Map awareness is the practice of knowing where your team and opponents are at all times as to avoid unwanted surprises that would lead to the opposing team getting a kill. Being aware of where players are on the minimap provided is a crucial step to success in League of Legends, as it allows for you to negate the element of surprise and gives you a very large benefit over the other team. The standard know-how that you should come to expect is the process of calling out ‘MIA’ (missing in action) players on the opposing team, and how pings work to your advantage on preventing you or your fellow comrades from getting ganked.
Calling MIA is relatively simple. For this example, we’ll be using the Summoner’s Rift map as it’s the most common map played. In this map, you have three lanes – top, middle, and bottom. These lanes represent areas to be noted during MIA calls. Say you’re playing top lane and there’s two opposing team members in the top lane against you and your teammate. As the battle between lane control ensues, one of the opponents disappears in to the fog of war and you can’t see them anymore. What you need to do is quickly type ‘MIA TOP’ so people understand that there is someone missing on top lane, and it helps them be more aware of potential ganks in their lane. This is a great tool to help your team members that may not be as inclined to check their minimap as much, and can save your team in the long run. Now, say the opponent returns. Instead of not saying anything (bear in mind we need to assume people are not looking at their minimaps and haven’t noticed the player returning), you should quickly type out ‘RE’. RE stands for ‘return’, which basically means the opponent has returned to their lane. This simple, easy process is the first line of communication with your team and should always be used. Learn it, practice it and preach it – you’ll find that you’ll be winning more games in no time.
Lastly, there’s pings: pings are designed in to the game to allow for direct notification of where a team should coordinate an attack, retreat or be aware of an area in general. There are two pings, both of which will be discussed:
The first is the standard ping, which is defaulted by the ‘G’ key. When you hit the mapped key for this ping and click on an area on your screen or map, it will make a pinging noise and flash on that section of the minimap to inform your team of the designated area. This ping is great to notify your team where someone is to gank them, or where to meet up for an arranged spot to gank the opposing team. You can also highlight a tower to notify your team you need assistance or to attack the opposing team’s tower and/or champions. Targetting a champion with this ping will give them a target sign above their head.
The last ping is the retreat ping, defaulted by the V key. This ping will create a different pinging noise and show a yellow beacon on the highlighted area, and by default it indicates a ‘retreat’ line of text everytime it’s used. This is a great tool to indicate someone that they’re overextending too far and that they need to fall back before they get killed by someone, or that danger is coming.
Proper use of MIA calls and pings will greatly benefit your team and ultimately create better game habits within League of Legends, and you should practice these sound tips if you’re looking to become a better player in this competitive game. For more tips, stay tuned to Spugnort.com for updates and guides to come!