Hashinshin talks about the early game! Or, a lack of trying leads to defeat!
So currently the thing that annoys me most is the fact that the early game seems to be this entire .... well lets call it a catastrophe right now. Junglers have powercreeped out of control, sustain is nearly nonexistent, and there's this terrible terrible damaging mindset out there that the first 15 minutes of a match don't matter. Well, I guess the general perception right now is it doesn't matter beyond people feeding. Junglers have gotten a mentality that they don't have to do anything but farm and that ganks are bonus bucks. Mids have gotten the mentality that they never need to go ganking and people should just listen to MIAs. Tops will often never come down for dragons or to 4 man gank bot. I don't know how the game got messed up so bad but I think it's really time to sit down and talk about what exactly has gone wrong with this game.
Let me just start with this laziness that has developed.
I don't know WHY this developed but it's as if people think the first 15 minutes are just the prologue for the real game. As if the game is still loading for 15 minutes and we're all just buying gear and doing last hitting checks to see who starts the game with what gear. I guess the first 15 minutes have just turned in to a slightly more complex whack-a-mole game? I see this way too often. Junglers who feel it's not their job to gank, as if everyone should just never die because they're farming. That doesn't make sense so don't tell me, I KNOW it doesn't make sense. I mean lets just do a reasonable thought process. Just HOW BAD would their jungler have to be to NEVER get a kill after ganking 5 times? If the first gank doesn't work it often leaves you down multiple health potions getting seriously behind. I'll get in to this later in the sustain section so stay tuned.
Junglers really are the worst at this. Do you know how many games are won or lost because of a good/bad jungler? If their jungler ganks top, then mid, then top, then mid, then bot... by all rights his team SHOULD win. That's simply how the game works, you try harder and you win. If a lane snowballing it's often too late to impact the lane. Their laner can easily afford to buy wards and is tankier because of more gold/levels. Your top is less damaging and squishier because of less gold/wards. What does that mean? It's harder to play catch up because your ganks are significantly harder, where as their jungler's ganks will be way easy because of the previously mentioned. This isn't some elaborate science here. If you farm while they gank the game WILL be harder to win. Junglers always think you should just avoid ganks, but, if their ganks always failed they'd be a pretty terrible jungler.
Now lets move on to the other people. Mids have the chance to play as a sort of backup ganker role, and can double up with the jungler to pull off those 2 man ganks that nearly always ensure kills. Mids can easily cover for a bad jungler and make sure that their team still wins by ganking pushed lanes or people low on HP on their turret. It really doesn't make sense to me that mid players hate ganking these days because APs are mid in order to make sure they can gank both lanes the easiest. That's WHY AP started going mid, to gank the easiest. It's like giving the best seat in the stadium to a basketball enthusiast for him to just read the newspaper during the game instead. We gave you this damn seat because you said you wanted to gank! SO GANK, GANK! Just press Q over the creep wave Ahri then use that ridiculous ultimate of yours to go free kill a lane. Your win rates just went up to 60%. Every gank is another compounding 10%.
Top laners are the worst off, and I can say this as a top laner myself. We can't farm at turret like mid, and can't chain ward everything at level 1 like bot can. We're often melee, separated from our team, and the game way too often develops in to a 1v2. Jungler is part of top lane for the first 10 minutes yet jungle often goes on a smoke break and leaves us off to ourselves, then bitches if we die to ganks. Well shit I guess by gank #3 its gotta work. However, I've found one of the best ways to win a game is just to push your lane in to their turret then leave (that part is important!) to go gank the crap out of other lanes. Notably Jarvan 4 I have huge wins on because I just say screw it top can't be won then use my ultimate to gank mid. Mid gets a kill, pushes in, then says HEY I'mma gank bot! Now we gank their mid, our mid ganks their bot, and hell we're gonna win this game. I could've just stayed top trying to be a hero and get chain ganked in a losing battle but instead sneaking off to mid is often the best approach. You don't HAVE to stay in lane till you take their turret, I often recommend against it.
Okay so lets go in to this whole top vs. jungler situation.
For all rational reasons top is a 2v2 lane where one of the 2 goes off in the jungle to farm to get the team more experience and gold. The problem is when the jungler decides he has no obligations to top and goes off to farm till 15 minutes. Their jungler is more often than not going to remember he's a part of top lane and kill the crap out of your top laner. Why? Because it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy! Top is often melee, with no ward, on a long lane that can't hide on turret. What do you think happens when a jungler comes to gank? With brush being so ridiculous and junglers being so powercreeped there often is just no way to survive a gank. What's worse is most junglers can be level 2 when top is level 1. How many people take their escapes at level 1? I guess what I'm saying is the problem is that top lane is just uber gankable and a snowball lane to boot and yet junglers often feel they have no obligation to their lane and it's not their fault they they were playing farmville for 10 minutes while their jungler participated in a PvP game.
Junglers and tops are really just in an unsolvable dispute right now where we hate the ever living shit out of each other right now. Junglers just want to sit and farm their double GP5 for 10 minutes, and top wants them to actually come and be a part of the game. Junglers hate it when top dies, top hates it when junglers don't participate. Does this sound biased? It should because I HATE JUNGLERS (lately.) Talking with pretty much every top lane has confirmed my belief that top laners just can not stand how prissy junglers have become, and how they act like doing their job is somehow a bonus to the top laner. Oh godly jungler please bestow apon me you doing your job such that I may actually play this game rather than the 1v2 get-screwed-fest that occurs every other game. And don't white knight junglers. We all know that you shouldn't be spending 10 freaking minutes farming. That's half of a Starcraft match. Do Starcraft players spend 10 minutes farming up until they fight? Hell no they fight tooth and claw the entire game desperately trying to scratch out a victory from their opponent's eyes. Why can't we hold junglers to the same reasonable standards?
And now for the "something bad happened someone is clearly at fault!"
A lot of what I'm talking about just comes down to the perception that everything has to be somebody's fault, that nothing can just be a good play and must instead be an error from your team. When aa SCV dies to the first few zerglings, or 2 marines die in an amazing dropship play does the Terran player complain his units are throwing? In every sport the opposition will get points eventually (except in baseball, so exciting.) You can't just fault people for natural things occurring. Simply put if a zerg player bashes his face against a Terran player enough things WILL DIE and you just have to accept that. Likewise if a jungler ganks the mid multiple times you are bound to get a kill. It's not mids fault, it's just a game and things HAVE to happen eventually. If mid and jungler conspire to do an amazing 4 man bot dive is that somehow now bot's fault? It's not their fault, it's the opponents playing well. Man it'd be like if Jordan just walked out the first time his team was scored on because "screw you fails you let them score!"
Time is a very valuable resource in a game like this, and investing your time in to ganks will eventually yield results. You have to ask yourself, what did I accomplish while my opponent went ganking? As a top laner this is often the most simple thing as your opponent going ganking or getting a dragon pretty much always means you get top turret in exchange. This is an accepted trade that's pretty much just a preset game objective. Mid and junglers though have to decide what to do with their time without a clear preset objective in mind. I always take turret, that's my thing. When I'm a jungler and their jungler is ganking what am I doing? Am I counterjungling? Counter ganking? Maybe I'm sneaking in a dragon. I don't know, nobody told me what to do. The real horror is that farming has become the preset objective for these two people when it's the worst thing to accomplish.
My point is, in summation of this section, is that you need to build a go-too objective in your mind that you will actively be working towards to accomplish. Jungle players need to ALWAYS have in their mind "I want to get a kill" or "I want to get that dragon." Then you need to actively work towards it. You can easily achieve the kill objective by just chain ganking. Don't be afraid of turrets. A 1/2 half enemy in a turret is easy meat to a jungler that bought ninja tabi, even at level 4 you can gank 4-5 shots while your ally wraps things up. Mids you need to think how you're going to achieve ganking. You have to get your lane pushed, be observant, and save your cooldowns for the kills.
When you're trying to build a birdhouse you don't just sand the wood for 9 hours hoping eventually somebody else will come and build it for you.
Which is weird to me because so many people insist they can't carry their team yet they never even TRIED to carry, they just farmed and hoped to get carried instead.
Why would people have a fear of action?
The few times it fails to be proactive people get terrified and remember that it went bad that one time. White has a 54% win rate in chess. Nobody loses once as white and goes "oh this is hopeless I'm going to go play black!" Hell no. Sure sometimes it fails. Sometimes EVERYTHING fails. You can't always win, you simply can't, stop expecting to. Work towards what wins the most and go from there. Being proactive wins. Being reactive doesn't often win. Don't let yourself be conditioned in to free farming because if you do nothing at all you can't do anything wrong. Doing nothing at all IS wrong. Don't fall in to the pit of despair that stops you from acting. Realize that everything is a percent, and increase your percent at victory. If this was a rollar skating race you'd have to start thinking how to get rockets in your skates.
Doing nothing at all IS doing something wrong.
Trying to gank mid as a top laner for the first time? Okay trial 1 didn't go so well, you were spotted by a ward and accomplished only wasting time. Go on to trial 2. Figure out how to do what you just did, but do it better. Get Groundhogs day up in this bitch. Don't be the fat kid that tries to reach down for his favorite CD and when you fail to pick it up just never listen to the band again. The old saying "what do you do when you fall off the horse?" Well perhaps we should have used HAMMERS when telling children that so it would POUND in to their head. It's some sort of lost message that a single failure isn't the end of the world. Do everything one step better than you did it before, fail a little bit less each time until you aren't failing at all.
Play to win, not merely to not lose the game.
What you should take away from this post is that I want people to start getting back that lust for glory, and lose their complacency in defeat. Losing the game because "your teammates fed" is an acceptable excuse sometimes, but by sometimes I don't mean EVERY GOD DAMN GAME. DO something. Get off your ass, stop farming, and realize that farming for 20 minutes is not an acceptable way to play this game. Yes sometimes farming DOES work, but it is not the correct answer to every situation. I want you to try to win, try to WIN. I don't know how I can say it any better. Farming is merely trying not to lose. You won't read any inspirational books by olympic runners titled "how I didn't lose!" You're going to read "how I kicked ass and won the everything in the world!" That's what I want you to do, go out there and kick all the ass.
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You know I gotta blame the entire attitude of the playerbase for this early game. It seems we all strive for perfection and when we can't reach it we resign ourselves to doing nothing at all, because if we can't find perfection then we just never look for it again.