Map Awareness in League of Legends
Map awareness is an incredibly important thing in League of Legends, and Lee Sin the blind monk would even tell you that it’s a virtue. Keeping an eye on your surroundings and the mini map in the corner can mean the difference between a win and a loss. Some of the finer points of map awareness include wards, using abilities as to grant vision, knowing where to go and the Dude Potential.
First up is warding. although supports are typically meant to carry sight and vision wards, anybody can buy them, even an AD Carry (it really works!). Having a ward in the inventory can save a life, as well as a lot of frustration. Rather than facecheck a bush (walking into a bush without knowing what’s inside) someone with a ward can place it just ahead of them and potentially avoid a trap that was waiting for him or her. On their way to Summoner’s Rift are some cool new skin wards that will let you spice up your vision with the Ward of Draven, Luminosity Ward and the Starcall Ward.
Players can utilize their abilities to grant vision in bushes by playing champions like Jarvan IV, Zyra, Maokai and Teemo. Jarvan’s Demacian Standard can be placed anywhere in an 830 range around him, granting a range of 700 vision, but can only use the ability when off of cooldown. Zyra’s Rampant growth can be placed within 825 range on the ground around her to provide a small amount of vision, but if walked on that opponent is visible to Zyra and her team for two seconds. Zyra can hold up to two seeds at any given time and place up to four at a time.
Maokai’s Sapling Toss is another useful ability for granting vision and map awareness. Toss-able within a 1100 range, Maokai can throw little saplings that will sit in place for 35 seconds until it expires or finds someone to chase. The saplings grant 350 range vision and can potentially be placed an unlimited number of times provided the Maokai has enough cooldown reduction and a large enough mana pool. Last but not least, Teemo’s ultimate Noxious Trap can not only provide some vision, but help a player gain a kill or avoid an unfavourable situation. With the potential to place unlimited amounts of mushrooms, Teemo can hold up to three mushrooms at once, but only at level six. Once level six Teemo can place a shroom that grants a 212.5 vision range, but if walked over by an enemy it detonates, slows and reveals that enemy. There are more champions with abilities that can be used to grant vision, but these are just a couple common examples.
Another part of map awareness is walking out of the fountain, looking at your map and knowing where to right click. A good portion of getting better at this comes from just playing the game over time and being able to translate what certain situations mean for you. There are too many permutations to go into in just one article, but there are a few situations that generally apply to nearly each game. For the most part, a laner will just want to head back to their lane each time until towers begin to fall. When your tower is down or you take down theirs, it opens up the possibility for roaming, because whoever travels out too far alone could be a sitting duck. If you find yourself with a lost tower, make sure you head back to your lane if it’s still being pushed or head to another lane to try and make a play.
Once the game progresses into the mid or late stage, players will look at the map and want to travel to whatever area they should be in, in about 30 seconds. Due to the fact that it takes time to leave the base and reach your destination, you’ll either want to think ahead to be there earlier or think ahead to where you should be going relatively soon. If the entire enemy team is missing from their lanes and any other vision you might have it’s either a coincidence or they’re busy taking dragon or baron, which transitions into the next topic, Dude Potential.
In this Riot made video two Rioters describe what is called the Dude Potential. Check it out and listen carefully, because all of these things could save your virtual life one day!