League of Lessons is a weekly series about learning to play League of Legends after a seven-year absence, trying not to break the Summoner's Code in Solo Queue, and all the wonderful parts that come along with the journey to Level 30.
I’ve started to queue on my own more reliably, forgoing the safety offered by other members of theScore esports’ editorial staff ― though, in truth, it often just felt like I was being placed against opponents I probably shouldn’t be facing.
That was part of my motivation to fly solo, but perhaps more than that, I really wanted to reach Level 18 to get my keystone mastery, and I couldn’t wait any longer for supervising editor Sean Wetselaar to grace me with the presence of his Ivern play.
'Pick a real support'
Not sure where it stacks up against Yasuo, but Lucian being in the free rotation was the worst part of the week. In almost every game, my ADC played Lucian. Similarly, every game, my ADC thought they were Doublelift.
The most frustrating part was a pair of back-to-back games where my Lucians had very different opinions on how a support should play ― and they voiced those opinions loudly and repeatedly.
Malzahar was my focus for this week; I thought he was an interesting support choice and his ultimate is really effective. I locked him in, built standard support items, got to lane... and my Lucian dived in and died at Level 2.
“I knew you were a troll. Next time, pick a real support that can heal.” Not that I’m an expert, but I guess he hadn’t seen any high-level games of League in a really long time.
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Not a great start, but I tried to remain calm. I kept playing my game, ensuring ward coverage and trying to follow up when he dove in recklessly. Laning against a Tristana and Karma, he was 0-3 pretty early on from all the aggression, even when we were obviously behind.
He said he was just going to farm. "Okay," I thought, "I’ll go set something up mid for our Yasuo." We score a kill on Vel’Koz with my ult. The Lucian says “OH GREAT, my support abandoned me,” this time in all chat.
“That Malzahar is the only reason your team is in this at all,” the enemy’s jungler replied.
The delicious chat victory was followed by a brawl in all chat. The other team ridiculed the Lucian and gave me props. I got some honors after the game, I reported the Lucian and got a notification that someone had been punished because of a recent report shortly thereafter.
I feel good about my play that game. We lost, but I don’t feel like I was the biggest reason for that. Our jungler had a rough go (0/13/10) and was a non-factor very early on in the game. I set up the Lucian a lot after the laning phase but he was as indignant as ever. I went 7/7/13 in a 50-minute game.
'Don’t play a healing support'
I decided I’d try to play a game on Soraka, and was met with the opposite reaction. Again, my Lucian (basically a position of its own at this point) wasn’t happy with my pick.
“I hate support players who play healers, it’s for bitches... don’t play a healing support.”
I guess I just can’t win!
I was spam healing him in fights, saving ults for him, but he just wanted to die. He had a death wish.
“Dude, you know you can heal in fights, right?”
We lost, with the Lucian hard-feeding and going 11/14/9.
I was done. I queued as top, got into a game as Rumble that was remade, and then logged off to prevent myself from putting my hand through the monitor.
Touched by a Fangrill
I eventually returned, but this time decided I’d mess around with a new support. At least that way, I’d have the joy of learning something even if the game was horrible.
I locked in Taric, my ADC locked in Ezreal. His username was C9 Fangrill.
If they were a fangrill, then they had learned a lot from Sneaky. Our TOP LANE LUCIAN started flaming the entire team and eventually ragequit the game. It was 4v5 time.
The Fangrill had remained silent the entire time, displaying incredible skill. Their reaction times were really good, and they were not deterred by the ragequit. We took the fight to the enemy’s base. He flashed over the wall, I panic-ulted him. He got down to extremely low health in his duel.
The Taric ult went off, he cleaned up. We would ultimately win the 4v5, with the Fangrill finishing 17/4/7.
Honestly, it felt like this was a high-level player’s smurf. I’m glad we won, if only because the Lucian’s toxicity was not rewarded by a loss.
Pool Party Panacea?
A thought struck me about this week, and I can’t help but include it here.
I’m in the Bahamas this week for the Hearthstone Championship Tour ― or so I’ve been told. Truthfully, the edges were starting to fray in my LoL play. Doing a bit of digging, I discovered that New Providence ― the island where Nassau is located ― became known as “the sanitarium of the Western Hemisphere.”
I thought nothing of it at first, but I’m pretty sure I saw Pool Party Graves spying on me as I was playing Hearthstone on my tablet Monday evening. I can only conclude that my colleagues think I’ve contracted the most dangerous disease of all.
The road so far
Stats to-date: 33-35 (48.5%) in normal modes
Top champions so far: Soraka (6-5), Braum (6-4), Alistar (4-3), Miss Fortune (3-0)
Favorite new champion of the week: Malzahar (2-4, god bless)
Truly outrageous focus champion for next week: Taric
Throw of the week: Malzahar (Support), 0/6/5
I won a game on Rammus game of the week: Top lane, 5/7/14
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports and is ashamed to say that he actually loves League of Legends now. You can find him on Twitter.