Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gaming - League of Legends - Map Control

Importance of Map Control

One of the easiest ways that to differentiate the overall skill of a team in League of Legends is the amount of map control and presence they are able to establish. When you start the game this is an example of what you are able to see on your minimap.

Obviously if you started in the upper right hand corner your vision would flipped, but the amount of vision you have is the same. The goal of the game is to extend your vision beyond that of your opponents, more important than gold, more important than kills, more important than buffs, vision is what determines the current state of the game assuming the players on each team are of roughly equal skill level. Although those other things are definitely important, they determine the potential you have to change the state of the game in your favor, rather than an indication of who is winning. 

What Gives you Map Control

The reason for this is because those towers not only represent map vision but a threat. Map control we can define as a secure visible location, and a location is secure if it poses a significant threat to your enemy. In the beginning of the game, a champion cannot do much to a tower so the map control is very solid. If a level 1 champion tries to attack your tower, or you underneath the range of protection of your tower, in the first 2 minutes of the game where there aren't any minions supporting them, they're going to die. However, as the game goes on longer and longer, these towers become less and less of a threat to enemy champions, which means as time goes on the map control the towers provide gets weaker. 
The tower always poses a significant threat against minion waves though, and more importantly stops them from advancing as long as its there. This means turrets also deny your opponents map presence.

Now what else is a threat that give you vision? Each one of the champions you and your team controls are a form of map control. They give you vision and pose a threat to the enemy champions. Thus your control over an area is determined by how strong your champions are in relation to the enemy champions.

Map Presence

Map presence we'll define simply as an area we have vision of, and can quickly convert into map control. The speed at which you can convert it into map control. Lets take an example of what I mean by speed of conversion to map control. 

If you notice in this scenario, the champions are all spread out to their respective lanes with a roaming jungler. Although in this case this it is the very early stages of a game, this picture will look pretty similar for most of the laning phase. This is because by having the each person split up you can get more things done as well as convert as much of your map presence to map control, by converging on a location. The time to convergence tells us how much of a map presence is available in that area, so in this stage of the game everything is spread out evenly and held in check. 

This is different from a later stage of that same game, where the champions group up to take objectives or make plays. In the following picture you can see that the champions are grouped up in top and bottom lane. 

Because there are team fights going on in top and bottom lane, although they have vision of the mid lane, there isn't much of a presence there. The strength of your map presence is determined by the proximity of your movable threats to the location of visible areas. So even though there is still vision, its not exuding a presence or a force.

The same thing occurs when there is a team fight going on. If lets say the above situation was going on except there was one champion from the lower left team in mid. Because the entire opposing team is occupied, they can no longer convert their map vision into map control, which means they don't have map presence in the center of the map.

Although this may seem basic, it gives us a way to categorize the advantages we seize in game more accurately since we will be talking about how to gain map control or presence.

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