The Art of Roaming
Roaming is the concept of when a player leaves his or her lane during the lane phase to aid another team member in their lane. The roamer spends most of the laning phase outside his or her lane. Roaming is a very effective and easy way to turn a 1v1 into a 2v1 or a 2v2 into a 3v2. Roaming can prove to be very advantageous, but at the same time, there can be some disadvantages as well. Here are a few scenarios of when roaming is advantageous:
- When your jungler invades and encounters the enemy jungler during laning phase, it is important to provide backup to your jungler no matter what lane you’re in if it’s reasonable to do so. Usually when your jungler invades, it’s still early game and first blood has not been drawn yet. Acquiring first blood in early game is well worth losing a pack of 6 creeps slain.
- If you’re playing mid, you can easily turn a 2v2 at bot into a 3v2. Watch for when your duo players at bottom lane engage the enemy duo. If you can infer that the engagement can last for more than a few seconds, it is best to start heading down towards the bottom lane. The thing here is that sometimes when players engage in combat, they tend to tunnel vision. Tunnel visioning is the concept of when a player is too focused on acquiring a specific objective while failing to acknowledge the fact that danger may be surrounding them. In this case, the enemy duo at bottom lane may be too preoccupied with killing your teammates which should give you the perfect opportunity to roam down towards bottom and kill them.
Roaming tends to be disadvantageous when your time spent roaming acquires no objective at all. You can roam for three minutes and acquire no objectives whatsoever while your enemy has spent the last three minutes slaying X amount of creeps. Roaming takes a while to get used to, but it’s best to start learning when to make effective decisions of when or when not to roam. Roaming depends on a lot of assumptions of what courses of action your enemy team will make such as how long will they keep pursuing your teammates, whether or not the enemy team has used their escapes, and whether or not the enemy team will have a roamer of their own join the fray as well.
Keep in mind that acquiring kills is always worth more than acquiring a certain amount of creeps slain. Killing an enemy player forces that player to have some downtime from the laning phase while granting you and your teammates who participated in the kill some gold. In addition, champions who move quickly are easier to roam with. A lot of the reasons why some mid laners acquire mobility boots first is because it allows him or her to move to other lanes quicker. One of the reasons why Pantheon or Twisted Fate tends to be very annoying is because of their capability of being able to roam towards a lane and outnumber the enemy team. Bottom line, the main point of roaming is to aid teammates by outnumbering the enemy team in order to acquire kills or objectives.