Feeding, at least in League of Legends, can be loosely defined as an avoidable death where the cost of your death exceeds any potential benefit to your team. Feeding is occasionally done intentionally to grief teammates, but for many newer League players, it’s entirely accidental. The first step towards feeding less is admitting that you’re making egregious errors in your play and after doing that, you can start to identify the causes behind your feeding. Whether you’re looking to win more or simply just die less, a good place to start is by examining how you can improve your map awareness.
Feeding Because of Poor Map Awareness
The most crucial part of map awareness is paying attention to what the other nine players are doing. Where are they, and what are they doing? It sounds simple, but it quickly becomes more complex — you also have to keep a mental timer of objective respawns and monitor your team’s vision.
Good map awareness lets you duel your lane opponent without fear of a jungle gank, make plays with global abilities, and sneak neutral objectives by way of vision control. Having poor map awareness is like having a license to feed – you will find yourself repeatedly outnumbered in skirmishes, unable to identify and survive ganks, and warding ineffectively.
If you consider the amount of information you can take in and use about the game state, there’s essentially no limit to one’s map awareness. Even Faker would probably admit his map awareness could improve. One problem, however, is that map awareness is difficult to practice, and it’s much easier to play without focus than it is to multitask and spread your attention across the map. Sometimes you can even win without ever really looking at your minimap.
First, enlarge your mini-map to the largest setting. Make a mental note to check the minimap constantly. Take a glance between last hits, when fighting jungle camps, or traveling to a teammate. If you aren’t looking at the mini-map every few seconds, your map awareness is bad. There. I said it.
Hit tab to keep track of your enemies CS and inventory status. Another reason to check your opponent’s inventory is that if you don’t pay attention to their inventory, you won’t know whether they’ve trinketed or control warded a bush when they leave their lane to ward.
Have you ever noticed how the chat box is at the opposite end of the screen as the mini-map? The worst thing for your map awareness is to train your eyes to focus on incoming chat messages instead of the mini-map. Another tragedy is standing still while typing, which is tantamount to disconnecting from the game momentarily.
Feeding Due to Inattention
Many level-one deaths can be avoided by paying better attention before minions spawn. The game begins at 0:00, and alt-tabbing or going afk while waiting for minions isn’t just unacceptable, it’s an easy way to sacrifice the outcome of the game. You should either be participating in a potential level-one jungle invade or protecting against one by maintaining a line of defense at your jungle entrances.
All five players need to be present to establish defensive vision at level one, or else they risk getting their team successfully invaded. The strength in numbers approach is so useful because it lets you prevent your own teammates from dying — in other words, you’re proactively helping your team feed less by virtue of simply existing.
Feeding Due to Poor Judgement
Having good map awareness can help you make better, more informed decisions. Most feeding relates circularly to the idea of having poor awareness, but here are six specific mistakes that can lead to feeding, as well as ways to prevent feeding in this manner.
1. Chasing for Kills
Solo-chasing an opponent across the map in search of a kill can backfire, especially if you have to facecheck your opponents jungle in the process. In general, facechecking is a great way to feed. Also consider that if you die in the process of chasing for a kill, it’s not worth it if your opponent gains a kill and an assist in the process.
2. Dueling Randomly
When you think you have an advantage, or you think your opponent is worse than you and you can outplay them, it can be tempting to force a duel with them. This strategy has potential for success, but it’s much smarter to wait for a mistake to punish, or to duel when you have ward protection or knowledge of the enemy jungler’s position. Dueling for no reason is not a strategy, it’s unbridled thirst. A smart jungler will punish you for playing greedy. Make sure you always have a good reason for fighting.
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3. Not respecting an item or level disadvantage
Riven comes to lane with two long swords and you’re sitting on an empty corruption potion? Don’t fight. Your opponent is a level higher than you? Don’t fight. Sometimes you just need to be patient and hunker down, especially if the other team is hitting their power spike and you need to catch up on levels, gold, or items. Wait until you’re confident in your ability to take down an opponent before duking it out.
4. Pushing minion waves without vision
Never push a lane past the river unless you have the vision to assure your safety. At no stage in the game is a minion wave worth more than 300 gold (the amount of gold you would donate by feeding a kill). Depending on how many towers you have left, pushing as far as the river can even be too far.
5. Playing the wrong champions
League is a game with many variables. If you are feeding on a wide variety of champions, try feeding on one champion instead, and hopefully you will be able to focus on more aspects of the game other than champion-specific mechanics. Also, some champions are more apt for feeding on than others: Tryndamere, Singed, Yasuo. Other champions like Janna, Ivern, or Shen, have a lot of defensive tools and are easier to maintain a higher KDA on.
6. Playing while tilted (lack of self-awareness)
The best answer to playing while tilted is to take a break and stop playing video games for a while. Of course, you have to recognize that you’re tilted and have the mental fortitude to stand up from the table. I have spammed games while knowingly anger-tilting, but I have also apathetically spammed games without realizing how tilted — or just plain ol’ tired — I actually was.
There are other causes of feeding that I haven’t covered, like getting mechanically outplayed or lagging out, but I don’t feel you can learn as much from these circumstances. Ultimately, League of Legends is a decision making game. Practicing your mechanics can make you a better player, but it’s more important to practice your awareness, because that’s what helps you make better decisions. End world feeding today!