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Forum Threads: Team Game

KazMx October 20, 2010 User blog:KazMx

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I like this post on the forums by Apollo Prime[1], and I thought I could share it with the Wiki community.

Preface: I’m just an average player. This is my opinion based on my experience with high-level competitive team sports outside of video gaming, and I truly do believe that the following mentality applies to any objective-based team activity.

Ranked game. You really need a win – the threat of ELO hell is looming over your shoulder. Your comp is solid, you’re confident that this will be the game you finally win. Just as minions spawn, your Swain hesitantly facechecks a bush and you /facepalm as he is shredded to bits within a second and the echoes of “DEMACIA!!11” ring through your skull. 1-0 for the away team.

Later in the game, the Swain is a mile away from home farming mid despite the enemy team being all MIA, and your team pinging desperately for him to get back. He dies to the inevitable gank, and you lose your cool. “WTF SWAIN YOU FCKING NOOB ARE U FKCING STUPID WHY DID'NT YOU GET BACK GOD ANOTHER GAME PLAYING WITH FCKING SHT FEEDERS DIAF”, you shout, your face purple with rage.

“STFU 2-1 AND U THINK UR A REAL HOTSHOT?/?” he screams back, with murder in his eyes. A flurry of insults get exchanged, and eventually your team is so focused on arguing, you can say goodbye to any chance you had of winning the game. How many games have ended this way? Many.

What’s the real issue here? The issue is that once there is a key breakdown in team communication, any hope of coordinating a joint effort goes out the window. How are you going to accomplish any GROUP objectives and strategies when everyone is busy pointing fingers and insulting family members?

“But Apollo, the fact is that these people are noobs, and that they’re going to lose the game for us anyway.” Well, it may be true that they are indeed poor players, but the real fact is, you’re stuck with them – they are your teammate, your ally, and you just don’t have the luxury of getting rid of them. The fiction is that this automatically dooms you to a loss. It's this exact attitude that sends people spiraling into "ELO Hell", when "ELO Hell" may simply be a byproduct of your refusing to change self-destructive (and team-destructive) behaviour.

So, you can either do one of two things: resign yourself to your fate of having a poor player on your team and the eventual infighting that will break out, or, try to help out said weaker player. This may be through maintaining a positive attitude and words of encouragement to keep team morale up (you’d be surprised how contagious a constructive position can be), or tactfully assigning the weaker player to a defensive role. Make the best of what you've been given.

Example from a game I played: We had an Anivia who was clearly on the feeding path; she kept overextending and getting obliterated in team fights in seconds. We knew that if this kept on going, their carry was going to be unstoppable.

Our tank stepped up and said, “Look at Anivia’s creep count, that’s insane farming. Anivia, can you help us defend the towers for a bit until you get a piece of tanking gear? They’re focusing you because they know you’re a threat and I think you should increase your survivability a bit.”

We eventually coaxed her into a more defensive role by asking her to stay back so we could protect her. We could have easily screamed “FCKING ANIVIA FEEDERS LOL SHE HAS THE FKCKING SKIN TOO OMG FCKING NOOB SCRUB!!1” Sure, that might have felt better, but what would this actually accomplish other than making a weak player into a weaker player? She ended up being more careful, and we won the match.

Remember, your team is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s up to you whether you want to tug harder and break your own chain, or work to reinforce it. A lot of you are probably not going to pay any heed to this, but the fact is that this one single tip will win you more games overall than any character guide ever will. So please, just try this out. Maintain a positive attitude, mentor your weaker colleagues, communicate, and step up to be a leader -- not a hater.

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