The Major Key of LoL Ranked Play: Don't Surrender Away Your Free LP
Okay, so you read all the articles on getting to Diamond, and watched all the guides on becoming a better player in League of Legends. This season you absolutely know that there is no one stopping you from reaching your goals. This season is the season where you finally get over that hump in your League of Legends ranked career because you know every single part of the map. You now know how to place your wards strategically, you have mastered new champions, and you have even learned how to counterjungle effectively.
But, you're still stuck in Silver II, shouting profanities at your monitor, and complaining to your friends about how the promotion series is rigged.
The "Perfect" Game is Rare, at Best
After playing through four seasons of LoL, grinding from Bronze V into Gold IV, and all the while weeping as I sat through a countless number of demotions, I have a bitter truth for everyone to take in: You are not going to win every game. League of Legends is not set up that way, or else everyone would be waiting on their turn to be an eSports champion, instead of raging in Bronze.
You are not going to win every game.
Also, I know that's horrible advice, saying "you're not going to win every game" is like telling someone to lose....
But it is a fact. Even the best sports teams do not win every game, and even world champions have to settle for imperfection. Though that word right there, "imperfection" is an idea we all have to grasp and use to our advantage. When we play, we are all so invested in the idea of a perfect climb to Diamond, that we cannot even endure a minute of the all-to painful idea of imperfection.
Never Surrender - You Never Know What Might Happen
After playing through some games, I want to touch upon an idea that is very important for all summoners to remember. That is, STOP SPAMMING /FF. No one is a perfect player, and too many people are caught up in the idea of wanting to be one. We have to remember our broader goal when climbing the ranked ladder: become a better player.
One night will not get you into Diamond.
That said, every game has its own story to it, and every game is too precious to waste. It's not worth giving up when your only 20 minutes into a match, because in a game of LoL, anything can happen.
I am writing this after the most imperfect game I have ever played in League of Legends. I called jungle in champion select, as someone took my prefered mid lane. I picked Amumu, one of my favorite champions. Once the game started, I proceeded to feed the other team like I was an all-you-can-eat buffet out in the middle of a town full of savages. This was not exactly "Plan A."
Seriously, it was ugly. I was 0/5 in the first 12 minutes, and I had never taken a buff the entire game until the 26th minute. Our team was down an average of 12-15 kills starting from the ten minute mark, and we still ended the game having 2 less kills then the enemy team. But, in the end, we won. In fact, the other team had surrendered. It left us a bit shell-shocked, but I have never been more proud of some random teammates, especially in the aftermath of such a win.
One fight turned the whole game around for us. Sejuani and her team got cocky, and thinking they could fight us 4v5, she ulted me just as my Banshee's Veil came up. As I shielded the rest of my team from the stun, I then flash-ulti'd into four of their players which secured our Vayne a triple kill. After that fight, we proceeded to win some more small skirmishes, and then we even won larger team fights. This eventually led to the enemy team surrendering, telling us in all-chat to report one another.
This was not a one time thing either. Three days ago, I played Anivia mid, and even though I won lane, the other team still had the better of us. After the first initial ten minutes, Vi and Ezreal started to get at each other's throats. They tried to blame each other for the unfortunate amount of deaths that were on our side. Twenty minutes later a surrender vote failed 3-2, and seeing that the other team already had two of our inhibitors, I persuaded my teammates into just going in on full blown teamfights, as we had nothing to lose.
And my team did just that. We had gotten a quadra kill the first time, and took Baron with the advantage we had created. Then, as we won another teamfight under our own Nexus towers, we pushed to take the Dragon as our inhibitors respawned. After winning a couple of more teamfights we pushed to end the game, and then once again, another unbelievable comeback happened.
One aspect of the game that really helped push us to our win was the death counter. The enemy's death counters were so long throughout the late game, that after each team fight, we had an immense amount of time to push for objectives and to prepare for the next battle.
Not only did those two games prove that I am the ultimate carry (just kidding, I'm not), those two games are living proof that anything can happen throughout the duration of a match. There are so many little things that go into the final outcome of a game, whether it be a teamfight, Baron, Dragon, or even plain luck, any little detail could tilt the game in your direction.
Keep Your Mindset Right
Is that not the fun in playing a game like League of Legends? Who wants to play a game that is constantly one-sided, in which one play would determine the whole game. There are so many possibilities throughout a game of LoL that a "let's surrender" attitude should never be your first train of thought.
Maybe even a puzzle-solving attitude could help your resolve your current situation. "Okay, so we lost lane here. Well let's focus on other parts of the game. Our jungler is doing really well, and so is our top lane. Hm, well their bot lane is pushed, so I'm going to go try and gank down there, in hopes of getting a kill or an assist to keep myself in the game."
Or for the late-game carries, "I'm playing Nasus right now, and I thrive in the late game. I might be behind on a few stacks and down on CS, but I know I can carry this later. Our bot lane is the only lane that is doing well, maybe if they could buy me some time, I can get myself going. For now let me talk to our Maokai and see if he can lend me a gank."
Don't Allow Yourself to Tilt
I know that sometimes rage does get the better of us, but we have to keep in mind that enjoyment of the game is the key to not ony LoL, but any game in general.
We have to like playing, and like getting better at this game. If we are going to put ourselves through so many ranked matches, we have to not want to kill ourselves after a bad match. For me, I enjoy being in situation where I am the underdog. I come into it with the mindset of "Alright we are down, and we are in a losing situation. Let's see what we can pull off here. Piece by piece we can pull the ultimate comeback."
For some others though, enjoyment may come from just plain getting better at the game. Even when your team is at a disadvantage, the ADC is still able to practice their positioning and kiting in teamfights. Also when you're down, you can sometimes utilize your favorite champion as the ultimate split-pusher. You want to try to create as much pressure as possible on one side of the map, relieving your teamates from the enemy's choking grip.
There are so many options to explore in LoL, and so many ways to avoid losses, that every game should be a valuable experience for those who want to get better.
You Will Win More Games
After I changed my mindset to this, Never Surrender kind of idea, I won a lot more games then I should have. Please remember that there are so many possibilities in a game of League of Legends that surrendering would mean closing the door to all of them. When you are playing ranked games, remember that surrendering is the only sure way to lose all the points you worked hard for carrying the game before.
When you change your mindset, you will not only get better as a player, but you'll also make the people around you better. Instead of flaming your teammates, you could be the motivating spirit that every team needs for that insane comeback. Hopefully, we are all able to keep that idea in mind and be excited for our next few games during our journey, because when we don't surrender, we are opening the doors and letting in the craziest games we could ever play in our lives.
And if you need any more belief in the idea of a comeback, watch some of CLG.eu's older games.