Understanding Mechanics of League
Here, I’ll be running down some of the lesser-known mechanics that you’ll need to practice to better improve your skills in League. These are just a few examples of advanced skills you might want to work on if you want to eventually compete with the pros.
Range leashing: In the case that you have higher range than your opponent, maintaining your range advantage so that they have no opportunity to strike back.
An example of this would be the Caitlyn vs Graves matchup. Caitlyn’s 650 range versus Graves’ 525 will always allow Caitlyn to have the advantage during any extended skirmish. Due to the fact that you can constantly harass Graves due to his 125 range deficit, any chance of counterplay in this matchup will rely solely on Graves dashing forward and attempting to get into range to retaliate. Reacting with your own 90 Caliber Net instantaneously will allow you to further maintain your range leash. Orbwalking between autoattacks is crucial in maintaining your leash. Once your range leash breaks, you no longer have range advantage. Generally speaking, champions with higher range are safer and do less damage in up-close skirmishes. Caitlyn will automatically lose to Graves in any extended fight where Caitlyn breaks her range leash.
Keeping range leashes on your opponents will, for the most part, put them in a position where they must greatly outplay you in order to damage you. For example, Ezreal has an 1100 range Mystic Shot. When properly spaced, you should be maintaining a 950-1000 range tether on your opponents, giving yourself a 100-150 range extension in order to account for possible reaction by your opponents (moving backwards when they see your Mystic Shot). If you maintain this leash, almost no champion in the game will be able to gap-close on you. This is why Ezreal’s Blue Build is most effective against low-range teams. With no possible chance to retaliate or initiate into an 1100 range poke, it relies on the champion with higher range to misplay in order to lose a fight.
Input Buffering: Buffering an ability that will cast in a certain situation, but otherwise do nothing.
Playing Vayne against higher range gap-closers such as Alistar, Akali, Irelia, or Zac, you can maintain a 600 range leash and cast Condemn, constantly canceling your Condemn command as soon as you walk forward and re-issuing the command once you return to your 600 range leash.
Condemn will only cast once its target has entered a 550 range bubble around Vayne. This means that it will never cast, as long as you constantly issue the command at a higher range. However, once your enemy does enter this range, Condemn will immediately cast and knock them back. In this situation, you would interrupt these gap-closers in the middle of their dash. In the case that they do nothing, you will look like you are staggering back and forth, but cast nothing.
Input buffering can be used on multiple champions in multiple ways. Soraka has an instant silence that can be buffered in such a way that you silence someone mid-dash if used correctly. This is especially deadly against Alistar, who will be silenced mid-Headbutt and be unable to combo into Pulverize.
Animation Canceling: During the animation of most abilities (generally the ones with no cast or channel time), you may cancel all or part of the animation into another ability or command. This will cut down on your time spent casting abilities if you have two cancelable abilities off cooldown.
For example, 90 Calber Net may be canceled into any of Caitlyn’s other abilities. EQ, EW, and ER are all animation cancels that you can employ in various situations. Ezreal has the same principle to a lesser extent, where you can cancel a small but substantial part of his Mystic Shot into Essence Flux or Arcane Shift. During engagements where you are chasing or kiting, this lessens the time spent in animation stun when you are casting Mystic Shot.
These are just a few of the many mechanics you’ll need to practice to become top tier, and I have only explored their potential generally within the confines of bot lane. While I have extensive knowledge of all high-level mechanics on supports and ADs, the majority of the champion pool is lost to me. Becoming familiar with all of the high level mechanics on every champion is nearly impossible, so try to work on these things one step at a time.