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Friday, February 17, 2012

What works for the "pros" may not work for your team - especially in low ELO games

I have been in several games where at least one teammate starts telling people how to play and justifying his tactics because it's what the pros do. Unfortunately, what a lot of people fail to realize is that what works for "pros" may not work for you. The two main reasons for this are not hard to figure out: the "pros" are better than the average LoLer and they practice with the same people more, therefore they play better as a team. Unfortunately, this is lost on a lot of people and they insist on copying the "pros," regardless of how bad they and their teammates are. 
This is not new - what works at the professional level in some sports will not work at a lower level in the same sport. For example, in the National Football League, it is rare to see the "option" (unless you're Teemo Tebow). The option, however, is more common in college and even moreso in highschool (at least in my high school league). The primary difference between the tactics in the professional levels of these sports and the non-professional level is based on the level of skill. In pro football, the defenders are too fast and too experienced to be fooled by the option.

Let's look at some recent examples where I had teammates make a judgement call that they justified with what they saw the "pros" do. In the first example, everyone had picked their champions except for one guy, and at this point our team did not have any support. The last guy to pick stated he was not good at support, yet teammates still pressured him to play support. He finally relents and plays support but plays poorly, resulting in feeding and the loss of bottom lane. Soon after, we lose. There are several ways this situation could have been averted, one of which would be to let the last guy play a champ he was good with, instead of pressuring him to play one he could not play well.

The Annexation of Puerto Rico
In the second example, I foolishly get ganked by the whole enemy team. In the process, 2 of their main dpsers use their ults. One teammate sees that, and orders the remaining 4 members of my team to attack the enemy - leading to a 5v4. His argument: they used 2 of their ults and we have enough dps to beat them. While this may have worked in the pros, our ranged AD was terribad and did not pump out enough dps. The result: we get aced and the enemy wins a few minutes later.

In sum, what works for the pros will not likely work for you, especially if you are playing playing in low ELO. Indeed, you may even find more success with innovative strategies in low Elo games (e.g. roaming Eve). Who knows, you may just see the "pros" trying it out some day.

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