We asked Riot Games employees — all of whom are required to play the company's game, League of Legends — the best advice they can give first-timers diving into the MOBA. Here's what they said:
Davin Pavlas, researcher: "Above all else, League is a team game. Team play is the key to victory: Use wards to give your team vision, move from lane to lane to help each other out on objectives and encourage each other!"
Matt Manarino, creative design and writing: "Don't worry about killing champions during your first games, worry about killing minions first. Killing champions is just going to get you killed, because there's a complexity in killing champions. Worry about minions, worry about blasting minions and getting gold because once you have enough gold you can buy items that will help you kill champions. I see a lot of people in their first game go in going, ‘Oh man I'm gonna kill a champion,' because that's what they want to do. But it shouldn't be a goal. The goal should be getting gold first. Once you have gold generated you can buy more items and be more competitive."
Nathan Tiras, quality assurance: "Communicate early and often. A team that makes a ‘bad decision' together wins more often than a team that makes 'good decisions' separately!"
Jessie Perlo, PR coordinator: "Don't get discouraged. Players at every level kind of go through the same thing where they'll have a streak of losses at certain points, they'll lose a lot of games. But the important thing to focus on is not getting frustrated at that, it's what did you learn from it. Even us [at Riot], we're all level 30, we've all been playing for a while, and we still lose games all the time and we still learn stuff all the time. I'm still learning new champions and new things about champions that I already thought I knew really well."
Daphne Karpel, corporate marketing associate: "Apply what Jessie said on a micro-level. In the game, don't worry if you feel like you're getting killed a lot or you feel like you're losing, just focus on learning and trying to get better at the Champion you are playing. Try out their abilities, try to be better at them. Everyone loses, everyone gets killed. You'll never get good enough that you don't get killed."
J.T. Vandenbree, eSports: "It's better to learn the basics with a small number of champions than it is to play lots of different champions. Find a champion you like playing and stick to them!"
Erik Reynolds, communications: "Find one role that you're comfortable with and just play that role until you're ready to explore others. For me, when I first started playing ranked [matches], I had only been ranked for a couple weeks. I only played support because I understand that class. I come from being a 10-year World of Warcraft player where I played pretty much every kind of role, but I truly understood and loved healers. So support class is predominantly healing classes and CC (crowd control) classes with light damage. I get it, I pair up with my [attack damage carry] and I'm just there for that other champion."