How to Climb ELO in League of Legends as a Top Laner

“How to climb ELO?” seems to be a pretty common question among the mass populace, and for good reason — with a new season having already started, everyone’s looking to try and climb the ladder, preferably much higher than they’ve ever done in the past.

While some players seem to have no problem reaching higher ELO, a lot struggle to get out of Gold, Silver, or even Bronze. I’m not ashamed to say I am one of those players. Rather, I used to be one of them. Through hard work and determination, I’ve been able to make it out of the trenches for quite a while now, grinding enough to reach Platinum and threatening to reach Diamond with more playing time.

That may not mean much to the elites, but to me, it was everything, and along the way, I found out what worked for me and what didn’t.

So, if you’re one of those who’s frantically searching for guides on “How to climb ELO” in League of Legends, then look no more.

Below, I’ll share what I would say is my “winning formula” that has allowed me to win 65 percent of the last 100 Solo queue games that I have played.

1. Pick a few champions and stick to them

How to Climb ELO

The first step to learning how to climb ELO is to accept that you’re not as good as you think you are and that you’re better off playing only a handful of champions as opposed to trying to play whatever you can think of. (Riot / League of Legends)

One of the best ways to learn how to climb ELO is to learn to play a few champions and stick to them. You’re simply not skilled enough to be a jack of all trades in the lower trenches. You might be familiar with dozens of champions, but there’s a huge chance that you don’t know them well enough to play them to have enough of an impact to win consistently game after game. That’s why I recommend sticking to 3 or 4 champions to play.

For me, it was Nasus, Darius, and Garen.

For example, I would pick Nasus when I knew that I can stomp my laner and would try to stack as much as possible before the laning phase. Meanwhile, Darius was my go-to pick sometimes because most players in Bronze or Silver, and sometimes in Gold, don’t really know how to counter him. As a result, in more than half of the games, I had the first blood just before I hit level 3, and I would just snowball from there.

Garen was the exact same thing for me. I played him as a bully and then starve my opponent from farming, resulting in an easy game for me.

Now, this mean that I’d always win. Rather, it just meant that I had three champions that I were comfortable playing with enough that I know that I’ll make a lot of impact when I’m playing them, regardless of whether I win or not.

2. Learn champions with different playstyles

How to Climb ELO

Darius is an easy to play hero that will teach you a lot about how to take advantage of timings and power spikes. (Riot / League of Legends)

Darius is an early game, all-in type of champion, while Nasus is a split pusher that once you manage to stack enough, you can easily 1v5.

Whenever I pick Darius, my gameplan is to get ahead early so I can make an impact on the other lanes and roam mid whenever I can. The added pressure makes it easier for my team to accomplish their respective objectives, especially because my top lane couldn’t follow me since he was way behind and would have to risk having a much lower impact because he had significantly less farm compared to me.

In contract, when playing Nasus, I would stack as much as I could and get the first turret. When I did, I would either swap lanes with my bottom lane or continue split pushing the top lane. Done right, I’d get an inhibitor by minute-20. Just be careful, though. If you’re split pushing, you should pay extra attention to the map because you want to draw as many opponents to you but without dying, so that you will give your team enough time to get another turret, farm more minions, or whatever.

Learning champions with different playstyles is useful if you want to knwo how to climb ELO because it exposes you to various methods of play, allowing you to device counters on your own once you do encounter players playing such a playstyle.

3. Mute everyone

How to Climb ELO

Silence is often the best solution when climbing up from the lower ELO ranks. (BeatzBoyFTW / League of Legends)

Communication at this ELO is shit, for the lack of a better word.

If you want to learn how to climb ELO, do not communicate with your team. The toxicity that you will face will either tilt you or waste your time. To say focused, it’s more fruitful to mute everyone and just focus on your game.

I can’t count just how many games I’ve lost trying to reason with my teammates who wanted to take Baron Nashor 20 minutes into the game with zero vision while the entire enemy team was in a position to contest. It doesn’t take an expert to know that such attempts don’t end well nine times out of ten, and the worst part is, when you do not help, they’ll flame you until you tilt, or at the very least, tilt themselves out of the game.

So, do yourself a favour and mute them. You’ll have a much easier time winning the game if you do that.

4. Learn to carry

How to Climb ELO

With high range, mobility, and high damage output, Tristana is one of the highest rated ADCs in League of Legends and one that you’d benefit from adding to your champion pool. (Riot / League of Legends)

The ability to carry hard, either early game or late, is crucial to learning how to climb ELO at the top lane.

While utility-focused champions do have their place and it’s great that you have such champions in your pool, it’s also great to know how to carry. For example, on a champion like Darius, you can get a quick lead early on and try to impact the entire map as fast as you can. This is not the traditional way to carry, but because the champion has a much stronger early-game spike than most, knowing how to make the most out of the champion’s strengths will help you tilt the scales of success towards your favour. Meanwhile, if you’re playing someone like Nasus, your goal is just to stay back and stack until your time comes when you can stomp everyone.

The thing about playing in lower ELOs is that you really can’t count on almost anyone and it helps if you know how to do a bit of heavy lifting and carry every now and then.

5. Dodge

How to Climb ELO

While heavily discouraged by Riot themselves, queue dodging is a legitimate tactic for climbing ELO for those who just have to avoid a particular player or matchup. (Riot / League of Legends)

Dodging is something that I highly recommend when you have a toxic teammate in champion select, or when you see that someone will troll and you won’t have any chance of winning the game.

We’ve all been there, where someone on champion select will actively flame if they don’t get their favorite champion or even when someone refuses to trade positions with them. However, this isn’t the only case when you should dodge since there may be cases where the champions that you play with, are either banned or they are taken from you, so instead of experimenting and trying a champion that you’re not that good at, it’s much better to just hit that X button and leave, rather than have a stressful game and lose LP.

6. Don’t play when you’re on tilt

I am sure you have heard this many times, and this is a mistake that I have done for years.

Whenever I had a bad game, I would instantly play another game, as if I was trying to redeem myself and regain the lost LP. Unfortunately, that rarely worked and I would end up losing even more LP and then the vicious cycle would continue. In the long run that will keep you stuck where you are and you won’t’ be able to have any success climbing.

Whenever you get stomped in a game and regardless if it was your fault or your team’s fault, just leave the game and go do something else until you are relaxed or even don’t play at all for the rest of the day.

Knowing when to play another game and when to walk away was one of the biggest lessons I learn when climbing ELO.

7. Play another role at least decently

How to Climb ELO

There are five different roles in League of Legends and familiarizing yourself with more than one can help you be more flexible, as well as improve your understanding. (Riot / League of Legends)

If you want to know to climb ELO, it’s best not to be a one-trick pony. It’s great that you have a set of champions you know well, but, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to play your favourite role. So, if that happens, what do you do? Well, if it’s a favourable game and you’re not on tilt, you should switch positions and play a different role.

Even if you’re only half as good as your main role in your secondary role, it pays to learn so you don’t have to dodge anymore and maybe even learn a thing or two about playing a different position.

When playing your second role, make sure that you play champions that are low risk and low reward. Meaning that you will have to play with champions that have escapes and while you may not be able to carry with them all the time, you can still have a great impact on the game.

For me, it was Mid lane and I would pick champs that I am decent with and try to play safe and only go all in when I had the Jungler in my proximity.

8. Vision is of the utmost importance

If you’re really serious about learning how to climb ELO, then good for you. Now, forget all about whatever you may have learned about pink wards being exclusively for supports. Buy them, and learn how to use them. It’s only 75 gold, and at the very least, you’ll have saved yourself from an untimely death or two. Not to mention, warding objectives like Drakes and Baron Nashor will save help you know more about the location of the enemy Jungler.

While you may think that it’s obvious, but the map awareness and the rotations in Iron, Bronze, and Silver are nonexistent, so with only 75 Gold, you can help your team keep vision of these two, very important objectives.

Take in mind these are tips that have helped me learn how to climb ELO in Season 8. As of now, I’m climbing the ELO boards as we speak, and who knows? You might have even played with me. Either way, I hope that these tips have helped you as much as they have helped me.

Good luck, and have fun.

What do you think is the best tip for those who want to learn how to climb ELO? Is it really possible for anyone to reach Platinum, or Diamond? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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