Picking a champion you’re good at playing with is all well and good, but picking a champion that directly counters one or more champions from the enemy team is a strategy that multiple high level players use. However, understanding how to do this isn’t easy, and can very easily end up backfiring if not done correctly.
Now, counter picking, as mentioned above, isn’t easy to do. However, there are five steps you can follow to drastically increase the chances of you picking a champion that counters your enemy. Those steps are understanding the champion pool, identifying the picks of your opponent, researching champion matchups, communicating with your teammates, and finally considering team compositions.
We’ll be going in depth on all five of these steps so that the next time you play a game of League, you’re able to gain the champion advantage from the get go.
The first and perhaps the most important thing to do before you even think of counter picking in League of Legends is to understand the champion pool. What we mean by this is that you should have at least some understanding of all the different types of champions in the game.
This means that you need to have a good amount of knowledge about the champions' abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. You should also be familiar with their playstyle and mechanics to ensure you’re able to at least perform well with them without it the champion feeling foreign to you.
You can very easily get comfortable with many different types of champions by simply playing ARAM a lot. Because that game mode gives you a random champion for every match, you’ll very frequently be finding yourself heading outside your comfort zone and having to adapt to different champions you might otherwise never play.
The next thing you have to do is identify the most common picks you come across in your specific lane. This can be done by simply queueing up like you normally would, and paying attention to which champions the players you get matched up with play the most.
The bottom line is that you should keep an eye on the champion select screen and note which champion your opponent locks in. You should also pay attention to which position your opponent is playing in and which lane they are going to be in. Once you’re satisfied with your research, you can directly move on to the next step.
So, you now know which champions you’re most likely to be matched up against, right? The next thing you should do is research champion matchups. Although there are several websites online that can help you do just this, we recommend you hire a professional coach from Eloking and have them show you the ropes.
Why you do need a coach to research champion matchups? Well, in addition to knowing which champions will be good to counter the enemy picks, you also need to shortlist which champion will be best suited for you depending on your playstyle. Additionally, you also have to pair up runes and spells specific to the champion you’re playing otherwise you won’t be able to make the most of their abilities.
If you decide to go along with this by yourself, then keep in mind that you should look for champions that have a high win rate against your opponent's pick and consider the items and runes that work well against them.
Of course, counter picking to ensure you have an advantage when laning is good, but sometimes you have to consider both the teams as a whole. For example, if the team requires a tank, and you were thinking of picking a champion that isn’t a tank to counter pick your enemy, then it might be a good idea to sacrifice the counter pick advantage and play as a tank for the team.
You need to pick a champion that fits well with your team's strategy and compliments their strengths, since if you win your lane but aren't able to contribute anything further to the team’s composition, then that’ll mean you won’t be able to contribute to the match as a whole. You should also consider your team's playstyle and which champions they are comfortable playing.
You want to make sure your team has a balanced composition with each role covered, the champions you and your teammates pick should complement each other's strengths and weaknesses, and finally, you also want to take into consideration how the champion you're picking stacks up against the entire enemy team as a whole and not just the enemy you'll be against when laning.
Finally, before counter picking you should also communicate with your teammates efficiently. You should let them know which champion you are going to pick and why you are picking it. This is important because it helps your team adjust their playstyle and strategies accordingly.
There are some things you should keep in mind as well when communicating what champion you’re picking to your teammates. However, the most important is to simply be clear and concise all the while refraining from using language that’s too complex otherwise your thoughts might not get across properly.
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