The official League of Legends
1v1 tournament, Red Bull Solo Q
, has finally made its way to Australia. And, the first round of qualifiers is taking place this weekend – kicking off Friday, June 19. With the Australian Champion set to score an opportunity to join Chiefs Esports Club Academy
, plus take the stage at the Red Bull Solo Q World Finals
in Frankfurt, Germany this December -- there’s a lot riding on honing those 1v1 duelling skills in time to take the crown.
The open tournament and the rules for engagement (where drawing first-blood or taking out 100 minions or taking down a tower can all result in a win) means just about anything could happen. And on that front the match-ups are sure to be both unpredictable and exciting to watch. So, who better to sit down and talk about 1v1 LoL than Chiefs League of Legends Coach and Chiefs Academy mentor Chris ‘SeeEL’ Lee.
Which is what we did, so if you’re on the lookout for tips, or that all-important professional advice on duelling – read on.
AusGamers: 1v1 without team composition presents a different experience to traditional LoL. From a training perspective, does that difference carry over?
: We currently use 1v1’ing as a practice tool at the Chiefs Esports Club for both matchup understanding, champion understanding, and wave manipulation practice. The difference absolutely carries over to the competitive scene and only adjustments that cater to both Junglers and their timings are made.
AG: Going head to head, at a glance, there’s more immediate aggression in playstyles. Outside of that, what are some of the more subtle strategies or approaches players showcase when it comes to 1v1?
: Champion selection and understanding trading patterns in matchups will be the core of this style of tournament. Delving deeper, it will also be crucial to find correct recall timings on the right waves and wave states to gain an advantage during lane. I look forward to seeing multiple approaches and the creativity required to facilitate those approaches.
AG: If you had to name a couple of “Do Nots” for 1v1 what would they be?
: Firstly, don’t be predictable - especially with your champion pool. If you’re limited to one or two champions the opposition can find easy counter measures before the game even starts. Secondly, don’t resort to cookie cutter builds and summoner spells but rather adapt relative to the game. Cookie cutter builds are builds that are pre-determined, builds that are not 100 percent efficient but still work pretty-well with your champion and allow you to not understand itemisation. Lastly, don’t be disrespectful toward the enemy even if you believe you have a perceived skill advantage. We don’t take too kindly to attitude issues in the competitive scene.
AG: By that same token what are the immediate “Do’s” – what should players be aware of the moment a duel starts?
: Absolutely understand your position and situation relative to your matchup. Both wave states are starting on equal footing and will be entirely swayed by your practice and understanding of the matchup. This requires a lot of research and dedication.
"Firstly, don’t be predictable - especially with your champion pool. If you’re limited to one or two champions the opposition can find easy counter measures before the game even starts.”
Also, make sure to realise if you make one mistake it's not over - just play it out calmly and try to find the next best possible solution. This is crucial in both competitive and 1v1 play. Finally, it’s important to adjust from common Solo Queue (5v5 Game mode) habits as other lanes like Support, Jungle or Mid do not influence your lane at all. You need to take every advantage possible.
AG: For those budding LoL players what tips would you give that might not be readily apparent - from warm up exercises to in-game lane skills/moves?
: If you are new to the game, or new to your Champion - start by trying the Champion in Practice Tool first. Get a feel of how the Champion moves and feels, and what each ability does. Then move on to watching the Champion being played by higher level players in the form of pre-recorded footage as well as some guides on YouTube.
There is a lot of free content out there that will let you grasp how to play better without having to pay a cent. When starting out I always recommend starting with imitation of a challenger player, which eventually allows you to understand their thought process through repetition, which then finally allows you to upgrade mastery of the Champion based off of where they started.
Every high Elo player went through a thought processes to reach their personal conclusion on how their Champion should be piloted. Essentially you are saving a lot of time for yourself as imitation is compressing the time required to start from scratch.
AG: In the Pro space do you feel that there are players and roles more suited to 1v1? What advice would you give to all the Supports and Tanks out there?
: I think a lot of professionals in the scene have a plethora of experience at other roles too - as understanding every perspective is key to becoming a more complete player. I know many Support and Tank players that are more than capable of teaching the more ‘mechanical’ solo laners and that carries a lesson.
"If you are new to the game, or new to your champion - start by trying the champion in Practice Tool first.”
What I’m trying to say is that it’s definitely player-dependent, not role-dependent. If I had to give advice to players that lack the ability to 1v1 at a higher level - I’d start by playing generally (not always) more mechanically intensive roles like AD Carry, Top Lane, or Mid Lane.
AG: Kiting is one of those key 1v1 skills players need to have. What are a few insiders’ tips to get your kite-game to the next level?
: I think a lot of professionals play hand-eye coordination games like OSU
that help with mouse to screen accuracy. Other than that, it’s just about studying how the top players move, imitating them and practicing that movement in games (any game mode). If you’re a complete beginner, I’d start with Bots and Practice Tool and work on cancelling autos and kiting.
AG: Finally, The Red bull Solo Q rules are simple to understand; earn ‘first blood’, destroy the opponents´ tower, or reach a 100-minion score to win. How do you see it playing out – will one method be favoured over another?
: I think we will see a lot of fearful first to 100 cs gameplay due to it being the easiest and safest way to win when given an advantageous matchup. I’m really hoping to see blood baths and aggressive gameplay though.
Thanks to Chiefs Team Coach, Chris ‘Seeel’ Lee for his time. For more info and details on Red Bull Solo Q head here.