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Learning League of Legends from Team fight Breakdowns

There’s an easy TL; DR for this blog post, so here it is:

Watch team fight breakdown videos because they’re great for learning League of Legends.

If you believe that and you’re going to do it, you don’t need to read the rest of the post.

It’s great tip I got from a Master tier player recently, so I want to make a case for why, because maybe then more people will do it. And the blog is all about learning League, after all.

League of Legends is a notoriously, complex game. It’s got over 200 items, over 120 champions totaling some 480 skills to learn, and that’s if you don’t include passive abilities. Those are some pretty big numbers.

An easy way to boost game knowledge

In last week’s article, on the difference between League’s ranked tiers, it was highlighted that game knowledge is a key limitation of Bronze players (no surprises there) but also that, as you climb through the ranks, there’s a strong correlation in rank and game knowledge.

  • Make better fight decisions
    Because after all, how can you make correct decisions that win fights and games if you don’t know how items, champions and abilities work? How can you anticipate the next move if you have no idea what the champ’s toolkits are and how they’re used?
  • Track fights better instead of getting lost
    It’s easy to get lost and durp out in fights. When you consider a team fight can be any combination of up to 10 champions bringing any combination of any of the above skills and items at any moment and it’s, easy to see why game knowledge is such a determining factor through the ranks. Not to mention why it’s so difficult to difficult to follow the explosive team fights when watching LoL’s eSports events as a new player.
  • Don’t get lost in the wiki
    What’s the most concentrated source of game knowledge online? The League of Legends wiki. It has much more detailed information on champions and their skills than you’ll ever find in the client, and that game knowledge is critical to mastering any champion. The problem is, the wiki is so dense and massive with endless details for all of those big numbers mentioned before, it’s difficult to know where to start.

This is all where team fight breakdown videos come in. Watch them, learn stuff and whenever something comes up that you’re not sure of, hit pause, check the wiki and get back to the video. Let’s see a couple of examples.

Team fight breakdown example #1

For example now I know:

  • Why Rageblade Hurricane Tristana has insane burst damage and will need to play much will carefully against it, prioritizing it for peel if I can
  • Gragus can body slam through walls and use his ultimate as an effective peel tool that comes out of nowhere. Got to consider that for positioning
  • I need to start thinking about how many resources have been expelled by the enemy team to base my initiation decisions (for example when playing Leona). The opening left here by TSM after blowing so many spells seeking that early advantage is the perfect example

Learning League of Legends takes time and the more effective tools you have for the job, the better. Let’s look at one more.

Team fight breakdown example #2

  • I underestimated how powerful knock-ups were because they don’t just disallow flash but also stun for the duration, so also Quicksilver Sash and other items. Made me realize I need to spend a bit more time on the crowd control page of the Wiki.
  • How to work with the team on positioning to pick out enemy ADCs, and also that entire team compositions can be built around enabling hyper carries (such as Kaitlyn in this example, or Jinx might be another super late game ADC example)
  • The difference in late game strategies between two very different in compositions and how that affects decision-making

Personally, I love this approach to learning League of Legends. Maybe it’s just my imagination but I also found myself more calm and collected during team fights in the heat of the moment, taking a bit more time to plan ahead what champions to use what skills on and a I’m certainly a lot more aware of the toolkits they’re bringing to the table.

I’m kind of hooked on these videos right now, so here’s a link to the whole series from the 2016 LoL season. Try it for yourself.