league of legends

Right in the Nexus: Climbing the Elo Tree

In League of Legends, Solo Queue and climbing the elo tree is a tiring thing, am I right? It really can make or break your day. Win or lose, all we really want from Solo Queue is a damn good game and a lot of the time that’s really hard to find. Well I guess we also want to win in Solo Queue as well, to get up our precious little elo rank to make ourselves feel better about League of Legends and reaffirm ourselves as “pros”.

For those who don’t know what Solo Queue is then please allow me to explain. In LoL there are two modes, normal mode and ranked mode. In both modes you are given a rating, called MMR (Match Making Rating), which determines who you get matched with. In ranked mode however your MMR is tied to a rank. For example if you’re of an above average ranking then you’ll be in Silver. If you’ve got an MMR 1800 then you’ll be in Gold. Unfortunately you won’t be able to actually what your ranking is; instead the game uses a tier system such as Silver 5 or Silver 3 to determine how far your skill level is.

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It’s these precious little rankings that give a lot of players something to play for, something to win for. Indeed many a player gets hooked to increasing their match making rating. The pros are in the highest rating Challenger. Many players want to climb the elo tree and reach the highest ranking so that they can play with the pros and boast to their friends.

Unfortunately for them the match making system isn’t really based on individual player skill as much as it is based on luck. If you win a game then you increase in ranking, if you lose the game then you lose points. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you did, if you win you get a higher ranking, if you lose then you’ll lose ranking, having said that, getting onto winning streaks will dramatically increase your ranking. If you win 15 games in a row, because you’re just that good, then you’ll be significantly higher in ranking meaning that the very best, and players with natural skill, can get up to the top with ease.

For average players unfortunately you’ll have to go through plenty of games with trolls and other such monsters to get higher in rank. But that’s neither here nor there. For the time being I’m going to give you some advice on how to get better at the game and climb in ranks, which will be especially useful after the rank reset.

Play to Win

This is the most obvious piece of advice anyone could ever give but it’s the piece of advice no one takes to heart, including myself. There are champions who I know I can win with, and there are champions who I know I’ll lose with. The same applies to roles. Even though I climbed out of Silver playing ADC nowadays I can barely play the role as it makes me incredibly nervous (for some confusing reason). Therefore I won’t ever choose ADC, I’ll only play as a Champion who I know I can destroy the enemy with. Do this every single time, and I can guarantee you that you’ll win.

Choose a Champion which fit into your team’s composition and can help your team out

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Too many players choose random champions that don’t really fit into any sort of team composition. Whilst it’s true that you should always pick your best champion, if you can play Zed very well but you can also play a strong Annie and your team has no CC whatsoever then it might be better to pick Annie. Try to choose champions which work well with your team.

Don’t go an assassin Champion unless you know you can win your lane

I see it time and time again, a player will choose the mid lane and then they’ll pick an either Zed or Talon. Picking an AD assassin affects your team in two ways. For one, unless your top player chooses an AP champion then your team is has no magic damage meaning that the enemy can just build armor and then all of your teams damage will be reduced. For second, you’re removing your team of a valuable source of crowd control (most AP champs have some sort of CC) meaning that it’ll be harder to keep the enemies in check. At the end of the day, if you can’t win your lane as an assassin, then don’t pick one.

Supports are really strong right now

There used to be a time when the support role was boring and not a lot of fun to play, with the player in the role having very limited options of what she could and could not do. Nowadays, with the new season 4, that has completely changed.

Supports are incredibly strong because they earn an awful lot of gold and experience, enough to enable them to stay on the same level as other roles at least, and because they can provide a consistent source of CC. They can also fill the role of team tank very well, providing they’re a suitable champion.

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In my opinion one of the strongest champions in the game right now is Nami. She has an area of effect crowd control spell, which can be reduced to a cool down of almost six seconds, and she has so much utility that she can easily help out in the laning phase, regardless of how good or bad it’s going. In my opinion if you play as Nami you’re much more likely to help your team win then playing a traditional carry role or champion.

Don’t flame your allies

Honestly, why even bother playing if you’re just going to end up sitting in your base, insulting your allies. What’s the point? There isn’t one. So don’t play the game if you don’t feel in the mood. Also whilst we’re on this note, just mute players who start flaming you and for god sake’s don’t turn on all chat. The only reason all chat exists is so that players on the enemy team can flame you and make your life a misery. Do yourself a favor and turn it off.

If you don’t think you can win, play a champion with CC

You know how I said I get nervous playing ADCs? Well I try my hardest to avoid playing the role, however if I do have to play it I’ll often choose Ashe because it means that no matter how badly I do in my lane, I can always get a good ultimate off, stun the enemy and help out my team mates. A lot of players don’t appreciate it, but landing the right CC at the right time can really turn the game around for you and your team.

Positioning

Something which a lot of player oft forget about in the heat of battle is positioning, which is odd because I cannot think of anything more important. This especially applies if you’re an ADC, or marksmen as Riot likes to call them. ADCs are so weak now days, and get blown up so quickly, that it’s better to stay out of sight until the enemy team has engaged in battle with your team, then swoop in and do as much damage as possible. This is an easy tactic that’ll give you some success in team fights.

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Of course positioning doesn’t just apply to team fights, it applies to your lane as well. Try to stay on your toes when you’re last hitting in lane, and reposition yourself away from the enemy support. For example, if the enemy Leona moves towards to you then it’s best to take a few steps back, even if it means missing a last hit on a minion. Just always try to be alert and aware of what the enemy could do. Learning what champion’s abilities are, and what their cooldowns are, will help you a lot with this.

Last hit, last hit, last hit!!!

There’s a reason I’ve been playing support almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks, the first is that it’s a very strong role and the second is that I hate last hitting. It’s not that I’m bad at last hitting, it’s just that sometimes I find it all a bit too boring to participate in. With the changes to ADCs, I find that it can also be incredibly stressful trying to kill minions when you’ve got a Thresh or Blitzcrank who can grab you and pull you to your doom at any point. But that’s beside the point, when you are at bot or mid or top then always remember to get those last hits. I know it can be hard sometimes when the enemy is being incredibly aggressive against you, but still…getting last hits wins games!

That’s about it for today! I hope you enjoyed this article, and found it helpful for climbing the elo tree. And as always: Happy hunting!

If you like this article head on over to my other one where I talk about LCS (eSports) and things I’m looking forward to in 2014.

 

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