Calling the Shots

Ok, this is a positive rant which means it’s going to be really disjointed, but it feels so good to get it all down.

Today was the first game, that I can remember, where I actually stepped up and took a solo que team to victory. You guys know that I love to talk champs, and strategy and all of that good stuff. That’s all fine and dandy with awesome bloggers such as yourself; it’s a whole other game trying to convince randoms, on the fly, that you know what you’re doing. More often than not, I don’t even bother trying.

Tonight, circumstances were different. I was on my main support, Thresh, (I’m not a newly recruited fanboy; I’ve been playing him since the night he hit the PBE) and my ADC and I were winning our lane hard. Like, hard to the point that the other team was raging at their own ADC kind of hard. Problem was, our other lanes weren’t doing so hot. My team was going, one or two at a time, and feeding the other team’s Nid and Zed. This wasn’t looking like it would be a huge problem, until my Draven joined in. At this point I was on my favorite support, it was late, I had been losing all night, and I decided enough was enough. There was no way I was losing this game.

If you have ever tried to call shots in solo que you know that it is not an easy task. Thankfully, I had a few things going for me. My stat line was awesome. I was clearly making my plays and my team knew it. Second, if my team didn’t know I was making plays Draven quickly told them. When the guy with all the kills has your back it is a lot easier to convince people you know your stuff. I was also making sure that I was filling my role to a tee. I had wards down everywhere, and I frequently came and lantern’ed people out of trouble. Finally, I did my best to keep a level head. Even as the kill count began to take a turn for the worst I didn’t yell or rage (though my gosh I was tempted to give a few of our players a piece of my mind). All of these factors definitely contributed to what was to follow.

I knew I had them when I asked someone to check dragon and Kha Zix did. In my experience, it is always demanded that the support go and do this – whether it is convenient or not. Now, I actually had our mid laner checking things for me and putting wards down. Then the question became how to turn the game in our favor. Thankfully, this wasn’t overly difficult. If we could group up and keep Draven alive I knew we could grab victory even though I was nervous because all of our other lanes were behind in CS.

I explained myself to my team bluntly. “If we do not group up and stop fighting 1 v 5, we are going to lose this game. So let’s push up our lanes, group mid, and get ready to fight.” I was waiting for someone to tell me off, but not a word was spoken in reply. Before my very eyes my team began to do what I told them to. Soon, we were grouped up mid and started catching out our opponents who had become so used to picking us off that they, themselves, seemed to have trouble grouping.

As we grouped and fought I did not hesitate to ping or shout out a call. When the other team sent everyone to chase us around bot I stopped our Kha from backing and got him to take the top turret. When my hooks picked apart the other team in the mid, I sent people on to inner turrets and into the jungle to clean out camps.

I honestly was not entirely convinced our team was strong enough to win, but somehow, making the right calls at the right times seemed to magically produce teamfight wins. Our squishy Renekton suddenly became invincible. Our Kha and Diana could lock up the enemy team for days and our Draven could smash them all away. I am not even convinced I actually did anything useful in fights for the last 10 minutes. What I did do was keep the team focused, gave them objectives and let them focus on their own play and not what was happening around the map. It was never as clear to me why teams have shot callers. The pressure of constantly trying to think of what to do globally can actually hold back a lot of people’s individual play.

I am sorry if this is coming across jumbled or crazy; I am still quite high from the win. It is an incredible feeling to have four complete strangers actually listen to you, unquestioningly, and come together to secure a victory. I don’t know if this is something I would try and do on a regular basis. Usually in solo que I defer to anyone else who seems to be making ok calls. Tonight, I had a lot of things going for me that made me very motivated to take control. I also had a number of factors that encouraged my teammates to listen to me.

I think that, regardless of whether I try to take control of a game in the future, just knowing that I can do it is a great boost to my confidence. I know it’s just a game, but come on, if you can convince people in something as crazy as LoL to listen to you then real life should be a piece of cake 😛

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2 thoughts on “Calling the Shots

  1. In my experience the first random to start calling the shots in a failing game is the last person you should listen to. Maybe it was a mix of you making sense, and that you waited until they were tired of dying alone and cold outside their lanes.

  2. I think you’ve got it exactly right. This game was heading for a loss, but it wasn’t quite there yet. People were still at that stage where there was confidence in our chances just no clue how to close it out. And like I said, it helps when the person who has all the kills on your team thinks that you’re responsible for them getting kills and thus is very willing to listen to you. I did very little in terms of actually coming up with innovative strategy. I just said what needed to be said. Usually I wait for someone else to do this or just watch my team fall apart. I’m hoping I am now more inclined to speak up and not let games slip away. We’ll have to see how it goes

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