So it’s not quite mid-split in the LMS thanks to Chinese New Year, but IEM Katowice still means the same break. While Flash Wolves represent the region on the international stage, the rest of the table will look to get some much-needed practice. Here are the standings:
In case you haven’t heard, LMS gets three spots at Worlds this year, and though that’s quite a while away, it’s what everyone’s really playing for, right? Well, if we had to predict right now who would take those spots, it would be no contest. AHQ and J Team are heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition, and Flash Wolves are way ahead of them. Which raises the question: what can any of the other teams possibly do to catch up and make it competitive? Here’s five ways they can look to get it done:
- Expand Champion Pools
I mentioned a bit back that the LMS teams were starting to ban different champions from the red side, even before other regions were doing so. This was because most players couldn’t actually play these picks. Even though the meta is changing, it will be important to be able to play whoever might be extremely useful at a given time. It’s easier said than done to just master more champions, but it’s the number one reason why the top teams have stayed at the top.
- Better team compositions
Right alongside the first reason is an inability to draft teams that have a common win condition. That’s partially because many players rely on comfort picks. But it also has to do with the occasional questionable drafts. Trying to splitpush while also looking for picks as a group doesn’t sound successful in theory, so how do you think it goes in practice? Then there’s the task of playing to that win condition, but that’s a separate issue.
- Think Outside the Box
On the opposite hand of being good at the meta, there’s breaking it. The LMS is a smaller league with a less stable host of players. Throwing curveballs at the opposition is a good way to pick up easy wins against worse teams while giving yourself a fighting chance at toppling a giant. We’ve seen it work at Worlds with wild card teams, so why can’t it work here? Time to bust out Karthus support.
- Stop Trying to Be the Hero
I say this because that’s exactly what it looks like. We’ve all had those games where three people die in a skirmish, and then that one guy goes in with half health thinking he can finish off the four low enemies. And then he dies, and someone else goes in and does the same thing. It’s infuriating, and more importantly, it doesn’t work. So imagine seeing a pro do this. Cut your losses and avoid creating a snowball. It will take a team effort to rise to the top of the league. And while you’re reading this, remember it for your games too.
- Better Ward Coverage
Now we’re really into the basics, but doing the basics well makes good teams. Having 15 wards on the map as a team doesn’t help if they’re all in the same quadrant of the jungle, because it limits your ability to do anything else anywhere else on the map. And yet it happens from time to time, at all levels, and it never fails to show up in these games with lower level teams.
If you wanna catch the action, or learn from the LMS games yourself, head here next Friday at midnight PST when play resumes!