Worlds-Level Tactics: The MadLife

It’s hard to tune into a League of Legends game without hearing a lot of jargon thrown around: “rotation”, “objective”, “zoning”. In this series, I’ll try to clear up some of the jargon one term at a time, by explaining just what it is and showing how teams execute it in-game. Without further ado, let’s get to it. The topic of the hour is one of the most mind-boggling feats of prediction in League of Legends, not to mention one of the coolest to watch: The MadLife.

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Worlds-Level Tactics: The InSec

It’s hard to tune into a League of Legends game without hearing a lot of jargon thrown around: “rotation”, “objective”, “zoning”. In this series, I’ll try to clear up some of the jargon one term at a time, by explaining just what it is and showing how teams execute it in-game. Without further ado, let’s get to it. The topic of the hour is one of the most mechanically complicated plays in League of Legends, not to mention one of the coolest to watch: The Insec.

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2014 World Championship Meta: Top 10 Sleepers

Going into the 2014 World Championship, we have a pretty good idea of the champions we expect to see, but what about the surprise? Today, I’ll detail my top 10 sleeper picks for Worlds!

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Building a Team Composition

The Draft phase – banning and picking champions – is one of the most undervalued aspects of the game by casual spectators, partly because it’s just so damned hard to understand. Today, I’ll try demystify the process a little.

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2014 World Championship Meta: Support

Finally, you have your supports. There isn’t really a solid group that supports all belong to, but one thing is sure: gone are the days of passive sustain supports. Most current supports revolve around playmaking ability.

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2014 World Championship Meta: AD Carry

What is an AD Carry’s job? To provide a large amount of continuous damage from a safe distance. Ever since the 4.10 item changes, the dominant ADC itemization path has shifted from Bloodthirster to Infinity Edge. This allowed late-game scaling hypercarries to really slide into the meta.

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2014 World Championship Meta: Mid

Mid has always been the most diverse role in the game, and so I’ll inevitably end up leaving some champions out. However, let’s look at the most important champions to the mid lane meta!

The mid lane meta is a bit more scattered, with a mid laner often setting the tone for a team. However, two types of mid laners seem dominant at the minute: assassins, and utility mid laners. This is largely a result of the 4.10 patch Infinity Edge changes, which had the intended effect of making AD Carries stronger in the late game. This shifted the meta towards late-game ADCs, and to that end, most mid laners are focused on either instantly killing the enemy ADC or keeping their own ADC alive. However, there is also room for mid laners that can rival AD Carries as late-game damage sources.

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2014 World Championship Meta: Jungle

It has been some time since the jungle meta has changed, with Lee Sin and Elise having dominated last split as well. Since then, Kha’Zix has risen to be perhaps the top jungle pick, however. Historically, there tends to be an archetype of sort defining the meta.

Season 2: tanks – Maokai / Nautilus / Skarner

Spring Season 3: bruiser tanks – Jarvan / Vi / Xin Zhao

Meteos / Diamond: Nasus

Season 3 Worlds: gap-closers who could dive towers – Aatrox / Jarvan / Lee Sin / Vi

For much of Season 4, the jungle meta has been very static: strong duelists with early gank pressure.

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Someone Like Me

It’s 1996. I am standing before a massive Dwarven gate covered in intricate runes. I am weary from my travels and unsure of my purpose. I fear the world in which I journey, for I am oh-so-small and the world is oh-so-large. If I cannot pass through this gate where my supposed allies wait, how can I pass through the greater gates ahead of me, like Morannon?

The only clue I have is the door itself; twin trees wrapping their branches around the pillars of stone, a hammer and anvil — no doubt, the sigil of the Nogothrim who dwell within — and a crown which I can only assume speaks to the royalty of the inhabitants. Around the top of the arch is writing: the name of the gates, the builder of the door, and the inscriber of the rune, with a simple riddle, ‘speak friend and enter’. I think it to be a too-simple riddle: whatever the Khuzdul (Dwarven) word for ‘friend’ is, that word is the password.

But I keep to myself. I am too small to be seen and heard in this world, and so I wait. Eventually, a wizened old man steps forward and says ‘how foolish I have been! It is the Sindarin (Elvish) word for ‘friend’, ‘mellon’. This seems, to me, to be a very silly answer. Sindarin is not a common language, to be sure, but at the time of the door’s construction, it would have been more so. Khuzdul, on the other hand, is a private tongue constructed for the Dwarves and kept secret. But the doors open despite my logical protests. After all, I have no say in this world. Read More

Do Skilled Teams Hold Regions Back?

Before Cloud9, North America was a bit of an international laughingstock. No North American team has ever made it even to the finals of a World Championship (compare that with 2 EU teams, 1 GPL* team, 2 OGN teams, and 1 LPL team). In fact, only two NA teams even made it to theĀ quarterfinals of the last two World Championships (compare that with 4 EU teams, 2 GPL teams, 4 OGN teams, and 4 LPL teams). Cloud9 lost at the Season 3 World Championships, but since then, it’s looked like EU might be the region where success goes to die (well, let’s not talk about the GPL). Recently, Alliance has pulled into the top of the European standards, and looks like the Western team to beat going into the 2014 World Championships. What holds a region back like that? Dominant legacy teams.

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Dark Passage’s First Trip to The World Championship

Check out my article on Dark Passage on lolesports!

The Shifting Top Three Tops

Top Lane has a regularly shifting meta, which seemingly always has a top 3, defined by some specific qualities. The meta shifts have been pronounced, and tend to follow a set pattern.

  1. THe meta is currently defined around 3-4 champions.
  2. One top laner starts to shine above the others, becoming the bar by which all other top laners are measured.
  3. Other champions crop up, either because they are similar to the strong top laner, or because they do well against them.
  4. The new meta is defined around those champions.

From Season 3, the meta has shifted from bruisers to fighters to mages to tanks, and now may just shift again. What can history tell us about the future of the meta?

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