You’ve just accepted a game after sitting in queue for several minutes. There was a dodge, then another dodge, but the third time’s the charm. Positions are called by your entire team at lightning fast speed. You know what is coming next, we all do. You are about to hear all about LoL King and counter picks.
Can we as the League of Legends community put something to rest? It seems there have been an increasing number of players who pick based on counters and not on their actual champion pool. I don’t know how many times “this counters that” is thrown around during champ select, but can we please all just take a moment and realize that counter picking isn’t always the best choice. Here are a few things about counter picks that it seems most summoners don’t quite understand.
First off, yes, counter picks can be effective, especially in certain situations. I am not saying that counter picking is useless, but that it should not be the main focus in champ select over other considerations such as team comp and skill level with specific champs. Is that a good enough disclaimer? Okay, let’s get into the meat of the issue.
Picking a champion’s counter does not mean you win lane
All champions have strengths and weaknesses, which is why counter picks exist. The champions aren’t designed to fight perfectly against one another, but on occasion the strengths of one are the weaknesses of his opponents. That puzzle-piece fit is what creates “counters.” Simply because one champion is superior to another in a single area doesn’t mean that the match up is decided. The match is decided by the skill and reactions of each player, not by choosing the correct champ in a rock/paper/scissors type fashion.
Champions can counter one another, but that advantage must be pushed
For an example, I will explain a simple counter technique with Sivir. Sivir is typically selected (or at least was when she was on par with other AD’s) when the opposing support or AD has either hard CC or a damaging skill that will be spammed, for this example we’ll pick Taric. One of Taric’s strengths in lane is the ability to stun and set up for aggression or ganks. Sivir has a spell shield which negates the first spell cast on her. So, when playing Sivir, you can wait until you hear/see dazzle cast, then use W to avoid aggression in lane.
If you do not use the spell shield to block stuns from Taric you no longer counter him in that aspect. As in any aspect of League, you should push your advantages. If you don’t make your counter effective it will not help you.
Do not pick Champions solely for the sake of a counter
The enemy top laner just picked Singed. According to LoL Counter Teemo counters Singed. Better pick Teemo.
This should not be your thought process when selecting a champion. If Teemo counters Singed, that’s great! Can you play Teemo? Do you understand itemizing with him? Do you understand why the little badger is a counter so you can exploit your free advantage? If you don’t, do your team a favor and pick someone who you are comfortable with. I would much rather have someone who was countered but is playing a champion they know, than a teammate who picked Teemo because LoL Counter said to.
Players who use champs they understand will be more useful after the laning phase ends. If you have a hard time in lane, it’s okay. You can come back and be useful. Plus you have a mid lane and jungler that can help you manage.
This is not a rant, but a simple explanation about counters. I tried to make it easy to understand and useable at every level. Counters can be an effective part of your League of Legends arsenal, but the real power comes from understanding the match ups, taking what advantages you can, and making due with what you’re delt.
What do you think? Do the advantages of a counter pick outweigh the benefits of a comfort champion?