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Glory of the Climb – Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

February 14th, 2013


Hello Summoners, let’s talk about losing. I find that game losses are something that are often brushed under the rug and never talked about, or just used as tinder for the ever-burning “you won’t believe my teammates from last game” rants. However, they do play a significant role in improving your skill. Statistically, you probably lose just as many games as you win, or close to it, so why ignore almost 50% of your prospective data just because at the end of the game it said Defeat? The game is a team game and so it is easy to relegate blame to the other four people you are playing with, but sometimes you need to look closely at yourself and identify that you are the weakest link in the chain. Story Time!

Dcgreen vs. D Patoy

Recently I got paired against Dignitas Patoy in mid lane. I was playing Syndra and he was playing Orianna. First I want to say that even though Patoy mains support on Dignitas he is still a paid professional player and so his skill should not be underestimated. It is clear that he understands the game at a core level better than me, or most players, and also safe to say that his skills mechanically are also better than mine. Anyways, so we are laning and I am getting kinda bullied around, cuz I don’t really know how to lane vs Orianna, and Patoy goes for a level 2 all in on me. I picked my stun at level 2 so I hit him with my sphere, managed to land the stun, hit him with ignite and the tables had turned and I was beating him. I got him so low and I chased him into his tower, we had both also burned flash. I got super greedy, and cocky cuz I wanted to kill a pro player, took two tower hits and gave him first blood as he escaped with 69 hp. The game snowballed out of control from here, I remember ending the game 2/12/2. My team-mates were flaming me a lot, I got a ton of “he mains support” and “you’re losing to Patoy!” and one guy accused me of being on tilt even though it was my second game of the day, my first one being a win. All that aside because I played the match up poorly I allowed the game to snowball by losing control of midlane. Now that’s a great story but what did I learn?

You Learn More From Losing Than From Winning

Well I remember the event very vividly. Patoy came at me with his ball and auto attacks and then shielded himself. I landed my combo and ignited him and he flashed and ran. I flashed after him and he got another shield as he kept running to the tower. I got close enough to get another auto attack and he got another shield. HOW MANY FUCKING SHIELDS DOES THIS DUDE HAVE?! I screamed as I died to his tower. After pressing Tab I realized he took Barrier and not Ignite. Now this is a really simple mistake to make and one that should have been avoided, had I been a better and more consistent player. It took two tower shots to kill me meaning I was still in lane with 200+ hp and an inventory full of potions, I could have settled with defending his all in, burning all his summoners, and forcing him to go back and heal as I sustained in lane and continued to farm. Instead, I neglected to fully analyze my opponent, I got greedy and cocky, and I SINGLE-HANDEDLY caused my team to lose the game. It was even someone’s placement match on my team, I felt like an asshole. But loses happen and its important that when we make mistakes we learn from them. Now every time I go into lane against my opponents I double check lots of things. Do I want to get Flask + Pot + ward or Flask + three pots, better check if they have a early pressure jungler. What kind of summoner spell does my opponent have; if its Barrier and not Ignite I should play to try and bait the Barrier before committing fully to kill him. If its Ignite I need to be cautious but also be aware that I can snowball an early trade advantage if he is not careful. These are the kind of things you want to improve upon.

Honing Your New Found Skills

Yes losing to Patoy was a slightly traumatic experience. I felt completely useless all game, I was berated by my team-mates, my Syndra stats went to crap, and I cried, but shit happens when you play this game. The best thing you can do is take these memories and turn them into a skill set that prevents things like that from ever happening again. Learn to analyze your opponents, learn that forcing someone out of lane can be just as powerful as killing them, learn to identify yourself as your team’s weakest player and how to recover from that situation, and most importantly learn how to ignore your team-mates because they will never say anything positive to help you. Whoever said “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger” is a fucking idiot, because if something doesn’t kill you it’s not a defeat. Also, if I break both your legs and it doesn’t kill you, you probably aren’t stronger after the fact. My point is that in order to grow your skill and grow as a player you need to take solace in your defeats and learn from your mistakes. No one in this game has a 100% win rate so stop being upset when you lose and instead use it as motivation to go from 50/50, to 51/49, to 52/48 etc. Improvement takes time. Stop raging and enjoy the ride.

Love, Dcgreen



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Previous “Glory of the Climb” Articles:

Making Sense of Season 3

Dominion: Helping You To Win More Lanes and Games

Developing Your Killer Instincts: Why to be Aggressive in Season 3

Working With Your Team to Win

Countering Health with DFG

Reviewing the New “League System”