Top Tips to Prepare for Season 8
Wed 10th Jan 2018 - 7:10pm
Public Service Announcement: The new ranked season is scheduled to start on January 16th. This is a relief for most ranked players, as the preseason has lasted abnormally long. The start of the ranked season means more competitiveness and a higher drive to win compared to the preseason. For many, the beginning of ranked is an exciting time to show what they’re made of and to climb as high as they can. But for some, it’s a nerve-racking experience due to constant anxiety of making mistakes, disappointing their teammates, and tumbling down the ranked ladder. Whatever category you may fall in, this guide will give you some tips to get an extra edge over the competition!
1: Master Champion Select
The first step to climbing in Season 8 occurs before the match even begins! There are a lot of small things in champion select that you can do that can end up paying dividends once the match actually begins. One of the most important things to do in champion select is to actually participate in champion select. No more going AFK! That’s one of the easier things to fix, but it’s just as important as the other tips. Communicating with your team is very important, and you’ll avoid a lot of confusion this way.
Another important ability to use in champion select is the trading feature. This is especially useful if you are one of the first picks on your team, but you want to play a champion that can get easily countered such as Xerath. A solution to this dilemma would be to trade with one of your teammates. This will not only allow you to make a better decision on the champion you can pick but will also sometimes allow you to counter pick your lane. Some people probably think that all of this is common sense, but getting off on the right foot before the match starts can already put you one step ahead of the opponent.
2: What to Play
If your current champion pool consists of Yasuo, Lee Sin, and Riven, you’re going to want to pay attention. Playing flashy playmakers and assassins are, let's face it, fun! But unfortunately, they are some of the hardest champions in the game to climb with. The mechanics and game knowledge required to play these difficult champions are much higher than some of the lower skill cap champions. This means that it’s going to be much harder to climb the ladder compared to players who play simpler champions.
Instead of picking champions with high skill floors that require complex decision making and have advanced mechanics, choose champions that have low skill floors and are consistent. Champions like Annie, Shyvana, Maokai are much easier to play, and will generally net you more wins in the long run compared to champions like Zed or Lee Sin. Save the flashy plays and champions for normals. If you are serious about climbing, stop inhibiting yourself and pick something easy.
3: Good Habits
You don’t need to have Doublelift level mechanics to climb the ladder. In fact, you would be surprised how impactful simple things are and how they can contribute to your ladder climb. There are numerous small habits you should establish if you are looking to improve your gameplay and climb the ladder. Making sure to always buy a Vision Ward whenever you can when you base is something that not everyone does, but is imperative for allowing your team to establish vision. Players like to undervalue the importance of vision, but by picking up a Ward every back, you’ll be able to get control of the enemy territory and grab neutral objectives like Baron after you’ve removed all of their vision. Another habit to pick up would be looking at the Minimap as often as possible.
The Minimap provides tons of information that the player would otherwise miss. If you spot an enemy on a ward, you’ll be able to tell by seeing them on the Minimap. You’ll also see if a laner leaves their lane and comes towards your lane. Looking at the Minimap is a great defensive tool, and will save you more than once. There are many more small good habits that you’ll pick up simply from playing the game, but these two habits are especially easy to accomplish and comes with great benefits.
4: Analyze Your Gameplay
One of the best ways to improve your gameplay and climb more effectively is to analyze your gameplay through the use of replays and VOD reviews. A large problem some people have is that they don’t know what exactly they are doing wrong, and this can lead to blaming teammates and refusing to improve. Unless you’re someone like Faker, there is going to be things that you can and should improve upon each game. Rewatching games that you’ve played is a great way to improve because you can look at the game more objectively and more closely.
You’ll be able to spot mistakes that might not look like mistakes in the game, but after you rewatch it you’ll notice what went wrong. Maybe you could have positioned better and gotten more auto attacks off as an ADC, or maybe you could ward better after you see how dark the map is. Whatever it is that you need to improve on, by analyzing your own gameplay by watching replays, you’ll notice a rapid improvement if you fix the glaring problems you see in said replays!
5: Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Remember, this is still a game. A lot of people get so caught up in grinding for LP, and trying to be the very best that they can be, they forget that this is still a game. A game that we all started playing for one reason or another. A game that we all were terrible at for a very long time. A game that we all hold dear to our hearts. Sometimes the most important thing to fix is one’s mentality. Don’t get angry at other's mistakes, and don’t beat yourself up every time you misplay. The more you remember that League is still a video game, and the more you remember to have some fun, you will eventually climb. You won’t get tilted by mistakes, and you’ll be able to focus much easier. So instead of getting angry, just remember to breathe, relax, and have some fun!
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