Jayce vs Cho’Gath in Top Lane — Cho’Gath is currently behind

How to Play from Behind: Altering your Playstyle

This week, I’ll be talking about How to Play from Behind. In this article, you will know how to know and calculate when you are behind. I will also include how to change your playstyle to stop your enemies from snowballing. Finally, you’ll know what you can do to catch up with your enemies.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU’RE BEHIND

The first step to catching up when you are behind is knowing you’re behind in the first place. This is something some people find quite hard to determine, so I’ll tell you some ways how you can tell if you’re behind.

If you are losing trades with your enemy, it can mean two things. It means that you are either behind or in the danger of falling behind. Trading can be quite complex. But to make things simple, losing trades is when you and the enemy have a quick scuffle, and he comes out with higher HP. If this happens a lot during Laning Phase, it can lead to you falling behind. If you are taking a huge loss in trades, it is likely that you are behind and you should begin to change your playstyle.

If you have started taking a huge loss in trades that you cannot even get near the minion wave, it’s called “being zoned”. This happens because you cannot go near minions without dying or taking a lot of damage. Often times, this means you are behind in lane. In the two previous examples, those are obvious ways to tell when you are behind. But, there is an easier way to tell if you are falling behind before it actually happens, or when it isn’t too severe.

This is by calculating your advantages versus your enemies. Compare creep scores (CS), kills, assists, and what other objectives your teams have. This can be the easiest way to tell if you are behind, and how far behind. It’s important to not let your ego in the way. Many people will say to themselves “Oh, I’m only 20 cs down” or “It’s only 2 kills ahead, I can still win!” That attitude will only get you further and further behind.

CHANGING YOUR PLAYSTYLE

Now that you have admitted that you’re behind, it’s time to take the first step of recovery. Low tier players often fall into a certain trap. After they realize that they are behind, they get this sense of urgency to catch up before their team rages at them. This is the trap that often causes people to go 0/5 during lane in 10 minutes. That’s because they are desperate in trying to get back into the game by fighting an enemy who is already stronger. This likely happened because he was good enough to beat you when you were even.

Once you have realized that you are behind, don’t be that guy, and stay positive instead. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. Getting all sad and grumpy about being the slightest bit behind isn’t going to help you catch up. In fact, it’s going to do the opposite and cause you to make more mistakes. Being grumpy also risks you setting off your teammates, so stay quiet, stay calm, and focus on your game.

Also, now that you’re behind, the game has changed. You are no longer aiming to be the god who smites all filthy casuals who looks at you wrong. Now is the time that you need to stop playing that way. In all seriousness, doing this is like watching a small boy punch a cactus because it pricked him. This means that you should stop looking for flashy plays or engaging without backup. In this situation, you need to play the thief. You need to sneak around and snatch every little morsel you can get without getting caught. That is your game now. Soon, you have finally caught up and are even on terms. Once you see your enemy out of position, or somebody who is further behind you, BAM! Now you can go forth to be the king of the rift.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO CATCH UP

First simple thing is to accept that there will be losses. There are going to be things that you can’t do, that your enemy can. Those things can lose you the game and you have to accept it. You will get zoned, you might lose a tower, and your enemy might roam. These are facts of life when you are behind. As long as you are avoiding death by letting them do these things, you’re doing the right thing.

Much like you having inevitable losses, there is a whole bunch of new things you can count as victories now. You can think of these as your own personal mini-games to yourself. Some ways to win are:

  • Not giving your enemy kills. While you might miss some cs, lose a tower, or whatever, not giving the enemy a bigger advantage with kills, is a win.
  • Stopping your enemy from snowballing from other lanes. Even if you are behind and you need gold for that B.F. Sword, placing wards is still important. Doing so will defuse your enemy laner’s ability to roam and get kills elsewhere. The last thing you want to do is have him disrupt your other lanes. This is why communication and vision are essential.
  • Siege Minions and Neutral Camps. Try your best to get these because they are a great way to increase your gold. Your enemy will likely miss these if they are focusing super hard on killing you.

Finally, be a team player. Even if you’re behind, you are not completely worthless. Pretty worthless, but not completely. So leaving your team high and dry in a 4v5 so you can farm 4–6 minions isn’t worth it. It’s important to catch up for your sanity and pride but helping your team is still important. This means being around for Dragons, being able to roam when you can, talking to your team, and Warding. All these will help your team carry you in dire situations.

Remember, you don’t always have to carry. Sometimes you need to be light enough for others to carry you.

That’s a wrap! As always, I hope you learned something from this article. Good luck on the Rift!

My name is Symeon “Midnight” Seguis. I am a League of Legends coach that specializes in strategy and player improvement. I like to write guides and analysis!

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Midnight

Midnight

My name is Symeon “Midnight” Seguis. I am a League of Legends coach that specializes in strategy and player improvement. I like to write guides and analysis!

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