Tips to Get Through Ranked Slumps in League of Legends



Sun 6th Sep 2020 - 4:04pm

It happens to everyone. You start the season off with the hot hand, you’re climbing the ladder hard, but then you hit a snag on the path. Your LP gains start evening out with your losses, your opponents and teammates start calling you hardstuck, and all you’re struggling with how you lost all those ‘winnable’ games. Well, you can only do so much on your own. So, today we’re getting into some tips and tricks you can utilize to clear your mind and better yourself for improvement and climbing in League of Legends!

Analyze and Limit Your Champion Pool

Maybe over the course of your season you’ve played around thirty Champion. You might do this for whatever is strong on the given patch, or you’ve done it because you like to mix up how you play the game. Regardless for your reasoning, one of the finest ways to overcome walls and drastically improve your climb is to limit your Champion pool. Some say one-trick, some say two-trick, others say have a handful of picks you like. I personally subscribe to a rule of three. Have two meta picks that you thoroughly enjoy, and then have one personal pick that you know the ins-and-outs.

In my rule, I allow the meta picks to rotate out. Meaning that if one of them receives a drastic rework or nerf, you can swap them out for another Champion should you need. But the personal pick stays the same all season. This is the Champion that you’d play if you don’t know the matchup well, are blind-picking, or your draft feels like it needs that ‘ace’ pick. By keeping your Champion pool small, you build up inherent muscle memory and recognition with these picks. This allows you to be in the right place at the right time for your games, and your experience can often trump someone who’s just playing the flavor of the month. You’ve no need to ‘limit test’ because you know your limits. You play within the strengths and weaknesses of your Champion much more and you’ve no need to ‘risk it for the biscuit’, as the kids say.

You also get quicker feedback as to what is working for you in terms of Champion picks and what isn’t. If you’re bouncing between the entire cast of the meta, it’s hard to establish where the problem lies if you’re stalling out in play. But if you’re focusing on a handful of picks, then you can isolate the play patterns of one of the Champions and recognize what it is you’re having trouble with.

Review Your VODs

Though you may not think it, taking the time to watch your matches back and see your play can make a world of difference. From this perspective you not only get to see your own mistakes, but you also can gleam into what it is your opponents were utilizing against you, and you can formulate strategies to win in similar situations for the next time.

Take, for example, your warding patterns have been very ‘standard’ and you played against an opponent that was excellently clearing out your vision. In-game, while focusing, you didn’t notice how your wards were being sniped out so easily. But, by watching the VOD without pressure to perform, you see that the enemy Support had been easily tracking your wards and clearing them before each and every fight. So, in your next game, you try and adapt your warding patterns a bit and maybe even drop them in a few effective yet unconventional locations. 

Without VOD review, you would have never caught this, and would have remained consistent in your ward placement. And though it may simple, just tweaking that aspect of your play might be enough to push you from Gold 1 to Plat 4, or even higher, depending on your level of play. And even if the analysis leads to a small boost in rank, that’s what we’re after. We want to spark and catch fire to tear up our climb and sometimes even the smallest of hurdles can hold us back if we hit them over and over again. VOD review is crucial for your improvement. So, if you’re serious about climbing, take the time after your sessions to isolate the things you could’ve done better. Be it from poor trades, warding, or pathing.

Get Some Coaching

The wonderful thing about League of Legends is the community is huge and there are a ton of knowledgeable players that are willing to help each other out. I personally have been involved in a few amateur circuits that exposed me to outside coaching that I otherwise never would’ve gotten as a solo-queue grinder, and it’s improved my play and awareness drastically.

And you don’t have to get involved in a circuit or tournament just for this to enter into your improvement. There are services and streamers that offer paid coaching sessions to help you analyze your play. And if that’s out of your budget, there are options to coach yourself up through the educational content provided by those previous streamers and services via Youtube, or by professional teams like Dignitas themselves!

But, I can’t stress enough how important an outside perspective is to your improvement as a player. Humans are naturally biased to see things in our favor at all times. And though this doesn’t necessarily mean we perceive everyone as ‘out to get us’, what it can mean is that we don’t see our own mistakes. A great coach can point out where your mistakes in judgement are holding you back, and can help you formulate strategies to recognize when you need to break away from your ingrained thoughts. Coaches see your habits for what they are, and can help you further establish your good ones, or help you train to break away from your bad ones. Their objective analysis of you, can be the one trigger you need to get your climb rolling again.

Learn From One-Tricks

Echoing the points of Limit Your Champion Pool, and Get Some Coaching, I felt it necessary to isolate this point from the others due to the unique perspective that one-tricks can apply to both of these tips. 

One-Tricks are, in my opinion, one of the best sources of information to learn from when climbing because they offer a perspective that is extremely unique. And I’ll unpack that for you very quickly. Where a High ELO/Professional player or Coach may see the meta at large, and may see all the things that are strong within it, a One-Trick sees their place in that Meta and learns how to deny and or break it open with their Champion. One-Tricks are more easily able to digest all of League of Legends changes because at the end of the day, one aspect about their play that doesn’t change is their Champion. Through the changes, they’ve carved out their place and they know their Champion’s role in the meta, so this rounds back to that muscle memory and recognition talk from earlier, but it is amplified ten-fold.

“But, if they’re a one-trick, how can a one-trick be better than a pro?!” you might ask.

Well, to answer that I say it depends on what you think the term ‘better’ means, and I’d ask you to look at the environment that each plays in. One-Tricks are concerned with dominating Solo-Queue specifically and are more than aware of the arena that they play in because of that. Without aspirations to play in a 5 vs. 5 setting, a One-Trick in Solo-Queue learns how to abuse the inherent chaos within the ladder, and has a deeper insight on how to climb, abuse their Champion, and exploit the common auto-pilot mistakes that ALL players make. This makes their insight more relevant to your average player and their skills and advice is more directly transferable to everyday gameplay.

A professional player doesn’t have to play Solo-Queue to dominate or have it be the sole sources of their improvement. They have team resources and scrims against other pros to help them overcome any issues they might have. Solo-Queue for many Pros is about staying fresh and being familiar with the mechanics of the Champions or systems they need to play with. They’re not looking for the common mistakes that players make so that they can climb, they’re out for overall familiarity and improvement. Though this is not to discredit the impact that Solo-Queue can have on a Professional player, it’s just a matter of what resources are available to them that differentiates them from a One-Trick.

Overall, I’d say for the quickest results, learning from a High-ELO One-Trick will allow you to climb faster thanks to their deeper insight on the Solo-Queue environment and help improve immensely at a specific Champion (obviously). A Professional Coach or Player’s input on your play may not lead to as quick results, but will more largely reflect in overall improvement as a player. Think of it this way, when you look to the Pros, you’re mastering the ins-and-outs of a role itself. When looking to a One-Trick, you’re learning how to exploit the system for your immediate gains.

Closing Out

1. Limit Your Champion Pool

2. Review Your VODs for Mistakes

3. Get Some Coaching

4. One-Tricks are great to learn from

With all that said, I hope you guys will find success in overcoming your slumps with these insights. And as always, I hope you guys have a wonderful day and a great remainder of the season!