I've noticed that anytime someone ask how to climb ranked pro players respond with "get better", "better mechanics", "better map awareness" etc. While they are all true they only present a fraction of what makes a player climb ranked. I speak of personal experience, for the past 4 seasons I have reached Gold 3-4 with medium effort. This year with these tricks in mind and with the same effort I've climbed 7 Divisions in 3 weeks reaching Platinum 5 with a high mmr and blasting onwards towards Diamond. So here is the list, I am sure even a player 10 divisions above me will recognize that he can learn something here. The tricks are listed from low to high in their impact and significanse for your ability to climb.
Keep the good tone, maybe it sounds trivial but I cannot stress enough how much morale affects both teams in a game. Improve your attitude by doing the following small adjustments:
- Everytime a teammate make a good play, say "Gj" or "wp" in the chat. That is all it takes to create a foundation for good teamwork in the rest of the game.
- If someone flame, simply ask them politely to stop and remind them "no flame please, game is not won in the chat, lets keep focus"
- If they keep flaming simply mute them. Any negative distraction will reduce your ability to make the right plays.
You need to improve your reflexes and play faster. There is two things you can do about this:
- Buy proper gaming mouse and keyboard, I use the same setup as DoubleLift and it greatly reduces input latency and allow me to fire abilities faster.
- SmartCast on all abilities and champions is a must, No discussion. Every nanosecond counts in a teamfight.
Realize that SoloQ is a lot different from LCS and organized teams. Champions that are viable in certain strategies and LCS matches are not viable in Solo Q because:
1. People cannot coordinate, they do not know each other
2. SoloQ always comes down to the one thing that every knows how to do: teamfighting.
It is a universal way to win games in solo Q, whatever team has the stronger teamfight and bigger stick wins the game. Sure wacky comps can succeed in rare cases where that team gets ahead but in most cases whatever team has the better synergy and composition for teamfights win.
This brings me to the most controversial point in this article: sometimes you **MUST** Q-Dodge in champion select. Simply because certain picks reduce your teams chances of winning the game by a very large margin. 4 champions are what I call permadodge
_Perma ChampSelect-Dodge Champions_
1. Teemo, this champion attracts the worst of the worst kind of players in ranked. Common for teemo players are there need for fun, they are solo driven and never care about the team. 50% of his dmg is tied to his traps and the need for enemy champs to walk into them --> unreliable dmg output. He brings nothing to teamfights and basicly turns the game into a 4 v 6. In addition this champion also attracts the largest amount of trolls and kids.
2. Shaco, yes he has great ganks and can splitpush. But as mentioned before SoloQ --> teamfights and in 95% of those the shaco player on your team will farm his jungle while some monkey on your team engages in a 4v5 or your team gets caught in a fight. When shaco finally walks out of the bush to kill someone your entire team is dead, baron is gone and shaco goes full yolo to kill their ADC in a desperate 1v5 and dies. Game over, just dodge the champ select and avoid 50 minutes of suffering.
3. Evelynn, same as above.
4. Caitlyn. Lovely champ, powerfull early game. However caitlyn is one of those champs that because of her simple playstyle attracts all those players that do not know how to play ADC. Add to that that unless Caitlyn is 5/0 at minute 15 she falls horribly behind and brings nothing to a teamfight. She has zero burst and any assassin can OS her in the matter of a second. If you don't believe me start doing the math yourself and count everytime you see her. I actually counted: I've lost 18 / 21 games with a caitlyn on the team and I have won 22 / 25 games where caitlyn was on the enemy team. If only takes one gank to put her out of business and make her fall behind.
So remember: it is better to loose -3 LP or -10 LP in champ select than -20 and wasting 40 minutes on a game you have slim chances of winning anyways.
Accept that good mechanics and champion mastery are two different entities. Every champion is different and every champion has a different learning curve. What applies for all is that you need to use them regurlaly to fully master them. Most people keep rotating champs and position to avoid getting "bored" without realizing that they reduce there chances of winning the game because they play champs that they only master 75-80%. Had they mastered them fully they might have made that one crucial play that tipped the balance and won you the game. The solution is simple:
* Play the same role every game, (as often as possible)
* Pick 3 champions you play in every game, no exception.
If that is too boring for you, fine but now you know why your elo is tanking. If you follow the about guidelines you will reach a mastery and mechanic level on these champs that rivals the best of the best players. When you are bored and want to play something else you can have fun in Ranked Flex or Normal games.
The biggest trick to climbing ranked is realizing that players affect the game in two ways
- By making good plays causing an advantage for the team
- By making errors causing a disadvantage for the team
People mostly focuses on the former forgetting that every single tiny error you make will get you punished and might loose you the game. For each tier and division you climb the punishment for an error increases. It does not matter you are 10/0 and have crushed the enemy toplaner, if you overextend at minute 35 that one error can cost you not only Baron but the entire game.
Start looking inwards at your playstyle, ask yourself: how many errors did I make in this game? repeat that question everytime. If the answer is above zero you need to evaluate and reflect how to avoid that same error in the future. If people like this discussion I will be happy to share the 10 most common errors that make you loose a game. For starters accept the fact that 1 death = 1 error. Yes your death might be worth but 1 death is still one too many and means your teams ability to fight and push is reduced because you are not there. By embracing that less errors counts just as much as good mechanics if not more you will climb ranked like never before.
Sorry for the long post, I hope it can raise a constructive discussion where players from all tiers can come together and share their tips and tricks on how they personally climbed SoloQ. See you on the Rift! :-)