League of Legends Tip of the Day: Don't Take Pointless Fights

by James Bates

Fiora 5
(Photo: League of Legends)

Do you know why solo queue doesn't look anything like the "real" game that you see played out by the professional players? Easy. In solo queue, everyone fights all the time, even if there's not point to it. Frankly, the same can be said of the weaker regions in professional play as well, and it's no coincidence that Korea, the region that has eternally dominated professional League of Legends play, also boasts the most coordinated solo queue (and unreal ping!). Every game of solo queue tends to devolve into a clown fiesta at some point, and the painful part is that there's really no reason behind it.

You choose when you want to fight, whether it be by walking into the fog of war blind, or by engaging a massive teamfight. There are very, very few times when you simply cannot avoid fighting, and most of those situations stem from other fights earlier on in the game. Is the enemy team on the Baron and your doom is certain if you don't stop it? Probably shouldn't have fought 3v5 and died a minute beforehand, huh? 

This isn't to say that you shouldn't fight the enemy team. You absolutely should do that. What you shouldn't do is fight them without a reason and without thinking about whether or not you can win beforehand. While you might serendipitously win despite your lack of preparation, it's basically the same as leaving the game up to a coin toss, something that I don't think many players would be willing to do. More importantly, no good player would ever do it. "I have a more powerful ultimate and set of items right now, so I'm going to engage their mid laner, kill them, and take the dragon" is a good reason to fight. "My ultimate is off CD" is not. Now, either one of those two might go well, or it might go badly, but results don't justify the decisions that led up to that point, even if the results are good. Top players don't get where they are due to serendipity. They get there because they know how to play the game better than their opponents, and knowing when it's worth fighting and when it's better to avoid conflict is a key part of that.

Next time you play solo queue, ty to remain mindful about why you're making the decisions that you're making. Even if you're still making bad decisions and taking losing fights, you'll still learn little things that will improve your decision making down the road, something that wouldn't happen had you not premeditated your decisions in the first place. Always be thinking about what your goals are in game and how to best execute them, and your  sure to find yourself on the way up the ladder in no time!

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.