Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco tests out the coaching services of former Challenger player and experienced UK League of Legends coach and streamer Jamie "Tundra" Duthie.
As a low elo Silver jungle player who produces a lot of written content on the UK esports scene, it's frankly embarrassing for me to be this bad at League of Legends.
I've watched a lot of streams and YouTube videos over the years, learning as much as I can from educational content creators such as Foxdrop and NEACE, and pro junglers like Maxlore and IWillDominate.
But there's only so much you can learn from watching - and this can lead to information overload. Still, something must be done about my terrible elo; I've been stuck in Silver for years. Granted, I don't play that much - but that's no excuse!
"Watching yourself back with a coach is strange. At times I was pleased with some of my decisions, but for the most part I was mortified."
There are a few coaches in the UK scene, so I thought it'd be great to get a lesson, test out their services and make some content at the same time. As he has tons of experience, plenty of LAN wins and top-level knowledge of the game, I thought Tundra would be the ideal coach for this.
After having a look at the coaching services Tundra offers, I decided to go for a single VoD review to get started. I purposely chose a match that I lost with some particularly difficult teammates.
Teammates like a Kassadin that threw the game within five minutes, and decided to leave our mid-lane to take my jungle farm.
We also took a few moments to have a laugh at some of the other 'plays' made in this elo:
But as they say, if you're in 'elo hell' then you're part of it. And according to the game's ranking system, you belong there.
So what could I do to improve myself as a player?
This is where I found the coaching session invaluable. Tundra went through the mechanical and macro areas of the game for me to improve on, as well as offering some great general tips about the game, which I felt were personalised to me and my main champ (Vi).
Watching yourself back with a coach is strange. At times I was pleased with some of my decisions, but for the most part I was mortified. It's one thing to watch your replays back, but another to have an expert commentate on what you've done wrong and where you can improve.
"This felt different to watching a streamer's advice video. A one-to-one session is more personal and bespoke, and it resonated with me more. I felt I had learnt something tangible."
Saying that, I thought I may have been roasted due to my sub-par League of Legends abilities, but Tundra explained everything in a kind and professional manner, and encouraged me to talk through the decisions I made in-game, which I felt helped me enormously.
At the time, I felt stupid watching myself fail to use Vi's basic combo in the most effective way, make other mechanical mistakes or waste time dithering around my jungle.
But now I know how I could have optimized my actions in a particular team fight and spent my time more wisely, so when I'm in a similar situation in a future game, I'll be more confident I'll get it right.
Another thing this coaching session did was identify weaknesses I didn't know I had.
For example, Tundra could tell I was tilted in the match. That Kassadin had got to me, and although I muted him early on, I let his actions affect my decision making. There were a handful of times where I could have got an extra kill or two, or made better decisions, but I let that player get into my head.
Tundra gave me a few extra tips to deal with trolls and toxic players, which honestly in this low elo, might just be some of the best advice that will help me climb. And it felt different to watching a streamer's advice video. This one-to-one session felt more personal and bespoke to me, and it resonated with me more. I felt I had learnt something tangible.
Overall, here is just a small list of the many things I learnt, which I feel have already improved me as a player. They might seem silly or insignificant to you, but to me they've been extremely helpful:
- Avoid spreading myself thinly with items - commit to something and build full items first
- Be more time efficient, avoid meandering for too long
- Look at the map more
- Change to red trinket more often, especially if my teammates don't have it
- Track/check the number of kills in team fights
Considering this was just a single one-hour VoD session, I got a hell of a lot out of it, and I've now got the confidence and knowledge to push on and climb to Gold (he says)!
I'd highly recommended Tundra to any player or team wanting to improve.
While It's hard to see how much this one-hour session has improved me as a player right now, time will tell. I hope to update this article or write some League of Legends diary posts to see if I can climb elo over the coming months.
In the meantime, you can check out the full video of my coaching session with Tundra below: