It was Friday night and time for me to play my third placement match of the 2015 League of Legends ranked season. But I wasn’t eager to venture to the Rift just yet because I was dealing with a bit of a food coma after scarfing down half of a Little Caesars pizza. It was a $5 pizza and in life you typically get what you pay for but it tasted so good because I’ve been trying to eat healthy as part of my New Year’s resolution(s). Absence makes the heart, and taste buds, grow fonder.
I also wasn’t ready to throw away my whopping one game winning streak, especially after the debilitating loss I suffered in my first ever ranked LoL match. Yes, I plan on playing a whole year of ranked solo queue and I’m sure winning and losing streaks will come and go but winning feels really good and I wanted to let the good times roll.
Eventually I stopped procrastinating. Champion select went a little something like this.
***Note: League of Legends (or LoL) has it’s own vibrant and evocative terminology. In this post I’m going to introduce and then attempt to explain some common terms.***
I decided it would be best to stick with playing support, if I could, as I acclimated to the better competition in these ranked games. It wasn’t a big surprise that nobody on my team wanted to play support but I was a bit surprised to see the other team first pick a support. They picked Leona, a support known for her tankiness and aggressiveness although I personally hadn’t had much experience playing against that champion.
- Support – One of the roles each five man team should have. This role’s main duty is to keep their four teammates alive and provide an environment for them to thrive.
- Tankiness – Durability.
I’ve picked up some real bad habits playing unranked games of LoL . I’ve only been playing as Janna for a few days (I bought her earlier this week when she was on sale) and when I’ve been playing her in unranked games I’ve been using her Q spell (howling gale, a fancy name for a tornado that Janna can shoot at her opponents) offensively to knock opponents up in the air and give my team’s ADC an opportunity to make a play from it. However, that tactic blew up in my face during this game as our ADC, in this case the champion Draven, and I got dumpstered during the laning phase.
- Q – Each champion typically has four inherent spells that are mapped to the Q, W, E, and R keys of the keyboard.
- ADC – One of the roles each five man team should have. Literally means “Attack Damage Carry”. I’m not even going to attempt to explain what “Carry” is supposed to mean but what you should understand about these champions is that they typically deal the most damage on the team but are also the most fragile champions on the Rift.
- Dumpstered – Getting blown out of the water by your competition. If you watched the 2014 World Cup, it’s what Germany did to Brazil.
- Laning Phase – Typically the first 1/3 of a game where the play across the map is the most structured.
Draven started off 0-2 (that’s zero kills to two deaths, not good) and we lost our outer turret at the 8:26 mark of the game, prompting Draven to type “bot is gone” in the game’s integrated chat. I believe I was 0-2 or 0-1 and just barely escaped death several times after getting bullied out of the lane after quickly returning from a recall. It was ugly. I was expecting to get flamed because I was pretty sure I was responsible for his deaths because I was using my Q spell offensively. The problem with that is as soon as I’d use my Q, my counterpart support, the super aggressive Leona, would go HAM on Draven and I’d have no ability to peel and keep Draven safe.
- Turret – Towers that shoot lasers at the enemy. Each team has a equal amount scattered strategically around the map to stop the advance of the other team. They can be destroyed.
- Recall – A spell that teleports one back to base where one can heal and buy items.
- Flamed – Called out or insulted by one’s teammates, typically for poor play.
- Bot – Short for “bottom lane”. The Summoner’s Rift map is divided into three lanes separated by “the jungle”. Bottom lane is typically manned by an ADC and support combo during the laning phase.
- HAM – “Hard As a Motherfucker”
- Peel – To knock away or otherwise inhibit the abilities of an opponent attacking you or one of your teammates.
After Draven’s third death I realized I had to exorcise my bad Janna habits and save my Q to use exclusively for peeling, at least until I could purchase some items that would reduce the cooldown of the spell. I wasn’t sure if I had the skillz to adjust on the fly but I was going to need to if we were going to win.
- Cooldown – The amount of time one has to wait for a spell to be available again after using it.
- Skillz – Skills.
And so I learned to stop spamming my Q, peeled for Draven (who got huge), and we won. Perhaps aided by the opposing team’s Garen going AFK.
- Spamming – The repeated, and often careless, use of a spell.
- Huge – When a champion becomes super powerful and capable of heavily influencing the game.
- Garen – A champion I personally find to be exceptionally lame.
- AFK – Literally “Away From Keyboard” but typically used to describe someone who rage quits or whose internet craps out.
Failure is just a way for life to let one know that one is, or was, capable of more. That might sound like some super sentimental ABC Family TV Movie stuff to you but I think it also rings true. That’s right, there’s a moral to this blog post. Don’t give up, you intrepid summoners, on the Rift or IRL.
- IRL – “In Real Life”
Additional match details below.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Against All Odds.”