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Split Pushing Tactics – A Guide to Proper Splitting in League of Legends

Zooph

Zooph

Fri 30th Aug 2019 - 12:57pm

Have you ever felt like whenever you try to split push, your whole team dies or you get five man collapsed on and you go down? If the answer is yes, then it is possible you chose to split at the wrong time or should not be splitting in general. In this guide, we will be discussing when it is best to split push, who it is best to have split pushing, how to split push effectively, and the importance of minions in pressuring the side lanes!

The goal of split pushing is to apply pressure to other lanes so that the enemy team needs to expend resources to deal with that pressure, in turn allowing you to take objectives at less of a risk. It can be risky to split push, or at least to split push carelessly, as you will likely overextend and get caught out if you are not paying attention.

To reduce the risk, there are times that are better to split push and times that it would be less favorable. Having said that, let’s dive into the first topic of this article: When to Split Push!

WHEN TO SPLIT PUSH

It is important to consider whether or not you are ahead in the game before deciding how to proceed when splitting. If you are ahead enough to the point where you can effectively skirmish with the enemies, then you can look to push a bit farther up in the enemy side lanes than if you were behind.

Each lane can be separated into 3 sections. The Safe Area, the Neutral Zone, and Enemy Territory. By segmenting each lane, you can more easily choose how far you can push before it might be too risky. Again, if you are ahead and able to fight, you can push farther and draw more attention to yourself, allowing your team to pressure other areas of the map more effectively. Keep in mind that even if you are in the Safe Area of the split push, you can still be ganked by the enemy team and eliminated, which is why it is so important to ward when split pushing so as to increase your chances of surviving.

It can also be useful to split push if you are behind to an extent. By splitting you are able to grab solo experience gain meaning you can level up faster with each wave than if you were with some teammates. This can help you catch up if you are behind but can be riskier, as you will be easier to take down if you are alone and behind.

Now if you are ahead and have pushed in the enemy side lane enough to the point where it would be too risky to continue pushing, before you back you can always look to take some of the enemy team’s Jungle while you are at it. This helps you get more solo experience and further your lead while taking down the enemy Jungler at the same time! Now all of this being said, there are times when it is better to not split push and to group up with your team.

Sometimes the best time to not split push is if you have a strong teamfight or after you have already applied pressure to the map. The enemy team will have to answer the pressure that you have applied, and by doing so they are separating themselves. This makes it so that you can take advantage of a potential 5v4, or maybe even a 5v3, if you have pressured the other two lanes well enough! By grouping, you can force your way through the enemy team and take their base if you are strong enough as a team.

It is mostly in these situations that I would recommend against splitting if you know you are more valuable and effective when you are grouped with your team. If you realize that you are more effective to the team by splitting, then that would be the best option.

In reality, splitting is situational but is an extremely effective strategy when done properly. It is also important to keep in mind that there are Champions who are much better suited for split pushing than others. Which leads us to our next topic of the article: Who is it best to have split pushing?

WHO IS BEST TO SPLIT PUSH WITH

More often than not, the best split pushing Champions are Top Lane Champions. Everyone knows about Nasus and Tryndamere and how if you see them in your game you know they will be split pushing monsters. This does not mean that they are the only Champions who can split push though! Many Bruisers in League of Legends are extremely capable of effectively split pushing, such as Darius or Jax. Yes, you can split push without selecting a Bruiser, but Champions like this are more effective at split pushing due to their ability to take turrets efficiently and they also have decent wave clear.

You can, of course, split push with other Champions as well, although if you are taking Janna onto the Rift, I would not say she is an optimal choice for split pushing… My point being that there are simply certain Champions better suited for the task.

With this in mind, if you are playing a Champion that you know is a superior split pusher but you notice your ADC is the one trying to take this role for some reason, you can recommend to them that it might be better if they group with the team while you split instead.

This goes both ways. If you are an ADC and you see that your teammate who could be a very effective split pusher is continuing to group, you can politely let them know that they might be more effective splitting if they are not holding up too well in teamfight situations. After figuring out who should be split pushing, and let’s say that it is you whom this responsibility falls upon, then it is important to know how to perform this tactic efficiently and effectively!

HOW TO SPLIT PUSH EFFECTIVELY

Split pushing is more than mindlessly shoving a lane into the enemy base. Well kind of. As I previously stated, it is extremely important to be warding and keeping track of the enemy team while splitting, especially once you make it into the Enemy Territory segment of the lanes.

This image shows the optimal areas to ward when pushing side lanes.

When you see the enemy rotating towards you to thwart your pressure, make sure to back off if you know or even suspect you will not be able to win a fight against whoever comes to stop you. If you know you can win, it is fine to stay and try to draw more attention from the enemy team. Again, this will allow your team to take advantage of significantly less enemy pressure on the map!

Sometimes to get the most out of your splitting strategy, it is good to not push all the way into Enemy Territory! If both of your side lanes are not being managed well and you are being pressured in both areas, you will want to push one of them back to the Neutral Zone, and then the other slightly past this.

You can also decide to set a wave to push, rather than push it entirely on your own. To do this you will want to kill most of the minions in a wave (specifically Caster Minions, so long as you have Caster Minions alive and well in your wave) so that you start to build up a wave to push on its own. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF MINIONS

As was just mentioned, destroying the enemy Caster Minions will allow your wave to grow rather large and will have to be answered by someone on the enemy team! While someone is dealing with the wave that you set you can either group up with your team to pressure one lane heavily, or you can do a 4 – 1 split! This will mean that you are pressuring all lanes! One with minions, another with 4 of your teammates, and the other with yourself! How might destroying the Caster Minions allow your wave to grow you might ask?

Well by doing this you are reducing the amount of damage your wave is going to take by a significant margin, meaning it will survive longer! By keeping the Melee Minions alive, your wave will take a bit of time to take them out, while not taking any damage from the minion wave's backline! By managing minions properly, you can set waves to push and be pressured on their own! When executed properly this can be a very difficult strategy to play around for the enemy! This split is meant to overwhelm the enemy team, making them struggle to spread their resources properly and efficiently to each lane being pushed into them! If you are playing a tank Champion, or even a powerful Bruiser, try getting a Zz'Rot Portal if you are going to commit to the split!

The active this item provides essentially spawns a small minion portal that will allow your waves to push without you being there to manage them. This item is incredibly effective for split pushing and is often overlooked. Don't overlook this item! For 2,700 gold, this item is worth every penny! The key to using the active on this item properly is placement of the portal! If you place the portal too far into enemy territory or in a lane, it will be destroyed rather quickly. If you place it too far back, the minions will not be able to travel far enough to be effective in setting a push. (Minions from the portal despawn after traveling a certain distance) The portal placed will also despawn after 2 minutes, so getting the most out of this time is integral to using the item effectively!

Setting this item down in or around the Neutral Zone of a Lane if a safe but effective placement! The Minions may not reach the enemy base, but they will prevent the enemy minions from pushing past the Neutral Zone into your Safe Zone! This will keep your minions pushed into Enemy Territory for the time that your portal is active! Managing minions in this way will allow you to pressure other areas of the map while also pressuring the side lanes at the same time!

If you have another strong split pushing Champion on your team, then another tactic you can always try the 1-3-1! This strategy consists of sending the two strong split pushing Champions to the side lanes to apply pressure into Enemy Territory! If both of these players understand how to manage Minion Waves, then you will have an overwhelming amount of pressure across the map! If both have Zz'Rot Portals, then they can be placed in both side lanes then they can regroup in the Mid Lane to take the enemy base!

After regrouping with their team in the Mid Lane to force themselves into the enemy base there will be a couple of power play options. You can all look to end, if that is possible that is obviously the best option, or you can look to destroy as much of the enemy base as you can then back off to grab Baron or Dragon while the enemy team cleans up the mess you made of their base! You would then want to reset and set up pressure in the side lanes again via managing minion waves, if necessary. Each time you set up a wave to push and take the enemy base it will become harder and harder for the enemy team to manage!

Shifting the pressure from the side lanes to the Mid Lane can be a very powerful weapon and should be attempted if you meet the prerequisites. These being that you are ahead or on par with the enemy, and that you have two Champions on your team who are powerful split pushers! It can also be done if you are able to manipulate the minion waves so that they do all the pressuring for your team. Again, Zz'Rot Portal is a great item to assist in this endeavor!

Hopefully you are all able to take what is in this article and try it out in your next games! I recommend trying it out in some Normal Games first, as it is easy to just overextend and get caught out when learning to split push more effectively. After you are feeling more comfortable with this strategy hop into Ranked and give it a try! Once you master split pushing you will see how effective and powerful it can be as a tool to overwhelm the enemy team! Good Luck Summoner’s and we hope to see you grinding out there on Summoner’s Rift!

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