MOBAs are nothing new. They aren't even new to me. I've played just about every MOBA there is (mobile or otherwise) with varying amounts of time investment, with my previous favorites being Vainglory and Arena of Valor. But League of Legends: Wild Rift just isn't like those games.
Despite being in the same genre, the pace of play and strategy of this mobile MOBA is unique and deep unto itself. Even after reviewing Wild Rift, I've reached several ephiphanies while playing, and each one has transformed my understanding of the game and how to play it. These breakthroughs are exciting, but they take patience, persistence--and sometimes even research--to realize, especially if you aren't super well-versed in MOBAs in general.
With that in mind, I wanted to put together a series of guides and explainers about Wild Rift specifically from the perspective of a newcomer, or scrub. As one newly-found newbie who has suddenly found themselves climbing ranks in Wild Rift, I want to share what I've learned so that others like me can do the same, and the best way to start is by explaning what Wild Rift actually is.
For as polished as its presentation and intro tutorial are, Wild Rift doesn't do a great job of explaining that each match is a fight over resources. The primary resource fought over is the gold that you can earn off of anything you kill (including enemy players), but objectives like dragons, towers, jungle monsters, etc. are also all part of this resource battle.
The more you and your team can exercise control over the map, the easier it is to earn these resources for your team while also stealing it from your enemies. The more you can deny income to the opposing team, the more your team can gain level and item advantages over your opposition and press your advantage. The trade-off of gaining these advantages is the amount of ground you have to cover to maintain control over the map.
Killing enemy players is definitely part of the resource control game, but it's not as important as Wild Rift makes it out to be. As satisfying as it might be to tick up your kill stats and listen to the announcer tell you you're "godlike," chasing kills too much is an easy trap that the enemy team can exploit to turn the tide to their advantage.
When skirmishing over a tower or other objective, it's obviously ideal to eliminate enemy threats, but if you can force retreats, hold your ground, and capture an objective to expand your control over the map, that's better step toward a win than diving into enemy territory just to secure another kill. Individual exploits are flashy and can lead to impressive-looking stats, but that doesn't matter if the rest of your team has to try and cover objectives while you try to go on your murderous tirades.
To this end, Wild Rift is ultimately a team game. This means that claiming objectives isn't something anyone should necessarily be expected to do alone, nor should you in many cases. Helping your teammates accelerate their own resource generation or working together to contest enemy attempts to do the same aren't just encouraged, but necessary, for victory. Staying in your lane and farming is all fine and dandy, but there's no reason to do so if your team is seeking to take or maintain control of an objective and could use some backup.
The way your team goes about doing this might vary wildly between matches. Depending on the team dynamics established by the champion matchups, item builds, and player skill/style, you might see matches where it's important to help your jungler accelerate their gold intake at the very beginning of the match so they can harass laners early, or your team might pick up on a weak player on the opposing team to isolate and exploit. This is to say that you'll need to be adaptable in whatever role you play, even if you consistently play the same champion in the same role match after match.
Wild Rift and a lot of its playerbase celebrate impressive killcounts in teamfights, but it's flashiness should not make it overshadow the importance of maintaining map and resource control. You can win matches without having more kills than the other team. By the same token, you can lose objectives like dragons and still win as well. You outplay the other team by delaying or taking away their ability to respond to your advances in controlling the map, since you ultimately have to have full control of at least one portion of the map to ultimately destroy the enemy Nexus.