The best way to improve in playing League of Legends outside of hands-on practice is to watch professional players perform at the peak level. Watching Pro LoL games is one of the most entertaining hobbies as a League of Legends fans but the little-known advantage to watching these games is that you get to learn from the best without it being a boring lesson. If you’re planning to practice to become a good LoL player, you need to know which areas you need to watch out for, and here are some things you need to look out for when you watch Pro LoL games.
Why Watch Pro LoL Games?
There’s a reason why a lot of people who consistently watch Pro LoL games understand a lot about a game. Watching these pros on your screen make for excellent entertainment but are also educational in every sense of the word. If you’re a League of Legends player, you should make it a goal to watch at least 1 pro game every week and we don’t mean highlight reels. Watch Pro LoL games regularly and you’ll see a massive improvement in your playstyle.
Watching passively without looking too much into the different factors in the game can help you learn more about the game but if you want to take it more seriously, you might wanna focus on key elements in pro games. There’s absolutely no need to do this if you simply want to enjoy the games and truth be told, you might already be doing these things subconsciously. Here are 11 things to look out for when you watch pro LoL games:
1. Listen To The Analysts
Before you learn about anything else, the first and most important thing you need to do is hit the UNMUTE button on your stream and listen to the analysts. Sure, the analysts might not always have the right facts about the game but that only means that you can create some sort of discourse by trying to compare your opinions vs theirs. The people you should be listening to are the COLOR CASTERS (the caster that tries to explain stuff) and the post-game analysts.
Analysts explain everything about the game and try to shed light on plays that happen around the map. Post-game analysts try to explain in full-detail the mistakes and good points that each team did during the game to lose or gain control. If you’re a beginner and you’re not sure what you need to see during the game, you’ll want to listen to the analysts explanation. Analysts like Azael, Ender, LS, and Jatt have very helpful readings on the game.
2. Study The Draft
Drafts are the backbone of every game. While this might not be applicable much in Solo Queue, you’d still want to take note of the picks & bans when you watch pro LoL games. The main reason why you want to study drafts is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every champion in teamfight situations. Take note that pro games usually play games which are 1-3 patches behind so each team comp they play might not be the best team comp in the present League of Legends patch.
Study the draft to understand why a champion is chosen for that lane. Most champions are usually picked depending on their utility in teamfights or to focus on a single win condition in the game. Bad drafts are often the reason why most teams lose the game and is the main weakness of teams with fairly weak coaching staffs. Even the strongest team in the world will lose to the weakest team if the draft is extremely horrible.
3. Watch Recall Timings
In solo queue, there isn’t much to think about when recalling as long as you do it when the lane is pushed and you can buy an item. In pro play, recalls are strategically timed so that the entire team doesn’t lose control over one side of the map. For example, an ill-timed recall in the bottom lane while the dragon is spawned and the allied jungler is in the top lane can mean a free drake to the enemy’s side. When esports players Train To Become Pros, they need to learn every little thing that can be used against them.
Most teams recall in specific intervals and don’t necessarily do so when they have enough gold or is low in health. This is to alleviate pressure from opposite lanes while making sure that they get the maximum gold and experience. Staying in lane means that you also force your opponent to stay in lane which will give your team the necessary information to make plays around the map.
4. Jungle Pathing
Professional junglers are probably the most unappreciated members of the team considering how much they do around the map. Junglers control the flow of the game and dictate how the opponent reacts to your team’s play. Objectives are the key to winning to the game and junglers are essentially in-charge of taking more than 70% of the objectives around the map. Learn how Junglers play by watching the minimap and understand which paths they take.
Junglers are constantly controlling the map by trying to outjungle their lane opponent into submission. Once a jungler has lost more than 50% of the map, the game is essentially snowballing to the team that has control over the majority. Even solo queue junglers dictate the flow of the game which is why a lot of players on the internet are ranting about how OP this role is. You’ll notice how every important objective dance is won by the better jungler in the game.
5. Objective Control
As mentioned in #4, the jungler has the most impactful job in a pro game because they’re in-charge of securing objectives around the map. The most prominent element of pro games is the coordinated objective control around the map. Fights often occur around the river where both teams attempt to seize full control over the Elemental Drake or Baron Nashor.
Watch how players try to Dance around an area of a map, trying to place or clear wards to seize control over the objective. The team that has the most vision around an objective usually wins the objective control because information is the key to winning teamfights. This is also true when you’re playing solo queue so make sure to learn when the best time to take an objective is and how you need to approach trying to secure it as a member of your team.
6. Ward Positions
Ward placements are the trickiest thing to learn in League of Legends especially if the enemy team knows how to buy Sweeping Lens. The easiest way to learn placing wards is to take note while you watch pro LoL games and memorize where the players usually place their wards. Pro players spent a lot of time researching the most strategic places to drop wards and for good reason. These points on the map provide crucial information and will not likely be suspected of having wards.
Ward placements in solo queue and pro-games are completely different which is why it’s extremely rewarding to watch pro LoL games just to study the perfect spots to get vision around the map. Once you’ve mastered the art of placing wards, you won’t have to worry about the enemy easily getting rid of your wards and cashing in on free gold. Always look at the minimap on pro games to learn where they usually place wards.
7. Observe Lane States
Managing lane states is another underappreciated factor of a game. Laners in-charge of the side lanes, specifically, Top Laners should take note on how pro players manage the lane state. Managing lane states include slow pushing, lane freezing, and other methods of controlling how minions waves move towards another side of the map. Simply clearing out minion waves isn’t enough to force the right reaction from your opponent.
Pro players try to set up a slow-push 1-minute before trying to secure an objective. This is because players are drawn to large minion waves and are forced to clear them otherwise they’d lose a significant amount of gold. The players are then forced either to let go of an objective or let 200-500 gold get burned for nothing, with a slight chance of the wave taking down a turret and giving away team gold.
8. Roams & Rotations
Roams and rotations are extremely difficult to pull off successfully. Pro players have a special way of forcing successful roams and rotations even if the enemy team is expecting it to happen. The key to making successful roams lies in the combination of proper lane state management, vision control, and recall timings. This way, you will be able to roam and rotate around the map without the fear of getting caught out.
In pro games, you’ll notice that rotations happen simultaneously so that players are prepared for counterplays. The team that has the more coordinated rotation usually wins the macro game. Rotations should always be made with a goal in mind such as forcing the enemy laner to follow you even though they’re in a bad lane state. This way, even if your rotation accomplishes nothing, the enemy laner will be losing out on exp and gold if they follow you.
9. Teleport Usage
As a top laner, one of the most frustrating things in solo queue is not having anywhere good to teleport to. Mid laners and top laners need to be able to teleport to fights without the fear of losing important position. Non-teleport users should watch pro LoL games to see how the team sets up ward placements which benefits an advantageous teleport gank and secure yourselves with a kill.
Once a teleport play has been made, the teammates should be able to react accordingly. One common mistake that beginners make is reacting to aggressively at the start of a teleport channel. Remember to wait until the enemy team starts retreating so that you’ll confuse them about proper decision-making. It’s wise to wait until the teleport channel is halfway through so that the enemy won’t have enough time to engage a counter-play against you before the teleport user arrives.
10. Itemization & Usage
When you watch pro LoL games, you’ll notice that players have a unique way of how to use their teams. For example, pros almost never use their Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will because they reserve all three to be sold at the shop later for 45 gold. Players also save gold by doing other strategies and proper itemization helps them save a lot of time spent building items.
Using activated items is a tricky part in solo queue which is why you’ll learn a lot when watching pro games. Always try to look at the scoreboard to observe how players build their items and how they conserve the usage thereof so that they never waste an opportunity on when to use them. You can also apply this on the proper usage of summoner spells.
11. Listen to Interviews
Interviews are always available when you watch pro LoL games. These interviews let the audience understand a player or team’s mentally towards the game and shed light on some decisions made during the game. Listening to these interviews will definitely help you become a better player if you constantly reflect on the things that pro players say during big interviews.
Asian teams are very specific about interviews and explain a lot about game elements and their attitude towards it. You might also be able to pick up some neat life hacks that players do to prepare for a big game. You might not think that the preparation involved is necessary for you as a casual player but you’ll never know which tips will be useful for you to get out of losing streak when playing solo queue.