The Core of Competitive League of Legends Part 3 – Rotations


League of Legends is an extremely complex game, with many of its important aspects often being overlooked. In this four part article series where I, BonkCushy, will be breaking down the “core” of competitive League of Legends, specifically looking at Composition, Objectives, Rotations, and Execution, in hopes to give new players a different way to look at the game.

Each part of this article series will be dedicated to their alignment within the acronym, so today’s article will be about Rotations. Although I am honing in on one of these topics at a time, remember these are all interconnected, so as you read the articles try and make connections between them. For example, trying to understand rotations can be difficult if you don’t have clear priorities for objectives, nor the knowledge of how to optimise your composition efficiently at taking objectives.

What are rotations?

A “rotation” is simply understood as the movement of either an individual champion or group of champions through the map. Although the concept seems simple, the execution in game can be extremely difficult. Timers are crucial for having good rotations; knowing when enemy cooldowns will be up or when a buff respawns dictates where you should be on the map. A team with crisp rotations changes the pace of the game by reducing time between objectives.

Here is a list of some common rotations:

Heavy roaming styles can also fall under the category of rotations. OMG Allen during all-stars demonstrated a unique style to the LPL where the support roams heavily with their jungler to apply pressure. Although Allen’s intention was to make it to the bot lane to avoid TPA forcing a 2v2, he decided against recalling in order to make a play on the map, which he did after meeting with Pomelo by the dragon pit.

Vision Control

It’s no surprise that all the rising teams are working on their vision control, whereas teams that refuse to are falling behind. Vision control is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects to competitive League of Legends and a critical concept to grasp when talking about rotations. Having wards in your jungle can prevent the safety of the enemy team’s rotations, while having wards in the enemy’s jungle allows you to rotate safely by having tabs on the enemy. SKT T1 K and many other Korean teams shine in vision control, as pointed out by Krepo after SKT played OMG in the group stages at All Stars.

Also, do your supports a favor and sell your Doran’s items.

How to Improve Rotations

Unfortunately, there is no replay system implemented yet, but that shouldn’t stop players from recording their own games. Once you obtain a replay of your own gameplay, here are a few points you should look for:

  • Timers – Make sure you, or someone on your team, is timing the following:
    • Important, long cooldowns eg. Annie Tibbers, TF Destiny, Teleport.
    • Buffs (5 Minutes)
    • Dragon (6 Minutes)
    • Baron (7 Minutes)
    • Inhibitor respawn time (4 Minutes)
  • Travel time – Understand how long it takes you to travel around the map.
    • For a reference point, a champion with 350 Movement speed (lowest base movespeed with Tier 1 Boots) will travel from the fountain to the first tier mid turret in 23 seconds, and from mid lane to bot lane blue side tri-bush in 15 seconds
  • Positional Awareness
    • The concept of knowing where you should be given where you currently are, don’t be farming bot lane when a baron is open

I hope you found the information presented in this article helpful! The next article in this series will focus on Execution.

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I am currently a color caster for NESL, and write blog posts for Cloth 5, with a focus on analysis and strategy. I also play Super Smash Bros. Melee competitively, going to weekly tournaments in the greater Boston area. Currently, I am enrolled at Boston College, with a Communications major. To get in contact with me, follow me on Twitter @BonkCushy.

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