The preseason is our annual opportunity to push League of Legends in new
and healthy directions, and we’re focused on strategic diversity this
year. For an overview of how we’re shaking things up across the Rift,
check out the Preseason Spotlight!
To start off, I want to emphasize that League is an incredibly complex game. It is multidimensional and mulitaxial in terms of skill. The problem many people face with the "These 7 tips will help you get to Diamond", "This one trick got me to Gold", "Just do these three things to improve" are that they really only work for the person who wrote them or people who are very similar.
Let me explain my logic:
The game often gets broken down into two components: game knowledge
and mechanical skill. These are great general categories, but many
important skills fall into one, both or neither.
Kiting – mechanical skill
Powerspikes – game knowledge
Map awareness – both (you need to be able to look at the map often and quickly AND understand it)
Attitude – neither
Improving in any of those skills will have a positive impact on your game – so it‘s not that one or other is more important.
Furthermore, it‘s easier to make huge gains in skills you didn‘t have
before and see those gains quickly than perfecting something you are
already good at.
Someone who never knew that last hitting was a thing and usually
never had more than 30 CS at 15 minutes starts to try to last hit. He
jumps up to 70 CS at 15 mins. This can happen in a day. Now it will take
him several days or even weeks to get up to the 100 CS at 15 minutes
that is considered good CS. It may take months to hit perfect CS. This
is logarithmic scaling. The initial gains are the quickest and after a
certain point you plateau (though you‘re really still improving). It‘s
much harder to see gains after this point. This is also why people say
the skill difference between Challenger and Diamond is as large or
larger than the skill difference between Diamond and Bronze. It takes a
ton of work to get from great to nearly perfect in any skill.
So how does this help me? – Well lets break the ladder up into skill
brackets. Your skill score is the average of all of your skills – on a
scale of 0 (don‘t even know it exists) to 100 (as close to perfect as
Challenger 99 and 100
The skill score difference between the levels gets smaller and
smaller – but if you think to what I said about how much harder it is to
raise your skill once it‘s at a certain point – you can see where the
actual gap becomes larger and larger.
Also, if you think about it, you can see how someone can be bad
at a certain skill or two and still be Platinum or Diamond, if they are
really good at other things. Likewise, you can be awesome at one or two
skills and still be forever Bronze since there are many others you
don‘t even think about. Since it‘s all an average – you have to improve
in all aspects of the game to really be good at it.
Let‘s further break down what goes into my idea of a skill score:
It‘s multiaxial, meaning multiple things go into how it‘s calculated. Generally there are two axes: Ability and Consistency.
Player A can kite like a god – seriously – in a 1v1
scenario he always outplays his opponent. He gets 48 points (out of 50)
for his kiting ability. However, in teamfights or fights around
objectives, he tends to freeze up and forget to kite. He only gets a 30
in how consistantly he kites. This puts him at a total of a 78 skill
score in kiting – which is low Gold.
Player B wards all the time and is constantly
carrying at least one pink and several green wards the whole game. If
you look up his ward score, it‘s better than 98% of players in any role
he plays. However, he just randomly puts wards in bushes. There‘s no
thought that goes into his ward placement or how he maintains vision
control based on strategy. He gets a 47 for consistancy, but only a 10
for ability in warding. This gives him 57 – or low Silver in warding.
So thinking about that – can you see how some of the time you might think to yourself:
All these posts say I just need to do X to gain elo, I do X, but I‘m still stuck!
If you don‘t do X properly or consistantly – you won‘t get much
higher than Silver or Gold in your skill score and if you don‘t consider
all the other possible skills – your average won‘t be above Bronze.
Another way to look at skill score is just over a scale. Let‘s look at map awareness.
0 – What‘s a minimap
10 – I look at the minimap when I‘m dead/walking to lane
20 – I look at the minimap when someone pings, usually
30 – I try to plan my plays based on what I see in the minimap
40 – I look at the minimap at least once a minute, even if no one has pinged
50 – I use the minimap to decide if I should trade with my lane opponent or not
60 – I look at the minimap several times a minute
70 – I keep an eye on the minimap and tell my team (pings or chat) what to do based on that info
80 – I look at the minimap every several seconds
90 – I use information like last time I saw a champ and their
direction to follow enemy movement in the fog of war and predict
100 – I look at the minimap between every CS
In this example, each tier is building on the previous one, so the 60
point person looks at the minimap several time a minute AND uses that
info to decide if they should trade. You can see how it wouldn‘t take
long for someone to go from 0 to 40 with a small amount of determination
and practice, but going for 70-80 could be a lot harder (remember, it
has to be consistant too – it doesn‘t count if it‘s only for one game
when you‘re supporting and don‘t have to CS)
(disclaimer: I am going to post the following assuming all skills are
equally weighted – this is unrealistic, but it‘s too subjective to try
to come up with any kind of accurate weighting)
So what are the different skills that you can work on in League?
(this is not necessarily a complete list, but it‘s as good as I can get
it at the moment, suggestions welcome)
Resource conservation (normally mana, but also CD, charges, etc)
Champion/item counters (ie. I had a Corki with Zhonya‘s kick my
team‘s ass – our Zed was fed, but couldn‘t insta-kill Corki anymore, so
Corki wrecked us)
Initiation (how and when)
Disengage (how and when)
Split pushing (as the pusher and as the rest of the team)
How to close out a game
How to stall a losing game
Analysis (learning from other players and seeing your own mistakes)
Being in the right place at the right time
Targetting (in a teamfight)
Teamfighting (in general)
Now for you to improve, you‘ll want to first focus on the things in
that list that you don‘t really understand. Say, you‘ve never heard of
the poke-sustain-kill triangle. Go look it up, read about it, try to
understand it and then use that knowledge. You‘ll go from 0-40/50 by the
time you go to bed tonight.
Don‘t focus on the things you‘re already pretty good at (I get 90CS at 15 mins, how can I get 100?)
Also, realize there are things that are hard to accept that you suck
at. Most people will probably never admit they have a real attitude
problem in game.
You don‘t have to be toxic – but do you immediately stop listening to
someone if they criticize your build/decision? Do you just /muteall and
refuse to communicate (communication is a skill)? Do you get defensive
and argue with someone who said you were wrong instead of focusing on
the game? Do you notice that you play worse after making a mistake? All
of these are symptoms of an attitude problem.
To get the 100 skill score
in attitude, you need to be a buddhist zen master when you play (Zen Master). You need to know what your team is saying without letting it have any effect on your play.
Likewise, many people don‘t realize there‘s a ton of decision making
involved in initiation. Just diving in and CC-ing the enemy team does
NOT make a good initiation. This is one of those things that‘s really
easy to judge from the outcome. If you lost the resulting fight – it was
a bad initiation. No excuses, not your teammates‘ fault, nothing. It
was a BAD initiation.
Remember, if your goal is to improve – you should welcome all
constructive criticism. Ask a higher ranked friend (or someone who is
the same/lower rank, but better at a certain thing) specific questions: "On Amumu, I always try to land my ult on as many people as
possible in a teamfight by bandage tossing in then ulting, but I always
seem to die and we lose the fight – how can I work on this?"
You‘ll get better answers asking questions like that as opposed to:
"How do you initiate on Amumu?“
If your teammate says in game: "Amumu, stop diving in and dying"
Don‘t get mad at them but try to think about it. What do they want you to do instead? Ask them. (nicely)
"I‘m trying to initiate but it‘s not working, what do you want me to do instead?"
Also realize that nearly every salty comment someone has ever said to
you had some truth in it. Did someone tell you your build sucked? –
It‘s probably not ideal for your champ. Did someone tell you that you
are a bronze scrub that must have been boosted to gold? – You‘ve
probably got bronze skill scores in certain areas that you really should
work on. Did someone else say that you don‘t know how to play Fizz –
you probably are making the wrong calls on how to play him in
teamfights/1v1s/skirmishes. Again – be a zen master – try to learn from
those salty comments and think about the actual reasoning behind them.
Try to take any opportunity you have to work on your skill set and
remember the things that are holding you back the most are the skills
that are at 0 (You don‘t even know they exist). You‘ll never improve
them unless you‘re willing to listen to people tell you about them.
Lastly – give yourself credit for what you are good at. Many people focus on where they lack skill and you see things like "I suck and I‘m in Diamond", "It‘s not hard to get to Plat, I did it",
etc. That‘s hardly fair because those players are AWESOME at a lot of
things – even if they are just meh at others.
NOTE: This is not a guide or coaching, interested in a guide? Let me know: http://strawpoll.me/2993831 . Lessons are aimed to be short-examples of a gameplay commentary that can be applied to a myriad of different situations.
the Head Coach of EU LCS Team SupaHotCrew. I'm a former Samsung
Ozone/Blue house member, and Diamond 1 Korea server. This video is a
lesson on generic game mechanics and theory of Pantheon jungle game.
While some concepts / play will apply to Pantheon as an individual
champion, many things can be applied to most champions.