5 Tips to Improve Your Teamfighting Ft. Team Dignitas
Wed 25th Oct 2017 - 2:09pm
Teamfighting is something that happens in almost every League of Legends match, but it is commonly one that we get much less practice doing. If you think about laning and jungle pathing, things like matchups, early item builds, trading properly, and wave control spring to mind immediately. These things are almost guaranteed to happen, and we know that everyone starts the same way. That's why teamfighting starts to get hazy. People aren't sure when to take fights because the fight is no longer a slugfest where all the factors are known and gauging chances are less accurate because it isn't as practiced as harassing while CSing in the laning phase.
The basic premise of a teamfight is to trade kills in a way to get an advantage, usually more than just a gold lead. Teamfights can result in late game objectives like Dragon, Baron, Towers, Inhibitors, or even sometimes the Nexus. Therefore, minimizing losses is also an important factor. These five tips will greatly improve your teamfighting.
1. Figure Out How Strong Everyone Is
The worst thing that can happen is when the two teams clash and yours comes out way behind because everyone jumped onto the enemy ADC when the enemy midlaner was the one that came out of lane 8/0. This is an extreme example, but it helps to take a second and gauge everyone's power level.
Your priorities might change once you see that the enemy tank somehow has a ton of kills somehow and can actually dish out a decent amount of damage. Maybe the enemy support picked up a few kills and was able to grab that Ardent Censer earlier than usual. Pointing these things out and making sure your team is on the same page will help when a chaotic fight breaks out.
2. Knowing When to Fight
Taking a teamfight might not always be in your favor. Sure, if the enemy carry shows up botlane to farm while your team is sieging a toplane turret, it might be an optimal time to engage, but the line isn't always so clear cut.
If either team is ahead, the main goal is to keep ahead and use that extra advantage to snowball the lead into a win. That means if a teamfight goes badly, the losing team might be able to catch up and might even pull ahead if the results are skewed enough.
This means it is very important to pick and choose teamfights. Like mentioned in the above point, knowing you've got a distinct advantage because your carries just got a power spike is great, but rather going out and engaging at the first opportunity, playing with the advantage in mind is usually enough. Go for objectives and if the enemy team begins getting restless or decides to challenge your team, only then should you resort to teamfighting.
Oftentimes, there are pointless fights that break out with no objectives up to fight over. The winning team risks throwing away a lead every time this happens and is completely avoidable. On the other side, if the enemy is starting to push onto an inhibitor tower, there's no reason to wait for them to actually take out the tower and get onto the inhibitor before you engage. That extra damage may come in handy and if you are going to fight anyways, better to do it when you haven't lost as much ground.
Make sure your engagements are not careless and without reason, but don't hesitate if everything lines up.
The enemy Tahm Kench is stuck on the top of the map as the enemy team flanks around to prevent Team Dignitas from taking a turret. Seeing that the enemy Ahri has engaged with Spirit Rush, Big counterengages with Rakan and the rest of the team moves in, instantly creating a pick and effectively turning the fight into a 5v3.
3. Knowing Cooldowns and Being Ability Aware
This one is something that usually happens a lot during the early game when setting up ganks and when keeping track is easy, but it starts to get muddled during the middle of the game. Make sure you make note of big summoner cooldowns and ultimate cooldowns whenever you can. Information is never a bad thing during a teamfight. If you aren't sure if a cooldown is used, play like it is still up, but the entire dynamic changes if you're certain that the enemy midlaner burned Flash a minute ago and has no form of escape.
Things that are worth noting before a big engage should be shouted out in comms (or pinged/typed out in the client). It's not a bad sign when someone has to ask is an ultimate or Flash is still up, but the fight could have been much smoother and might have been played differently.
Likewise, it is also important to be wary of the abilities still being held. Many times, the team is so focused on the beginning of the fight that when someone like Nunu Flashes in and starts channeling Absolute Zero, no one has any CC to deal with him.
Shrimp is able to get a nice Absolute Zero off even when the enemy team has Alistar, Gragas, Galio, and Tristana to potentially stop him.
4. Offense vs Defense
The biggest focus of teamfights should be the carries. Carries should be putting out as much damage as possible. Just because you aren't directly rattling shots off at the other enemy carries doesn't mean that the damage is useless. Carries are tailored towards the later game when their damage can break even the tankiest of tanks.
If your carry was more successful during the laning phase and is objectively stronger than the other carry at this point in the game, it might be worth investing all cooldowns and resources into protecting your carry to make sure they can do their job.
If your tanks are being melted and your carry is being left all alone at the end, perhaps the first priority should be to eliminate their damage dealer and then focusing on closing the fight with a numbers advantage.
Knowing when to focus the enemy carry down or when to protect your own carry is a huge part of this. Many times, teams will overcommit to a fight without identifying win conditions and only think about what they should have done after the dust settles. Your team doesn't necessarily have to be more powerful if you fight correctly.
That tanky, brick-like Maokai might not have done much damage to you in lane, but when he starts diving into your backline and locking up your carries, he's much more relevant than a simple damage sponge.
Positioning is more than "Stay in the back and keep hitting, tanks need to stand in front of the carries." To truly position well, a champion needs to know what their role is during a fight and how to best move with their own team, against the other team, to fully use their skillset and accomplish their goals.
This means sometimes the ADC needs to Flash closer to keep up with a retreating enemy and sometimes the tank needs to fully peel back all the way to the backline in order to protect his carries.
Other times, the tank can enable entire fights by holding off the carries while his own carries pick up a few kills and then escape.
Team Dignitas grabs Baron and is immediately engaged by the enemy team. Seeing that his team is getting stuck in the pit, Ssumday uses his entire kit to delay the enemy botlane duo. At the bottom right of this fight, he singlehandedly locks the two out and enables his team to trade a kill and then escape with Baron buff.
To see more about positioning as a hypercarry, this article goes far in depth and has some advice from Team Dignitas ADC Johnny “Altec” Ru.
To wrap up, let's take a look at a great teamfight from Team Dignitas that illustrates all of these points.
1. Team Dignitas are confident in their strength to beat the enemy team in a teamfight. The carries are strong and the tanks have gotten quite beefy. The enemy is down a player right now so any fight is a 5v4 in Team Dignitas' favor.
2. The team has gotten a pick on the enemy Poppy, who acts as a huge disruptor. They also have Baron and will definitely be able to take the tower down if they exert enough pressure. Team Dignitas realizes as a whole that if the enemy team is going to fight, they will have to pull the trigger before the tower falls.
3. Adrian throws a hook out looking to connect with a squishy enemy. If he grabs someone, it will most certainly result in a ton of disengage ultimates and summoner spells for the enemy. The moment Adrian misses, he starts to back up. His only utility right now is to peel for his own carries if the enemy decides to engage. The enemy also knows this and starts to move in, now that the main "playmaking" skill is down in their minds.
Keane and Ssumday both realize that the enemy Tristana is moving in to start dealing damage in order to save the tower.
4. Tristana and Sivir are both capable of putting out immense damage. The enemy team is relying on the tower (as stated above) and will need to engage soon or not engage at all because they are down a member. Their only option is to eliminate Team Dignitas' carries or scare the team off with enough damage output. With their team composition, it is possible for the enemy to isolate someone while protecting Tristana. Team Dignitas starts to move into a position that is still aggressive but can switch from offense to defense if needed.
5. Ssumday actually starts moving away from the enemy Gragas and Ahri so he won't be stopped by CC. This pulling around also put Ssumday in a fantastic position in case he needs to taunt the enemy as they engage. This is a fantastic spot to be in.
Keane steps up and manages to catch the Tristana with Seismic Shove and Ssumday instantly taunts in. Shrimp follows up with a Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo and now the whole team is committed in killing off the enemy ADC.
Altec knows that the enemy will try to even up the odds for the fight, so he actually runs to the right of the fight towards the end in case Gragas and Ahri come to dive him. Adrian uses his ultimate at the same time Shrimp engages to cover this small opening when the rest of the team leaves the carries in the back.
If laning is the most important in the early game, teamfighting is the most important thing to know for the mid and late game. Hopefully this article gave you a better idea of how to teamfight and helps you win those power struggles at the end of the game. Good luck summoners!