Hastega: Knowing your role in the win condition

A brief introduction about yours truly-- My name is Cody, but you may know me as Haste or Hastega. I’m a diamond jungler that recently played ADC and Top for GIA/Accursed, the 1st place team of the most recent Diamond-capped OKLCS season. I plan on writing some satire down the road, but today I'd like to mention something a bit more on topic. I’m here to talk about something that may help the other “non-carries” of your teams, and really, carries alike: to give clarity and understanding between the mentality of each, and how to push your team to live to their potential. 

The Non-carries

Let’s be frank: You’re probably something like me; not the primary carry, not usually even the secondary carry, but you’re somewhere between spots 3 and 5 in the carry-DMV line, depending on the game. You’re driven, you’re goal-oriented, and you’re especially team-minded. You don’t need the spotlight (not to say that you don't shine from time-to-time). 

So, what differs between you and the carries of your team?

·       You’re a "bitch" - but you’re not a bitch.

You've probably heard things like, "Ha, dude... you got carried" or that you're "playing like a bitch" from critics, opponents, what have you. If this is you, and you're told that you're playing like a bitch, it's not always a bad thing. If you've noticed, this is usually coming from the enemy laner while they're frustratingly trying to get an advantage in lane as they're not quite sure how to play the game in an "even" scenario. Keep on doing you, soldier - this is your first step towards backseat carrying.

·       Your objective is to enable your win condition, not always to win lane; be selfless.

You're truly the unsung heroes of the ramp-up portion of the game. Freezing waves for your carries, learning to play from a deficit and maintaining pace while playing selflessly is difficult, especially if your counterpart is being fed more resources... but remember what I said earlier: "your objective is to enable your win condition." This is a broad statement, but depending on team dynamic and team composition, this could literally change from game to game.

 (ONLY READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU'VE PLAYED MAGIC) An analogy using Magic the Gathering: You are your team's mana-ramp during laning phase when your win condition doesn't revolve around you. You still need to be efficient in timing and must protect your mana ramp with counters or whatever means are available (the whole team being responsible for still keeping Non-Carries and low-econ tanks stable). The mana ramp isn't the win condition, but it's a critical piece of your deck, and without it you're simply outpaced.

·       You need to trust your carries.

So, you drafted towards a 2 carry, 3 tank comp. Yes, that 0/3 Ryze and 1/4 Tristana on your team are still your main win conditions. This isn't solo queue, you know these players and you've seen them pop off. It's still your responsibility to enable them and help them get back in the game. This isn't always going to be through draining them farm through a feeding tube. If your carries are tilted, keep their heads up and constantly look for plays that will enable your team, not plays that are only going to enable yourself. Constantly think of all five players as different cards that make up your hand, then figure out how to play your hand correctly.

The Carries

Look at yourself. You're a baller. You're a star. Your highest concern is playing your best and not letting your team hold you back. If your team puts you on a pedestal, you trust yourself to pull your team up there with you. At the end of the day, you are our primary win condition, you are the ace up our sleeve, and we absolutely need you.

What sets you apart?

·       You're not a bitch - but you're a "bitch".

You're our high maintenance, hot-as-hell girlfriend. Boy, do we love and admire you, and all the other guys see you and want to get with you, but sometimes you can be a pain in the ass. It takes a really mature girlfriend to be as hot as you and accept us for who we are. If you're the carry that accepts his mediocre-in-bed team, rarely on-time boyfri...teammates... salute to you. Keep in mind that we're loyal and want to keep you hot, so remember us when you're flashing in for the penta.

·       Your objective is to carry from the moment you load into the rift; be selfish.

"I need the farm," "I know I can carry this game if I get to my IE just a little quicker," "I really need that blue buff," these are all things that are okay to say. Simply communicate calmly and if asked why you need that wave, that buff, etc., just talk. Set ego aside and fill your role; you're a team, after all.

·       Keep your mental; your opinion is the most important on the team.

If you're a primary win condition and you're being negative 10 minutes into the game, you're setting your entire team up for disaster. Your strongest and most useful tool as a carry, besides mechanics, is forgiveness and mindfulness, especially if you're also one of the better players on your team. Words don't mean much coming from an opponent, but they can mean the difference between a win and a loss coming from a friend. If you're being hyper critical, acting like a child, or even rage quitting a game, you need to take a step back. You've likely just gone from the team's carry to a primary reason your team just lost.

Which brings me to my last point...

When selecting your future teammates for next season of OKLCS, or any team for that matter, keep mental fortitude in mind. From personal experience, even as recent as this last tournament, mental strength is a unique and completely important factor to consider. No other team was able to come back from a loss, let alone a "reverse sweep." This comes from experience, a lack of "team-blaming" and efficient addressing of mistakes. There was not a single time that someone blamed "the team." We stayed resilient, and we were able to win Season 4 of the OKLCS. As a team.

-Cody "Hastega" Kirby

Diamond-capped OKLCS player