Guide to successfully escaping "Elo Hell"
My League of Legends experience
Today I'm going to talk about something that steals most of my free time. Of course it's League of Legends. It has been 4 years since i started playing it (from Season 1). I had my ups and downs - many times i reached diamond, fought for challanger tier and have been thrown away to platinum/ gold ghetos again. But every time I put myself together I manage to escape the devil's throat quite easily. And I'm starting to doubt that it's all about skills. There are many tricky nuanses that are vital for going up the ladder. Although, they aren't so hard to master. So in this article I'm going to fill in all the LoL experiences, advices, tricks I am aware of, hoping it might come in handy.
Preparation. 1 - Ever-developing game
League of Legends is being updated very frequently, but I guess all you do about it is pressing "Accept" twice before launching the game. And that is a problem. If you want to go up - you have to put some effort into it. Prepare then play. This way, you get an edge against your opponent even before minions have spawned. Basically, there are three steps to prepare yourself:
- Prepare your knowledge
- Prepare your ego
- Prepare for your opponents.
How to know more?
I’m not asking you to read dozens of previous patches, nor to memorize every bit you've read. Firstly, open a previous patch, look which champions, items have been changed. Try to decide who became stronger/weaker than before and keep that in mind, next time you play LoL. Secondly, always be aware of upcoming patches, read them carefully, analyze, and make conclusions. This is where you will find all news about the patches.
If somehow you still don't fully recognize all champions, their abilities and their passives - this should be your first stop. Even if you know the champions well, it won't hurt if you knew more.
How to use your knowledge?
If you see enemy team picking a champion that has been nerfed - take an aggressive, high kill potential champ and go play against him, if your teammate picks the nerfed one - enlighten him or take a jungler and watch his back. Always know when your champion is stronger/weaker than your opponent's also be aware of how much burst damage you can make/ receive from your foe. Remember, LoL is based on numbers, know them - and the game is yours.
Preparation. 2 - It's all about you!
After reading this article you will instantly lock that little raging beast inside you. Yes, I mean it. Don't ever get mad, don't ever flame, swear on other players. If you ever catch yourself arguing with someone to intensively, mute that person - he's ruining your performance. Even if you are right and he's wrong. You have to find inner strength to end every single unnecessary in-game discussion. In case you wonder why:
- Chatting - time wasting, you don't play while you chat
- Getting frustrated - weakens your decision making, you lose concentration
- Arguing - weakens team spirit, you lose desire to win
- Raging - can result in chat-block, or banned account.
If you don't feel convinced - watch any LCS or WC game and keep on tracking players' faces. Not even a muscle moves on their face when they die losing thousands of dollars.
A few points I didn't write about
Preparation. 3 - Spying
Spying doesn't get along with sportsmanship but it surely does with victorious games. Knowing how well your opponents and teammates are with the champions they're about to play helps a lot. Don't start a game without checking on other summoners. This site shows information only after the champion-select is over, but it still gives a heck of information.
For a jungler these stats are vital. Actually, they are the best guidelines: babysit if enemy player is much better than your teammate, make one successful gank if your teammate is better and he'll know what to do next, gank lanes, in which stay summoners that very frequently die with the champions they're playing and so on...
If you are laning, you can see how experienced your opponent is with the current champ, does he play aggressively/ passively, you can see if enemy team has premades and who they are and etc.
The in-game. 1 - Champion select.
Many people don't realize that you can build up a decent lead even before the game has started. This process is called "winning champ select". Now, how can you possibly "win" it? Well, it's actually quite obvious:
- Start a conversation with your team - not about the weather or politics, but about upcoming game of course. Ask their main roles, what are they going to play, give ban advices, create a team spirit between you.
- Build a strong teamfight composition - it's the easiest way to win games. In solo queue don't focus on picking poke or utility champions. Champions that fully rely on your team don't work as well. You have to create decent combination of your spells. Area effect spells are also important. One nuker/assassin per team is enough. Now your strong side is team fights - even if you lose laning phase, you still have great chance in winning team fights and securing the game.
- As I said before - don't rely on your team. That's why you have to avoid playing support role. There are two easy ways to carry a game: a) pick strong late game carry and go solo top, wait for your champion to out scale everyone, carry the game, and b) pick strong early/mid game jungler, gank as much as you can, get fed, win fast.
In which tier are you in?
The in-game. 2 - Outsmarting/outplaying enemy team
Being good at league is about making fast and right decisions. You need to acquire the logical analysis skill. Ask yourself questions, look at the situation, basically think while you’re playing. Don’t just right click recklessly; you have to use your brain. The fastest and the most correct decisions win the game. Rate the risk level, the reward level. Just rate whatever you do!
Is it good to engage? Are my teammates all here? Are my carries in a good position? Do we have our ultimates? How is their and our health bar doing? What will we (they) get if we win (lose) this team fight?
It takes some time, but eventually you will notice these things automatically, even faster every time. Then you will be thinking little bit different. Your mind will be focused on planning your next step and then the one after it and so on. Basically, you will be preparing yourself for the future - reviewing all the possible scenarios.
The in-game. 3 - Closing games
Are you playing a poke team comp (champs like Nidalee, Caitlyn, Lux, Gragas, Nunu, etc.)? If so then move as a group of 5 to push a lane, and siege down the tower. Slow and steady will do it, you can just poke at their team from outside tower range, and if they back off then poke at the tower. Eventually either you kill them if they hang around, or you take the tower. Rinse, repeat.
Are you playing an Area of Effect team comp (champs like Amumu, Maokai, Karthus, Vlad, Nunu, Alistar, Morgana, etc.)? Once you reach the 25-minute mark of the game, or further, with a lead, force fights outside of Baron. If they contest, kill them. If not, take free Baron. Once you have Baron, you have much higher regen than they do. Go siege down towers as above, except jump in and tower dive them if they stick around, rather than poke. Rinse, repeat.
Are you playing a team comp with a duelist with good escapes (Shaco, Lee Sin, Nidalee, etc.)? Go push out botlane with 4 people, send the duelist to top. Pressure both towers. If they don't send someone to top, take a free tower and keep pushing while avoiding a 4v5 team fight bot. If they send one person top, your duelist should be able to either kill them or escape easily (probably the former, if you're ahead). If they send two people, or their most fed person, hard engage bot. You will win the fight, and (at the very least) force them off the tower. Take it. Rinse, repeat.