Yesterday Lino linked me to a Twitch stream from a team of 3 dudes who were in the middle of a 24 hour streaming marathon where they were just playing 3v3 League of Legends. Their goal was to hit challenger without losing and all three of them had been challenger last season so they're clearly pretty good at the game in general. I watched for a while in the hopes of picking up some tips on how the really good players play on the 3v3 map.
The first thing I learned is the super highly rated players have queue times of around 30 minutes before they can get a game. Normally you get a game in under a minute so this indicates there really isn't a big pool of highly rated 3v3 teams playing at the hour I was watching.
The second thing I learned is the matchmaker really gives up on making a good match and eventually just takes whatever it can find. These guys who were challenger last season were getting paired up against people who were silver last season. For those who may not be aware there are 6 tiers in League of Legends with silver being the 2nd from the bottom and challenger being the very best. League of Legends is very much a skill based game, not a luck based game...
The next thing I learned is that watching challengers demolish silvers is only marginally less frustrating than being the low ranked team getting stomped (which happens to us with unfortunate regularity). Having a 25 minute gap between games meant I gave up on watching after a couple hours because the games weren't interesting and there was nothing really to learn from watching them either. Apparently having better mechanics and better champion selection and better strategy and better tactics means you win.
One nice thing was there was a lot of downtime and they were answering questions from the Twitch chat. They were on hour 13 of their marathon and I imagine they were getting the same questions over and over so they were rather curt with a lot of their responses which got on my nerves but there was one good answer that I remember. Someone asked how to stop yourself from dying to ganks if you push your lane up and the response was that you need to push both lanes at the same time and then invade their jungle. They didn't elaborate or anything, unfortunately, but the idea certainly seemed to be you want to have your whole team capable of pushing early and then fight in their jungle for a while. It certainly stops you from being ganked if you're jumping on their ganker!
The last thing that was useful is they have a list of 'god tier' champions for the map. Now that's just a list that 3 guys made, but they seem to be 3 guys with a decent feel on the map. It had 23 champions on it, which seems like a lot for a 'god tier', but they didn't seem to put a ton of effort into their FAQ thing. 23 champions that are really good and then everyone else who isn't. My most played champion isn't in that 23 which makes me sad, but I can understand why. I feel like a lot of the champions they list are the ones that actually have a chance of blowing me up when I'm playing Ezreal and I can see how they'd be really good at pushing early and winning the 'invade their jungle' plan.
Evelyn, Yasuo, Lee Sin, Thresh, Syndra, Lulu, Leblanc, Kha'Zix, Wukong, Soraka, Darius, Udyr, Ryze, Leona, Pantheon, Jax, Renekton, Annie, Karma, Trundle, Lissandra, Cassiopeia.
Renekton is my most played 5v5 champion by far so maybe I should start playing him in 3s and see how that works out? I sure get to push the lane hard early! And the game probably ends quick enough while Renekton is still awesome, right? Right!