficient and forward-thinking your communication is, the more successful your calls and execution will be. On the other hand, if you have a team that doesn’t communicate appropriately or clogs the voice comms with multiple conversations at the same time, disaster can happen.

Here are some examples of good and bad communication exchanges:

Useful information during a match
  • Asking, “what’s our next play?”.
  • Keeping track of allied and enemy summoner spell cooldowns.
  • Describing wave management. “We can dive them soon” or “They might dive me soon”.
  • Saying how close you are to your next major item. “I need one more wave to grab Deathcap”.
  • Coordinating vision control. “I’m out of wards, I’m going to base”.
Useless information during a match
  • “I missed a Cannon Minion.”
  • “I can’t believe I missed that Smite.”
  • “We should’ve had that.”
  • “I should have taken Cleanse instead.”
  • “I’m playing so badly…”

Notice the difference? The green examples help to inform the near future decisions that your team is about to make. The red examples not only distract your team, but can also cause breakdowns in team morale.

In a game as difficult and complex as League, mistakes are guaranteed to happen – even for the best players in the World. Don’t dwell on what you should have done during a game and instead, focus on what you need to do next.

Once the match is over, that’s when you revisit the things that you could’ve and should’ve done as a team and individuals.

5. Practice in flex queue or find teams to scrim against.

Now that you have your champion pool, team playstyle, shotcaller, and team communication down, it’s time to put it all to the test! Remember to stick to your gameplan and simulate what you’ll be doing as closely as possible.

Dunkmaster Ivern

Take the opportunity to try out the different pick and ban scenarios that you’ve discussed. Record your matches and listen to your comms to see what can be optimized.

We recommend trying to find other 5-stack teams that are similar to your skill level or slightly better than you. You can coordinate with them to practice specific scenarios by asking them to ban certain champions against you.

Scrim partners

Today’s opponents can be tomorrow’s scrim partners.

If you aren’t able to find another team in time, that’s okay. Flex is the next best thing since you’ll still be able to simulate your draft strategies and be able to practice your communication.

When the day of your Clash event arrives, consider adding members of opposing teams you faced to your friend’s list after your matches (if they showed good sportsmanship of course). You may be able to practice with them before the next Clash weekend.

6. Have fun!

Clash is one of the rare times where you and your friends come together to have fun, learn, and improve together. Remember that you all are sacrificing your weekends and time to practice throughout the week.

Although winning should be your ultimate goal, remember that you can learn from your losses and do better in future Clash events.

If disagreements happen here and there (and they will), remember to keep the big picture in mind and remind yourself why you came together to form a team in the first place. Clash isn’t worth losing a friend over.

Annie Annie-Versary splash

Is this really a Challenger tip? Yes, it is. Maintaining this sort of mentality will help prevent tilt and keep your emotions in check throughout your tournament day. It also makes it easier to review and improve from your losses since your team will be more likely to give constructive criticism rather than play the blame game.

So loosen up a bit summoner, you’ll do great. The thrill and glory of battle is always much sweet when you have your friends at your side.

Thanks for reading! We wish you the best of luck in your Clash matches. Let us know how you did in the comments below.