Before the translation
This season was Dopa’s last season before mandatory military service. He decided to talk about how he stayed at the top for so long, and how he views the game. He talks about what he considers to be his trade secrets. It's a long read, but I personally think that it gives insight into the mind of one of the best players to play the game, and arguably the best player never to go pro. You'll get to see how he views the game. The video is quite long, and I already have a wall of text, so I mainly translated what I thought Reddit would like. The video is labeled part 1, so I assume there's more. I may have translated a few things incorrectly, and remarks are welcome.
Edit: This is roughly half of the video, i might translate the rest if I have more time.
WARNING: WALL OF TEXT
Every player has their own way of playing League. No one ‘just’ plays the game. Each player views the game in a different way. Their understanding of the game then builds into their world view, which dictates how they play the game, or what they do as they play. The way I look at the game of League of Legends is very unique. I have built a world of my own. Viewers frequently ask me how to get better at League, and I always answer in the same way. I tell them to play whatever champions they want to play, and just have fun. I do that because in order actually help them play better, I would have to make them understand my viewpoint. I would have to show them the world that I have built. I thought that would take too long, as there is too much to explain, and I’m not even sure that others would understand the way I view the game. But as it's my last season of League before military service, I thought now would be a good time to at least try to make you guys understand my world of League.
To understand the way I view the game, you need to understand what a ‘concept’ is. So what are concepts? They are the fundamentals of the game. There are things in the game that give you huge advantages as long as you know about them. Those are concepts. If you know about them, you know them, and if you don’t, you don’t. Most people who play league of legends have little to no knowledge regarding concepts. If you want to a skilled League player, you have to know lots of concepts. That’s all there is to it. Let me give you a few examples.
Twisted Fate concepts
As you all know, I play a lot of Twisted Fate. Lets think about the concepts that have to do with TF. When you play TF, there are 3 basic concepts that you have to know about. I personally don’t think I’m a very good TF player. The reason that I appear to be better than others is because I am aware of concepts that others don’t know about. You could call that skill, but anyone could do what I do as long as they knew the concepts. The reason no one can climb like me is because they don’t know.
Runes and spells
Before we get into the details of gameplay, let’s talk about runes and spells. I personally don’t think that the choice of runes matter that much. Runes are balanced, so using one rune over another is a matter of taste. The important thing is that you have to play according to the runes and spells that you have chosen. The two major rune builds that I used on TF are unsealed spellbook with teleport, and Electrocute with ignite. Think about how you would lane when using those runes and spells. More importantly, think about how your play style should change according to the runes and spells you have chosen. Should you lane aggressively? Are you playing passively?
When you have electrocute, you should passively until level 5 and avoid trading whenever you can. Try to keep the wave frozen, and save as many potions as possible. When you have unsealed spellbook, you want to play super aggressively. Even if the opponent gets better trades, just use all 3 of your potions and keep trading. Play according to your runes. (reads chat) My chat seems to think that it's the other way around. They think that you’re supposed to lane aggresively with electrocute. Wrong. The greatest strength of ignite and electrocute is the burst damage you gain when you use your first ult. You don’t have teleport as backup if you die during the laning phase, so one death means you’re out of the game. On the other hand, unsealed sealbook lets you play more aggressively because you have teleport as backup in the event that you mess up the laning phase. Anyways, runes aren’t actually that important compared to the concepts of the champion. Lets talk about basic TF concepts.
Concept #1: base timing
The first basic concept you have to know when playing TF is that TF recall timings are decided in advance. Most people that play the champion aren’t aware of these recall timings. This concept is the probably the most important one regarding TF play. You hit level 5, use Q twice, and recall. Of course, you have to play according to the game situation. If you have to recall at 4, then you recall at level 4. But the important thing is that your gameplan revolves around recalling at level 5. Starting from level 1, your goal is to recall after using Q twice at level 5. You play around that goal, though that might not work out as intended.
So how does this concept work? What does using Q twice at level 5 even mean? Let me talk a little bit about TF first. When TF has minion dematerializer and uses it on the ranged minions, using Q twice at level 5 kills the ranged minions. Most people that play TF know this fact. At level 4, a cannon wave comes mid. When you cs the cannon, you become level 5. That’s around when the next wave comes mid. You use Q twice to kill the ranged minions, and then base right away. It’s okay to lose a few melee minions as long as you can base sucssesfully.
The opposing mid can’t contest your base because they need to last hit the wave. They also know that you based, So they usually push in another wave to get the item advantage, then recall. When you get back to mid lane, you use Q twice to last hit the ranged minions, and then you become level 6. What happens? You just learned ult, you have full potions and full health, your just used all your gold to buy items, and the enemy midlaner is still walking back to lane. Why? because you recalled at level 5 before they did. Now you have an uncontested use of your first ult, and have high damage potential because you just bought items. No one else in the game is level 6 right now, just you. The top laners are still level 5, and the bot laners are still level 4. The wave is also a cannon wave, so the opposing mid laner can’t even push the wave into your turret. You don’t even lose exp. That level 5 recall just created the perfect window of oppurtunity to use your ult. This is the first basic concept of playing TF. The difference between knowing this concept and not knowing it is huge. I’m not a great TF player, I just happen to know this important concept. I know this concept, so I always seem to have perfect situations for using my ultimate. It’s not something you can learn just from watching replays. You have to understand the underlying concept. Did you guys know about this? Of course you didn’t. (Reads chat) Stop lying guys.
Concept #2 &3
Next is the second Basic concept. I’ll show you guys first. (Clears wave twice) Did you spot the difference? The next concept is about vision when splitpushing. In League, minion vision is lost in the instant that they die. You calculate the time it takes for your Q to hit the wave, and then pretend to walk a different way while the minions are still alive. When the minions die, you go the way you intended to. This isn’t just a TF tip, but a tip for all split pushers who have skills that move. The opponent thinks you are moving in a certain direction, but you’re going somewhere else. You want to make sure that the enemy doesn’t know where you are.
The third basic concept is also related to splitpushing. As you all know, splitpushers apply more pressure the closer they are to the enemy base. In other words, there are times when you have to splitpush in dangerous situations with zero vision. You have to do this without dying. Knowing how far up you can push according to the enemy comp is important. Knowing how to run away with ult while splitpushing dangerously is the third basic concept. Against champions like olaf, you can just ignore them and ult away when you have to. Against champions like Elise, however, your ult can be interrupted by her E. So you use ult and walk into a bush. Then Elise has no choice but to use E at you, because it looks like you’re running away in the bush. So the important thing is to wait out the skills, and then ult away. This simple tip lets you split push so much further, which is often the deciding factor in games past 20 minutes. Ulting and walking into a bush might seem like nothing, but it is gamechanging.
When you ult back to your team, it suddenly becomes a 4 vs 5 because one of the enemy team members went top or bot to try and kill you. You can use that to clear away all of the enemy vision, which then allows you to splitpush without ult.
Concepts and laning
Are these concepts hard? No, they aren’t. Most of you could use them if you knew about them. However, you can’t utilize these concepts in-game because you don’t know about them. Most TF players don’t know about these thing, so it looks like my TF is better than other TFs. I always seem to be put in favorable situations, and my enemies always look bad. The thing is, I actually suck at TF. I always lose trades in lane, and most of my bad games are because I get shit on in lane. Theres no point in knowing these concepts if you can’t utilize them, and to utilize them you have to, at the very least, be able to go even in lane.
There are concepts regarding laning too. Lets see… let’s talk about the Orianna vs Lucian matchup. Off of the top of my head, here are some laning concepts.
Use Q on the three melee minions at level 1.
If Lucian tries to trade, always trade back even if Lucian procs PTA
Use 3 potions even if Lucian only uses 1.
If Lucian uses both q and w at level 3 to trade, just recall and teleport back to lane.
You’re letting Lucian trade favorably against you so he uses both q and w and you can recall. This is against d-blade ignite Lucian. Trade fast, then recall. Of course, these are just examples of concepts. There are far too many to talk about all of them.
How to find 'Concepts'
Now that I’ve explained what concepts are, it’s time to tell you how to learn these concepts. Theres no point in explaining concepts. The important thing is teaching you guys how to learn these concepts. If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but teaching him how to fish will keep him fed for life, you know? I’ve showed you some fish, and now I’ll show you how to fish.
When you play the games, there are games when you get shit on. If you aren’t winning indefinitely, you’ll lose at some point. When you lose, that's when you look at the replay. What put the enemy mid laner in a superior position? What did they do differently, and what kind of situation did they create? Of course, it’s impossible to completely control every aspect of the game. You’re looking for what they did better than you. Not just what happened, but why it happened. You have to look for the cause, not the result. They might not even be aware of why they won, but you have to analyze the game and find out what made things happen. I personally prefer looking at stomps, because they help you find out what breaks game open.
Back in the day, I was famous for my Kassadin. Did I develop the build? No, I didn’t. I was crushed by a famous Kassadin player, and I stole his build. And then I perfected it. There was a period when I didn’t play much TF because I didn’t think it was a very good champion. Then I found this TF one-trick on the chinese super server, and learned how to play unsealed spellbook TF by watching his replays. I never created the concepts myself, but stole them from other players. I was always better than the original players because I kept on thinking about the reasons, the causes instead of just playing.
There are people who were similar in skill to me in previous seasons who are now washed up and struggle to get out of diamond. The difference between me and them isn’t in mechanics. If I don’t update my concepts, I’m just another diamond player. If those players were to learn all of the concepts that I know, then they would be around the same level as me. I myself would just be another diamond player if I didn’t absorb new concepts all the time. I kept updating my database of concepts, and that's what kept me at the top.
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