Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Leaving Elo-Hell and Climbing on the Elo-Ladder. A Comprehensive Guide for the Average LoL player

Hey everyone,

This is my first try to write a guide but I hope that you will like it. I summed up a few info instead of making a lengthy paragraph ( as you will notice the guide too long)
Name: Kostas, Summoner names: fouf123 on East and foufeX on west
Role: Jungler
Highest elo: 1820
Info: I am not a skilled player but I try to counter that with experience and knowledge of the game.

This guide is on how to get your ELO higher. By saying higher I don’t intend to give you guidelines on how to get from 1900 to 2400 but some useful tips and ideas on how to get out of elo-hell and do your first steps towards 1800ish rating.

As we do in business it will be good to have a plan. You should answer some questions like:
Where am I? Do you feel that you belong at 1500 elo, 1800 one or you are a professional that was so unlucky with his teammates and got stuck in elo-hell?

Where do I want to be? After you decide how good player you are it is good to set realistic targets. So I you think you are a 1600 player, 1650 rating is a realistic target. After you achieve your current targets you can set new ones.

How I will get there?  Well that’s what this guide is talking about. Hope you can find some useful information in it.

List of topics:
·         Play roles you are familiar with
·         Play heroes you are familiar with
·         Lane control
·         Map awareness
·         Information, information, information…
·         Try to be the leader (if you can).
·         Feedback yourself
·         Play when you perform best!
·         Duo Queue with someone you can co-operate.
·         Try to avoid bad players
·         Do not flame.
·         Try to make a winning streak at the begging.

·         Play roles you are familiar with!

I know it’s hard sometimes to get the role you like but at least you have to tell your teammates, at the champion selection screen, that you would like to play a particular role because you perform better at it. Also a back-up plan is a good idea.

 Your back-up plan would be to be able to play a second role in an acceptable level other than your main role. For example, I try to get the role of the Jungle but it is not always possible so my second choice is always support. If that is not possible either I am able to play a couple of safe farming heroes at Top and Mid. I choose heroes that can farm safely because when I play in a lane I am not familiar with, I will probably lose it because the opposite player will be more experienced than me. So what I try to do is farm till mid game and try not to feed the opponents. If that is the case, I will recommend (at least for the lanning phase) not to do weird/Gosu stuff that you have seen on streams just farm and do not feed.

·         Play heroes you are familiar with.

Similarly, you should always try to play champions that you are familiar and good with. Some argue that if you can play a single champion amazingly can carry you around. I would recommend a middle way. Depending on your role you should have a champion pool that you are comfortable with so you can pick the hero that fits better in the situation. Do not try champions you are not familiar with because their counter to your opponent’s champion. If your opponent knows how to use his hero, you will probably fail.

Taking myself for example, I can play at competitive level at least 2 Junglers from each of the following categories: a) Counter-junglers, b) Safe Farming Junglers, c) Strong Gagners, d) Tanky Junglers, e) Bruisers Junglers, f)Heavy-CC/Support Junglers, g) AP based. Having a variety of champions I am able to adapt depending on factors such as:
i)                    What does my team need (CC, Tank, Dmg, AP) .
ii)                   What will counter the opponent team (do they have heavy physical/magical dmg or heavy CC?).
iii)                 What will counter the enemy jungler (if they pick a weak jungler, I will go for a counter-jungler etc).
Regarding your secondary role you should be able to have a few champs you should be familiar with

·         Lane control

Moving from champions selection to lanning phase. In order to perform well you will need to have items which means that you need to farm CS safely. To do that you should know the basic of lanning and a few lanning techniques. Because this guide is getting too long and other people have written before me about it, if you do not know how to: i) Deny CS, ii) Freeze your lane, iii) Push your lane strategically and farm safely you should read another guide : )
BeeJ have written a nice, extensive guide on NA League of legends forum regarding lane control, here is the link.

·         Map awareness

In my opinion map awareness is one of the most important factors to win the game. It is really important to know at all times what’s going on at the map. The map awareness depends mainly in two things: i) vision of the map (through towers, minions and wards yes you should buy wards no matter your role) and ii) if you actually look on the map once in a while. You should be aware at all times where your teammates are and have an idea if possible of where your enemies are.

For example, you don’t want to go counter-jungling when your mid is at base, their Mid and Bot have pushed their lanes and you don’t have an idea where the enemy jungler is. If you take all the above into consideration you will understand that the risk for taking a couple of minions is too high. On the same way you don’t want to put ward on the river if all 5 enemy members are missing and you don’t have an idea of where they might be.

Especially for initiators, you should be always aware where your teammates and enemies are if you want to do a proper initiation. I know you all (including me) have experience times that you initiated because you were 5 and they were 3, but 3 seconds later you were alone and they were 5 because your teammates went back to farm and you didn’t notice.

·         Information, information, information…

 A really important aspect of the game is information. Your ability to get information and to interpret it correctly is a difficult task that needs experience and awareness of what’s happening around you and on the map. Information is the line that separates a good call from a bad call. You should always have information regarding all the players on their position on the map, their cool downs, their items, their score, the timers of the neutral monsters etc. By having that information in mind you can calculate your friends and opponents strength and even predict their next move on the map.

For example, if you know that a player has used his summoners, will give you a window of a few minutes to take advantage of it by pressuring his lane or even ganging him. If you know the timers for the neutral monsters you can be prepared to fight for them or even take them fast enough without anyone noticing. If you see the mid player at top, you can use this information and pressure put pressure on a tower Bot or take the dragon etc etc.

·          Objectives

You all have been to games that you were carring so hard but you lost the game at the end. If you have 11-0-2 doesn't really matter unless you destroy the enemy Nexus. So you have to define the objectives and then puss for them.  Your early game objective should be to win your lane. That means more CS than your opponent, more kills and if possible a Tier 1 tower down. This way  you put pressure on the map and lead your team to mid-game objectives. Mid-game objectives should be the Drake, Tier 2 towers and then if your team is doing well you should end the game by try to take the enemys inhibitors, Baron and finally The Nexus.

·         Try to be the leader (if you can).

It always a good tactic to work as a team and every good team needs a good leader. In case none is presenting leadership skill and you think you are able to lead your team to the victory then start organizing.

There are few basic things to do as a leader.
i)                    First more important and more difficult is to make your team trust you as a leader. There are not tips for that; usually if you make a good call once or you have the most kills of your team will work. Otherwise people tend to follow people with high elo, so a small lie would not always be that bad.
ii)                   Ping the map and call the SS, share the information you have.
iii)                 Make your team to push for the objectives, by instructing them, being present for the goal, proper warding in order to achieve the objective etc

Unfortunately the leader role is a hard one and needs a lot of experience to make good calls. It fits better to the positions of mid and jungler because of their ability to roam and put pressure on specific objectives.

·         Feedback yourself

At the end of each I would recommend to take 1 minute before Queuing again and think about you in the game you just played. Think what have you done wrong and what have you done right.
Was your CS score acceptable? If you were mid player, did you put pressure on the map? Did you have a good Kill/Death ratio? Why did you lost the baron smite? Can you improve next time? Do not try to follow the common way of thinking...I lost my lane because my jungler did not help me. Even if that is the case… try to think what you could have done better in order to win your lane? Did you made a bad move and gave your opponent your advantage? Did you use wards? You think you should have played more defensively?  What went wrong and you lost the lane? Most of the times its either are points in the game we messed up by making a bad call which our opponent took advantage of it and then the game snowballed.

·         Play when you perform best!

If you are planning to get your elo high you will have to win. In order to win the best think you can do is to perform at least above than average. If all your teams perform above average you will probably win. Keeping that in mind it can prove useful sometimes to play when you know that you can perform the best.
For example, try to be rested. If you haven’t slept for one day the chances you will fail are higher. Try to avoid playing ranked games for 10 hours in a row; there are a lot of chances that after your first games your effectiveness will drop

·         Duo Queue with someone you can co-operate.

When you play solo Queue, you are playing with 4 random people that can perform from really good to really bad. By playing Duo Queue (DQ) you are reducing players that can potentially miss-perform by one.

To have a successful DQ, it would be wise to pick up a friend that you can co-operate with. By co-operation I mean two things:
i)                    You both have the same play-style (aggressive, defensive, objective based) and
ii)            Your main roles can synergize (mid-jungle, top-jungle, ad-support). If you both feel really confident about yourself you can try to pick solo lanes and carry the game for the rest of the team. Other than that it would be great if you and your duo partner are playing along time together so you can synergize better. Software and microphone for online talking are strongly recommended!

·         Try to avoid bad players.

That goes mostly for lower elo people. I have noticed a lot of times that people (for some reason) leave the game resulting in putting you back in the Queue. Sometimes, you will be able to get some information about your teammates through this time. If for any reason you think that you team is not going to be good (have played before with that player, he was flaming at the champion selection, he was acting like a child etc), LEAVE THE QUEUE! The chances are really high that you will get on the same team with some of those people when the game window pop-up again.

·         Do not flame.

As Riot mentions to its new “Tips in game” feature, people that flame have 16% more chances to lose the game that those who do not. I believe that the “Do not blame” is not a tip or advice but a rule.

By flaming you are not magically transforming your teammates to professional players. Most possible is to get them play even worse. Additionally, you are not focused anymore on the game but you are typing a lot and thinking of good lines to make fun of the other players reducing your performance.

My personal advice is play your game and do not criticize the rest. On the same way there will be times that you will have bad games and you will be flamed, just ignore them and keep playing your game. Constructive criticism in a good manner is always welcome!

·         Try to make a winning streak at the begging.

Well that’s a small one but helped me a lot in Season 2. It is better to wait a few days before starting playing because at the moment at 1500 elo they are players that used to be a lot higher. So it would be a good idea to let them get higher so you can play with people at your level or worse. As you have noticed the first game of each Season are ranking games, this means that you gain 30+ rating per win and lose 30+ rating per defeat. So it will be easier to get elo if you win at the beginning of the Season.

For example, at Season 2 I began playing kind of late. As a result most of the top players have left elo hell and I was able to make a score of 11-1 which meant that I was at 1750 rating with only 12 games! After that point even if I lost a game I was penalized with only 10-12 points instead of 30. The hard part is to maintain and increase your rating after that point.

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