League of Legends

Observations: Why you’re stuck in Silver and what you should pay more attention to

Disclaimer: Firstly, let me start by saying I'm by no means a good player. This is aiming purely at low elo players. If you are Platinum or higher, all this shouldn't be new to you. As someone who played in Platinum ages ago for the little time I played and starting back in silver now, all the below are just observations.

I haven't played LoL in years (Platinum in Season 2&3, then stopped playing for years) and just recently picked it up again with a friend ( I main Jungle, he plays ADC). I'm currently in my gold promotions with over 300 ranked games. Obviously had to learn the game again as many things have changed over the many seasons I haven't played (new jungle, champions, items and what not). Not even sure if posts like this are wanted here, but I wanted to share first hand experience from "elo hell" and what my observations as a main jungle player are on why you're not advancing to Gold or higher (and let me tell you, it's not your team mates). I'm by no means saying I'm better than you or saying I do all the below perfectly, so take it with a pinch of salt.


Prequel:

Mechanically people in silver have become crazy good. I mean compared to higher elos we are nowhere near but compared to years ago the skill cap really has increased. I've seen silver players pulling crazy stuff. That's good to see for someone who hasn't played in years.

But then again, despite mechanical improvements, people are still lacking the absolute basics of the game and will not take any feedback within the game (I've switched over to "mute all" fairly fast as the community is still extremely toxic, maybe even more than back then) so I'm trying to reach some willing to understand a bit more here instead of in-game.

Some basics I want to get into evolve around all lanes. You've heard those basics everywhere before by better players but I thought hearing the same things by "people your elo" might help.

So let's get to it, read it and flame me in the comments later:


1. Farming/CS/Last Hitting:

People still haven't learned the basics of farming. 80-100 cs after 15-20 mins is silver standard and it is terribly low considering there is 12(?) minions running down the lane every minute. Some do better, some worse, but last hitting is essential and many of you you haven't mastered it. Just one or two more minion per wave can make a huge difference in mid-late game.

Practice it, really. Last hitting and thereby gold advantage in your laning phase makes all the difference. Especially in a passive lane this is crucial – if you can't get kills (but even then): farm, farm, farm as good as you can. Learn how that individually works for the champions you play. I see too many pressure plays and all-ins resulting in nothing but disadvantages.

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2. Map awareness

Oh boy… OH BOY. This one is hitting home for a jungler. Lane players but especially bot lane have absolute zero map awareness (I assume that is because these players have to pay more attention as it is 2v2).

Well guess what? Pushing into the enemy tower without wards and without any mini map awareness is a ney-ney 90% of the time. This is giving the enemy jungler everything they need to succeed in their role if played correctly. At least it is giving them more options than necessary.

Also, if your lane goes missing, a simple ping spam is not enough for your allies. In higher leagues that might be okay or might even play out as an advantage when people know what they're doing, but with your other lanes having no map awareness either, a roaming enemy will often be successful and thereby likely lose you more games.

Always assume your allies have you on full mute, so your pings are pointless. Follow roaming mid/top laners and help, especially in silver where everybody basically tilts after first blood.

If you pay more attention to the mini map, your chances of dying less, getting more objectives and helping out others is way bigger. It is more important than you getting that extra kill. Playing safer with more awareness instead of "yolo all-in" will win you more games, I promise. The more games you apply this to, the better. Hyper aggressive plays should be done when in favorable positions, not out of frustration.

Also, following roaming mid/top laners to support the respectively roamed lane will increase your chances of winning as your mates are more likely to survive / get extra kills with your support, evening the playing field.

It's a team game after all: less blame, more team play!


2.1. Vision / Vision control

This goes hand in hand with Map awareness – but the better/more you ward, the more map awareness for your team.

I've seen so many people ending up with 2 digit deaths, simply due to lack of vision. Ward your lane to see ganks coming early, and if you run out, play it safer. You don't need to hyper carry every game, simply avoiding to feed can make your allies be in a better mood and maybe they'll even carry you this time around? It also makes you tilt less.

So ward your lane, pay more attention to the mini map and play it safer. Also, there are control wards you can buy. USE THEM!!

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To all support players: For the love of god, use your warding items. It is considered part of your role to also ward in mid-late game for objective control, e.g. Baron. (I know you want to be the 10/0 Brand/Pyke support, however you probably won't carry a team game yourself from a support role)

Also: Face checks, ganks, objectives being ignored are huge problems.


3. Objectives

You could probably write an essay about objection control (and it probably has a 100 times) and how important they are but most importantly: pay more attention to objectives.

So many free dragons have been lost because bot players / mid laners deemed it more important to last hit 4 more minions or pushing the lane instead of getting a dragon. I know this is very situational and setups for dragons / objectives are subjective but if your allies commit, then in silver you should too. This will change with higher leagues. Same goes for Barons after successful inhibitor pushs or other favorable plays.

People underestimate the baron buff and how a split push with it will increase your chance of winning the game.

Hint: the more inhibitors you get, the more map control you get, ultimately giving you free jungle camps twice (enemy jungle becomes more controllable with pushed lanes), barons, dragons etc.

Understand that objectives as towers, dragons, herald and baron are a big impact in winning games. More than you'd think. It is not always about the 10/0 stat line hyper carry. One fed player doesn't necessarily win games, especially not in silver where team fights are just button mashing first target focus kinda plays.

So if two of your allies commit to an objective you should consider helping them out. It's a TEAM GAME after all.


4. Match Up's and pick/ban phase

Though I agree picking a champion you play well is a great idea in this elo, you should probably start considering counter picks/match up's as well as swapping champions in champion select. Waiting for the enemy to pick a lane first can be game winning, if you have a champion pool that allows you to pick a favorable match up on your end. First-picking your Teemo top / Ahri mid can lose you the game quicker and more often than you think, even if you are comfortable on these champs.

Yes, your jungler can turn things around for you, but that too is based on so many different factors like vision, state of the lane, early jungle advantages, what the enemy jungler is doing, etc.

Again: it's a team game, make use of every advantage together, whenever you can. The pick and ban phase and communication there is crucial – there is a reason why in higher elos people dodge games in the pick&ban phase so often.

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Conclusion

There is possibly a ton of more reasons (team fights and positioning, tilting/mindset, mastering a diverse pool of champions, knowing enemy jungle paths and so on), but we must take it one step at a time, starting with the most impacting reasons why we lose so much. And it is not your ally – it is you (and thereby the above) 😉 !

To advance to higher elos with a winrate of 50.5 – 52% (made up numbers) will take you thousands of games, so the higher you can push that percentage by improving yourself, the faster you will advance. Also, these things will haunt you in higher elos anyways and you'll be stuck again. So as much as you want to blame your team (and often you will lose games because others fucked up, but it is a team game, which is why it is so important that you play to the best of your abilities), as long as you didn't play perfect, there is room for improvement.

You can't and won't manage all these things at once. How to best approach all these points I don't know, but possibly it is best to start implementing the above one by one after watching your own replays. Don't get so stuck with looking at where others misplayed, watch your own replays and truly see what went wrong with your lane (and again, you winning the lane doesn't mean you did very good, especially in silver).

tl;dr: Fix your own gameplay and stop blaming your jungler. 😉

actual tl;dr: Improve, improve, improve on the above and whatever you're not good at, even if you did well that game you lost. Be a team player, it is a team game. If you can't do that, quit or stop complaining that you're stuck.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. The comment section is now opened for roasts!

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