JustCasual Conversation: How to Deal with Adversity

Welcome to the first post of my blog series JustCasual Conversation. Enjoy

This week’s rambling is about an uphill battle: Dealing with Adversity.

So you’re playing a match and things are not going well. Maybe you lost your lane or your bot lane is feeding. Whatever the trials, things look grim and you want to surrender at 20. My advice: don’t surrender. It’s not the whole “never give up, never surrender” or “all games are winnable” speech. Instead it is because there is still plenty to learn in a losing match. Riot has created matchmaking to set you at a 50% win rate. If all you’re only goal is to win, you’re going to have a very disappointing, masochistic experience. You would be wasting HALF the time you play League. I know it’s cliche, but the saying goes “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, not “…squeeze them in your eyes”, “…scream and run away from sour fruits”, or “…leave them out to rot.”

1. Face It And Move Forward

You’re going to have games where your teammates are better and/or worse than you; same with the enemy team. The sooner you face this realization, the sooner you can move passed adversity. Someone is going to die on your team. Your jungler is going to miss their smite. You’re going to make the game losing mistake. Why are we surprised and upset when these things happen? They happen ALL the time, even in games we win! Don’t get blind sided by this. Instead, know how to deal with it and what you are going to do about it.

Situation: You get aced because your team overstayed trying to get the enemy inhibitor. It happens a lot, but don’t get phased by it. Just know when they rush baron, you can ace them.

Most importantly, don’t forget that League of just a game. That lost game is only ONE game. Don’t let it ruin your day. With an optimistic attitude, you should be able to avoid tilting, stay calm, and play better.

2. Lighten the Load

There are a million things to think about, limit your focus on what is most important. When you’re behind, you now have to make decisions from a disadvantaged point of view. For example, you give up a double kill in the bot lane and the enemy ADC now has a BF sword while you have a Pickaxe. The enemy ADC is out of position and your Support lands some soft CC on them. You chunk half their health, but in their rebuttal, their duo kills your support. Because you’re behind, you have additional considerations and judgments that you didn’t have before. Don’t forget, you have the added stress and pressure that can lead to players taking unnecessary risks, making bad decisions, or just playing poorly. To deal with this, lighten your load: narrow down what you are focusing on.

Situation: You’re playing jungle and your team is losing (whatever the scenario is). Focus on finding good times to gank mid lane and control dragon instead of checking every lane. You then get that mid turret down early, open up your mid laner to roam with you and take Bot turret. Eventually, you have 3 dragons to 1 and you’re team has come out to even the gold difference.

By narrowing that focus, you find more efficient ganks for the mid lane instead of missing those opportunities watching top and bot and failing those ganks. This is just one example.

3. Acknowledge your Part

Find what is your responsibility in your team’s success. Alter your play style, change your item build, or be the team cheerleader. What can you contribute to your team now? Maybe you need to give up your tower to roam and win another lane. Maybe you need to grab a sightstone as a jungler. Maybe you need to but more wards as an ADC. Instead of complaining that you need to contribute 25% to your team, contribute 25% of the workload.

Know what you were responsible for in your team’s loss. I don’t suggest doing this too much during a match but to do it after the Defeat screen. Remember your mistakes so you can Learn. Learn so you can Change. Remember, Learn, Change. Even if you made 1 mistake all game while your team consisted of a bunch of herpa derps, fix that mistake so you can avoid it next game. You can only control you actions, not your teammates’ so stop worrying about them.

4. Swim for Safety

It requires action to better your situation. It is one thing to know what to do and another to actually do it. Really, how easy is it to criticize your ADC while none of your actions are changing?

Situation: Your ADC is pushing hard and non stop. You’re afraid of ganks (rightfully so) and then it happens and you give up double kill. You go back into lane, ADC still pushes and you guys barely get a 1-for-1 next time the jungler ganks. I bet you know what’s going to happen when you guys return to lane: push. Two things you can do: get deeper green wards and play a bit further back. Green wards last longer than trinket wards and you’ll have more time to react to ganks. Playing further back means at least you won’t die when the inevitable gank comes or maybe your ADC will feel unsafe and back off for your stubbornness.

Actually take steps for improving the situation instead of just talking or knowing how to improve the situation. It’s quite simple yet overlooked. Seriously, check yourself.

So what does this look like in practice? Well let’s take the example of getting aced at the enemy inhibitor.

You pinged back after your team got the Inhibitor turret because the enemy spawn timers are low. Half the team backs off while the other half try to finish the Inhibitor. The enemy team respawns and aces your team while they are split in finishing the Inhibitor, running away, and saving indecisive teammates.

  1. Face It And Move Forward: Before your team starts to argue, you see the enemy team posture towards Baron. While you’re dead, you call out Baron and for everyone to buy Homeguard Boots. Death Timers are still short. You’ve seen this situation before and you’re not phased (because you’re a man).
  2. Lighten the Load: Can you go for a steal? Do you need to get vision? Do I engage the fight right away? So many things to worry about. You decide to focus on two things: vision and finding a pick.
  3. Acknowledge your Part: This kind of ties into Lightening your Load. But part of those decisions were made because of your responsibilities. You know you need to buy wards because no one else has slots available and you’re the tankiest member on the team so you can safely ward. You’ll also be the first to respawn. In addition, you’re not playing jungle so you’re not going to be able to smite steal the Baron, that’s your jungler’s job and decision (and hopefully he makes the right decision). Lastly, when and if a team fight erupts, all you need to do is peel for your ADC because she’s fed.
  4. Swim for Safety: You actually buy the wards instead of buying a Blasting Wand. It was tempting but you didn’t just hope your team would buy the wards. Because you warded, you caught their Nami support in a brush and zeroed her out with your APC. You implemented the rest of your plan well and DID NOT chase the low health Singed. Instead you peeled the Riven off your Jinx and won the Baron fight, three kills for none. You didn’t get Baron, but you now can push down that mid Inhibitor.

Don’t be discouraged by adversity. Accept a challenge and grow from overcoming it. Playing from behind is a really valuable skill that many League Players do not have. Good Luck!

Sam – JustCasual



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