Ask the Pros: Improving Team Cohesion and Taking Charge

Dodging, Conflict Mitigation and the Smart Use of Chat

There are many reasons people play League of Legends, some play it for fun, but there are a lot of people who are part of the immense competitive community. When going into a game, there are many indicators that foreshadow how the atmosphere of the game will be.

One key thing that can hinder another player’s performance, or your own, would be team composition. There are games where you could be full AD, consist of no tanks, or just play simply out of meta champions. The possibilities are endless. If you feel there is a possibility that the pre-game pick could determine the outcome as a loss, be the person to dodge.

Judging When to Dodge

Nine out of ten times, your teammates may not dodge in lower ELO ranks due to team composition. You have to be the person to take the initiative despite the obvious penalty of a loss of three LP and a five minute cool-down, if it’s your first dodge of the day. However, it’s definitely worth it in the long run to lose a bit of your time and LP, rather than losing MMR and potentially 20 LP.

It’s important to properly read the situation and dodge when necessary. However, a good strategy you could potentially employ is dodging at the three second mark, to see if your teammates will take the dodge first.

Avoiding a Loss Before the Match Begins

Another reason someone could become tilted from just pre-game could be due to hover banning. Hover banning is a process where your teammate bans a champion that someone else hovered through during the initial part of champion select. There is nothing you can do to prevent this from occurring in your game. However you can help by mediating the situation.

It is as important to support your team during the pre-queue phase as it is during the rest of the match. If your team starts off on a bad note, the game will probably play out about the same. Remember to never hover ban your teammates and respect their picks! Your champion in the select phase select may not be in the best mood that day. If you ban a teammates champion, unforeseen consequences may occur. It’s important to keep team cohesion by being as friendly as possible.

Mitigating Team Conflict

Okay, we survived champion select. Your team composition isn’t looking too shabby, everyone is decently happy, and there are no arguments. What could go wrong?

Once you’re in game, there are many reasons someone could become tilted, but your job isn’t reading the chat log and nit-picking what caused a player to lash out. As much as we all love to read drama, you have to hold back that urge and focus on your goal. You’re trying to win the game, and the best way of doing so is by mediating a bad situations to keep the team cohesive. Imagine yourself as a marriage counselor, you want to mend the relationship between your teammates as a counselor would. Don’t side with anyone, and offer advice that avoids blame.

Supporting Your Team

Let’s see how this would play out, pretending you’re the support in the following situation. 

Yasuo: “Kha, i’m done with this! You never gank my lane and I’m just about to afk.”

Kha’Zix: “just go afk already lel.”

Who hasn’t had this happen to them? I’m sure if you’re a consistent ranked player, you’ll come by situations like this. There is not a single person that would be surprised to see this in any rank of play. Offer unbiased advice to comfort the two people that are arguing, mitigate blame and be supportive of the team.

You: “Hey, don’t worry we’re doing fine. Yasuo don’t worry, I’ll come and roam top soon!”

It’s important to not take a side and use chat to your advantage. In this case, keeping your team from being destroyed internally.

Using Chat Effectively

Many people neglect the psychological aspect of League of Legends, but there are many games where flaming can destroy your team internally. I’ve seen it in many games. If these situations are not mediated, you’re going to be looking at a loss. If no one is stepping up to fix the morale of your teammates, or at least offering some thoughtful words that could help out, you need to step up.

You have to use chat for the right reasons. Many times I have seen a team member using chat to talk about their day to people that could care less. While this is nice for casual play, in ranked you need to focus on your goal. Don’t be the player that spams chat with conversation, be the player who uses chat effectively to call cool-downs and coordinate.

Coordinating Callouts

It’s imperative that you make the call for your laners when they use their summoner spells. You shouldn’t just ping the summoner through the tab menu, but also type out the timer in chat. This allows for easier reference in the future toward your opponent’s timers. For example, if your laner flashed at 2:40, just add five minutes toward the time you saw the flash and type out “Yasuo flash 7:40”. Calls like this are important for your team and you, and it’s pretty easy to start doing this. Just remember the cool-downs of summoner spells.

Taking Charge

More than just using chat to shot-call, it’s important to take charge of your team. Low ELO players typically have the issues communicating properly with their teammates, and they end up making pretty detrimental mistakes. This occurs in higher ELO too, but far less. At any rank, it’s pretty important to be able to talk to your team and relay what they need to do for you to get the win. Make sure the only chatting you do outside of mediating arguments is objective. Don’t allow yourself to criticize other players, understand that people make mistakes, and the more you emphasize it, the worse they’re going to play.

All in all, dodging, properly employing the chat feature, and having an overall positive attitude can lead to winning more games.