As the game goes on and players group up, League of Legends starts revolving around teamfighting. On a pro level, it’s uncommon to see one lineup overwhelm the other in the laning phase, so teamfights are what separates the winners from the losers.
Teamfighting is when several champions from opposing teams battle each other in one area. While killing enemies grants gold and opens up the map, best teams rarely clash just for the sake of it. In professional games, there’s usually a purpose behind every teamfight. Whether it’s contesting Baron Nashor, defending your turret, or sieging the enemy base—every team has a clear goal in mind. And it just so happens that winning a teamfight is the best way of accomplishing it.
Considering that there can be up to 10 champions with their own unique abilities and items, navigating in teamfights isn’t an easy task. But even in the midst of chaos, every champion plays his part. A traditional teamfighting lineup has a tank, an utility-based support, and several carries. The tank’s job is to provide a frontline, a barrier that soaks up damage and protects his teammates. Supports serve a similar purpose but they fulfill it from a distance by casting defensive spells and shields. Finally, carries are the glass cannons that strive to overpower their enemies with raw damage.
On paper, it would seem that the best strategy would be to wipe out the enemy carrier and then take care of the tanks and supports. And while that’s a good general outline, teamfights get a lot more complicated than that. Carries take extra care to position themselves out of harm’s way, making it hard to reach them. But even if you were to try, tanks in LoL also deal sizeable damage, so you can’t completely ignore them. And there’s always the prospect that of getting your kill denied by a well-timed shield from a support. That’s why every teamfight becomes a balancing act where you have to be mindful of everyone’s positions, actions, and available spells while constantly looking for opportunities to make that game-winning play.
Of course, you won’t always see textbook team compositions like this. Sometimes you can skip a tank in favor of another carry or get an assassin that can dive in and out of battles to help deal with less mobile champions. And there can very well be an offensive mage in support’s place. Sometimes teams want to avoid fighting altogether. At least, if it’s not on their terms.
Splitpushing is a tactic that aims to create as many favorable scenarios for your team as possible. It involves a champion that excels in 1v1 fights going into a separate lane and pushing for the enemy turrets. Since the champion is adept at dueling, enemies have to respond by sending several players to deal with him, else they risk losing their turrets. This means that your team will have a number’s advantage on the other side of the map and will be free to force teamfights or go for objectives.
Setting up a successful splitpush requires several other conditions to be fulfilled. First, you actually need to get your hands on a champion that can take on any opponent in the draft. Second, you need to set him up for success in the laning phase since your enemies will try their hardest to shut him down. Third, you need to put down wards in the enemy jungle, so your splitpusher can avoid being ambushed. Finally, you have to make sure that your team doesn’t get crushed 4v5 while your splitpusher is in another lane. Since so many splitpushing champions run Teleport, they can still join the fight in key moments but it doesn’t amount to much if the battle started on the enemy terms to begin with.
Splitpushing is a difficult strategy that relies on vision, team coordination, and individual skill. If you pull it off well, it can break a disorganized team. But if you fail to get your splitpusher going or make a single mistake in the process, you can easily find the game slipping out of your control. Of course, the same could be said about teamfighting. In the end, both tactics have their own merits. It’s up to your team to decide where you’re going to win a game of LoL through teamfighting or splitpushing.