Knowing Your Role in League of Legends: What You Can Learn From Playing Them All
The depth of a game like League of Legends can never really be understated. The amount of additional knowledge that is not immediately evident to even an experienced player or viewer is immense. Today we will be focusing on what you can learn more quickly from playing all the different roles on the team. Each role has a vastly different play style that helps to accentuate different core mechanics in the game.
The Top Laner - Lane Control
Due to the pseudo-isolated nature of the top lane it has by far the most likely chance to snowball in the early game. This means even the tiniest of mistakes, if recognized by the opponent, have the potential to be game changing.
I'm sure everyone at one point or another has played against that enemy Riven that gets huge after killing your top laner 6 times in a row as he comes back to lane only to come 1v5 your team later in the game. That Riven took her early lead and ran with it. It could be because of something as simple as auto attacking the wrong creep or warding a bush at the wrong time. The result is getting zoned out of experience or worse yet killed for overextending. The ability to be punished so heavily forces a much faster activation of the learning curve for laning phase.
The Jungler - Time Management
Before the introduction of jungle timers with patch 4.12 the jungler had an entire extra level of information which needed to be tracked. The timers have alleviated the burden of relaying information to your teammates and have added tools to allow players to plan ahead in their jungle paths and gank routes. The dynamic timers allow you to have constant feedback and not rely on possibly inaccurate timestamps to dictate your map movements.
The jungler is always the most important role to have present during any neutral objective or buff steal attempt. This means playing as a jungler mandates you to pay the most attention to your timers which will then bleed into other roles. Constantly checking your timers and minimap is a habit that is easy to start and highly beneficial to you and by extension your team.
The Mid Laner - Map Control (Roaming)
The mid laner can play the widest variety acceptable of roles while still remaining useful to the team. Assassins, Mages, Marksmen, and Melee Carries have all found home in the middle lane at some point and mid lane is also the most influential role on the team when played correctly. The Fog of War is the most powerful tool in League of Legends and is used to great effect by the mid laner when determining how opponents in other lanes play the game. Disappearing from sight immediately forces opponents to play more passively simply based on the lack of knowledge in the mid laner's positioning.
Often paramount to the success of games is the ability for the mid laner to drift unnoticed into a side lane and pick up kills. Being able to effectively roam around the map is learned fastest through the mid lane. Assassin champions make this especially true as to start the snowball that pushes them through a weak mid game they often need several tertiary kills.
The Marksman - Positioning
Everyone has heard that guy who tells the AD Carry to stop focusing the tank line. Contrary to this guy's stellar reasoning skills that is usually exactly what the ADC should be doing. Being able to deal the most damage of any team member comes with the added bonus of being most vulnerable. Attempting to overextend to reach the high damage dealers on the opposing team is a surefire way to be staring at a grey screen while your team loses the teamfight.
Knowing where to place yourself throughout the entire game is best learned through the ADC role. Being subject to the entire focus of the enemy team is a really sad story when you aren't where you're supposed to bein relation to your teammates, enemies and terrain. After realizing where you want to position as an AD Carry it makes it easier to transition to a more offensive or defensive role. Protecting the ADC becomes easier and playing the assassin meant to dive the ADC also becomes easier by knowing where to set up at the start of a teamfight.
The Support - Vision Control
Wards, wards, wards. The single strongest item in the game only cost you 75 gold and yet so many people fail to buy them.
The majority of the burden in warding the map falls in the hands of the support player. Theoretically the role with the most disposable income the support invests in items for placing and clearing wards at a faster pace. As previously mentioned the Fog of War is the most important tool to use when playing League of Legends.
By controlling what you and your enemies see in the jungle, you can dictate the outcome of teamfights without even being present. Learning key ward locations and timings can later help your ward clearing and gank pathing abilities. This also helps with anticipatory ventures of the enemy team even when you lack the necessary ward coverage. The support player is the front line of vision control and alleviates as many "Where are they?" guessing games as possible.
There is much to be learned and re-learned in the game League of Legends, but one thing remains true. If one wishes to truly master the game it can't be done by calling "Mid or AFK"!