u r da bomb!

I found this screenshot from exactly two months ago, of a game of League of Legends Simon, Ed, and I were playing:

(Click to enlarge)

Yes, that is Simon randomly saying “my support … u r da bomb!”

Simon’s outburst of randomness was so confusing to Ed that he proceeded to forget to lock in his pick, and we got kicked out of champion select back into our lobby.

For his age, Simon is probably the most unexpectedly joyful and youthful person I know.



I’m pretty much a professional League of Legends ARAM player now

Although I generally really like Heroes of the Storm, it’s still possible to get burnt out, even from things you enjoy.

After returning from the NA regional for the ESL Heroes of the Storm Global Championship, Spring 2016 Circuit, I’ve been somewhat avoiding Heroes of the Storm and focusing in more on some other games to keep my gaming experience diverse and fresh.

Historically, apart from season 2 and a small portion of season 3, I’ve been very frustrated with League of Legends. It’s undergone a bunch of changes with which I don’t agree, and nearly every single new cham­pion released has a gap closer (which irritates me).

This frustration only tends to apply to Summoner’s Rift, though, and I still enjoy occasionally playing League of Legends casually in fun game modes, like Twisted Treeline and ARAM.

To avoid getting fully burnt out from Heroes of the Storm, I decided to mix it up and play a ton of ARAM games on League of Legends over the past few stream sessions.

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=DMLpjEwR9pc&list=PLyWU14LEGfKf9KFaabx6zdvr–AXjAaWB

The stream from the 2nd of this month didn’t go too well, and I ended up losing five ARAMs in a row. (The embedded video comes with a playlist, so the particular VOD of my losing spree will play automatically at the end of the active VOD, or if you just skip it.)

Luckily, I’m a bit too careless when playing ARAMs and I was having too much fun that I didn’t really care at all, and I came right back today to play an additional eight more games (with Pantheon, Katarina, Ani­via, Viktor, Vayne, Ryze, Kennen, and Nasus). Those games went a lot better than my five-game losing streak.

As a result of the removal of the Dominion game mode, I heard that Riot is going to implement another fun mode rotation sometime around April Fool’s Day. I’m somewhat excited for that to come out, as it will be another way for me to be able to casually play League of Legends and enjoy the chaotic and silly moments that happen (which, to me, is no longer possible on standard Summoner’s Rift).



Do League of Legends placement matches even matter?

I’ve heard of people who used to be Bronze IV last season who went 8-2 in placement matches and ended up … in Bronze V.

On the other hand, I have a secondary account that I use to duo queue with friends, which was in low sil­ver last season. I purposely lost all my placement matches and went 0-10, but for whatever ridiculous rea­son, it placed me in Bronze II.

(Click to enlarge)

Do placement matches even matter?

How am I going to live the Bronze V dream life if the game won’t even let me drop that low, even if I go 0-10?



To make up for all those 4v5s, I got to play a 5v0

A lot of League of Legends players will complain about how the troll or AFK is always on their team.

If you’re not already aware, that’s a psychological phenomenon where you’re more inclined to remember some­thing bad happening to you, than happening to some­one else. If you lose a game when your team has someone AFK, it’s the AFK’s fault; if you win a game when the enemy has someone AFK, it’s because you’re skilled.

If you actually think really hard about it, as long as you’re not the one going AFK, it’s more likely for an AFK player to be on the enemy team than your team, because there are four public slots open on your team for an AFK player to potentially fill, while the enemy team has five open slots.

Apparently, the game was making up for all the 4v5s that I was having during ranked a few years ago (which was a contributing factor in the culmination of me quitting taking League of Legends seriously) … by giving me a 5v0.

(Click to enlarge)

Yes, that is correct. Literally all five members of the enemy team were AFK. The enemy Shaco came back about half a minute before we ended the game, but he obviously couldn’t do anything while he was level 1.

Laughing at the absurdity that had just happened, we queued up again. In the next game, I guess the en­emy team might as well have just all been AFK, because apparently, matchmaking doesn’t work too well.

(Click to enlarge)

Quinn OP.

Particularly OP against AP Ezreals who are gold league in ranked.



The Dark Seal is OP

Since after season 2, I’ve had an abusive relationship with League of Legends. A lot of things about the game annoyed me – I was infuriated that such a popular game would have so many problems with it – but I still had to play and keep up with it because it was the world’s biggest game, and I was a content pro­ducer and advisor.

Around seasons 4 and 5, I waned down my LoL gameplay to almost none, and mostly just kept up with it from an eSports perspective. I figured that there was no reason to play a “game” when all it does is frus­trate me, and I can gather all my research by watching others, without actually playing myself.

With preseason 6 rolling around, something I noticed a lot of people saying was how short the games were becoming. Most professional players said that their solo queue games used to be around 35 minutes on average, but now they were about 20.

If a game ends in 20 minutes, it obviously means that it’s saturated with action (or else one team wouldn’t be able to reach the Nexus in that time). I’m all about high-action gameplay, so I decided to give League of Legends another chance in preseason 6.

After going into a game, I noticed that there was a new Doran’s Ring alternative that was added to the shop – The Dark Seal. It gives +100 mana, +15 AP, and +25% healing from potions. It also had a passive effect – Dread / Do or Die – which grants +6 AP per kill, +3 AP per assist, and -12 AP per death (flooring at +0 AP and maxing at +30 AP).

If you watched my stream back in 2012-13 when I regularly streamed, you know that I am an extremely aggressive player who loves beating down my laning opponent and making them feel weak and vul­nerable. Even though I outwardly say that last-hitting minions is almost always the most important thing to do in lane, I will still forego farming in order to harass my laning opponent in order to assert my dom­i­nance in lane.

After I saw the Dark Seal, I realized that this ring was pretty much custom-designed for me.

It gives me a larger mana pool so I can use more abilities. It gives a decent chunk of ability power. It gives me a little bit more sustain in exchange for not having the +60 HP from Doran’s Ring. But most im­por­tantly, it rewards my hyperaggressive playstyle. If I manage to get a kill in lane, which happens very of­ten, I start stacking up ability power.

One important thing I tell people I coach is to not stay in lane for too long, even if you have full health and mana, because your laning opponent might have already bought items, and now has a power spike over you.

If you manage to send your laning opponent back to base through a kill, you’re going to start scaling up in power without having to return to base. Not only did you gain +6 AP from the kill, but you also got experience from the kill, and you’re soaking experience from the minion wave while your opponent is not. This almost lets you completely keep up with their item buys, without having to go back to base yourself.

During mid-game, I’m known to make majestically large errors that throw the game and bring my team into a downward spiral (and when I used to play ranked 5v5s, our jungler almost always stayed very close to me and acted as my pseudo-support to make sure I wouldn’t do this). This generally happens as a result of overconfidence – I smash my lane so hard that I forget that I’m still not strong enough to win in 1v3 fights.

The fact that this is a stacking item, and I lose stacks on death, is always in the back of my mind. I have a constant reminder in my inventory to carefully calculate my movements and decisions before making them. Although this isn’t going to make me any less confident in my play, it’s there to make sure that, if there’s a fuzzy line as to whether or not I will win an engage, I will choose not to engage at all (and not risk throwing my lead).

And finally, this item scales well into the mid-game, and is worth keeping in an inventory slot during the earlier late game. Without its passive, the Dark Seal provides 466.25 gold’s worth of stats for 400 gold. However, if you manage to hold on to max stacks, its gold worth skyrockets to 1,118.75 gold – that’s 280% gold efficiency.

So, the results of my Dark Seal games so far? They’ve mostly gone pretty well.

You may already know that I used to be a diamond-level player in season 2, so yes, this isn’t exactly too impressive (and if anything, it’s expected), seeing as my account is currently in low gold rank.

But, the point here is, a champion like Zyra, who is extremely vulnerable to death (especially when every champion and their mom has a gap closer nowadays), can still work extremely well with the Dark Seal, simply because of how good of an item it is for an aggressive playstyle.

I’m an extremely calculated player, and I’ll constantly be running a ton of numbers through my head dur­ing the entire game. There have been times when the Dark Seal has given me so much of a damage bo­nus that I miscalculate my damage, throw out my abilities to apply Rylai’s and Flash away, only to realize that I could’ve just held my ground and gotten a 1v4 quadra kill.

Now, as we can see by my defeat, what the Dark Seal doesn’t do is make you invulnerable to Warwick’s Infinite Duress, comboed with Jarvan IV’s Demacian Standard, Dragon Strike, and Cataclysm.

… That was a rough game.

(This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



As HotS takes a step forward, LoL takes a step back – S6 ranked changes

Not long ago, I applauded Blizzard for making grouping changes to their Heroes of the Storm ranked sys­tem.

Before the patch, players would be able to group as a premade party of any size between 1 and 4, then queue up for Hero League.

I indicated that this was bad, because a large part about MOBAs is playing with strangers, adapting to their playstyle, and working together. By eliminating the need to get along with other people, a critical aspect of MOBAs was not being taken into account for many people’s Hero League ratings.

After the patch, Hero League became restricted to only solo and duo queue. If people wanted to play as a group of three or four, they would have to play Quick Match; if they wanted to play as a group of five, they could play Team League. This restored the importance of teamwork and once again made it a uni­ver­sal element for achieving a high Hero League rank.

Recently, League of Legends decided that this was not, in fact, what they wanted to do. As Heroes of the Storm took a step forward, League of Legends took a step backward and changed their system to what Blizzard already realized was not the right thing to do.

Source: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site/2016-season-update/ranked-improvements.html

So now, if you see that someone is diamond in ranked, you have no clue if they’re truly a diamond-level player, or if they just happen to have a lot of challenger- and master-level friends who carried them up the ranked ladder in five-man premade groups.

Luckily, I’ve become deeply involved in other games, so these changes to League of Legends won’t even be relevant to me…

(This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)




I’m not unlucky, I’m cursed

I’m pretty sure that, in return for everything bad I’ve said about League of Legends and how much better Heroes of the Storm is, Riot has basically applied some sort of curse onto me so every game of League of Legends I play becomes the newest worst experience of my life.

Out of my last five ranked games:

  • 3 have had at least one person disconnect or ragequit
  • 2 have had two people disconnect or ragequit
  • 2 have had allies who have typed out very elaborate death threats (more detailed than the standard “go kill yourself” that you see every game)

During one of the games, after being called a homosexual during champion select for a reason I wasn’t able to catch, we went in game with a Draven who is also an aspiring comedian.

After our Leona accidentally uses her Flash and announces it in chat, Draven intentionally uses it, and re­plies, “same.”

League of Legends - Draven intentionally wastes Flash

Four minutes later, he leaves the game.

League of Legends - Draven ragequits after blaming his support

(Click to enlarge)

Not that it would’ve mattered anyway, seeing as now both our jungler and marksman were disconnected, but the enemy jungle Trundle then proceeds to run figure-8s around my lane, avoiding my wards and thrusting his club up my anus.

(Also, notice how in the second screenshot, my ping has mysteriously gone up to 47ms when it used to be 18ms at the start of the game. I basically live next door to the new Chicago servers.)

I can’t wait for Heroes of the Storm to become more popular so I can just quit this game entirely, instead of being forced to play LoL anyway in order to be a well-rounded caster for the world’s most popular game.

(This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)



Ironside Malphite – New skin preview on LoL PBE, full game highlights

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wwIGTm9EF9g&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc

Ironside Malphite is a new, unreleased skin only available on the League of Legends beta server (PBE). I cut up some highlights from a game I played with him earlier today.

Apparently the Kindred on the enemy team was Pawnce, a well-known entertainer who produces a lot of PBE content. I didn’t realize it until after the game, but when I went to his channel to watch a VOD of the live stream, I discovered that apparently the Rengar against which I laned was a mega troll.

(This video isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or any­one officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trade­marks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)