The Best Practices to Climb up the League of Legends ELO Ladders

Finding a perfect balance between playing champions you’re good with and ones which are strong in the meta

At times we are all guilty of playing champions simply because they’re fun to play. You can have 500 games on Lee Sin, and still not play him to a good standard. One of the most important things to learn if you want to climb is that you have to find a balance between enjoyment, power and skill cap. With the constantly changing meta, champions become worse or better overnight. Don’t hold onto certain champions, just because they’re your favourite. If they are bad in the meta, you won’t find yourself climbing.

Equally, it’s harder to climb if you’re not having fun. If you’re playing a really OP champion but you don’t enjoy it, you will likely become bored and make mistakes. For example, Janna has recently been incredibly strong, thanks to how strong Ardent Censer is (or was until the recent patch). However, Janna is incredibly boring to play, and although she offers a lot of outplaying potential and utility, playing 20 games in a row as Janna can spoil the fun of climbing.

Just try to find a good balance between champions which you have the ability to play, or know how to play, and champions which are strong in the meta.

Knowing when to /mute all, never flaming and always try and be encouraging. It really does work wonders.

This cannot be stressed enough. Climbing is much harder when you’re constantly typing to your team-mates, telling them what they’ve done wrong and telling them all kinds of other things which shouldn’t be uttered here. There is a /mute all option for a reason. Use it. If you make a mistake, and you know that you’re going to get tilted from it, mute all and then carry on as before.

Likewise, don’t give your team-mates grief for mistakes they make. Let’s say you’re playing a game where you’re sat there typing for 2 minutes throughout the whole game. That’s 10% of a 20-minute game which you could have spent farming, pressuring or generally doing something useful. If you instead chose to sit there and type, this is time wasted and simply further contributes to the loss.

Griefing team-mates rarely works. It’s simply not worth it. It’s also not worth it to sit there and read the grief that others give you. This will encourage you only to type back to them, or it will tilt you and make you play worse. If one person is hassling you, just mute them. It makes the game run so much more smoothly and it’s really worth it. You will find yourself enjoying the game more if you don’t have to deal with people who are flaming you.

Look at how pros build on certain champions, adapt your builds for certain situations

There are many sites which allow you to look at people’s builds. If you’re picking up a champion for the first time, then have a look at them. Even if you’ve played a champion 500 times this season, you could still be building them completely wrong. Just have a look at these sites. Don’t be stubborn and assume that you know the best build for your champion. It’s likely that pros know something that you don’t, and they may also have something on their runes and masteries that could surprise you.

A lot of players at the moment take Fervour of Battle on Jayce, for example. Khan, the top laner of Longzhu Gaming, often takes Thunderlord’s Decree. It could be this that separates Khan’s Jayce from everyone else’s. He’s considered to be one of the best in the world.

Don’t get stuck in your ways. League of Legends is about adaptability, as much as it’s about mechanic skills. If your enemy team has a lot of healing, get executioners. If they have a lot of CC, get Mercury Treads. One mistake that players often make is that they build the same things every game. This isn’t conducive to climbing, and may actually be one of the main reasons you’re not where you want to be.

Know how your team composition works, know when you have an early game comp and a late game comp and act accordingly

This is a huge mistake at ELOs below Diamond. If you have a late game composition, you cannot expect to win the early game. You have to know when to give up CS, when to give up objectives and how to play safely in the early game.

If you’ve picked a scaling composition, there’s no point getting aggressive during the laning phase. All that will happen is that you will lose the laning phase so hard, that the enemy team may snowball it into a victory. It’s absolutely vital that you understand when you have an early game, mid game and late game advantage.

Likewise, if you’re playing with an early game composition, you have to completely destroy the enemy team. If the game goes beyond a certain point, then your composition will already be past its prime and the enemy team may start to come back. Look for opportunities to take baron. Don’t just sit back and throw the game into the hands of your opponents. Know when to go for the kill and understand how to close out games. If you watch professional games you’ll notice how early they take baron. In the LPL play-offs so far, almost every game had a sub 25-minute baron.

If you watch professional games, you’ll notice how early they take baron. In the LPL playoffs so far, almost every game had a sub 25-minute baron. The Baron Buff is one of the easiest ways to close out a game, so make sure you understand when to take it. Vision is absolutely vital to this, so also make sure that you’re buying control wards.

Study and read about match-ups, watch match-ups on Youtube if you want to improve in mid or top and, to some extent, ADC

Get out of the damn elo hell

Credit: Team Dignitas – if pros don’t know how, nobody does!

In order to climb you also have to understand match-ups. This is mainly relevant to Top, Middle and ADC but it can also be applied to both jungle and support. Let’s say that you’re a one trick pony and every time you pick your champion, someone always picks your direct counter. Go on Youtube and search for the match-up. Watch Faker win the match-up and see exactly how he does it. There will be hundreds of videos out there of this exact match-up going in your champion’s favour, so don’t be lazy and watch it.

On the other hand, it’s also important to know how to counter other champions. Darius is a terror in most lower ELOs. Anyone who has come up against the enraged axe murderer will know how it feels to play against a Darius with 500 games this season. However, if you have that little trick up your sleeve to counter him, then you will win practically every game against him.

Don’t let your ego get in the way. Admit when you’ve made mistakes and learn how to remedy them

You will make mistakes in every single game. Learn to notice the mistakes and then think about how to solve them. This is probably the most important part of climbing. The way we learn is by making mistakes. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your learning process. Don’t say “Oh we would have won that if my team-mates hadn’t been so bad.” Here’s some news for you: every game you’ve lost you could have carried harder.

One good thing to do is when you lose a game and you want to blame your team-mates just think “what if Faker (or any pro player) had been on my team instead of me?” Do you think you still would have lost? Barring intentional feeders and AFKers, every game you’ve ever lost was winnable if you’d played better.

It’s a tough world out there

It’s definitely hard to climb in League of Legends. It’s tough to forget about the bad things which happen. Everyday people experience the worst parts of the game. It’s important to try your best to ignore these things.

When you have a game where someone intentionally feeds, the best thing to do is to try to forget about it. Take a break. Have a coffee. Go back to the game with a fresh mindset.

One of the most important skills which League of Legends requires it patience. Without patience, you’re never going to climb. If you get annoyed or frustrated incredibly easily, it’s much more difficult to climb. Don’t give in to the little voice of frustration. Remain zen and attempt to ignore all the negativity. It’s difficult, but by no means impossible. As all the pros say, there’s no such thing as ELO hell if you yourself never troll, intentionally feed or go AFK.

If you really want to flame someone, just wait until after the game. Then they can’t hold your game to ransom.