New To League/Meta/Other Concepts

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Rotations

"Rotations" is a catch-all term used to refer to a team moving around the map in strategically beneficial ways. Rotational play is a focus on taking objectives, primarily turrets, without engaging in team fights. After a team takes one turret, they might move to another lane that has a minion wave built up in order to take a turret there; that process would be considered a rotation (consider rotating around the enemy's nexus). Rotating can also mean moving from an objective (Dragon or Baron) to turrets, or the other way around.

Creep Control

One important aspect of having good rotations is creep control. Basically, this is a champion's or team's ability to control the positioning of the minion waves on a global scale and use it to their advantage. There are a few important ways to use creeps.

Slow Push

A "slow push" is the process of causing a creep wave to slowly increase in size until it can quickly destroy the approaching enemy waves and arrive at a tower all at once. Slowpushing is beneficial for a few reasons.

  • It can force an enemy champion into that lane to clear the wave out or else lose a lot of turret HP, or perhaps lose the turret altogether
  • If a team rotates to the turret as the slow pushed wave is arriving, they will very easily be able to take the turret, especially if the enemy team doesn't have good waveclear.

However, the cost of setting up a slow push is a lot of gold and experience: the team setting it up will not go to that lane at all while it's forming, which takes several enemy creep waves being killed, and if the enemy team is able to kill the giant wave when it reaches their tower, they won't have lost as much gold and experience.

Freeze

To freeze a lane is to keep the creep wave (the place where the creeps are hitting each other) in the same position for an extended period of time. The benefit of doing this is generally to deny the enemy laner the ability to get any farm or experience in that lane by freezing it deep within your own territory. The drawback is that your position is revealed to the enemy team, and so they might be able to apply pressure somewhere else.

Pressure

To pressure means to have a very viable threat of doing something productive, or in other words forcing the enemy team to react to you doing something that they don't want you to do. For example, pressuring Baron would be to clear out enemy vision of that area, set up your own vision control, and be near the Baron pit. In this case, the enemy team knows that there's a chance you could be taking Baron, and they don't want you to do that, so they will be forced to come to that area themselves to stop you from taking Baron.

Sieging towers or splitpushing a lane are also forms of pressure. Like "rotations," "pressure" is an umbrella term that you will hear used a lot to mean a lot of different but related concepts.

Lane Swaps

The "standard" lane setup is to have a top laner top, a mid laner mid, and an ADC/Support bottom (read more about that here). However, sometimes it will be advantageous for a team to change that setup around. Prior to patch 6.15, lane swaps were extremely common in competitive play; however, in this patch a bonus was added of 400 total bonus gold to the value of the first tower in the game to fall (akin to "First Blood," except for towers instead of champion kills). In very rare circumstances, a lane swap may still occur but it is extremely likely now.

Reasons to laneswap:

  • The bot lane is likely to lose lane due to champion picks
  • The top lane is likely to lose lane due to champion picks
  • The bot lane is likely to lose lane due to player skill
  • The toplane is likely to lose lane due to player skill
  • We can push down towers faster than they can in a laneswap situation
  • We are better strategically in playing out games that start with laneswaps

The most common laneswap is for the duo lane of ADC/Support to go to toplane, while the toplaner goes to botlane. Sometimes a team will predict a lane swap from their opponents and try to counter it by swapping lanes themselves.

Jungle Follow

One thing that you may see during laneswaps is a "jungle follow." This means that the toplaner, instead of going to a 1v2 lane where he would be heavily denied, walks with his jungler throughout the jungle, helping him to kill camps quickly. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it allows the enemy ADC to farm without any threats in lane, even if the enemy support chooses to leave lane and roam the map also, but the advantage is that the toplaner is much more productive than he would be otherwise.

Win Conditions

A team's Win Condition is the thing that they have to do in order to win the game. Obviously that's killing the Nexus, but different team compositions will have different ways of attempting to go about that. A few examples of win conditions are:

  • Get five dragons and then push for the win
  • Push towers as fast as possible and win by 30 minutes before the enemy team composition can scale to lategame
  • Keep Kog'MawSquare.png Kog'Maw safe while he kills everyone
  • Splitpush because our toplaner can duel anyone on the enemy team 1v1; if they send two players to him, then force an advantageous fight elsewhere or take an objective
  • Waveclear and stall until we can reach lategame ourselves

When analyzing a game, try to look not only at the numbers (gold, kills, towers, etc) but also at how well teams are fulfilling their composition's win conditions.