10. Each Game is a New Game
Your queue pops and you get into the lobby only to see another Riven top on your team. The last one fed beyond all reason, flamed or maybe even rage quit. If you are like many, still reeling in frustration, you’ve already done yourself a disservice, as you have taken the focus off of a brand new game capable of different results. Nothing in your past games will dictate the future ones, even if it’s that very same Riven that fed or raged the game before.
9. CS Matters
One of the biggest differences in elo ranges isn’t mechanics, it’s the understanding of core basics; the most important of these core basics is understanding the significance of Creep Score (CS.) Last hitting effectively throughout the game will always make you a threat, regardless of kill count. On average, 20 CS is equal in gold to a kill, it’s always in front of you, and it doesn’t fight back – usually.
8. Ward Up
This goes far beyond simply trinket warding on cool down. Get into the habit of buying at least one Control Ward every back, whether you need it or not. Prioritizing vision is how you can make bigger and better plays, all for just the low cost of 75g. Also, focusing on vision and map control will subtlety increase your map awareness, much more than simply trying to ‘look at your minimap more.’
7. Respect Fog of War
Many games in solo queue often end in abrupt picks in the late game. Now, while this is mostly due to death timers being so high, when looking throughout the course of a game they happen much more frequently. Even though placing further emphasis on warding seems like the obvious solution, there will always come a time where vision is lacking and you might have to run headlong into the dark. Common ways of working around this are using abilities to check at a greater distance, as well as sidestepping while approaching oncoming brushes. When in doubt, assume there is a Garen in that brush waiting for you, it might just save you a gray screen – or the whole game.
6. Respect the Enemy
Many deaths in the laning phase are often contributed to not respecting the potential of your lane opponent. Whether it’s a landed skill shot or a summoner spell you thought was down, try to always give the benefit of the doubt to the enemy player. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are required to play passive, but should serve as a reminder to think before you leap; and not just about the actions but the follow up actions. For example, if your flash is down you can expect the enemy jungler to pay a visit. Remember this game isn’t a 1v1 or a 2v2, it’s a team game.
5. Use your Lead
Winning your lane isn’t enough to win a game. Just because you always stomp lane doesn’t mean the fault lies with your team for not stepping up to your level. If you are capable of winning lane nearly every game, then learn to use your lead to influence other lanes. Find openings to roam to overextended lanes, creating the opportunities for getting more objectives. Use your lead to give your team one – it’s the mark of a truly great player.
4. Play from Behind
A player that can only play from a lead isn’t a good player. There are a multitude of reasons you or your team can be behind in any given game. A good player can convert those ‘lost games’ into wins, and it’s actually a lot more simple than it sounds. First and foremost, admit that you as well as all players in your game are not flawless players; we all make mistakes. This applies just as much to your team as it does to the enemy team, even if they do have a lead. Be patient, farm up, and look for openings in their objective control. All it takes is one pick in the late game to turn things around.
3. Close the Game
Every action in game needs to have a set objective. Many players will often get kills and then simply back to base, even when it would be possible to push another wave, or grab a free dragon or turret. When there appears to be a lack of open objectives on the map, many people will try to force something like baiting Baron or split pushing, leading to a risk and potential throw. Often the safest way to close out a game is to group up in the enemy’s weakest lane – furthest turret away from their base – and push as a unit while establishing vision control.
2. Stop typing and Play
We all have had someone, – and at times, been that someone – who has typed some not so nice things into chat. We get passionate about the game, and that’s fine. Typing, however, makes you and your team lose focus on your goal – winning. If you know you are someone that has a propensity for typing, do yourself a favor and ‘/mute all’ at the beginning of each game. A viable strategy in solo que at ALL elo ranges is to tilt someone into raging at their team. They lose focus, and will quickly become a bigger detriment to their team beyond any gold lead could give. Don’t be that player.
1. Focus on Bettering Yourself
Above winning any single game is the first and foremost objective of bettering yourself. Stop worrying about what someone else has done, you can only control yourself and your actions. You are the only constant in any of your games. Not feeders, not flamers, not “trash players”: YOU. A loss is not the end of the world, even if it’s the last one for your promos. Take every win, loss or death as a learning experience. When you have accepted that the end result of a game doesn’t matter as much as how you perform and grow, you will climb, and often without even really noticing it.