Upon entering Champion Select, you will meet ten people who will immediately influence the ensuing game. This can be concerning because generally speaking (for solo queue specifically) you won’t know what the other nine people are going to do; it is completely out of your control.
If you are like most players out there seeking those ‘W’s’ in your attempt to climb the ladder, then you, want your impact to be a positive one to counteract the potential negative of anyone on your team.
So how can you achieve this type of influence on your games and become a driving component of success? The answer is not a simple one but this article will discuss the concept of Game Presence and highlight some of the many ways you can bolster your overall impact in-game.
Presence is a concept that is often not realized by many players until after thousands of games, regardless of their mechanical skill, and even then can become entangled in the complex web of League of Legends decision-making.
What Does It Mean To Have Presence in League?
A simplified take: Presence is to have an effect on the decisions of your opponents. Each player has an associated presence that can be either Positive or Negative and happens on two scales: Global and Local.
Players can generate this presence through a number of actions in-game such as:
- Being present in team-fights
- Positioning and Zoning
- Roaming and Ganking
Being present, maintaining good positioning, harassing, and zone control are ways to provide local presence, whereas roaming and ganking are forms of global presence.
Each of these actions help generate presence since each one affects how your opponent will act or react. As an example, if you land a skillshot to harass your enemy in lane, they will often try to adjust their positioning as to avoid further harassment.
As stated before, the presence players maintain can be either positive or negative in nature. Effectively performing actions like those listed above will likely benefit you positively, while consequently, performing the same actions poorly or not at all, can create a negative presence.
How Do You distinguish Between Positive and Negative Presence?
Consider the situation where you are facing a Blitzcrank who has landed every grab he attempts. Knowing that he has landed every grab, do you play differently than you would against a Blitzcrank who has landed no grabs at all?
Undoubtedly, the answer should be yes. More often then not you are going to be doing anything in your power to avoid future hooks. You will burn Flashes more quickly, attempt to position more safely, etc. All because the Blitzcrank has a strong positive presence.
Conversely, if the same Blitzcrank missed every grab, how does your play change? Generally, the negative presence generated by the Blitzcrank’s actions invokes you to play more loosely, since you will be less worried that a grab is going to land.
After covering the basics of presence and generating presence through action, it is important to take a step back to note that presence is a constantly evolving entity that changes with each stage of the game. There are several other information streams that should alter each player’s perceived presence.
Game Knowledge & Information Gathering
Game knowledge is core when speaking about presence because it allows you to estimate the capabilities of each champion and determine effective presence.
By expanding your game knowledge, the estimates you make can become more precise and the decisions based around these estimates are easier to make. Knowing the mechanics behind each champion, relative power levels, item builds and effects, ability cooldowns, jungle timers, etc are essential pieces of information that frame this concept.
In addition, information gathering inside the active game can prepare you with even better knowledge to make stronger decisions and help get those wins we all so desperately crave.
Warding and trading are examples of active information gathering that supply you with valuable data, such as enemy location and comparative power level.
Going a step further, you can even research opponents to get the scoop on their runes, masteries, and common champion picks so that you can possibly counter their choices but this comes with it’s own set of problems as you might adjust your play negatively based on what you see..
Communication & Attitude
It must also be mentioned that communication and attitude play heavily into the perception of a player and their presence. Communication is key when working with a team but can be difficult in a game like League where split-second decisions ultimately decide games.
Good communication can strengthen your presence in-game starting all the way from champ select. Passing along useful information in a positive way goes a seriously long way. Long ago, simply typing three letters could determine whether you were good or bad in a player’s eyes.
One of the big issues in the MOBA community is that as a result of the split-second, game-ending decisions, players often allow their emotions to prevent or severely inhibit positive communication. Spewing feedback at other players in a derogatory way will afford you a strong negative presence and a global one at that.
Therefore, always consider your attitude when queuing up – It will always affect the presence you bring into your games.
Whether you actively think about it or not, you are constantly utilizing information gathered both in the past or present to make decisions that affect the outcomes of each game you enter.
- The concept of presence can be used to describe the impact a player has on the decision making process.
- The presence of a player is defined by much more than just a player’s actions, and often can be equated to how you feel about a particular player.
- Expanding game knowledge and improving in the other areas discussed above can strengthen the presence you provide which in turn leads you to become a better player.
- Also, take into account your attitude, as it affects your gameplay and impacts your team.
Finally, below is a video that breaks down much of what was discussed above and shows you some of these ideas in practice: