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How Trust wins you games – In Depth Guide

XelNecra February 14, 2013 User blog:XelNecra

How Trust wins you games – In Depth Guide

So, i am working on a Guide right now, and i have the feeling that it is missing something.

I post it here both so you can read (and maybe use) it yourself, and give some criticism, maybe ideas or additions.


Sorry for the weird formatting, i wrote it in a different document pasted it here.

How Trust wins you games – In Depth Guide

Why should I read this wall of text?

Hereafter, I will explain the concept of “trust”, and how it wins you games. It will explain why flaming is always a bad idea, how you can stop to flame, how you can stop others to flame, and how you can make the most out of it when your allies perform bad and still win the game.

In short, this wall of text is interesting for you if:

·         You want to learn how to turn around games using “trust”

·         You want to learn how “not-flaming” benefits you (you personally, not others)

·         You want to know how to make others stop to flame

·         You want to get out of league hell (and your desire is justified by your skill level)

If you are still not sure whether you are interested or not, read the disclaimer and another 2 paragraphs. After then you will know whether this is worth your while.


The entire concept of trust is a way to win games even though you have teammates that perform worse than you this game.

In other words: This concept will not help you if YOU perform bad. It helps you when you perform good, and YOUR TEAM is doing bad. I, for example, have been playing a lot of mid in Season 2, and I won every lane, but I lost 60% of my games. “Trust” fixed it for me, and now I win 60% of my games, in all queues, be it ranked or normal or draft or dominion.

Also this addresses one form of complaint I keep hearing all the time, like “booooohoooo, I am the biggest pro player in the world, but I am stuck in Elo/League-Hell because I have soooooo bad luck, poor poor me, if only my team would not suck”. This one is for you guys. If you are truly good, and stick to this “guide” word by word, then you will advance. I guarantee this.

Why Psychological aspects are underrated (skip to next paragraph if you already know)

The psychological Aspects of LOL are something that fascinates me a lot, for several reasons.

The thing that fascinates me the most is how underestimated it is. Look around in your real life. It is the same everywhere. You trust people who are nice, or have proven that they are trustworthy. You are less likely to trust people who offend you in any way, or insult you, or yell at you (justified or not). This is a simple concept, and you can find it in every part of your life, be it family, friends, relationship, work, sports, school, or even in public. LOL is no exception. Why should it? This will never change as long as you are around human beings, and that is the case in LOL.

By knowing the “Psychology of LOL”, you can manipulate other people (or even yourself) to play better – If they trust you.

Being nice is egoistic

Let me get things straight here.

I am not the guy running around trying to make the world a better place by telling everyone “be nice to your neighbor” and “don’t flame this poor guy, he is still learning”. I am not spreading love and flowers and make us all a big happy family. In fact, I do not care about most people I meet online in games. I will most likely never meet them again anyway.

I do this because it makes me win, and I share it because I enjoy explaining stuff.

Reading this will not make you a better person, and is not supposed to make you a better person. It is supposed to make you a better player, and nothing else

Being nice/not flaming/making use of psychology/earning trust does not mean that you “give” something to others, no, you “want” something from others, and using psychology (gaining trust in particular) is an extremely efficient way to get what you want. A Means to an end, you could say.

Why is trust so important

Trust” was the keyword of the last paragraph. Trust leads to teamwork leads to victory. So we want to gather trust. But how does it help me if my toplane Olaf “trusts” me after he died 3 times within the first 10 minutes and fed the enemy Elise?

A lot, actually. First you need to understand one thing: If he was really a bad player who sucks every game and always feeds, he would not be in your game. You are put into a game with players that have somewhat similar win-ratios and skills, there are only rare exceptions, but you face them in one of 50 games or something. There can be other reasons why olaf died.

1.       He may simply have had a bad start or a bad game.

We all know that, it happens to the best of us. Some games just do not go our way. Maybe this player is decent, he just messed up a little early, and when the enemy gets kills it just gets harder and harder for him to be successful. This does not mean he is a bad player! It just means that, right now at this moment, he has trouble contributing to the team.

2.       He is not bad, but the enemy is simply better.

League of legends is about skills. There is always someone who is better than you, always. Maybe Olaf just plays against a better player than he is, maybe the player is even better than you and would have crushed you as well. This is not Olaf’s fault. It is how the game works. One is better than the other one, period. This does mean that Olaf needs to hold back. It is not a problem he can fix within a few seconds. He needs time until teamfights erupt to get back into the game.

Both of these are plausible reasons! And none of them can be solved by telling Olaf that he should “fucking uninstall”. And writing in all-chat “report this olaf” will not help him either, neither will it help you winning the game. But what WILL happen if you flame him is that the Olaf starts to care shit about you. He will NOT go around and gank, he will NOT help you when you gank his lane, he will NOT join the teamfights, and he will keep running into that Elise and feed even more because you set him under pressure, Olaf will think “I need to get a kill soon or they will flame me even more”.

But if you are like “Don’t worry olaf, this is not lost yet. Stay near the tower and farm some items, I will come around and gank as soon as possible”, then Olaf has a perspective. You show him that you still have trust (even if you actually do not! It is not important what you feel, it is important what HE feels). You offer him help. You give him constructive advice. This WILL build trust. The chances that he listens to you and does the right thing (stay back, farm, wait for ganks) raises drastically! If he only gets 1-2 deaths less, and 10-20 cs more because of this, it already made a huge difference. The enemy elise will be strong when the laning phase ends, but she will still be under control, and Olaf will be in teamfights instead AFK-Farming in jungle.

This is just one of many examples why trust can change games completely, and that’s why you want to gather as much trust as possible, and stop flaming people, no matter how bad they play.

Your Team

What I say now is pretty obvious, but it is important that you recall it (both now to understand the following, and before every game to apply what you will learn)

So, you’re in a team.

You want to achieve victory, usually. You do not really care about the others (at least I don’t). You are playing a solo queue. That’s allright and normal, nothing wrong with it, but being in a team means more than spawning on the same platform.

People in the same team share their game outcome. Always. It’s not one winner and four loosers or something. All team wins, or all team looses.

So, in order to win (which is your personal goal) you need to get your team to win. And to get your team to win you (obviously) want them to play as best as they can.

A team can only be as good as the teamwork between them. Imagine 5 single people running into an enemy team one after another. Guess who will win. So, in order to win, you need to build teamwork.

In order to build teamwork, you need make them trust you. You do not need to trust them, but they need to trust you.

This is the hard part. As I told you before, LOL Psychology is the same as real life Psychology, because we are still talking about human beings. Now, to trust someone in real life it usually takes weeks, if not months, sometimes even longer. But in LOL, you have something between 20 and 50 minutes. This doesn’t mean it is less important to build trust, but it means that you need to build up trust much more quickly, and this is a challenge.

The short amount of time that you have to evaluate your teammates (and that the teammates have to evaluate you) is a double edged sword. It means that the first few impressions will significantly coin the team’s perception of you, as well as it will coin your perception of the team.

Most of the time, the first 10 minutes determine if the team will trust you or not.

How the team perceives you

During Champion Selection

Since every impression counts, let’s start at the Selection Screen.

There are many people who are like “uuuuuuh, I am first pick so I pick what the fuck I want and last pick is always support”. I am honest, I do not care if you are one of those people or not. If that’s your opinion, fine, go ahead, be first pick, take your mid or whatever. BUT it is important that you still leave a good impression while doing so! Remember, you have 10 minutes to leave a good impression and gain trust.


You join the champion selection. You are second pick and want to play mid lane. 4th pick also wants to play mid lane. Noone has written anything in chat yet.

Possible Situations

1 -You call for mid, and say nothing else. The other player calls for mid too. When it is your turn, you pick your mid.

2 - You say that you prefer to play mid. 4th pick also says mid. You answer “sry, I am mid.” When it is your turn, you pick your mid.

3 - You say that you prefer to play mid. 4th pick also says mid. You answer “Sorry, but mid is my strongest role. Please let me play it. You won’t regret it” When it is your turn, you pick your mid.

All these scenarios have two things in common. A: There is an obvious clash of interests between you and 4th pick. B: In the end, you are picking before him and will get mid anyway if you want. A is inevitable, and B is your desired result. So for you, it is no difference what of the three things you will do. You can pick any, and it will always be the same outcome. BUT for HIM, it is different.

In Situation 1, you simply do what you want, without even taking into consideration what 4th pick says. This can build up an anticipation towards you from 4th pick, since there was obvious need for coordination, but you abused your upper place in pick hierarchy to override him. This will not build trust.

In Situation 2, you let your ally know that you noticed his demand. However, you do not give an argument whatsoever why you are still taking mid. You just say that you will do so. This, again, shows a clear abuse of the pick hierarchy. And this time, he knows that you do it willingly (you heard what he asked for it, but you didn’t care because you pick first anyway). So, in fact, this might even be worse than Situation 1, and will definitely not build trust.

In Situation 3, you let your ally know that you have read what it is. By supporting your statement with an argument, and by using the word “please”, you imply to him that you have evaluated his demand. In addition, by telling him that he “will not regret” letting you mid, you also give him something in return: let me mid, and I will play good. So, 4th pick is now more likely to have the feeling that his wants matter to you (even if they actually do not), and also feels a little better because he gets something in return for not playing mid. This alone does not always build trust, but it builds the basics for it.

In all the situations, you get what you want, but Situation 3 will build the basics for Trust.

This was a rather elaborated example. I will give you more (shorter) examples of what you can do to gain trust early during champion selection, or to build the basics for trust.

·         Suggest, dont dictate

Don’t say “pick taric”. Say “I like playing with taric, the stun and heal would help me a lot. Can you pick it?”. In the end, the other person will pick what he wants anyway, but asking nicely increases the chances that you get what you want.

·         Smalltalk

If you come in, and all that you say is “top”, your team has trouble to evaluate what kind of person you are, so their perception will neutral or even negative. By smalltalk (if appropriate), you can soften up the tensions and show the team that you are communicative and open. Commenting on the enemy team is always a good start for smalltalk. Tell them what you think about their team, but try to avoid demotivating (“OMG THEIR TEAM TOO STRONK SURR AT 20 MINS” is bad smalltalk. “Their team looks tough, but I think we can win it if we build an early advantage” is good smalltalk).

·         Accept the picks

If they pick something extra-ordinary, kindly ask them if they are sure about what they are doing. Maybe ask them kindly to pick “something meta”. If they do not, then just accept it. You cannot change it. All you can do is make the best out of it, and that’s sometimes a lot more than you expect. I just recently had someone top Miss Fortune in a ranked game, and in another ranked I had AP-Nidalee and Malphite bottom, we won both games. Everything is possible.

During early Game

This is the stage of the game where you have to earn the most trust. If you built a basis for it during the champion selection, it will become a lot easier. It is much like snowballing: As soon as you have reached a certain degree of trust, you can literally do everything you want and your team will follow you like sheep and take your orders. We want to reach that point as soon as possible. You want to establish yourself as a leader or commander.

Depending on your role, communicate with your team what you want or need. Do you want to do double golems? Do you need damage on your blue buff to make it smiteless? Need some cover on red buff? Ask your allies for help, and always use the word “please”. If you find that one of your enemies is out of place, don’t let them run in there. Ping them back and tell them that 5 enemies are potentially in there.

After minion spawn, things change rapidly. Before, you tried to create a basis for trust using words and communication. Now actions have to follow. As I already mentioned, there are only very few parameters which let you evaluate your teammates. The same counts for you. Try to perform in a manner that is visible for a team. This can be getting kills on your lane, ganking, helping with objectives, but it also means that you should prevent death at any cost. Write “gj” when kills or nice plays happen (the easiest way to increase trust).

The most important thing now is to keep motivation up as soon as something goes wrong. This is where you can try and establish your role as a leader, and gain the most trust early game.


It is 7 minutes into the game. Your warwick dedicates to the jungle because he insists that he cannot gank before level 6. You, as Galio, keep farming your mid lane. Due to an early facecheck your Caitlyn&Leona bottom lane has had a bad start and got very low. After getting zoned for a few minutes the enemy Graves now kills both champions for a double kill including first blood. Leona instantly comes back to lane using teleport, but did not expect that the enemy Graves and the enemy Nunu were still in the brush, and dies a second time instantly. After Caitlyn walked back to her lane, she had to find that the enemy Kha’Zix jungler camped in a brush she was trying to ward, and she dies a second time as well because her flash was still on cooldown from her last escape attempt. Your Top-Lane Jax comments the situation by writing “omg stop feed noobs”. Caitlyn answers that it is Warwick’s fault for not ganking.

Let us analyze this (pretty realistic) scenario.

If you did nothing, what would happen? Bottom lane is not anymore in Caitlyn’s and Leona’s favor, and due to the matchup it is not very likely that they will catch up again without help. Caitlyn insulted Warwick, which will mean that Warwick is less likely to come to the bottom lane and help Caitlyn. At the same time, Jax now thinks that Caitlyn and Leona suck, so he will attempt to carry the game by himself rather than relying on his team. Noone trusts anyone anymore.

Now, imagine you would participate. After Leona teleports in and dies, you write “Bottom lane, try to stay a little safer. I will come for a gank soon.” Everyone has the fear to be flamed. Being flamed sucks. By giving bottom lane a perspective, you take pressure off them, which builds trust. They messed up, but instead of flaming them (which is what a few people would already have done at this point, 3 kills on enemy ADC in 8 minutes is a lot) you offer them help and constructive criticism. In addition, if you now just think about it: Flaming them now has no point. They know already that they have messed up, why telling them? It’s redundant. It is not like the game would take the kills away from graves again if you insult Leona long enough or call her “noob”.

Let’s take it a step further. Caitlyn still makes the mistake and dies to Kha’Zix. Jax starts flaming.

As soon as a teammate starts flaming, you need to act at once. When an argument erupts, it becomes extremely difficult to get the teammates to build up trust, and we want to build trust. Phrases that work good for calming down people are, for example:

Shit happens. This is not lost yet. Stay close to the tower and let them push, I am on my way.”

Follow up that words with a gank as soon as possible, but do not die during it. Even if it will be an unsuccessful, show them that you actively try to help them.

This has several advantages. First, again, you give them a perspective. Then, you indirectly show the enemy Jax that you do not agree with him. Most people start flaming and expect the others to have the same opinion, but when they see that they are the only one getting upset, while the rest says nothing or “no problem, keep it up”, they are much more likely to cease the flame (for now!!!). Additionally, you again took pressure off the Caitlyn, which means she will have less of an urge to justify herself, so she is less likely to blame Warwick.

Congratulations. You wrote 2 or 3 sentences, and the results are:

·         Jax will not try to carry the game solo and instead is more likely to stick to the team.

·         Bottom lane will stay safe instead of trying to get kills to “redeem themselves” (which would not have worked anyway).

·         Warwick and Caitlyn will not build an antipathy towards each other, meaning bottom will get more ganks from Warwick. This increases the chance to turn the lane around.

This is no theory crafting. It is a common scenario, I did that multiple times, and it works pretty reliable.

During mid Game

The later the game gets, the more you have to show actions. Motivation is something very fragile to most people. Your team must see results.

Here is why this entire concept only works if you perform well yourself.

You need to show that you are worth being trusted. In early game, words build a base for that, but you also need to show action. This means: you HAVE to have good stats.

But: Stats mean nothing.

I am dead serious. If you have 10/0/0 stats it means nothing. You can just have been lucky and stolen those 10 kills. At the same time, if you have 0/10/0, doesn’t mean you are a bad player either. You could as well just have had a bad game. Or maybe you have 0/10/0, but already got 2 towers, 3 dragons, and stole a baron? Then you probably already contributed more to the team than anyone else. When Stats mean nothing, why do we HAVE to have good stats?

Because stats are visible.

It is that simple. A huge part of the community looks at the stats. This has nothing to do with being stupid or anything. But: it is human to measure things. And when you have a system that gives you numbers, then you want to use this system to measure. And the more visible the numbers are, the more you value them.

What’s that? Our Mid Cassiopeia has 0/3 and the enemy Kassadin has 3/0? What a shitty Cassiopeia we have! Press Tab: What’s that? Cassiopeia 250 CS, Kassadin 30 CS? Who cares! The Numbers in the top right corner of the screen are colored, they are green and red and everyone can see them. I can’t even see the Cassio’s CS unless I press an extra button, so CS must be less important.”

You see where I am going? I am not exaggerating, some people think that way, and even if you are Jungler and get your team 3 dragons and steal the enemies every red buff, your team will still say “OMG FEEDER LEE SIN 0/3 REPORT”.

So, get your stats up. It is important. Good stats kind of grant you trust passively. If you are the extremely fed 7/1/5 Diana, wrecking every face that is close to you, then even the 0/5/3 Tristana on bottom lane will still see that there is a chance of winning this game, and instead of surrendering or leaving or AFK-Jungling, she will keep trying. Even the worst player will cost the enemy one click (maybe even an ult?) in a teamfight, and that is one click (maybe even an ult!) that won’t go on you.

Also, now, If the mid lane Malzahar with 4/2/1 writes “OMG GAME OVER, OUR DARIUS FUCKING FEEDER 1/5 STATS GG SURRENDER AT 20”, and then the bottom lane Ezreal with 8/1/4 answers “this ain’t over yet. Stay calm, we will crush them in teamfights. Put down a ward, darius, so you can farm top easier”, who will Darius trust more? Hint: its Ezreal. This means, by having better stats than flamers, you can counter their negative impact on the game and gain trust at the same time.

As soon as you have earned trust of the people, you can take advantage of it. When you attempt a dragon, for example, call for their help. If they trust you, they will even stop farming and come to you.

Also, when people trust you, you can take their kills (you should not always do that, as all team should be on an equal level gold wise, but you can do it). I personally think that the most important thing is that the enemy dies. If the kill is on the teammate who needs it the most, that is a nice bonus, but it is not essential. I mean, imagine, you got him down to 10 hp and suddenly his flash comes off cooldown, right that second, and then he flashes. Or you expect that your ally gets the kill with the next ability, but the enemy lives with a slither of health, but you cannot catch up anymore because the cast time for the ability threw you back. Or the enemy soraka suddenly uses her ultimate. Or you have to chase 5 seconds longer, and then after killing the enemy more enemies appear and you do not manage to escape because you chased to long. 95% of the games you loose are lost because something happens that you did not expect to happen. Just kill the enemy, and that’s it. I personally take all kills in order to secure them, and when I deal 99% of the damage and then Taric takes it I do not care either, a kill is a kill to me. I just want them dead before something unforeseen happens. I know that most people don’t share that mindset. But when they trust you (or you even write “sorry, I wanted a secure kill”), then it won’t be a problem. They just think “Well, that Kayle has always been nice to me, he didn’t flame me when I played bad, he ganked the lane when we needed it, and he has good stats, so if she takes the kill it still sucks for me but it’s not so bad overall”. But if you would not have done all that stuff (cheering them up in early, being nice and communicative), or if you would have even flamed them, they would think “Yea, sure, first Kayle flames me, then she steals my kills, and after stealing she complains that I have bad stats. Fuck this Kayle, I hate her, I will not help her in fights anymore”. That would seal the game for you, as a sure loss.

Excursion - Spotting and dealing with “Toxics”

While writing this, it came to my mind that I should also drop a word about “Toxic People”, or “Toxics” for short. Toxics, in general, are the people who make this community an uncomfortable place. By bad language for example, or by unfair play. Now, trolls and other people who destroy games on purpose are, without doubt, Toxics. I go a step further and also count Flamers to Toxics. Tell me what you want, but it is common sense that insulting people and degrading them for poor play is not helping anyone. It prevents the flamed player from playing to his full potential, and since the flamer is busy being all raged up and typing how much the other one sucks, it also prevents himself from playing to his full potential. The only difference is that some Flamers THINK that a game is lost already at a certain point, and that’s why they decide “I can flame now, it doesn’t change anything, we loose anyway, so I will express my anger and frustration now”. This means their toxic acting is more of a reaction based on an observation rather than an intention to destroy a game from scratch.

Among Toxics, Flamers are the only ones you can actually deal with, but they are incredibly hard to spot before they start their actions. I have seen people who said nothing all game, but suddenly burst out in a fuckfest of insults, and I also have seen people who appeared to be really nice guys, and they suddenly started degrading other people’s plays heavily.

To prevent that those flamers “break out”, I like to do some preemptive calming. When Situations occur that usually cause people to start flaming, I try to mitigate the negative perceptions people have of the situation itself. In other words: I try to make things look not so bad – preemptively. When a lane feeds, I start talking to them and tell them that it is no problem, and that this is not lost yet. Flamers tend to make a big deal of small things. For example, just because one guy in the team is 0/4 doesn’t mean you have already lost the game. Also, one red buff that has been taken by the wrong guy (by accident) is not worth a 20 minute discussion whether the Jungler is “too stupid to smite”, and while it is annoying it is not very likely to be game-changeing. In any case, it is of utmost importance that you counter-act to flames AND to potential flames as soon as possible.

Phrases that seem to work very well when someone is about to flame are the following (if you also have some phrases that work well, let me know):

Preemtive Phrases:

·         “Don’t worry , shit happens, it won’t cost us the game”

·         “This is not lost yet, keep it up and play safe”

·         “Try to stay back more and drop a ward, I will help you to get back into the game”

·         “Don’t loose hope yet. Teamfights will be in our favor. Farm a little, we will crush them later.”

·         “(name of feeder), need some help? Let them push a little, and we kill (name of enemy laner) together.”

Phrases to calm spotted Flamers:

·         “(Name of Flamer), don’t worry, this is not lost yet. Focus on your lane, I try to gank (name of feeding lane)”.

·         “Flaming won’t make it better. We can’t change it anymore. Lets try to make the best out of it, we still can win.”

In case this does not help, you can also use the following phrase. It sounds a little aggressive, so be cautious when using it. I found that it works as a last resort sometimes.

·         “Does flaming increase your chances of winning this game? No, it does not. Please only do things that increase our win chances. We want to win, and nothing else.”

If all of that does not help, all you can do is ignore him, and you should. Press Tab and block him, so you will not get further distracted by what he writes. Keep motivating your team to counteract his destructive attitude.

And even though that guy makes your game much harder, you need him to stick around, or you will not have an edge during teamfight. The cases that are REALLY hopeless occur very rarely (maybe 1 in 20 lost games) if you counteract in a proper way, so everyone stating “OMG I AM IN LEAGUE HELL CUZ TEAM SO MUCH FLAMEZ” either reacts to flaming in a wrong way or does not react at all – Or simply too late.

Flamers are actually like fire. The later you start dealing with it after you see it burning, the harder it gets to extinguish it.

During late Game

This might sound disappointing now, but during lategame your chances are really low to significantly change the amount of trust that you gained. People who trust you now will trust you until the game ends, and people who do not trust you will not change their opinion anymore. What you have to do now is make use of the trust that you have gained.

This is another reason why “trust” only works with skilled players. If everything worked (chances are always that 1-2 people do not trust you or even flame, but you have to hope that they will follow the masses then) you now have established some sort of leader position. However, this will not help much if you do not know what objectives have priority, where to strike next, when to attack, when to defend and so on. Since this is extremely situational, I cannot cover that in this guide (and I do not want to, since it would be kind of off-topic).

Take the trust you have earned, and put it to good use.


Gimme any.

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