So I see this way too often, people who think they're trying hard because they're doing good in game. I mean, far be it from me to define "being lucky" and "trying hard" as different concepts but maybe I'll do just that. And by doing that I mean define them as different things then subject you to reading five pages on why I think that. Either way, I think that there is a ... well lets call it lack of understanding on what trying hard means. I guess the best way to describe is it that the worst player in the game, the #1 worst player in the game who goes 0-10 every single game no matter what can still be trying hard. It's all a mental thing, do you take every advantage that you can take or do you try to play normally and do your best at normal?
Lets start by defining what it means to try hard, and how its different from doing good or getting lucky.
How to begin here. I guess I'll need to define something that might be a bit absent from people's arsenal due to moral codes: trying hard is doing anything at all that will result in winning the game. This means things that will forfeit the game aren't including since they won't win it, BUT something that perhaps you consider immoral is completely fair game here. Trash talking, and goading the enemy in to making mistakes are included here. Abusing the Nunu ult + brush is included here, and so on like that. I guess it'd be best to start from the beginning though.
Say you have two completely moral players. Both of them decide counter picking makes the game less fun so they agree to just pick whatever is fun. That's fine, but one day one of them deduces that counter picking leads to winning more often. His opponent is annoyed that he keeps counter picking but he goes on. Both of them decide abusing the brush to drop minion aggro is immoral. It leads to more wins so the player once again does it. Lets go further though. That player then decides he's going to use the brush to willingly and knowingly bug out abilities such that they don't complete their effects due to brush bugs (such as how Garen's and Fiora's ult full-stop if their opponent enters a brush. Or at least they DID.)
These things are in the game and are perfectly legal. As such, NOT abusing them would simply not be trying your hardest. Am I saying it's right? I'm not giving any opinion at all. I'm merely stating that if there exists something that will increase your win rate and you are not using it that you are no longer trying your hardest. Irelia will with 100% assurance win more games than Xin Zhao. As such, using Xin Zhao is saying "I want to lose more games than if I did something I didn't want to do." Would you want a team mate picking a champion he knows is worse merely because he thinks its more fun? Teemo is like Jayce he's just more fun to me, amirite?
In League these can be defined as including (but not limited to): counter picking with champions you didn't want to play. Picking a safer pick when your opponent hasn't picked their opposing laner instead of picking who you wanted to play. Always remembering to brush juke. Going to painful lengths to last hit properly instead of saying "eh I got 50 CS in 10 minutes good 'nuff." Playing safe when you want to be stupid. Playing aggressive when you want to be stupid safe. Bush camping top as the jungler. Just think, what's something you know will make you win more but you've simply been too lazy to do, or you just like like to do?
How can you be doing bad yet trying hard?
So lets now break apart "luck/skill" and "trying hard." I can go in to a 1200 ELO game and troll my ass off yet go 50-0. Send a 1200 player in to a 2000 ELO game and no matter how hard he tries he will go negative. So lets break these two concepts apart. Trying hard is the attempt to do good. Doing good is actually doing good. It's like reaching your own personal best. If I ran a 5 minute mile that'd be really good for me. If an olympic runner ran a 5 minute mile that'd be really bad for them. Everything has to be taken in perspective.
So lets try a bit harder to explain it: If I go with a 5-7 score on a game I tried hard on, in that same game I'd have gone 2-7 if I didn't try hard. Trying my hardest doesn't ASSURE I'll win but it does go a long way towards helping it. That's my point here really, that you can always be trying your hardest yet not winning the game. I think that's really a concept that people don't understand. If you try your hardest and lose then clearly it doesn't work and you should stop trying, right? A lot of people will think that way and give up.
Point is if I put a 12 year old nerd on the task of pushing down a brick wall that dude could do absolutely everything within his power to try and push that wall down and he would not succeed at it. A lot of League players start off like that, 12 year old nerds. Hell most of them start off like that. HOWEVER, once they work out a lot and then use that same amount of TRY on the wall they might be able to knock that thing down. What's more, it would be even more incredible for them since they worked for it instead of just having the natural talent for pushing down brick walls with their mind (it exists, I read it on the internet.)
So whats the point of all that, what are you trying to teach me?
The point I'm trying to get across is that trying at all isn't trying your hardest. Lets say you picked a hero you're good at, your best hero. Already you have a problem, you blind picked a hero because you probably aren't very good at other more safe heroes. Okay so you're an amazing Kat. Right until you fight Kassadin or Morgana. You play an amazing Darius, right until they picked Jayce. Sometimes your best hero is a safe pick, Darius is pretty safe. So okay you're good there. BUT ONCE AGAIN lets talk about it. If you play few heroes you only have perspective on a few heroes, and won't know every match up inside and out. Do you get what I'm saying here? I'm not talking about the picks, I'm talking about there always being more you can do, more you can know.
Think about it like mini golf. You can play mini gold with friends. Do you look at the coarse before you swing? Do you use a proper stance? Do you time your shots properly or do you put in the minimal amount of effort needed to get in on the majority of holes in 3 or 4 swings? When do you stop thinking of mini golf as a game for fun and when does it become a competition to win at? That's what I want you to think of. You can play the best game of casual mini golf in your life but that's all it will be, a casual game of mini golf. Likewise you can play LoL casually, pick a hero you like and kinda not CS very hard and stay in your lane for 20 minutes etc etc. If you want to win more games when does LoL become a competitive game for you?
In the end it all comes down to just a mental block.
To keep this article from becoming a MONSTER I'll try to start summing this all up. It comes down to "Trying to win while trying to win" or "Trying to win while having fun." I really want people to stop and ask themselves, "If I'm not trying to win, why am I upset at losing?" Likewise, I want you to stop and think "If I'm trying to win, why am I not trying to win?" This might sound silly, but it's true. If you're trying to win why are you not ACTUALLY trying to win? Now me, I don't always try. Hell sometimes I outright throw the game just to keep my ELO down. But when I'm going up against Dyrus and I know it's going to be a fun game to win? You can bet your ass I'm not going to go "I'll just go Xin and farm all game and not work with my team because bla bla bla."
So ask yourself. Seriously. If you are trying to win why are you not doing everything you can to win? Read some guides online. Pick a rune page that actually makes sense. Stop thinking your unique item build that nobody else uses is just the most amazing thing. Stop thinking your unique play style that nobody else uses is just under appreciated 1200 genius. Stop trying to be a unique special snowflake and determine what will win the game and do it. You KNOW that your bot lane is going to fail, so why are you not helping them? That confounds logic to not do something you know you have to do, just because it might be harder than doing nothing and hoping for the best. Do EVERYTHING you can and know that by the end of the game there was legitimately nothing that could be done more than your cold sweat drenched hands had achieved.
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