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League of Legends 101 – How to play mid lane

The middle lane has long been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding roles.

Middle lane inherently is one of the most difficult positions to play due to it’s positioning in the center of the map. Open to ganks and roams from top and bottom lane, midlane can be a very daunting role. Simultaneously, middle lane is also the most impactful, as winning lane grants your team invaluable map control. Being a midlaner is certainly not for the faint of heart, as you will live and die by your ability to solo kill, trade, and juke enemy champions.

The Champion pool

There are plenty of viable picks for the mid lane with an ever growing pool. The two primary and most popular champion archetypes however are assassins and mages. While other champions can certainly fit into the solo lane, these should be the staple of any successful midlaner.

Assassin champions encompass the likes Akali, Talon, Qiyana, Fizz, and far, far more. Near legendary League of Legends players such as Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok built entire esports dynasties off the back of assassins and have inspired countless prodigies and aspiring pros since. These champions can range from incredibly mechanically demanding to relatively simple. For midlaners just starting out, Zed would be a great introduction to the champion type. Zed can easily teach the mechanics of basic combos and the fundamentals of trading.

Mages are more of a standard pick that can provide massive CC in teamfights and scaling options. Options such as Orianna, Syndra, and Ryze have historically been the most prevalent, however every mage has their own distinct flair. Picking a mage you want to learn depends on what you want out of their kit, as stated every mage has a specialization.

Wave management and warding

Since trading is such an integral aspect of the role, especially if you’re not a mana user playing against a mana champion, wave management is incredibly important. Minions can make the difference in a 1v1 scenario, as when the enemy wave is stacked, it is far more prudent to go under tower and farm your opponent. This not only provides you with a gold advantage, but gives opportunity for your opponent to overextend for either a solo kill or gank.

Pushing mid inevitably will be integral, as the midlane is the passage way to the two major objective pits in top and bottom river. Getting your opponent’s tower first and pushing out your lane inherently gives your team priority over these objectives. Getting early objectives such as the herald is integral to pushing out the lane and can be used to occupy the opponent as you accrue leads across the map.

As stated previously, Middle lane is vulnerable to attacks from all directions. This makes it so there are very few ‘obvious’ ward positions to prevent, or at least telegraph, enemy ganks. Early on vision wards around blue and red buffs can give valuable information on invading junglers.

Roaming midlaners

Your center placement on the map will continue to be your greatest asset as a midlaner. This not only gives you the fastest route to objectives and the enemy nexus, but also gives you plenty of ‘roam’ potential. Keeping your minion wave pushed is the only scenario where you can leave the lane to assist in other parts of the map. Otherwise, the enemy midlaner can cash in on your vacancy.

Some midlane champions are far better at roaming than others, as Twisted Fate, Ryze, and Galio all have global ultimates. Global ultimates allow you to traverse great distances in a matter of seconds, or return to lane after your adventure. Roaming is great way to set up unexpected ganks, get objective priority, or to help you team in cross map skirmishes.

Summoner spells and playstyle synergy

Summoner spells are an integral addition to any LoL player’s kit, but are especially important in the solo lanes. Flash is integral to every player as it allows for an amount of error, quickly getting you out of a situation and avoiding potential 1v1 deaths. Defensive spells such as Cleanse will be important if facing a lane opponent with strong CC ability.

Aggressive spells such as Ignite are perfect if you’re opting for close range, assassin type champions and feel as though you will a little extra burn damage to finish off a 1v1 trade.

Ultimately, summoner spells depend on the playstyle you want to pursue. Whether aggressive or defense, finding your playstyle is the important above all else.

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Image Credit: Riot Games