Tips & Tricks to Optimize your Map Awareness
Mon 25th Nov 2019 - 9:09pm
When you start League, the most important things that you'd likely want to learn first are related to your champion and/or your lane. With that being what you learn from scratch, it doesn't mean that your individual capabilities when playing a certain champion can let you climb the Solo/Duo Ranked Ladder. To have a deeper understanding of the game outside of your role, you'll have to become good at knowing what happens all around the map. Even if it doesn't have anything to do with you, it'll affect you later in the game no matter what. We've gathered some of the most useful Tips and Tricks to utilize in the Rift and will improve your map awareness over time. The tips and tricks mentioned in this article aren't in any particular order. That being said, let's get right into it!
1) Glances at the Map/Scoreboard (TAB)
Staring at the map won't do anything unless you're trying to land a global ultimate ability from across the map. More often than not, a glance at the map and scoreboard at the same time can be extremely effective for any role. We've listed some of the most important intel that you can receive by doing this regularly in your games:
• Ward placements
• Jungler positioning (both the Enemy and Allied Jungler)
• Who's ahead/behind in other lanes
• Which lane is pushed in or freezing (automatically making it harder/easier to gank)
• Camps/Objectives that are about to spawn or have spawned
There's also a lot of importance in communication. Since there's always a chance that you don't see a gank on top lane while playing bot lane, it's essential to at least try communicating with your Jungler on his plans in the laning phase.
2) Try Different Roles
Unfortunately for all the one-trick ponies (myself included), it's best to try out different roles and see how they function throughout the entirety of a Normal/Ranked game. This'll help you significantly when you know what your teammates' purposes/goals in a match actually are. A role such as Jungler or Support can be insightful to try out at least a couple of times if you're usually not playing that role. These two roles roam often in every game and roaming in itself requires predictions and map awareness, something that's less mandatory when you're AFK farming after the laning phase for 20 minutes as an ADC (but never out of the question!).
In any given scenario, there'll be some downtime that you can use to your advantage. For example, as an ADC main there'll be times that I can't farm the wave due to too much pressure from the enemy bottom lane duo. Assuming that your turret doesn't take a beating at the same time, it's a perfect time to check the map or place wards that can give you an advantage when you're being threatened by an unwanted guest on your lane.
There are many other examples of this, even in-between CS and your auto-attack animation there's a slight window of opportunity to check your map or scoreboard. Doing this as often as possible will help you increase your odds to win!
4) Map/Camera Settings
When watching Professional players play, you'll notice that almost all of them have the same unlocked Camera settings. This makes it easier to aim an ability ahead of you (and out of the frame that your champion is positioned on) and watch different spots on the map. For me, it was easier getting used to moving the camera with my Cursor rather than the keyboard but this is down to personal preference.
To quickly get back to my own business in the Rift, utilizing the "Center Camera on Champion" hotkey (default Keybinding set to Spacebar) can be very beneficial. Manually moving all over the map could waste an unnecessary amount of time. Other than for cinematic purposes I would also advise against playing in Locked camera mode (Toggle is bound to the Y key) since this will hinder your ability to play freely.
Having pings is easily one of the most efficient ways to notify your teammates of something that you want them to know. It's extremely important that you hear all of the pings except if they're being used for purposes other than informing your teammates. I would also recommend to never mute pings when someone is being annoying since it can often still help you later on in the game.
Pings are especially useful in these two scenarios:
• A fight/objective required your attention and a different enemy is approaching your position
• A champion went missing on a certain lane without knowing where he went
Make sure that you can always hear the pings no matter which sound it makes. There's a dedicated slider for "Pings Volume" that you can find under "Sound" in League's settings menu, so make sure to fiddle around with that as well!
The tips that we covered in this article apply to all roles but exclude character-specific traits that can help you improve your map awareness (for example, an ability that reveals enemies like Ashe's E). To execute these tips, you should keep practicing and playing the same role instead of bouncing from top to bottom. This will make the learning curve less steep and the game will definitely become more fun as well!