In League of Legends, everyone knows how competitive the game is every single season, so anyone who intends to get high results is forced to invest time and to be patient. Many guides are available to help the community in many different technical aspects of LoL. This game is full of complexity, this is why beginners struggling to go out of low elo tier and are stuck at the bottom of the leaderboard. Let’s try to recap the main things you should focus on to improve and stand out from other players. We will try to very precise on the different tips and not do a general guide that you could read elsewhere.
The wave management
The way you manage your wave is actually underrated in lower elo because people think that only kills matter, which is totally false. Your farming and the amount of creeps you get is not only giving you overall more gold, but will also give you an experience lead if you push, freeze, recall and rotate at the right moment.
You need to push when:
- You have a positive matchup at level 1 (range support agaisnt melee). Be careful about where their jungler started, the jungler pathing often changes so you have to be updated on the meta to prevent an early gank.
- You killed your opponent. Remember to not overextend too much if you are low hp and you have no vision on their jungler,
- You poked them down until they are too low hp to stay on the lane without recalling. Then, push your waves and take as many plates as possible before they are back to their lane. You don’t need to greed by trying to dive them!
You should freeze when:
- You don’t have an advantage in your matchup or got counter picked In this case, only focus on taking experience from the creeps and wait for your jungler
- You don’t have enough mana to quickly push the wave (the creeps won’t crash under their tower)
- You are winning your lane, but you can’t really push because their jungler and other lanes are winning. Then to be safer, you can just freeze and poke him every time he tries to farm. This way, you will manage to deny him many minions.
Freezing gives your enemy the opportunity to roam around the map on other lanes, inform your team about it using pings. However, with this strategy, you are making sure to not get camped.
In both cases, you will need to recall at some point. The moment you choose to go back to get an item is crucial to not miss cs on the next waves. Also, check how much gold you currently have to know if you only need some golds to get an item advantage on your opponent.
Remember that once your creeps are under their tower, you can use this period of time to take vision and place wards the enemy jungle to avoid getting ganked. In the cases where your lead is quite huge and your jungle is around, you can even start a dragon while they are busy farming under their tower.
If you managed to get the first tower, push your advantage by taking other objectives. The drakes have more and more impact in the game, so just do it as fast as you can because late game buffs are more powerful than many people expect. In another case, if they have too much wave clear and don’t allow you to take any towers, you should use Herald to secure the towers safely. This is more powerful if the plates are still up because they are going to give you an additional bonus of gold. It will also force them to defend the Herald while one of your mates is going to put pressure on another lane.
Understand what role you need to play for your team in every game
Every game is unique. There are almost 150 champions in the game and their playstyle is different. You need to understand how the team compositions work if you want to adapt your pick. Don’t just pick your champion to win a matchup, pick it to fit your composition too. This is even truer at higher ranks. However, in lower elos, team fights don’t matter that much since people are not joining the fight together. Therefore, playing to win his lane makes more sense.
What you need to do to optimize your chance to win your lane and adapt to the team compositions:
If you are first to pick or pick in blind without knowing who you are against, then choose a safe and flexible champion that doesn’t have a huge counter (Orianna if you are a midlaner for example),
Know your champion and all abilities of your opponent. The average of the cooldowns of each spell and its range are important things to know because it allows you to know when you should engage and when you should not,
Understand your win conditions and what role you need to play for your team. For example, let’s take a case where your team is built around the ADC with Lulu, Sion, Gragas and Orianna. Sion and Orianna are not supposed to try to fight 1v1 since they just need to gain time for the late game team fight. Their strength isn’t to win 1v1 so this why enemies should try to fight them in theory, when they want to avoid 5 vs 5 fights and only look for skirmishes. Even the jungler has to put the priority on the bot side.
Look for videos showing Challenger players doing the matchup, see their different ways to take fights and see how they are managing their lane. There is not only one way to play a specific matchup. Your builds are going to be modified if you are winning or losing it and if the jungler is an AD, AP or tank.
Playing League of Legends seriously means that you have to sometimes inform yourself about the champions, stats, damage, buffs and everything that can improve your general knowledge about the game. League of Legends is updated every 3 weeks on average, remember to read all the changed to know if your favorite champions have been upgraded or nerfed It’s actually useful to dedicate a part of your practice into those details. It can make a huge difference as your elo progresses and will boost your elo. Skill is not all about mechanics.
Take fights at the right time
Ask yourself how many times you told your team to not engage and they still fight 4 vs 5. It happens very often. Indeed, even in Diamond elo, the players are not regularly looking at the map and this is mainly a problem in 2 situations. First, during the laning phase, your jungler may invade and fight the enemy jungler in 1v1. It means that if his 2 closest laners don’t have lane priority (his laners are not pushing), the enemies will be able to react faster and rotate on him. In this case he might blame someone for that, but it’s not your fault.
The second case is when one of your teammates is split pushing. His goal is then to force 2 of their players to defend against him. But if you go too far forward and don’t give him time to reach their towers and just run around 1 lane next to them, you give them the opportunity to engage a 5 vs 4 fight which is lost before it even started. So if it happens in your game, just wait for him to push before applying pressure. In the opposite case, he has to stop pushing if he sees that you and your team aren’t able to go forward because of their wave clear because they will just engage on your split pusher while you can’t trade for anything else.
In both cases, you still need to look at how the team composition is built and what items you currently have. You don’t have your core items to fight? Just delay the fight. You don’t have enough wards to see where they are? Don’t risk to face check to not get engaged.
Be patient and don’t tilt
You are not going to boost your elo quickly unless you are doing boosting your account. Having access to higher tiers can take years can take years. Of course, if you are playing around 5 to 10 hours a day, then improvement will go faster. But it’s not just about playing LoL. You also need to take breaks to watch Challengers streamers and professional games to understand better how League of Legends works. Your knowledge is going to make your games look easier. Spamming dozens of games every day is useless if you don’t understand why you are losing games. You won’t learn from your mistakes this way. Many people are stuck in their elo for a long time because they aren’t intending to fix mistakes they are doing several times. You might understand it better if you watch your replays after your games. This tool is more useful than you think because it makes you realize that your moves could have been done differently and you see the game from another perspective. Especially if you are playing competitively, you will notice details during the replay that you wouldn’t care about while you were playing. Your point of view will be different once you can see where their team had the vision and you didn’t know about it. Anyway, if your goal is to keep climbing, you should never give up and to be mentally strong in tough situations. Everyone has bad games or losing streaks. Focus on improving and play as well as you can, even in losing games because you will learn better how to play from behind and understand how to come back.
Be active on the map
The meta is becoming more aggressive every year. To adapt, being proactive and trying to consistently make plays is a nice strategy at any elo. In the first seasons of League of Legends, you could just wait for your opponent to do a mistake, camp at your tower, pick a late game team fight comp and just wave clear until you are full build. It doesn’t work anymore. The new bounty system and high mobility champions created a very aggressive playstyle in LoL and forced the players to play more as a team. This involves being aware of everything that is happening on the map and roam a lot. You can notice how aggressive the playstyle needs to be by watching pro games and see that the team who secures a position for objectives first often wins. This is also why many more players are using a Teleport, even on the ADC role. In terms of pick used, the tanks have now less impact than before, even if their runes or kit are receiving buffs because they don’t fit the meta. They are getting kited easily because of their low mobility and can’t join the fight as fast as other champions. Farming matters, but the time you are spending next to your teammate helping them to create proactive moves is also crucial.
You obviously didn’t get instantly better after reading it, but at least you have now a path and know what to practice and make your LoL profile looks better. There is no secret: your elo will increase way faster if you spend a lot of time playing LoL. And you won’t necessarily have fun in high elo, tryhard means that you will see LoL as work more than as a game. You need to always be motivated and curious to learn new stuff. Once your knowledge about wave management, matchups, team fights, and mechanics are united, you can say that you understand the basics. Remember that League of Legends is an evolving game, so adapting the way you are playing is crucial to regularly boost your elo in the different metas.