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So what’s Irelia up to today? 3-2

Artist: Kaleta


Writer: Digiwombat

Hello summoners! As a law student who moonlights  as a gamer, I’m interested in “legal” issues that involve video games. My goal is to produce an objective analysis of current eSports events. If you’re like me and wonder how some of these issues might be viewed in court, then this article is for you!

Disclaimer: Just to make sure no one is going to quote me in front of a judge… I am a law student. I am not a lawyer, and this article is not legal advice.)

 

While I was about to post about the LoL “Terms of Use” (and what you really agree to), some of the recent roster changes warrant some discussion. This is a tricky subject, because as many have noticed, there is virtually no publicity surrounding eSports Player Contracts. In this article, I’ll explain the “cryptic” mechanisms preventing such publicity. Then I’ll discuss how major American sports industries approach team-player relationships. Finally I’ll apply that framework to League of Legends Pro-teams, ultimately trying to answer the following question:

 

Can a Professional Team simply “kick” members that have signed a Player Contract?

 

I. The Mystery Behind League Teams

Multi-million dollar contracts, massive signing bonuses, and widely publicized player-trades – these aren’t unfamiliar events in the American sports industry. But when it comes to eSports, the same events are barely spoken of. Even when a huge roster change goes public, the articles are devoid of any real substance. While there may be several reasons for this mysterious silence, the most likely explanation involves Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

An NDA is a certain type of contract clause: it specifies information that the signing party cannot disclose to some (or all) 3rd parties (e.g., the non-disclosure of RIGHT CLICKING Thresh’s lantern to every soloqueue ADC). The total lack of information surrounding Player Contracts in eSports suggests some sort of obligation all teams have for their players to sign extensive NDA clauses (a condition possibly set on teams by Riot).

While this secrecy often provokes us to pay some attention to the little man behind the curtain, it’s important to note that NDAs often serve very important purposes. Companies on the frontier of “infant” industries – such as Riot’s role in the expansion of eSports – are often sailing in uncharted waters, and can face serious liability. NDAs may permit these companies to minimize risks, and not just to themselves – they are often mutual, and can serve to protect Player’s privacy interests as well. 

 

II. Team-Player Contracts in the Sports Industry
When you have access to a contract, issues surrounding a Player being benched or fired would be much more straightforward: just look at the contract. But even without a contract to analyze, we can still look at how a parallel industry (the American sports industry) treats Player-Team relationships.

Unlike players in champ-select during a promotion series, most workers in the U.S. can quit if they don’t like their work environment. This is known as “at-will” employment – there are no obligations on either employees or employers to continue to work with each other. Contracts in the Sports industry are exceptions to “at-will” employment – Players and Teams have contracted (or made legally enforceable promises) to work with one another.

Usually these contracts are for a service, and are highly specific; the “service” a Player provides is usually calculated to push the player to improve upon their past performance statistics. These standards can be extremely high, and to boot most Teams require behavioral restrictions as well. This gives Teams almost unilateral control over termination of a Player’s contract. If a Team wants to get rid of a Player, it’s not very difficult to find a clause the Player violated – particularly if they are underperforming.

While this doesn’t sound very fair to the Player, there are certain protections in place – for example, Players usually get a bonus just for signing onto a team; the teams also have to suffer the wrath of their fans if they make bad-faith decisions. But most importantly, Teams are required by both law and practical business reasons to enter into contracts in good faith. Simply firing players who are still an overall benefit to the team before their contract is up isn’t just a violation of implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing, it’s poor business practice. This has lead to the general custom that Players remain on teams (even if they’re not 1st string) unless their performance, attitude, behavior, or combination thereof are creating an overall net loss for the Team.

 

III. Player Contracts for LoL Professional Teams

If similar standards are at work in League of Legends Professional Teams, then the answer to our question is pretty clear: Player Contracts probably provide a fair amount of protection, so long as the Player is performing at a certain level, and as long as the Team acts in good faith. But there is still one loose end to tie up: optimizing your roster.

Courts have typically held that “good faith” in commercial activity can include the pursuit of legitimate business interests. Adversarial negotiations are allowed, and even encouraged, for many legal and economic reasons; the good faith clause remains mostly to protect against companies that lie or misrepresent, and to protect parties that have extremely unequal bargaining power.

So to the extent that a Team is pursuing legitimate business goals (e.g., optimizing their roster), does that mean they can kick a member when a new, young hot-shot comes along? Recall the unilateral control Teams have over Player Contracts. Unfortunately, other Sports industry standards are unhelpful – they can simply put players down to 2nd or 3rd strings, and thus can optimize their roster without the need to deal with questions of “good faith.” But eSports teams often don’t have that luxury. Sooner or later every Team will have to answer the question: does the replacement of an otherwise-adequate Player, for the purposes of improving the team overall, fall within “good faith” standards, even if it is a legitimate business interest? 

 

Bottom Line: Expect eSports to parallel other Sports industries in regards to how Player Contracts are treated; but even though a Team’s “unilateral control” over Player Contracts is usually checked against a good faith pursuit of legitimate business interests, it is unclear just how far eSports teams can go in creating the optimal roster.

Follow me on Twitter @VCDragoon for updates!

Udder

Everyone hates a cheater, yet there is so much emphasis placed on doing well that “cheating” is often turned to. Cheating comes in many varieties and rears its ugly head all around the place, but the severity and connotations behind the word change dramatically. This gives rise to an interesting code of ethics involving where to exactly draw the line for cheaters. Even more interestingly, the person judging the cheater has a different outlook than those cheating themselves.

What is “Cheating”?

Cheating is defined as:

  1. To deceive somebody: to deceive or mislead somebody, especially for personal advantage
  2. To break rules to gain advantage: to break the rules in a game, examination, or contest, in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage
  3. To be unfaithful: to have a sexual relationship with somebody other than a spouse or regular sexual partner

Let’s focus on the first and second definition as they are the most relevant to this discussion. In a competition or game, deceiving and misleading the enemy is commonplace; sometimes it is called cheating and sometimes it’s strategy or mind-games. What is the difference exactly? Let’s look at an example from Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game.

When you’re playing against an opponent, you can keep your cards in a neat pile to hide how many cards they see. You can put your ace-in-the-hole activated land card under your other land cards to try and have the opponent forget you have it. You can make disgruntled noises or be exasperated at a draw that is actually a good card but you want them to do something stupid on the premise it’s a bad draw.

mtgtactics

Not that kind of tactics

Now the opponent can ask you how many cards are in your hand, or for you to spread your lands out, but it’s not against the rules to do those things unless you are being obnoxious or refuse to answer. Are these things cheating? Say you win a game on the activated effect of a hidden land because the opponent forgot about it and misplayed.

By definition, this is cheating. You’re deceiving somebody for personal advantage. But where is the line drawn between strategy, mind games, reading your opponent, tactful deception and cheating? If you intentionally take damage in lane because your jungler is there and you want to bait out your laner, you’re purposefully deceiving someone for personal advantage. For this reason, the first definition of cheating leaves a lot hanging in the air.

Breaking the Rules

The second definition is much easier to swallow: it has a hard condition. There are rules, and you have broken them. This ranges from steroid use in sports to hacking in video games. These are obvious infractions and are usually punished harshly. Everyone dislikes this sort of cheating because it creates an advantage that not everyone has– therefore making it unfair.

From the standpoint of the person doing the cheating, they also know what they’re doing. Someone that is exploiting the mastery tree system to have infinite flash/smite is clearly cheating. Woong glancing up at the monitor at the Season 2 championship was clearly cheating. What about a situation in a tournament where members of a certain team leaked compositions and strategies of other teams? Technically this isn’t against the rules. Leaking strategies leaves a bad taste in your mouth despite not being explicitly against the rules. How about attacking and killing someone who is AFK or has disconnected from the game? It’s not against the rules to do that.

punchface

Riot never said I couldn’t punch your face.

Advantage can be created in more ways than just exploiting the rules, like using an expensive, high DPI gaming mouse. Are an expensive mouse, powerful computer and fancy keyboard cheating? Well no, anyone can buy the hardware and it isn’t banned, so it’s not cheating. Will it still create unfair advantage between players of equal skill? Sure, it could. Let’s say you had a keyboard macro program that perfect casts your combo. That’s definitely cheating, right? Both have created advantage, but only one is considered cheating. Why is this?

Cheating can then just be broken down into three general sticking points:

  1. Removal of skill
  2. Requiring less work or practice
  3. Breaking the established rules

The first issue is removal of skill. This isn’t really a punishable offense on its own, in fact it is often rewarded. New kitchen gadgets and power tools often seek to remove the skills and craft required to make or repair things. The difference is there isn’t typically a competition for “Who can cut and de-seed the apple the fastest” and so having a tool that does that in one action isn’t really slighting anyone but helping you. As you can see, in competitive environments this is turned on its head. Removal of skill makes the wonder and competitive aspect much harder to appreciate and standardize. Someone grinding a clearly overpowered pre-nerf Yorick to the top of the ladder is removing skill from the equation. They just grind out ghouls and win every lane and herp derp their way to the top.

vi

No, she’s not overpowered…I’m just amazing!

The last one is the hard condition: breaking the rules. This seems like it is really straightforward, but again can be confused and pushed to technicality. Rules are established to prevent cheating and unfair advantage, but by their nature are complex. The simple existence of a set of rules means that there are ways around the rules and ways to interpret rules. If a rule states that you “can’t intentionally stall a game of Magic” what’s to say you’re doing it intentionally? If a rule says “No third party software” when playing a game, does that count keyboard macros or extra mouse features you may have? Rules can do a great job at regulating a game, however they can also outline ways for people to be “cheating” while exploiting a technicality in the rules.

punchface

Still not against the rules…

So what does all of this random babbling about cheating and dissection of definitions and terms that I’ve strung out mean? The point of all of this is that cheating is cheating and what one person defines as cheating can be entirely different than another. Aside from blatant infractions like hacking the game, the feel of being cheated can come even when they’re not cheating. Similarly, you can feel as if you’re doing nothing but exercising a strong advantage or strategy when cheating.

This creates an interesting effect that you should be aware of when evaluating things in your life. It’s important to realize whether you feel cheated because the offender is actually cheating or they’ve exercised a set of morals you don’t want to. I’m not saying go out there and find ways to push and bend the rules to take advantage of other people, but simply that everyone isn’t you. Just because someone finds a way to better their situation in a manner you’re not comfortable with doesn’t mean it’s always cheating.

When your Ethernet cable popped out and the opposing laner killed you when you totally wouldn’t do that to someone doesn’t necessarily make them a cheater. It also doesn’t make you weak or a non-cheater. It’s simply that you don’t feel right killing the disconnecter. The world is a complicated place filled with complicated decisions, reasoning and interactions. Declaring something as black and white can’t be done, and always remember to keep this in mind.

Welcome to Tribunal Cases of the Weak. Every week you’ll get the best/weirdest/worst Tribunal cases. As always, purple text is the accused, green text is the team-mates, and red is the opponents. The title of each case is a link to the full Tribunal case, but don’t click through unless you’re ready for NSFW language. Unsure of what the Tribunal is or how it works? Read Riot’s FAQ.

 

Case #5: The Sore Loser

This player is smurfing on a low-level account. He feels that the level of play, surprisingly, isn’t very high. He ends every game with the same send off:

game1

Got to love the “bg nobs”; nobs is just a wonderful misspelling of noobs.  He was reported in every game for his poor attitude, and received:

PunishWarning

 

 

Case #4: The Sore Winner

This player is also smurfing on a low-level account. Unlike the player in Case #1, this player only taunts his opponents when he wins. Here is how he ends every win:

sore winner

In Game 5, which he loses, he doesn’t say anything. This player was reported for his taunts at the end of his wins, and he got:

PunishWarning

 

Case #3: The Blatant Feeder

Intentionally feeding is pretty clear cut in the Tribunal. Some players take an ironic twist on it though. Here are his scores:

amumu2

And here is his statement in the only game he talked in:

amumu1

Well those “bitches” reported him, and he got:

PunishTime Ban

 

 

Case #2: Worst Troll of the Week

There’s awful stuff in all five games here, so don’t click through unless you’re into that kind of thing. What stands out, though, is the “psychology” that this player is projecting onto his victims. Like this in Game 1:

worst1

Game 2:

worst4

Game 3:

worst3

Game 4:

worst2

After all of this, you have to wonder who really has the daddy issues. There’s plenty of other inappropriate behavior in there, but it looks like he was a first time offender:

PunishWarning

 

 

Case #1: Permaban of the Week

The Permaban this week might not be a clear cut case for a lot of people. The player is negative overall, but not harshly so. He does, however, use a term that many players, including streamers, use quite often. Here it is in Game 1:

perma1

And in Game 3:

perma2

Share your opinion in the comments below. The Tribunal can be a vanguard on player behavior and hold higher standards than the streamers exemplify or people experience in real life. This may be a case of that for some readers, where this word doesn’t offend, much like “faggot” and its pervasiveness. In this case, however, it seems to have caused this player’s permaban, if only by a simple majority.

Punishpermaban

 

That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next week with another round of Tribunal Cases of the Weak.

Have a case you think should be included? Send your submissions to tribunalcasesoftheweak@gmail.com. Be sure to include the case number and region, your summoner name, and explain what makes it interesting.

TsmNEW

 
 

After many hours of debate and much consideration, the management of SoloMid has decided to replace Chaox with WildTurtle on a permanent basis. We are extremely grateful to Chaox for all he has contributed over the last two years and it is with a heavy heart that we bid him goodbye. The accomplishments TSM achieved with Chaox on the team will be remembered for as long as people play League of Legends. WildTurtle will be the AD carry for TSM from this week onwards. We are confident this change will be a positive one in the long run; TSM have their eyes firmly on the top of the podium.

For interviews and behind the scenes footage showing the road to this outcome watch this week’s episode of GameCrib.

header

 

We are proud to announce ProBuilds.net, the next level of stat-tracking and champion-build information. With it you can track what the pro and high-ranked players do in their games and even better, the order in which they do them. Let’s go through some examples of how it works and the kind of results you can expect.

 

What do you seek?

search

click to enlarge

 

When loading the homepage one of the first things you’ll see is the search bar. If you had a specific target for your visit, this will be the fastest path to reach it. It will search for players and champions and will bring up a clickable drop-down list after the first character typed, so you don’t even need to enter the whole thing.

 

 

 

 

Overview of your topic

rene

click to enlarge

 

Say your goal was information on how the pros are currently building Renekton; a click on him from your previous search will bring up a smorgasbord of high-level builds. Here you get the broad-strokes of a large number of games. The final-build, how recent, if they won and who was playing. From this point you can go even deeper to see the next level of details. Click on which game you want to see, we’ll use KiWiKiD’s as an example.

 

 

 

 

The fine details

gamed

click to enlarge

 

This is where ProBuilds starts to get really exciting. You can see how the teams did overall, their scores and final builds. Under that you can see the specific player’s final build more prominently and his choice of summoner spells. The best bits however are the Buy Order and Skill Order sections. Here you can see exactly what he did and the order he did it in. You can see that he bought wards on almost every back and that he put a second point in W at level 10 but max’d E before W otherwise.

 

 

 

runess

click to enlarge

 

This level of detail is truly fascinating and now you can find it for all the high-level games you see on stream! Of course, the runes and masteries are not ignored, they are clearly and cleanly presented. This gives you an almost complete overview of the match from Welcome to Summoners Rift to one of the Nexuses being destroyed. This was not a special case; every game on ProBuilds is recorded in equal detail for your entertainment and interest. You can also search for players and see all of their recent matches if your focus is in a slightly different direction; it works the same way.

 

 

 

 

Live feed

live

click to enlarge

 

If you don’t have a specific need in mind but have a few minutes to kill and are wondering what the pros are currently up to there is a Live Feed. This will list all the most recent games from followed players. Top players from the EU, NA, CN, TW and KR servers will all appear here in a constant stream of games. If one catches your eye, a simple click will bring you all the facts.

 

 

 

ProBuilds.net

 

We want everyone to be able to use ProBuilds successfully- there is no point having all this fantastic information if only some people can make full use of it. In that regard we currently support five languages (English, French, German, Korean and Spanish) and will constantly strive to add more language options as time goes on. While we are launching today, this is an open-beta phase and we will be adding more features as time goes on. Please let us know if you find any bugs or if there are any features you think would make it an even more rewarding experience. ProBuilds is the future, we hope to see you there; let the information flow!

The Meta Model

March 24th, 2013

metamod

Meta. We hear this word thrown around a lot, but what exactly does it mean? Is the meta two solo lanes, a jungler and ad/support bottom? Is it the set of champions being played right now? Is it the items being commonly built? Meta as a term is vast and encompassing and in this article I want to scratch the surface on what the meta is and how Riot sees.

Meta in philosophy is: “A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.” (Dictionary.com) So the metagame is the data about the game itself, in this case League of Legends. As you can see, this is entirely open ended. The meta can be any of these things and more:

  • Lane assignments
  • Item Purchases
  • Types of Champions played
  • Playing style
  • Role specific expectations
  • Team compositions

 Layer 1

People commonly refer to “the meta” as a solo top, solo mid, solo jungler and a duo bottom, which is a mindset that Riot has discredited. The next stop on the meta train is usually the absolute most popular thing like “League of Warmogs” and “League of Bruisers.” This is the first layer of the meta and is the most general sense. It doesn’t really explain anything about the true meta of the game at any time.

Layer 2

Team comp is the next layer to be looked at. You can see clear patterns in the style of teams played, such as AoE composition, armor shred or strong laners. With champion specific synergies, teams can achieve aggressive diving, early towers, safe laning or something else. The solo queue meta doesn’t have as much emphasis on this aspect, but you will still see trends such as the long holding bruiser top, bruiser jungle, AP mid or an AP top/mid setup.

Layer 3

Inside of the other two layers lies the lane specific environment. Each lane has their own meta going on, whether it’s a mobility emphasis on the ADC on bottom or the switch from AP to AD in middle. This meta changes fairly frequently and is often an entire ecosystem within the game. You can main a lane and not have it get stale thanks to the match-up and champion pool changes over time. As a jungler, I’ve gone from “what’s a jungler?” to strong gankers (Rammus/Maokai) to strong counter junglers (Diamondprox’ breakout Shyvana play) to the support (rise of CLG.EU) to the now current carry jungler meta. Over the course of a year or two the champions and environment has changed entirely.

Layer 4

Role specific expectations are just a broad way of saying what each lane is expected to do. This creates lanes like the recent Nidalee/Soraka bottom lane from Dragonborns. The lane is expected to have an AD that gets farmed and can do so effectively. To counter this expectation, a very strong poking composition was thrown down there to make sure no farm can be gotten. When middle was expected to roam, champions such as Evelynn and Katarina became wildly popular because they could roam well. This is where a lot of the action goes and many mind games of counters and counters to the counters and a lot of really fun, interesting stuff.

core

The heart of the meta is playing style. Over time, player’s styles start to change around. While the game was developing and people were learning still, a much more passive approach was taken. Players overall took little risks compared to today as they were feeling out the game. As people learn the game, more and more aggression and calculated risk is found and rewarded. If the meta is healthy, this will trend a different way and keep the overall flow of the game going. There are individual styles to players and teams, however a global trends also happens when someone breaks the mold.

How to work my meta model

My model has a core and several layers that go outward. The meta is a general trend in what is being played right now and as such can be countered at the proper layer. Each layer then radiates all of the decisions outward until you’re outside the model. If there is a shift in the lane-specific environment, it will then effect the team compositions and lane assignments. When Talon, Kha’Zix and Zed took over midlane in preseason 3, the team compositions shifted towards supporting armor shred (Renekton, Jarvan, etc.) and stacking up the physical damage dealt, which in turn drove things such as Miss Fortune buying Black Cleaver.

Conclusions

The churning turmoil of the inner core impacts everything else in the game. You can see this with the trend over the last two years of League of Legends. First there was passive play style with safe laners that had strong teamfight abilities, such as bot lane tank. This was then countered with stronger lane presence in a roamer and jungler combined. The roaming meta was stopped by running a dedicated AD/Support style bottom that was well insulated to the roaming and a strong control jungler. This was dominate for a while until folks figured out that strong counter jungling puts the mostly passive approach of control jungler/support/adc bottom to rest. To stop the counter jungling, lanes started swapping and playing strong pushers to force junglers to respond instead of counter jungle.

Currently, there is a trend in the meta towards strong snowballing lanes and champions that do well against or in combination with heavy lane pushing. This is indicative of a healthy meta and I’m sure a new style of play will soon arise that does well against early tower aggression and diving compositions. When the next trend drops, expect changes in every other layer to trickle to the casual players. What do you think is the next step in play style to defeat the towerkrieg currently going on?

TsmNEW

MdFatMh

Corsair Announces Vengeance K70 Fully Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Key-by-Key Backlighting

– Corsair Vengeance K70 Fully Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to Debut at PAX East on March 22 –

FREMONT, California — March 21, 2013 — Corsair®, a worldwide designer of high-performance PC gaming peripherals, today announced the Vengeance K70 fully mechanical gaming keyboard.

The new Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard is built on a rugged, brushed, aluminum chassis and features highly responsive Cherry MX Red mechanical switches under every key. The high performance switches combined with the keyboard’s 100% anti-ghosted matrix, 20-key rollover and 1000Hz reporting rate provide fast, accurate input for gaming.

The Vengeance K70 gaming keyboards are available in two color schemes: silver aluminum with blue backlighting, and anodized black with deep red backlighting. Overall backlighting can be adjusted to four levels of intensity and each key is individually backlit, enabling the lighting for each key to be independently enabled or disabled. The key-by-key lighting customization allows users to highlight just the keys they need to emphasize and then save the setting directly to the K70′s onboard memory. In addition, the Vengeance K70 comes with alternate colored, contoured keycaps for the WASD and 1-6 keycaps to allow additional customization.

“When we launched the Vengeance K60, customers loved the look and quality, but some wanted a backlit version,” said Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of the Peripherals Business Unit at Corsair. “In typical Corsair fashion, we over-delivered and created Vengeance K70 with key-by-key backlighting, mechanical switches on every key, and two color schemes.”

The Vengeance K70 also features dedicated multimedia controls to allow users to play, stop, pause, skip tracks and adjust volume. An extra USB connector is provided for attaching to USB devices such as a Vengeance gaming mouse or headset. A removeable soft-touch wrist rest provides comfort for long gaming or typing sessions.

See Vengeance K70 at PAX East from March 22-24

The Vengeance K70 keyboard will make its public debut at Corsair’s booth at PAX East in Boston from March 22-24. Corsair is located in booth 1062.

Pricing and Availability

The Corsair Vengeance K70 will be available in April at suggested price of $129.99.

For more information on the Corsair Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard, please visit: http://www.corsair.com/k70

A complete set of product images may be downloaded from: https://corsair.sharefile.com/d/s771c921bfc841fba

About Corsair

Founded in 1994, Corsair supplies high performance products purchased primarily by PC gaming enthusiasts who build their own PCs or buy pre-assembled customized systems. The company’s award-winning products include DDR3 memory upgrades, USB flash drives, power supply units, solid-state drives, PC speakers, gaming headsets, gaming keyboards, laser gaming mice, system monitoring and control devices, PC cooling products, and computer cases.

Copyright © 2013 Corsair Components, Inc. All rights reserved. Corsair, the sails logo, Dominator, and Vengeance are registered trademarks and Air Series, Force Series, Carbide Series, GS Series, CX Series, and Hydro Series are trademarks of Corsair in the United States and/or other countries. All other company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks, and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

PR Contact, US and Canada
Rick Allen
510-657-8747 ext 486
ricka@corsair.com

PR Contact, Europe
Gareth Ogden
+44 (0) 7776 251 116
gareth.ogden@corsair.com

Categories: Original Content Tags:

jungle-win

 

Greetings Summoners; today I want to talk about the current state of soloqueue, or as I am referring to it now, Snowballqueue. Over the weekend I queued up for six games, I preceded to win one and lose five. I finally got demoted to Plat III, which was long overdue and at this rate, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I hit Plat IV again. It had been a long time since I played Summoner’s Rift but I don’t think I was that out of practice. I did notice a staggering correlation between all of the games though. Five of the games that I played all ended in landslide victories with the winning team getting a minimum of 20+ kills and the losing team staying in single digits. The game I won was 27/6 and the games that I lost were always 2x/y. So what makes games snowball so hard and what can you do to prevent it? I have a few theories on this.

Jungler Influence and Why You Should Only Focus on Not Dying to Them.

Junglers have come full circle and are once again the biggest influence on any single game’s development. I was soooooooooooooooooooo excited for Season 3 when the Jungle revamp came and the overall idea was to keep the jungler farming longer and taking more damage so he would be less likely to gank; I don’t know what happened and that model is a thing of the past. Powercreep maybe? Anyways, Junglers are back to ruining the day for everyone and now the best thing you can do is not even win your lane, it’s just not getting ganked. As soon as you get ganked by the jungler you lose all control of your lane and the game snowballs out of control. If the jungler kills you and burns your flash he will come back. You will get zoned and then your lane counterpart will roam, which will increase the success of the next gank. Rinse and repeat. Before long you are losing towers and dragons and the game snowballs completely out of anyone’s control. You will have a jungler of you own of course, but it will more than likely come down to which team has the jungler with better fundamentals of the role. All I can really say about this is start spending a lot of money on wards and try not to die. Winning your lane is not important as long as you can hold the lane to prevent roamaing, and not die to prevent snowballing.

Why Do Games Snowball so Hard?

I believe that games are more prone to snowballing now because items have gotten so cheap. In the item revamp all Riot did was increase the cost of Resistances and Attackspeed, which are late game stats, and they lowered the cost of most other things as well as re-evaluating some stats like AP/CDR items. Damage and Health, as I have explained in other articles, are at a premium price and as soon as you die in lane and give your opponent 300 for 400 gold they will come back with a significant advantage. If you die again you will be so far behind it’s just too hard to come back, plus you will prob be sinking your reduced income into wards which will also cripple you. When you get behind you basically become a ghost man for your team. If the other team goes to take Dragon you now have to stay in your lane because you need the exp and gold. While Dragon would be nice you can’t afford to waste time and potentially give the team another kill, you’re essentially useless. From here things get out of hand. The winning team has more gold, they have more wards, they have more levels. You come to a really vicious crossroads where you need to buy damage to kill them, but they are buying more damage than you, and have a lot more HP, Damage, and Resists because of levels. If they happen to be a tanky champion (usually the Jungler) not only will they do a ton of damage with their levels, but they will be buying more HP which will make them impossible to kill. As you sink all your damage cd’s into this monster tanking your turret, his team is behind him destroying you from the back lines. I don’t know if I am sounding too negative here but this is how the games I play usually pan out.

Ok, No One Died During the Laning Phase. Now What?

Lets say that everyone on your team is competent. No one lost their lane too bad in terms of cs, there were lots of wards to keep the jungler at bay, and you managed to pick up a Dragon or keep even in towers or whatever. Well, it’s soloqueue, so now that you have done the impossible you get to put your entire chance of winning on which team screws up first. Remember when I said five of the games I played all ended in landslides? Well the sixth game I played was the one where everything went ok. We actually had a mid-game and there were lots of even team fights. Unfortunately five random people are not easy to coordinate. While one person farms 200 gold in the jungle for a major item, the other four wait stupidly in the mid lane as the enemy team approaches as five. One gets caught, the rest try to help, ACE, Defeat. Basically you get snowballed on, you do the snowballing, or you gamble on which team throws first. It’s not very fun anymore to be honest.

Final Thoughts

This article might seem a bit cynical but I feel like there are a lot of truths to it. Soloqueue has just become so vicious in the past few months, and I didn’t even touch on the people raging in all chat on both teams, etc. I just can’t do it anymore, it brings me no joy. I am tired of queueing up and being like “I am gonna play mid and carry” and then I am last pick, and the first two picks are arguing over who gets mid. I don’t even chime in I just pick whatever is leftover and that’s not what I wanted. I could learn to Jungle and just try to carry every game but I don’t enjoy jungling, that’s not why I play. Who wants to be Rank X in Y Division for playing a role they don’t main? I have defaulted to playing strictly Dominion and Twisted Treeline for now and my reasoning behind this is that you can play whatever Champion you want on those maps and it usually works out and I have fun. I play Dominion when I just want to let off steam and I play Ranked 3′s because I would rather play with two coordinated friends, I would play Ranked 5′s if I had four good friends but I don’t so 3′s works just fine. If I had to suggest any kind of band-aid to the snowball queue problems I would honestly just say get four friends and make a team. Play what makes you have fun, that is what I have begun to do and I am finally enjoying League of Legends again.

I won’t be playing soloqueue anymore, so I won’t be writing about it. I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about something I am uneducated to talk about. I would like to switch to focus of my column to either Dominion or Twisted Treeline. I understand not everyone is interested in those two formats of the game, but some people are. If you are more interested in one over the other, please let me know in the comments so I know which format to focus my articles on. Thank you and I look forward to writing again soon.

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”

Why Losing is Just as Important as Winning

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Junglers

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 AP Mids

The Stale Meta: Intro + Top 5 Top Laners

The Stale Meta: Top 5 AD Carries

The Stale Meta: Top 5 Supports

The Stale Meta: Poke

Junglers: How to Win 65% More Games!