Introduction Guide to Ranked 5s for Amateurs.
Hi, my IGN is Soren Eldarion, playing in EUW. I’ve been in the summoners School for a while now, not posting too much but I’ve read these days that some people would like guidance starting a ranked team. I’ve been playing LoL since season three was ending and I’m sure that I would have already quit LoL if it wasn’t for my ranked team and the friends that I’ve made from this team. So here’s a little guide on how to start a ranked team based on the experience of an amateur player.
WARNING: This guide is absolutely not pro and may have some mistakes for a professional environment but I’m 100% sure that it’s more than enough for amateurs that want a different experience playing LoL.
WHAT IS A RANKED TEAM
So, to start building a ranked team the first thing is to understand what is a ranked team, aka ranked 5s.
A ranked team implies the collaboration between five and nine people (this applies for TT but I’ll focus on SR) to collaborate and work together to climb the ladder and prove your skills as a team. The concept is exactly the same than in soloQ but now you are a team, and it won’t be enough the amount of times I can write the word TEAM in this little guide.
BENEFITS OF PLAYING IN A RANKED TEAM
Ok, so we get what’s a ranked team, let’s talk about some benefits of playing in a ranked team.
First of all, you are not going to play with trolls, afks or flamers which is… FALSE. YOU ACTUALLY CAN FACE THESE PEOPLE IN A RANKED TEAM, they can be your real life friends, they can be just friends from LoL or they can be just a rookie in your team who filled the position you guys needed to cover. This is very important to keep in mind, shit can happen, especially when there are LPs going through. I’m not trying to demotivate you from playing a ranked 5s, not at all, but I want you to know all about this because if you don’t want to be “donezo” you need to know about this. There are two single options about this kind of people: You ask them politely to change their manners, or you politely kick them out from the team. Having a Master I player in a team of gold people can be good if you want some freelo but if you are constantly being flamed by this guy whenever you lose it is not worth. Believe me, a ranked team is to build friendships and improving all together, that is the most rewarding experience from a ranked 5s.
So, having this said, benefits of a ranked team:
- One you have deleted the elo-hell kind of guys, you are going to play in a healthy environment, which is more than any soloQ player could ever dream.
- You are going to improve not only in your skills but in game knowledge, and how to face different team compositions, at some point you’ll start finding out which team compositions fits you better.
- Edit: you are going to be able to communicate with your entire team just by talking to them, that’s a big thing that soloQ doesn’t allow you either.
- You are going to make friendship with some people, more than you can imagine. Whenever you play a game, you are going (should) to be talking and listening to four more guys, maybe at the beginning they are just some players, but with time you are going to call them by their name, not their summoner nick or their champion. Bonus point if you even manage to meet one day in a place and play your ranked 5s all together! LAN PARTY YAY!
- You are going to have some really fun times. Even if you are winning, even if you are losing a game, if you are really a team, sometimes you are going to laugh a lot, which again, doesn’t happen a lot in soloQ. Seeing a fed tristana making a suicide insec is more fun that you could imagine, especially when that crazy play let you win the game.
So as a tl;dr of this point, you are going to improve, you are going to avoid elohell-ish people and you are going to have fun playing. Can’t see a single valid point which would make ranked 5s a negative experience.
COMMITMENTS OF A RANKED 5S
Fine, we now know that playing a Ranked 5s is a good thing, but then again, you are playing with more people and that implies that you have some duties, commitments of which you must take responsibility. Your teammates and you should establish these kind of things according to your needs, my personal experience is that we don’t have a specific timetable, we just play whenever we are five people online. Some people prefer to have a schedule, which is fine whenever you all are able to respect it.
Timetables or not, when you are playing as a team, you have duties, with yourself and with your team, and the 99% of them is to avoid creating elohell-ish behaviours. This could be summarized in “be a nice guy”, but some people really forget about it when LPs are in the table.
- If a mate makes a mistake, don’t explain to him why he did poorly, just a simple “it’s ok” followed by a simple help like “try not to push that far when everyone mia” or “lets ward a little before starting the split”. That’s more than enough.
- If a mate is underperforming, don’t say “I don’t want to play more rankeds with you today” or something like that, people are human (no kidding), have feelings and external life besides LoL and sometimes they are not focused at their best, so instead of playing you can spend some time in skype just talking about your day and trying to know why that guy is playing poorly. That’s going to win you all more LPs than anything else.
- If you see yourself best experienced in a specific aspect of the game, like matchups, wave managements, priority targets, picks and bans, whatever, you should try to impose your ideas over the others by explaining them in a good way, for instance: It’s 34 minutes in the game now, you are setting a splitpush , your toplaner and your jungler can split side lanes and your toplaner goes to split top and jungler goes bot. You suggest them that they should go opposite since the jungler should be near baron in case the enemy team forces a fight over there. With time, you all will now which guy is better deciding some things and will follow that calls by instinct, but that requires some time and if you don’t force them and instead keep yourself in a good manner, they’ll recognize your choices as the best ones much earlier than ever.
- As the opposite of the last point, if you see yourself the worst experienced in a specific aspect of the game, feel free to ask them about it, they will absolutely offer you all the help they can because they want you to improve with them, put aside your ego, learn from them.
As I said before, this can be synthesized by just “being a nice guy” but playing as a team is exactly that, being nice with each other so you can play at your best all together.
BUILDING A RANKED TEAM
Finally, entering in more detailed aspects on how to start a ranked 5s, let’s assume that you have already some teammates and you want to start playing. You can play a game or two right now just for fun, to know each other, that’s cool, but I want to give you some tips to give your 100% in the rift.
1. Set up a primary and a secondary role for each player.
Most of the people excels in a lane or two and does not-so-well in another lanes, make a little table with the lanes and the players of your team and see how you can make it better so you all have one primary role and one secondary role. This can be modified with time, especially if the team rooster changes but you want to set up two lanes so you guys can start improving at those lanes. Bonus point: with the new ranked system allowing you to pick your two preferred lanes before going into a soloQ game, this is even better.
2. Know the champions each one of you main.
In the same table that you have made in point one, you can now put the champions that each one of you main (and I say main, not played one or two games) so you can start thinking on the synergy between your ranked champion pool. Here’s an old example of my teammates/lanes table with the champions in each cell of the table.
Playing first the champions you all main, instead of champions that you are new to, or just still learning, is going to make easier for all of you to understand and know which kind of player you are, allowing you (still, with time) better coordination as a team.
Also, this is the perfect element to try your first teamcomps.
3. Start knowing your teammates and their advantages
This is the point when you start playing, beginnings may be hard but they are also full of hype so don’t let the hype train go down. You are going to stomp and be stomped, you are going to misscomunicate because you are starting to work as a team, it’s normal, but it’s going to give you clues on how your teammates (and you yourself) are, maybe you have one or two guys that are aggressive as hell and go for each fight, maybe you have a midlane that is a bully that wants all the kills, maybe you have one midlaner that want to be more of a second support for the team, it can’t be summarized because every player is different, know your teammates, know yourself, and adapt your teamplay as you are playing more and more games.
You can’t do maths here, it’s about feeling and playing together, give it time and you’ll know all about your mates (All about their LoL playstyle, don’t try to stalk his hot cousin, dude).
4. Establish the shotcalllers.
For those who don’t know what a shotcaller is, think of it as a captain/leader who says what are you going to do next, fight for a dragon, trade a dragon for a tower, setting a split push, forcing a teamfight, and so on.
This is one of the things I’ve read most in the summoner School, who should be the shotcaller. In a competitive environment, 90% of the times the shotcallers are the jungler and the support since they are not so focused on farming and trading with the enemy laner at the same time, but for example, MaRin (former SKT T1 Toplaner) was a beast shotcalling, so, could anyone be the shotcaller? Absolutely true. Now, who should be the shotcaller in YOUR team? that’s a different question. Usually the guy with more games played have a better understanding about LoL, so they can make better calls, but maybe he’s not confident enough, or maybe he just isn’t made for leading a team, that can happen. An easy solution about this point is to all of you to try the role of the shotcaller two or three games and see how you guys do. Seeing if you have felt comfortable or not, if the calls were good or not and so on.
For a similar question, what do you do when the shotcaller makes a bad call and you know it may not work? DO NOT SAY ANYTHING, especially if it’s the first time they are shotcalling, always follow the call even if they ace and finish the game, you guys need to always follow the shotcaller no matter what. Hesitating is going to make the situation even worse. With time, you’ll decide who the appropriate shotcallers of your team are.
Giving an example of how my team works at the moment, we have a jungler that is great in early game, letting us know if we may or may not be ganked, and setting up dragons, and for the mid-late game I work hand in hand with a midlaner, he making the “target” calls, and I making the wave-management calls, like the What and How. For instance the midlaner says we need the tier two bot tower and I say lets put top in slowpush, shove mid 4 guys, push bot 1 guy, then rotate in the enemy jungle between mid and bot until our slowpush gets to top tower and someone has to clean it and then we take the bot tower. This looks much more complex written than in-game, for us it’s now more or less natural if we are playing properly.
Tl;dr of this point, shotcalling is not necessarily for a support/jungler, make everyone on your team try it and see how is a better shotcaller. Again, don’t feel embarrassed if you just aren’t good for a shotcalling position, there are a lot of things you can offer to your team, you just need time to discover them.
5. Make your teammates your friends, create a social group
You are going to play a lot with these guys if you are committed to a ranked team, because with time you are going to realize it’s much more fun than soloQ and somehow feels more rewarding, so you’ll eventually have friends instead of teammates. A social group (whatsapp group, facebook group, whatever) is the perfect opportunity for you to keep in touch and talk about things related or not related to LoL (no, not the cousin phone number, don’t be creepy), PBE changes, theorycrafting about builds, things you saw in a stream, things you could try in your next ranked game, things you did bad in the last game, etc, etc.
If you had managed to read the entire post, congratulations, you now know the basics on how to build a ranked team and build a friendship from that team. Playing together is much more important than winning by being a dick if you really want to stay in that team, sometimes one of your teammates will fail, sometimes you will fail and it’s normal, sometimes you will ever screw the game, one of our midlaners (we are 9 guys) had to afk from minute 2 of the game in our last promo game to Gold V and we lost it, but we aren’t mad at him, absolutely not, we insult him every day for that until we got to gold making him play teemo mid but that’s all. I was joking, don’t do that please.
Hope you guys enjoy reading this post, will appreciate any comments if I could add something. Remind that this guide is created on the experience of an amateur team and it’s made for amateur players that want to have fun while improving with friends. Any kind of spaguetti bug may have been made while writing, feel free to contribute yourself 🙂