What is Pathing in League of Legends?

Pathing Definition
Pathing Definition

Pathing in League of Legends refers to routing decisions made by the jungler. Jungler should optimize his clear speed, and anticipate potential gank opportunities on the map to help his team. He also should be aware of the jungle camp timers to control the objectives like Elder Dragon.

How Jungle Pathing works?

Junglers often start the match with a clear game plan and choose clearing routes that allow them to execute their strategy, for example, shaco can lvl3 gank botlane when they are still lvl1.

  • Gank Potential Assessment: By adjusting their pathing Junglers can create potential gank opportunities in each lane.  
  • Objective Control: Thoughtful pathing enables junglers to exert pressure on objectives such as Dragon, Baron, and enemy buffs, which means gaining map control and advantage for their team.

Types of Jungle Pathing

Standard jungle pathing for example involves starting at one of the two buffs, clearing camps in a planed sequence, and after it looking for gank opportunities or setting up the objectives,everything based on map state and lane priority. Below you can see the other types of jungle pathing.

  • Vertical Jungling: Vertical jungling occurs when junglers from both teams shortly after doing their buffs are entering the enemy jungle to take the opposite buff. Both junglers are aware that the enemy jungler is doing the same.
  • Full Clear vs. Early Gank: Junglers may opt for a full clear to reach level 4 or pursue early gank opportunities at level 3, depending on champion strengths, lane matchups, and team compositions.

Importance of Communication

For junglers it is especially important to communicate with the team as the fate of the objectives and ganks is in their hands.

  • Team Coordination: Effective communication between junglers and laners enhances pathing efficiency, facilitates successful ganks, and coordinates objective control and vision placement.
  • Vision and Map Awareness: Maintaining vision control and awareness of enemy movements enables proactive decision-making, minimizes risk, and optimizes pathing routes.

Pathing in Early Game VS Late Game

  • Early Game: Early game pathing decisions heavily influence jungle tempo, lane pressure, and overall map control, setting the tone for subsequent engagements and strategic rotations.
  • Mid to Late Game Transition: Transitioning from early game to mid and late game requires the jungler to constantly think and adjust their strategies, in these phases you rarely hear about pathing as there is so much going on the map e.g. team fights, objectives, and lane swapes.That requires the jungler to be extremely adaptive.

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