The Clash Tournament setting is a dream come true for the League community.

Previously, you had to lug your computer to a LAN tournament in order to compete in a solid, 5v5 competitive setting. Now you can enter a similar competitive environment from the comfort of your own home.

The best part about it is that nobody has to see your gross Dorrito fingers abusing your keyboard.

There are, however, a few things you need to know if you’re serious about competing and winning. Surprisingly, playing your own champion well will most likely be the easiest issue to handle!

Trying to organise the monkeys you’ve recruited to be on your team to turn up on time is a whole different story.

Team Setup

Creating your Clash team is technically, very easy. However, my own personal experiences have told me otherwise. The best and simplest way is to send them this link:

https://oce.leagueoflegends.com/en/featured/clash?utm_source=LeagueClient&utm_medium=OverviewTier1#/

It’s a quick 5 minute tutorial which will give you and your teammates all the necessary information about how the Clash Tournament operates. You also get a free Clash ticket at the end, so it’s worth the few minutes that it takes. Make sure to remind them that it’s just a tutorial though. Otherwise they’ll try to think of a witty team name for 20 minutes and waste everybody’s time.

Getting the Lads and Lasses Together

This is the hardest part of the tournament. Trying to get four other people to commit to playing video games at a certain time over a three day period is a logistical nightmare.

Maybe your friends love League so much that they only leave their room for nutrients and bowel movements. In this case, you should be fine. However, if you work full time and all your friends do too, be prepared for a lot of hassle!

In my experience, the best way to get them organised is to ask them if they know what a ‘calendar’ is and if they know how to decipher such a complicated manuscript.

The tournament starts on Friday, 7.30pm AEST. Have your players locked in and ready to go.

Google Calendar is your best team mate

You should also make sure you have a couple of players as substitutes. If a starting player can’t play the next day, you’re able to substitute somebody into the team. Notify them and make sure they’re on standby when the tournament commences the next day.

Communication

Team communication is the biggest difference between Solo Queue and 5v5 teamplay. You could be playing like Faker and absolutely crush your lane opponent, but it won’t mean anything if your team communication and macro are trash.

I haven’t actually played League at a competitive LAN before. I do however have plenty of experience playing CSGO tournaments. My ragtag team, “The Apes in Capes”, had achieved a respectable few Top 4 finishes at various LAN tournaments before we disbanded.

Although League and Counter Strike are vastly different games, the core aspects of communicating clearly and efficiently are always the same.

It must be noted that efficient communication is a skill that has to be actively worked upon and won’t be a quick fix. You will need to play a lot of games together in order to get the type of team synergy needed to put competent opponents in the dirt. Here are my tips to improving team communication.

Shut up. Now.

It’s ironic that this is the first rule of being able to communicate properly. You might think that you’re decent at communicating. This may even be true. But most likely, if you recorded yourself and listened back to it, you’ll start to understand why your mother never calls you on your birthday.

To be able to communicate efficiently, you first have to stop talking about unhelpful trash. Your mid-laner doesn’t need to know that you just stole the enemy’s Gromp. You have to commit to only saying things that you know to be useful to your team members.

Stop fighting kiddies.

It’s common knowledge that the only place on Earth which has similar properties to the Dead Sea is Summoners Rift. It’s hard to stay calm and collected when you’re getting absolutely stomped on by the other team. The last thing you want to do is get angry at your teammates, even if they are feeding their ass off. The only way you and your team are going to improve is by identifying the issue, proposing a plan to remedy the issue and execute it to the best of your ability.

For example, your mid lane Lux is getting camped by a Rengar. The problem probably isn’t just Rengar in this situation. It’s Lux playing too far forward and not warding sufficiently.

The solution to this is more wards in order to detect Rengar early and Lux needs to play more defensively/under tower. Jungle or support can assist with warding and counter ganks. Lux will have to play closer to tower and for once buy a goddamn control ward.

What you can do to remedy the situation matters. The rest is irrelevant.

Optimise the way you speak

Figure out a way to communicate about the most essential things as efficiently as possible. In League, you need to focus on enemy team positioning, how strong your team is compared to the enemy team, ultimate and summoner spell cooldowns, spawning objectives and where your Jungler invests his or her time.

“Care top. JG topside.” is infinitely better than, “Hey Bradley, I think the Jungler may be on his way top now, but he may have stopped to get scuttle crab. I’m not really sure. But just watch out man.”

Be a ‘5 man’ with a Plan

For the love of all that’s holy, don’t just turn up with the champion that you usually play in Solo Queue. You need to have a strategy going into the game. Figure out your team composition, your win conditions and try to predict which champions of yours are going to get target banned.

Team composition is vital, and often a concept not very seriously thought about in the lower tiers of Solo Queue. There’s no point having 5 ultra-carry champions if there’s nobody there to protect them. Likewise, having 5 tanks on your team will most likely mean that you don’t have a huge damage dealer.

Team composition is a crucial factor in determining the outcomes of team fights.

There’s so many more knowledgeable sources than me in regards to the best team compositions. However, here’s an awesome website which allows you to assess the attributes of your team comp.

Identifying your win conditions are also a crucial element to playing well as a team. Is the goal to have split-push Tryndamere constantly pressure the other team? Or just get your Tristana to late-game so she can 3 shot anybody. Identify what your team needs to do to win and stick to the plan. Otherwise you might just need to ff at 15.

The last phase of your team planning will be to predict the target bans the other team will place on you. As part of the new Clash Tournament system, the ‘Scouting’ screen will show you the opponent’s top 5 champions. The screen looks like this.

Champions Previewed

In this instance, I would have banned Ahri, Draven and Jayce, Renekton and Janna.

Ahri, Draven and Jayce are quite obviously the characters that these players are the best with. They have more games on them than any other champ and their win rates aren’t too bad. Their Renekton also has an absurdly good win rate, so I would ban him aswell to shut down top lane.

Two of their players are obviously support mains, so I’ve banned Janna, which both players are good at. I would also try to draft Morgana into my team composition in order to cuck their hook champions Blitz and Thresh.

The opponents will have similar information on you and the champions that you main. So make sure you have a pocket pick to fall back upon and have a contingency plan to fix your team comp if your original plan fails.

Pray to Rito that their servers actually work this time

On May 25 I took the afternoon off work in order to make it in time for Clash. The lads were excited and ready to go. We had been prepping for this all week.

We lock in and wait in queue… then we waited some more… then after 40 minutes, hopes and dreams all around OCE fell from the sky in a flaming heap of bitter disappointment and nerd tears.

The Riot servers couldn’t handle the load and gave teams a 50/50 chance to win the game. I lost my first ever Clash tournament to a technical difficulty.

Rito pls :’(

Time management, communication, team composition, win conditions and macro play are all aspects which need to be addressed if you want to seriously compete as a 5 man team. Being proficient in these aspects will boost the performance of your team tenfold.

However, it’s important to just enjoy yourself at the same time. My first CSGO tournament consisted of my team trying super, super hard and exiting at the group stage. Trying too hard and treating it too seriously sometimes detriments your gameplay.

So if I had one final tip to give you. It would be practice hard beforehand, then relax during the comp. The skills you’ve picked up in training should automatically kick in without you stressing about it.

I hope you bring your A-game and come back with a Trophy. Good luck to you all!

Dave Long

For Dave on Twitter: @TheDutchman562