How to know what your opponent is going to do before they even do it

Across the past 8 years playing League of Legends, firstly as a casual gamer, then as a professional player and finally a coach, there have been major breakthroughs throughout the journey that I saw as moments of enlightenment. By off chance when thinking about how I could maximise my chances of winning in solo queue, I realised the art of foresight and specifically foresight of the opponent’s potential moves could give me a competitive advantage.

The ability to foresee or expect the enemies moves allowed me to climb the solo queue ladder like I had never done before; things were falling into place and the game felt ‘slower’ in a weird sense. It seemed before this revelation I had purely been focusing on what I wanted to do to the opponent, now I wasn’t playing checkers anymore, I evolved to chess.

You may ask ‘Isn’t what the opponent wants to do independent to your moves?’. I would argue this statement by giving you an example of what it means to implement proper foresight to dominate your opponent and play the game on your terms.

Lets say for example you are playing mid versus a Zed as Lulu.

Step 1: Identify what you want to do in this game. As Lulu you want to out scale him in team fights and be able to play the ‘front to back’ team fights with your ADC.
Step 2: Identify what he wants to do. He wants to either solo kill you at 6 with an ‘all in’ or look to roam onto side lanes or potentially into the enemy jungle and look for a pick.
Step 3: Now given you have identified both what yourself and the enemy want to do to win the game, you can now create an action plan to increase the likelihood of your plan coming to fruition while mitigating and stifling his options.

An example of this would be to control the wave in a way that as Zed is hitting 6, you can safely CS and be close enough to tower to prevent the ‘all in’. Other counter measures would be to build enough safety so that Zed can’t target you in fights and is forced to Ultimate other players in which you can use your kit to peel him off your team. You may also invest in certain wards on the side that you think Zed will roam to prevent your side laner from dying.

• I have enough HP to survive the all in if he decides to dive
• I saved exhaust and a corrupting pot
• The wave is pushing into my tower, he has 3 melees over me
• I warded the bot side brush so that if he decides to roam bot I can ping it out
• If he decides to hit the ranged creeps I’m in a position to trade onto him

This is just one of the many situations where foresight and understanding your opponent will lead to increasing your chances of winning games. As you slowly begin to implement this process you learn to think deeper about the matchups and your knowledge bank grows which leads to knowing what the opponents wants to do better than themselves.