How to REALLY Improve at League of Legends

reallyimprove

Hello ladies and gentlemen !

I am La Yunade, and ranked in the diamond league. If you have any questions you can adress them to me HERE.

I am writing this guide so as to make it a quick and comprehensive read, saying good bye to trivialities and off-topic themes. And all that to teach you how to become better at League of Legends.

This guide will be long, it contains multiple sections that can be read separately. If you’re feeling lazy you can jump straight to the topic that matters to you.

INTRODUCTION

LoL is a game requiring a lot of knowledge to be proficient at it (cooldown, damage, items, etc). For this very reason, there is no guide that can exhaustively gather the whole game tricks, and this is why a lot of players can’t perceive the skill difference between a Plat player and a Bronze player. This is also why there is no « secret recipe » to improve immediately. This guide is, in a way, this secret recipe, or at least the list of all the different ingredients it requires. I am not going to teach you what you have to do in game, it is more about the mindset you will need to improve.

This guide corresponds to every kind of players, but only the more motivated players will really benefit from it. Players aren’t equals, they do not share the same potential, the same innate talent, the same PvP experience, of MOBAs or even micro-management skills. But even if they start with different tools, they can end up as equals. As I said earlier, LoL is game requiring a lot of knowledge : even if you are not able to swin, everyone has the ability to memorize information and to store them in your brain. This takes a certain amount of time varying between the players involved, but everyone is capable of it, as long as they (really) want to improve.

INVESTMENT

I mentionned motivation, but it goes along with investment. You will not improve by playing only 2 games a week. If you only play once every year, but wish to get better, the first step is to play more. Practice does make perfect, and it is especially true in League of Legends.

90% of players are below the Plat rank : to reach this level is fairly easy, but for those wishing to go further, the time investment has to be managed and maximized (if you don’t want to become a total nerd, or simply lose time learning nothing).

If you decide to become really better at League of Legends, that means to stop seeing it a short-term entertainment (as you would for any other ordinary game) and start considering it as a discipline in itself.

FOCUSING

I am not talking about the « fun games » like ARAM that you can do while « relaxing », but of normal games (where you can learn) and of ranked games.

You can’t talk while doing anything else : Facebook, Twitter, Skype, being talking at the same time, disturbing noise, constant interruptions, hardware issues, pets (or little sisters), and the list goes on…

You have to focus on your game in order to play correctly and up to your true potential. Close your windows, set yourself AFK IRL and put on your headphones. Imagine that, on a football field 11vs11, one of the players suddenly stops playing become his phone rang or his mother enters the field to warm him that dinner is ready. It is simply unbelievable.

SELF-QUESTIONING

You cannot improve if your blame others for every mistake. When you think you’re right, and that someone says that it is your fault or that a move fails, don’t immediately blame your teammates. This is a genuine human habit (Even I have it). You have to be careful and always ask yourself « what could I have been doing better ? » before saying « my teammates could have done better ». You cannot change others but you can change yourself. It is useless to say « my teammates failed so this move failed », since it is a fatalistic way of thinking. Instead, you should be thinking « how to make sure this move works » and if it is impossible « how to prevent this situation from happening ? » With this mindset, you are in a far better disposition to improve.

BE OPEN MINDED AND HAVE A CRITICAL MINDSET

Don’t assume someone is wrong before understanding what he has to say. Not listening to someone can potentially make you miss a important information. If listening to him was indeed useless, you had nothing to lose (except maybe for a few seconds). With this mindset, it is better to listen to everyone, from the weakest, to the strongest, and even the more arrogant. Basically, your opinion or prejudices towards someone don’t really matter. Always analyze the content of his message without even caring for the who has sent it. It is likely that this will make you aware of flaws in your game you didn’t even notice.

The other players have a lot of more to teach you than you can on your own, because they are 7 billions brains while you only possess one. Try to analyze relevant comments directed to you and at least try before judging.

But don’t become naive and trust everything others tell you. This is not because I am writing this guide that I am right about everything, truth is a matter of point of view. Make your own path through what you learn and read, but don’t let the way one player thinks become your only perspective of the game.

As well, start from the principle that your opponent is skillful, as mentionned here.

DISCIPLINE

Do not take games too lightly, and do not give up before the end. Do not think « I don’t care, I’ll dive/chase/throw ». Do not initiate a move an action if you know it is going to fail. Focus on your last hits, on your positionning, and keep a consistent attention. From focusing comes discipline in your gameplay. Diamond players win more often because their discipline makes them give up less easily. They won’t stay « just a moment » to finish the last minion of the wave when enemy champions are trying to gank them. They avoid overextending in the jungle and won’t go all YOLO 1v5 RAMBO STYLE in the enemy jungle when they are 4/0. To sum up, keep track of the consequences of your actions on both teams, and then on how the game progress. Poker players would say that one should not « tilt ».

BEHAVIOR AND PSYCHOLOGY

I am a Diamond IV player, I’m rather good and trust my skills. And yet whenever someone flames me, I have a tendency to play worse, to miss my skillshots, to take bad decisions solely because I am influenced by whatever my teammates told me. A lot of players play worse when criticized. And I don’t see any reason to worsen the capacities of your teammates, except if you want to feed intentionally. Don’t flame anyone during the game, and if you have things to hold against them, wait for the very end (destruction of the Nexus).

What about trolls and other flamers? Do not play their game. You will benefit from trying to submit to them. Yes, I said submit. Did it hurt your feelings? Me too, but I am in the diamond league and they are still in the bronze league. I couldn’t care less about playing support 5 times in a row while being first pick, if it permitted me to be at that level.

Always go in their direction (even more in the ADC/Support relationship, it is useless to argue with people you will be counting on for the next 30min. Also, forget the « me mid », « i no supp » and other similarities). If you want to get better, you will have to play every rôle and adapt to your team.

Another important point regarding psychology is the use of the Retreat ping compared to the use of the Danger ping. It’s simple, « Retreat » is an order while « Danger » is an information. Try to always use the Danger ping instead of the Retreat ping if you are trying to make a teammate fall back.

PLAYING AS PREMADE

You can’t improve in a better way as when playing with your friends/brothers in arms (friend list). You can’t pretend to anymore better than low Platinium without any experience of how teamplay works (except in some cases, or other teamwork experience). This will build your Solo/DuoQ habits way faster than any other amount of games alone. Playing with other players opens you up with new builds, new techniques, new setups, new meta, new moves and their timings, to teamwork habits, and teaches you how to communicate and plenty other things. Try to find a fixed group of players and play with them regularly. You shall perceive the results way faster than with any other training method.

PLAY AGAINST BETTER PLAYERS

If you are only playing in Bronze ranked games, or if you are afraid to play against better players and get « rekt », you are all wrong. You have to practice against skilled players as much as possible: you don’t benefit from a crushing victory, but you learn a lot from a close game resulting in a victory, and even more from a defeat.

If you have been stuck in bronze/silver for a long period, since normal games elo is different from Ranked elo, you can potentially play with better players in the NormalQ. The same goes for the Draft Mode of the NormalQ where you often have an average level superior to when playing Blind Mode. And you will benefit from practicing the pick/ban phase of the game which is very important.

ANALYZING YOUR NEEDS

You can’t possibly have learnt everything, as a whole, except if you are Challenger/Diamond 1, in which case you would probably not be reading this. If you think you mastered every aspect of the gameplay presented here, or present in LoL in general, but if you’re not in the diamond league, this means you still have something to learn.

Perhaps you are always above the 9 other players in terms of cs, but you do not help your team quite as much as the enemy toplane did meanwhile. There is always room for improvement. Focus on finding your flaws and you are already halfway there.

HARDWARE

A few recommendations regarding hardware HERE. This matters a lot, like a mouse disconnecting all the time, a bad microphone, slow keys on your keyboard, a certain uncomfortability, a monitor positionned in a wrong way, a chair too high or too far, a mousepad too small etc. All these examples have to be considered if you feel your hardware is an inconvenience in any way.

LEADING TO CARRY THE GAME

You can’t carry a game all on your own, we are not playing CS:GO where a player can 1v5 the entire enemy team (I am not criticizing, this is just a fact). Carrying the game doesn’t mean to do everything on your own. This means that you should always try to raise your team to its peak level.

And this is possible with a good lead. I am not talking about a leader, since to lead means to give to your team a common objective, while a leader imposes his choices for his own benefit.

Leading a team in a solo/duoQ is rather simple. If you systematically win your lanes, that you move on the map to help others, or that you ping whenever there is danger, your teammates will always tend to listen to you.

However, beware! Sometimes a player is already fulfilling this role and you should not try to take his place if the team is following him. You have to let him lead or share it with him. Questionning a call made by this lead plunges them in uncertainty. Uncertainty in LoL irrevocably means defeat. Do not try to force yourself in, but suggest your choices and they will seem relevant, because you are at 2/0 and you ganked botlane twice while having stolen the golem at 7:15 with a perfectly positionned ward. Leading comes back to call the right objectives at the right time, and your decision making process (that is to say making good calls) improves with experience, especially in premade. Theory can be learnt throught streams and other guides, but to make the right call for your team in the heat of the moment is way harder than analyzing a situation in a stream while relaxing.

In order to learn other things about leading, click HERE.

KNOWLEDGE

In order to be good at LoL, you will need 90% of knowledge and 10% of technical skill. You can’t improve if you don’t know the champions: their skills, range, cooldowns, damage, ratios, the time of their CC, runes, items, masteries, movespeed, skillshots, attack speed, armor and magic resistance at start, match-ups, most optimal setups and surely other plenty of other things I tend to forget.

You can’t learn all these things at once, it will take time, but they are mandatory. Playing every champion permits you to obtain a consequent knowledge of the game and of the match-ups. As for me, there is no better way to learn.

ITEMS

One of the most important skill in League of Legends is knowing how to build your champion. Champions are nothing without items since items define their abilities. Having items chosen poorly comes back to giving worthless abilities to your team (like a tank building damage).

Building you character in League of Legends follows the Rock/Paper/Scissors scheme (as in 99% of games…). The situation you’re in (that is to say your champion, your opponent, your opponents, if one team succeeds or not) determines what items you should build in order to counter the items/champions of the enemy team.

Learning the current meta and different build orders, situationnal items, adapting your tier 1 item order according to your needs in order to reach your core build in a efficient but different way for each game, having your items when needed, optimizing your choices by comparing them to the ones your enemy made is a skill you should master as soon as possible in order to improve. The best way to practice it is to simply play, and to replicate the choices professional players make is not always a good idea, since they do not have the same needs as you do during their games. Versus a bruiser they may take HP Regen because the lane is played rather safely, whereas in bronze/silver, players tend to play rather agressively and Attack Damage is better then.

SELF-CONFIDENCE

You need self-confidence, and should not be afraid of failing. You are not a bronze player, you are Syndra, of the most powerful mid laner. You are not a champion who just got counter-picked, you are your team outsider. You are not the player with the lowest ranking in your team, you are the one who will show to the 9 other players that sometimes a blade can be made of Silver. You are not a 0/2 top laner because you suck, but because you made the enemy jungler focus his attention on you, which permitted your mates to destroy the mid and bot lanes.

Trust your instincts, and don’t be stressed out. Stay relaxed but focused. Demonstrate accuracy since your decisions are clear do not hesitate. You will recognize your mistakes and that is how you will learn, but you will be also be making fewer and fewer mistakes then.

STRATEGY/TACTICS

Freeze a lane, Push, Positionning, Pathing, Splitpushing, Last-hittinh, Trading, Baiting, Chasing, Escaping, Warding, Ganking, How to flash correctly, Push Control, Denying, All-in, Engaging, Teamfight, Counter-jungling, Lane Ganking, Unwarding, Playing safe, Side Ganking, Turret Last-Hitting, Timing, Tax Creep, Map Awareness, Map Hotspot, Vision War, Focus, Throw, Getting Caught, Regrouping and so many other things.

You have to know all these tactics, and they can all be found online.

HAVING GOOD REFERENCES

Don’t follow a guide on Mobafire without knowing who wrote it, the majority of them are written by Bronze players.

One excellent guide: Wozan ***

LoLNecus in order to identify the qualities of the enemy team and analyzing their runes and masteries of your laning opponent.

LoLKing Guides: you can search for guides with the ELO of the autor criteria, making the quest for fine guides easier. My piece of advice: try to choose a guide written by someone who has a ELO just a little higher than yours, it allows you to read something really relevant for you since the persons writting these guides play in almost the same situation as you do while having more knowledge, and so a deepest analysis and understanding of the champion’s needs.

BONUS: THE SECRETS OF POWER

This section is about advanced tactics. I only know few guides mentioning these tactics and so I will share my knowledge on these subjects here.

Map Awareness

It consists in anticipating the movements of your enemies on the map, and not only of the ones in your lane, but of every single one of them. This allows you to know where danger may arise on the map, and to avoid these places, to warm your teammates or help them choosing a safer way. Be more or less aware of what is happening on the map (7:15 the mid laner goes for the golem, he is probably not ganking / 9:10 he disappears towards top lane and comes back 8 seconds afterwards, he killed the wraiths and so there is probably a ward nearby / the top laner is missing since he used recall and the bot lane has not come back either, they are probably preparing the drake / Shen just got lv 6 and disappeared into a bush, depending on what is happening, the bot or mid lane may be in danger etc…)

Go around HERE for more information

Opportunism, or the art of knowing how to benefit from your opponents’ mistakes, is the quality that allows you to win games. When you look at a korean game, you will notice that they sometimes destroy several towers at a row, because they are using the lack of decision from the opposing team to gain advantage (back, defending the first tower, splitpush etc.) If the opposing Adc overextends a little, they will instantly flash and ultimate. In short, you need to be able to perceive the smallest mistake made by your enemies and build the rest of the game on it (at the 25th minute, your adc is fed and all your team is around the middle lane. You gank 2 players and kill them. You can benefit from a free nashor instead of simply only destroying a turret. Optimising your opponents’ mistakes is as simple as that.

Optimising your skills

You need to know how to use your skills, items and summoner spells at the right time. For example, do not use any dash solely to inflict damage on your enemies, do not flash in to get a kill if a mate is going to take the kill anyway, do not ignite an already dead enemy, do not use flash and/or barrier if you don’t have any chance to get out of the gank alive anyway, do not use an AoE ultimate on a single target during late game. There is obviously counter-examples of the things I just mentionned, but if you get the outline, you understood that you need to optimise your skills and not using them just because they are « available ».

Sharing the map

In order to optimise the pushing and farming abilities and the taking of objectives on the map, a team needs to allocate its members on the map. If you are playing as adc, don’t return to the bottom lane if 3 of your mates are pushing since the top lane probably needs you. If you are going to a big wave of minions in particular, but that one of your allies is already on his way to get it, move on and go where it is necessary. Your lanes needs to be cleaned, and your jungle done, so move accordingly in order to fulfill these needs, even if it implies to a lane which isn’t « yours ».

Hero Presence

Hero Presence is simply the fact of being seen by a enemy champion, to be on his screen, that is to say to be present. Being present on his screen means that he has to take you into account in his analysis of the situation. If you are not on his screen, he will feel potentially threatened, of someone from your team showing up. Hero Presence is also a matter of attitude. Indeed, going from escaping to chasing necessarilly triggers some kind of reaction in your enemy; while keeping the same attitude won’t make him change his perception of the situation (logically, since it doesn’t change).

If you are two allies running away from a threatening enemy champion, and you personnally aren’t in an urge to escapte (while your ally is going to die and that you’re out of mana), turning over at this precise moment will necessarilly make your enemy hesitate to keep chasing you or not. He doesn’t have time to click on you in order to check if you have 70 or 110 mp, to guess if you can stun him or not. He has to take his decision on the spot and most times he will stop chasing. Being simply threatening towards opponents can save your allies, even if you have no reason to be threatening. This is what is called Hero Presence.

Showing yourself is simply being there, present.

Lane Behaviour

Every player has habits on their lane, a gamestyle, a way of baiting, warding, last-hitting, movements patterns, etc… All these things are called lane behavior (it is the same thing for a jungler but a Jungler Behavior is harder since it depends on the Lane Behavior of the other players). You need to be able to analyze the Lane Behavior or your opponent and to make your hard to decipher. Recognize when your enemy is agressive, and you will be able to know if you are getting ganked or not (like thinking « he usually does not use his stun when he goes aggressive, that’s weird »). If your opponent suddenly starts to push, it can mean that he wants to gank another lane to that he is preparing a gank to his jungler. I won’t go into more details here, because this is a very wide topic and it covers the majority of LoL skills.

In short, you need to understand how your opponent is playing in order to beat him.

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