League of Legends: Is your team ready for Ranked 5’s?

Ranked 5's is a complex beast and getting team cohesion down before the ranked games start is significant.

Ranked 5's is a complex beast and getting team cohesion down before the ranked games start is significant.

There is a lot to consider for ranked, but once it is ranked 5’s, it is a whole new ball game.  There are so many questions that need to be answered before you even enter queue.  Some of the major questions to be answered before the game lobby are team cohesion, shot calling and ability to give and receive criticism.

Working as a Team

Team cohesion is huge for many different reasons but generally if you are making your first ranked fives with five friends, you may not have taken games seriously before as a team.  Now the team has to decide roles which benefit the team the most.  That means your best in a role might have to play something they are second best at because having a player play their worst role is never optimal.  It is important to work this out before a game lobby.

The bigger problem with team cohesion is once the team finally picks everyone’s roles and gets positions locked down those might not be the usual positions of the team.  This is critical for adc/support and to a lesser extent top/jungle.  I leave out mid, because they should be able to play safe from range and roam around to help the other lanes ideally.  They need time playing together so they know how to play off each other without thinking.  The only way to improve this cohesion is to have these duos pair up and do games all the time in normal to practice.

This is crucial for bottom because they need to practice combinations and work on whether they want to be passive or aggressive.  If the team goes into ranked 5’s without having this knowledge it will be a major burden if bottom lane is going one aggressive one passive.  It is also important for top/jungle so that top can get used to the normal jungle paths of the jungler and get used to the normal times that the jungler wants to gank.  This also helps with the ability to get a few ganks on top lane in normal games and practice roaming around for the top laner and seeing how top plus jungle ganks work out.

Calling the Shots

Shot calling can make or break a ranked 5’s team.  The saying five people following a bad call is better than half a team following a good call comes to mind.  Also, if one person on the team believes the call to be bad and argues against it, that does not help the team.  I say this because saying that you do not agree with the call for x, y and z is fine, but continuing to argue or remind the team of how poor it was does not help the team move forward.

It is also important to realize that a shot caller can only make calls if they have a lot of information; is top mia for health, mia for items (time in lane), mia for ganks, mia for jungle?  That does not mean that the information will always be 100% accurate but the point is that your top is giving their best estimation of what the opposing top is doing so that the shot caller can make a call on what your top should prioritize.  This puts a lot of pressure on the jungler, because the only way to get information on the jungler is to invade their jungle and see which camps are down and decide based on one’s own jungling experience what that means.  Overall, the important thing here is to give information, question briefly the calls if you think the team should be doing something differently.  The questioning is only to try to give more options to the shot caller though; it is their job to make the call.


This brings us to the ability to receive and give criticism.  Giving criticism is easy; if you are critiquing a fellow member of the team always, end on something they can do to improve.  It is fine to say that you initiated it poorly here because x.  But repeatedly reminding them of a mistake is bad, so follow it up with something like “you might think about y when you are in that scenario.”  This will help you be constructive in your criticism.

The important thing to realize though is that if you are on a ranked 5’s team, you have to be able to receive criticism.  Your first thought when someone says you did something wrong/bad should be something like “oh hey, this will help me improve and hopefully make me a better player than work on getting that mentality.” There is nothing more disruptive to a team than player A suggesting something to player B and player B arguing with player A over it through chat.  Especially in game, when information should be the only thing being thrown around. This needless backlash from player B defending themselves against player A just clogs up the channels of communication.  Overall, look at all criticism as something to improve on.

Another important thing to realize is that most people do actively see things wrong in their own play but miss a lot along the way.  So do take note of what people can improve on and tell them about it after game.  If someone repeatedly makes mistakes over the same issue than it is okay to say something in game, but keep it brief and to the point so they can think about it, but not freeze up for doing it again.

In Conclusion

A good way to keep track of your own mistakes as well as anything small to remind the team of after game is to use the Note feature.  Typing “/? /note” in game you will get a description of how the note command works.  The folder can be found at:

C:Riot GamesLeague of LegendsRADSsolutionslol_game_client_slnreleases0.0.0.222MyNotes.txt

This can help you track improvement within the team and yourself.  Which helps with giving criticism by saying something like, “Good job fixing alpha, now try working on beta.”

So get your ranked 5’s team together and talk out some of these issues.  This should improve your first few matches significantly and help your overall teamwork in the long run. Leave a comment about what things have helped you the most in Ranked 5’s.

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