Hello guys! I’m Sharper, Captain, Ad-Carry (Diamond) and Shotcaller for Binary Evasion Phoenix, which is a Swiss team, and today I’m here to share my opinion and experience on the subject of shotcalling. Therefore I’ll not only tell you what I think shotcalling is, but also why it’s needed.
I would be happy to get some feedback and other opinions on this subject, maybe there will be even some discussion. I’m also sorry in advance for any Grammarmistakes or things such like that. English is not my native language!
Shotcalling? Why is it needed?
Everyone who is into League of Legends for quite a bit has heard about shotcalling. It often gets talked about on the LCS Streams (and others) aswell, so it has to be important, right?
However… we talk about it very often, but what’s the exact reason behind having someone doing the important calls? Let me elaborate with the help of my drawing skills:
Drawing skills extreme
On the picture you can see the bottom half of Summoner’s Rift. How does everyone on the Team think they should act around this Dragon pit? Every colour represents a (possible) thoughtprocess of one player (blue side team).
Let me explain you, that this could be possible attempts on how to control this drake (obviously, these are just some ways to do it; there are way more, depending on what happening on the map, wards, etc.):
- Green: “Nah, i don’t think we should fight at drake; let’s trade for mid tower!”
- Grey: “Shit I think we can’t win a drake fight.. let’s retreat!”
- Orange: “Let’s catch them when they try to walk down that path, and do drake afterwards!”
- Yellow: “We have full vision control: Come camp here and engage when they come.”
- Red: “Rush drake and afterwards disengage botside”
As you can see, those are 5 very different attempts on how to handle this situation around drake. Imagine what will happen when each person goes through with their idea: pure chaos. People will die left and right, you’ll lose drake, probably not even getting a push on mid tower.
This is probably the biggest reason on why a team needs a Shotcaller: To prevent the team from ending up in a chaosand giving the players somewhat of a leading line through the game.
Who should be the Shotcaller and how does it work exactly?
The Shotcaller as person
There are many factors that have influence on why someone should, or shouldn’t be a shotcaller. Let me list some of them down for you:
This is heard pretty often and it also does make sense: Some roles in League are better suited for shotcalling than others. This is (in my opinion) the order of how you should choose a Shotcaller depending on their position:
Jungle > Mid > Support > Top > Adc
The reasoning behind this is pretty simple: The Jungler and Mid-Laner already have big influence on the early game (they actually have the most), that’s why they are suited for the Shotcaller-Spot. Jungler even more because he has the overview of all the Lanes and doesn’t have to focus on one himself. Also, he’s the main source of ganks. Often the Jungler also brings engage with him (Jarvan IV, Lee Sin, ..).
Following that, Support is the next suited Role because that’s the player with most map overview (next to the Jungler and Midlaner). As mentioned before, some Supports are also good at engaging, a prime example is Leona.
The Toplaner is on 4th position simply because he’s “cut off” from the other guys on the Map. The Island pretty much sucks for shotcalling, but in the mid/lategame it’s fine. Especially because many Toplaners are forced to play beefy stuff. Ad-Carry is on the last Position because he has nothing what was listed above: Bad Early game influence, no roaming potential, no big engage, nor the time to have good map overview in the earlygame. Yet, for the time when Drakes start to be a subject or grouping comes to point, an Adc can be a very good shotcaller, especially when he plays a Kog’Maw or another Hypercarry. Protect the Kog’maw!
This is pretty simple: You should choose the player with the biggest Gameknowledge. As a Shotcaller you need to know every single bit about the game: When is your Teamcomp stronger than the other one, how do we have to play this comp, what are the powerspikes of certain champs, when is the enemy team misspositioned (so you can abuse this for pushing a tower, doing a nashor) etc.
If a Shotcaller knows the limits of the game there can be some very neat rotations, for example pushing down midlane when the other team isn’t ready for it, or getting an early nashor because of a certain teamcomp (Nunu ahoi!).
Be warned though, if you are new to shotcalling this will take patience and practice. It’s pretty hard to see all this stuff from the start on.
This is yet another very important point. Not every person is eligible for being the Shotcaller. The person who does it needs to represent some factors, such as:
- not being a tilter; you need to keep your Team informed on what’s the plan, and therefore you cannot be a tilter, since if you tilt, you won’t talk anymore
- selfconfident about the game: You can’t hesistate on your own calls
- being able to take criticism: you will get them, trust me
- a teamplayer! Sounds easy, but many players are egoists. You win as a team, you lose as a team
- being able to handle pressure: In some situations you might have to make a hard decision that can either lose or win you a game
- talkative – seriously, you will have to talk throughout the game
Those are the 3 main points that describe a Shotcaller. The more points you fullfill, the better you are capeable of becoming a good support. Obviously, this does not mean other persons can’t do it, I’m just thinking these points will make it way easier for you. I can tell you that I probably don’t suit the role of a Shotcaller the best myself, yet I am doing it. So be brave Summoner!
How does shotcalling work?
Shotcalling is not a 100% effort by the Shotcaller; it is also sustained by the four other teammembers.
A Shotcaller is nothing without proper information from his laners, because without it he has few to work with. This is why it is important that all the persons feed needed information to the shotcaller, such as summoner cooldowns, coreitems built (for example Trinity Force on Irelia, RoA on Maokai, ..), ward positions and so on.
With all this data the Shotcaller can create the next steps in the game and let his team know what to do. It is really key to note, that it is a team effort. A Shotcaller without his team is nothing. Like a team without Shotcaller. It also shows that it’s not hard to play with that as a team, I can tell you that from my experience. It is really from importance that the whole team stands behind the Shotcaller. What I mean with this is, that the team has to follow the call when it comes – even when it’s bad.
There is no room for long discussions ingame (of course you can make your own suggestions, on how to do things, but there is no time for a 5 minute talk!) and that’s why you have to trust him blindly. You can tell him after the game that his one Drake Call sucked, and he’ll probably agree on that. But it’s part of being a team to not let him down and start an angry talk during the game, because this will only disturb the concentration.
Target-Calling and Objective-Rotations
As a last point I want to go a bit more in depth with the two concepts named in the title. Often I heard from people that they thought a Shotcaller is the guy who calls the targets in fights. Whilst this is not fully wrong, I do not totally agree on it. This statement always reminds me of the following video:
Whilst it’s true, that the Shotcaller should give the team a “general information about how we fight, and who is our maintarget”, in the teamfight there are many things that can happen. Imagine me as an Ad-Carry, how should I call a target, if the fight gets dragged out on a long distance, so I cannot even see my frontline anymore? This is why Target-Calling is a teameffort. If there are all of the sudden many calls, you should be sure to follow the one with the most importance. In this case, this is the one which the Shotcaller called at the start of the fight, or if he changed his mind (you never know what happens in a fight; maybe someone is totally out of position or anything like that) his new call. The decision of the Shotcaller should always be number one priority.
The Objective-Rotations though is where a Shotcaller can shine. This shows whether you are good at it, or not. Let me elaborate, that with “Objective-Rotations” I not only mean killing towers and Baron/Dragon, but also what to do when you are behind. For example, warding up your own jungle and clearing their wards, to try getting a pick and some room to breathe.
Also, many People don’t know how to handle massive waveclear. A prime example for this is Ziggs or Xerath. Due to them they often will run into very long games and not being able to close out the game when they have a lead. If you know what strategy to use in those situations, then you are on a good way.