The Basics: Knowing Your Win Conditions



Fri 20th May 2016 - 1:29pm

Whether you are playing normals or ranked, it is important to understand your team’s composition and playstyle. The biggest tool for winning games is properly knowing your win conditions. This is a term that you have probably heard a million times, but to take advantage of it, it is essential that you fully grasp the concept of win conditions.

What Is It?

Win conditions are a series of steps (or objectives) that one should take in order to win the game. These conditions vary in a multitude of ways. Looking at your win condition is seeking out the best position and situation that will allow you to destroy the enemy’s Nexus.

Knowing Your Win Condition

Your win condition starts out after the pick/ban phase, right as you are loading in. It is the composition that your team has vs. the composition of the enemy's team. For example, let's say that your team consists of champions looking to poke/kite and the enemy's team consist of a composition looking to engage. In this case your initial win condition would be to wait for the enemy team to waste their engaging abilities while you kite back and lay out return damage. After that, your team is able to chase after them as they have no way of re-engaging. This either allows your team to kill those with low health or it forces the enemy off turrets as they are unable to defend safely and allows your team to continuing sieging.

Adapting Your Conditions.

Win conditions are not set in stone, and some teams might initially have multiple win conditions. To show off this, let’s say that your composition consists of Shen, Twisted Fate, Kindred, Alistar and Kalista. This is a composition that consists of amazing engaging kits. Shen is able to CC (and provide a shield), TF is able to CC, Alistar is able to engage with the Kallista ultimate and CC (as well as heal), and Kindred is able to ult to save lives. This engage win condition works well… unless your early game does not go to your liking. In the case that lanes lose early, it is important to understand that you still have a win condition - it is just different than what it was earlier.

In this case, your win condition might revolve around stealing a baron or stacking up dragons. For this composition your win condition might be the following: Shen is a good split pusher, allowing him to go up top and provide pressure as Kindred, Kalista and Alistar look to farm up and collect dragons. Meanwhile TF’s ultimate allows him to give enemies a constant fear of being outnumbered in a team fight, which allows him to push out and pressure botlane. A team who is able to properly adapt and understand their win conditions while staying calm is one who will win 80% of their games. This concept is one that every single professional League of Legends team works on, and those at the top of the standings are able to execute it near perfectly.


Common Team Comps and Their Win Conditions

Engage Comp: (Ex. Malphite, Lissandra, Sejuani, Lucian, and Leona) - These compositions try to hard engage in team fights at any opportunity that they can. In order to properly execute this, vision control is essential. Having control of objectives like Baron and Dragon forces the enemy team to face check and allows the engage comp to get the first strike.

Poke Comp: (Ex. Lulu, Azir, Gragas, Ezreal, and Janna) - Poke compositions look to chunk out the enemy team before they can engage onto them. They are good at sieging turrets, poking them out under their turrets forces them to back away and leaves them unable to engage onto them as they are too low to fight. Also having disengage champions such as Gragas or Janna allows these poke compositions to safely back out of any hard engage made by the enemy team. It is important with this composition to fully understand how to kite.

Pick Comp: (Ex. Aatrox, Zed, Lee Sin, Twitch, Blitzcrank) - This composition requires a lot of teamwork. The goal of this comp is to catch someone on the enemy team off guard and kill them while they are alone. This allows you to force either a 4v5 team fight or get objectives when the enemy backs off. With this comp it is also important to have strong vision control that allows you to sneak behind enemies and catch them by surprise.

Split Push Comp: (Ex. Nasus, Zed, Udyr, Tristana, Lulu) - The split push composition is good at one thing: taking down turrets. You want to try and avoid full team fights by having your top and bottom lane pushing at all times. This creates pressure in every lane and allows your team to slowly gain control of the map. A well executed 1-3-1 split push can open up both baron and dragons for the team and will leave the enemy with very few options.


Winning games in League of Legends revolves heavily around knowing your win conditions. While these conditions can change from game to game (or even minute to minute during play), those who are able to adapt quickly are also able to win the most games. It is most important though to help your teammates understand these win conditions and adapt to their style of play, and not to yell at them when things go wrong. This is because no matter what happens, the chance of victory is always present, it is just the way in which you are able to obtain it that changes.

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