Improving communication

In my personal opinion a great deal of the mistakes (and resulting toxicity) that happen in matches is due to poor communication between teammates. I'm sure we've all had times where we've started a fight expecting our teammates to back us up and they haven't. Or a teammate has started a fight out of nowhere and died then spammed pinged you demanding why you didn't follow them. In the great majority of cases this is just a lack of communication, and I believe that if we all try to improve our communication with our teammates there will be less mistakes and less toxicity. So how do we do this? Well luckily Riot have given us some amazing tools to be able to communicate effectively without even needing to type anything in the chat. The pinging system is really good but only if used correctly. Like all tools it can be used well and used poorly. Here are some tips on how to improve your communication to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes from your teammates. **1. Don't abuse the pings.** As I said before the pinging system can be used well or poorly. Spam pinging question marks on your teammate when they do something "wrong" is an example of using the system poorly. It doesn't help anyone when you you do it and makes it more likely that your teammates will mute your pings making communication even harder. **2. Don't assume your teammates saw what you did. ** Just because an enemy player appeared on the minimap heading to gank a lane doesn't mean your teammates saw it. When you are so focused on your last hitting it's very easy to miss what's happening on the minimap. So, if you see something that requires attention, ping it so that your teammates know. **3. Make it clear exactly what you are planning to do. ** I'm sure we've all experienced the frustration (on both sides) of a jungler who looks to be about to gank a lane when in fact all they are doing is farming a nearby jungle camp. To help this, I encourage everyone to use the "on the way" pings when they are looking to gank a lane. Good gank communication looks something like this: * Jungler pings "on the way" * Laner pings "enemy vision here" to indicate a ward * Jungler avoids the ward and pings the target * Gank is pulled off and the laner either pings "retreat" or "assist me" depending on whether they want to jungler to help them push the wave Similarly, if you want to go for a certain objective like Baron or Dragon, ping it in advance. Let's say an Infernal Dragon is spawning in 1:30 time. Ping it early, and say in chat that you want to take it. This gives your teammates plenty of time to prepare for it. This gives your support time to put down vision in the area, and for your laners to push out the waves and buy items before the dragon spawns. That way everyone is fully prepared and you are more likely to take the objective. **4. Don't assume your teammates have the same knowledge you do. ** This game is very complicated and there is a ton of information that players have to learn, too much for anyone to know everything. That means there might well be things you know that your teammates don't, and vice versa. Similarly, just because you know what a champion can do doesn't mean you are experienced at facing it. What I'm getting at here is you shouldn't be surprised when someone does something that you clearly knew wouldn't work because x/y/z. Remember this before you start berating someone for their mistakes. **5. Record and use summoner spell timings. ** Knowing what summoner spells your enemies have is vitally important. Whenever an enemy uses a summoner spell it's a good idea to ping it in the chat. Simply bring up the score board and click on whichever summoner spell was used. After that, it's important to keep an eye on the time. Make sure you have timestamps in the chat and know the timings of each summoner spell: Flash - 5 mins Heal - 4 mins Ghost - 3 mins Ignite - 3 mins Barrier - 3 mins Teleport - 6 mins Exhaust - 3.5 mins Cleanse - 3.5 mins And just like before, don't assume your teammates saw which summoner spells were used, so record it in the chat for them. **6. Look before you leap. ** One of the downsides of the ping system is that when you use the "on the way" ping it doesn't indicate how far away the player is from you. I've often had occasions where someone has pinged "on the way" and I've gone in thinking they were a lot closer than they really were. Because of this, I've gotten into the habit of always checking the minimap before I engage so that I know exactly where my teammates are. Similarly it's a good idea to always check your teammates condition before you fight. There's no point ganking a lane if your laner is low on health and has no mana. That's just a recipe for disaster. Again, communicate with pings if you want to engage or not. I think that will do for now. If I think of anything else I'll add it later. Remember though, this is a team game and good teamwork stems from good communication. Thanks for reading :)
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