What Is Spacing?
Spacing is when you stand just out of ability range or auto attack range of your opponent. Spacing is important because telegraphing your intentions will give your opponent a lane advantage. This tactic is used to CS and to harass in lane, as well as improve positioning in team fights.
Why Is Spacing Important?
Spacing will not only help you to take less damage but it can also be used to draw a lane opponent into ganks. When playing just outside of his ability range, your opponent (most times) can not discern if you are being passive or aggressive. When a jungler comes to gank a lane, players tend to change their playstyle and it can often tip off the opponent as to what is going on, even if they can not see the jungler.
Take note of the picture to the right. This displays Caitlyn's auto attack range in relation to Ryze's Q range. This match-up is tough to space (when only comparing these two factors), as they are almost the same. Caitlyn can space Ryze's auto attacks however, as they are shorter than his Q range. By standing just outside his range, you will often draw an opponent into you, so you need to be ready to back away and continue the spacing. If they follow you, it opens them up to a gank.
Spacing is also important in CSing. It can allow you to punish your opponents because oftentimes they will have to stop spacing you to go for last hits. You can punish this by forcing a trade, costing them CS. The same can be said for you, which is why knowing the ability ranges of both you and your opponent is vital to League of Legends. In the above example, Caitlyn shouldn't have any problem in lane against Ryze due to her long inherent range and mobility. Ryze's Q is his longest range attack, whilst Caitlyns auto attack is her shortest. This is important to note, as it is almost impossible for Ryze to space Caitlyn properly due to the long ranges of her abilities.
Take note of the picture to the right. This is Caitlyn's Q range. It is much longer than her auto attack. To make sure his is not taking any unnecessary damage, this is the range that Ryze would have to space at to ensure safe farming. If she uses her Q, he can move in to space at her autoattack range until the cooldown is refreshed.
Due to the nature of Caitlyn, forcing trades would be quite easy in this match-up. With the superior range on all of her skills and her autoattack, you should always come out ahead when played correctly. Obviously, this is a very basic explanation and there can be very many factors that contribute to where you choose to space in an actual game. The movement speed of both you and your opponent plays a factor, as well as if either of you has a gap closer. In this example, Caitlyn's E allows her to jump away, so it makes it even easier to win trades vs Ryze, as he has no escape.
How Will Spacing Improve My Game?
Spacing has many uses but by learning to master this tactic you will see better trades in lane, less telegraphing of your intentions to your enemy, and increased safety while farming. These things will directly translate to you leaving lane stronger and showing increased performance in team fights, as you learn to apply this ability to later parts of the game.
© 2015 Brian Mally