Geek Ink Thinks: The Road to Gold – 9 Real life lessons that are applicable to competitive League of Legends

League of Legends logo

Following on from my previous Road to Gold post, I’ll be bringing you 9 real life lessons that are applicable to League of Legends. Most of these are common sense, but sometimes we need a reminder about these things.

Jack of all trades, master of none

jack of all trades

Specialise. Specialise. Specialise.

In League you have five players, each of whom has a specific role. If you want to get climb up through the ranked system but keep on switching roles, you’re not going to have much success. You’re not going to learn all the intricacies of each role which will only hold you back. Even if you do decide “Ok, I’m going to get good in this role” but keep on playing a mix of champions that suit that role, you’ll still struggle. Each champion has their own strengths and weaknesses. You need to take this idea further and play only a few specific champions for that role so that you can learn how they play inside out.

Practice makes perfect

sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something jake the dog

If you want to be great at something, you also need to sink a lot of time into it. Yes, some people have certain aptitudes towards certain things which will give them a bit of an edge, but the man or woman who dedicates their time to their craft will surpass the person who is naturally good at something. Oh, and never use lack of “talent” as an excuse to not try. And if you don’t believe me, read this book.

No League pro ever got good by not playing League. The top players dedicate most of their time to honing their craft.

I cannot do this alone

Cannot do this alone

In life there will often be things that are too much for one person alone to handle. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with the right people who have the same objectives and goals in mind so that you can work together in order to achieve them.

No matter how good you are at League, you cannot take on five people single handedly and win (unless they’re all really, really bad at the game).

You’re not going to get along with everyone

don't get along dbz dragonball z

I’ve met a few people who I logically should have gotten along with. We were into the same hobbies, came from similar backgrounds, but you know what? We just didn’t get along. There isn’t a good reason for this, that’s just the way it was.

Sometimes there’s going to be that player that causes issues in the team, but sometimes you’re just not going to synergise with your teammates, and it’s not because they’re dicks. We each have different play styles and attitudes, and sometimes players just don’t naturally gel.

Assholes never prosper

asshole meme

Ok, this isn’t entirely correct, but it’s true for the most part when it comes to League. Some people will always try to drag you down. Don’t let them get to you.

In League, some players are good but they’re toxic. They will go “Oh, I completely dominated, too bad my team sucks”. This person often thinks they are “helping” when they tell you you’re playing badly, or point out how well they are doing in comparison to you. There’s also some players who are bad and are also dicks. In a recent game I was playing, our worst player was giving advice to everyone instead of worrying about improving his level of play. Unfortunately this guys attitude was so bad that when I told him to worry about himself instead of worrying about the rest of us, he told us “Good luck 4v5” and left.

Sometimes, you just cannot win…


Sometimes the odds can really be against you, and in these situations you’re probably going to lose. Smurfs, lag, leavers or playing in a role you’re not used to. Despite what Riot may say, ranked play is not all that balanced.

…but being positive and not giving up will generally lead to more success

I consider myself a very jaded and cynical person, but even I am not so blind to the fact that trying is always better than giving up. If you give up, the situation is guaranteed to end a certain way. If you try, things might just turn in your favour.

Players with a negative attitude are the worst kind of teammates. We’ve all experienced it. Things start to go bad and someone keeps on wanting to surrender because the game is “over”. The game isn’t over until the nexus falls (in most cases anyway).

Everyone has bad days…

Calvin and Hobbes bad mood

Everyone has bad days, learn to cut these people some slack. I’ve had games where where I’m playing a role I’m not that good at. Usually in these games, I’ve gotten owned. Or maybe someone got crapped out at work for something that was beyond their control so they’re mentally drained. Nobody’s perfect, and if the player’s genuinely trying, just leave them alone.

…but  some people are just dumb

I don’t understand how dumb people are successful or get into positions of power in life, but sometimes they do. Sadly there isn’t much you can do about this but accept it and pray they don’t make your life problematic.

In League you sometimes have to make do with these people if they somehow end up on your team. I recently lost two games because players decided to pick badly, even when the rest of the team warned them that what they were doing was a bad idea. There is nothing you can do to help these people. Just accept that this is time you’re not going to get back and move on.


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