Efficient Communication: Team

We talked about playing alone, we talked about playing with a friend—now it’s time for efficient communication in a five-man premade. Trust me, even your play-for-fun group of buddies will benefit from this guide.


Designate shotcaller(s). One of the quickest ways to reduce the mess in your comms is choosing the person that will be making all key decisions. Others will be simply relaying information to help the shotcaller make informed decisions.


However, professional teams have been quite flexible in this regard. Some North American squads have one person give calls in the early game and delegate late-game leadership to a different person. Others don’t have a shotcaller at all. Contrary to popular belief, SK Telecom T1 won the 2015 World Championship without one—MaRin wasn’t in charge of the squad.


Don’t speak if there’s no practical value in it. If you say that Kayle is BS after dying to her, your friends will feel you but not really gain anything. However, if you say that she burned her Flash while killing you, the Jungler will have an easier time ganking her.


However, there’s no need to completely eliminate side talk. If one of your teammates starts tilting, cheer them up a bit with a joke. Don’t let them shut down.


Never keep information to yourself assuming your teammates will know themselves. Another gank example applies really well. Imagine you’re playing Top, and your Jungler comes around to ambush that nasty Kayle. She manages to get away with a Flash; their Jungler showed up as well but had no real impact. Your teammate must’ve seen Kayle flashing out, but it’s still better to actually say that it’s down.


Not speaking up defeats the biggest benefit of playing as a five-man squad. Everyone can hear you, so why not say the things that are going to help everyone and, eventually, you?


Record comms to improve them. All these ideas sound simple, but they’re incredibly hard to implement, especially when people within your group have different attitudes toward the game. As a person extremely keen on improving, you can re-listen to your team’s comms after your sessions and see what’s wrong.


While giving feedback in comms to your teammates, avoid advising them to shut their mouths. People generally don’t respond well to that even outside the gaming context, so your job is to explain how effective communication can get you more victories. Should you need any help, we’ve even got three guides on how to do just that.

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