As an opening disclaimer, I’ve had issues with previous threads in the past with some people whining about games that are “unwinnable.” Bro. I love you. I know the feels. I (and everyone else here) simply don’t care. There are games that are unwinnable, grow a pair and get over it. If you feel like ALL YOU GET are games that are unwinnable it’s time to look at yourself and ask “Do I really hate myself as much as it seems?” Chances are you hate yourself less, but it sure doesn’t look like it. Keep it to yourself, please, this is a place to discuss constructive ways to improve, not to ***** about why League sucks. Thanks!

Hey guys, so I made a few (very long) guides in the past with some moderate success, despite my placement in Bronze league way back when. People seemed to appreciate them but I figured that many sort of glossed over them as they were extremely long. That and I was in Bronze, where there is no credibility. I’m Silver II now (not too much better but it’s still a massive improvement on where I was), and I got there by applying most of the things I will be talking about in this series (and I’m still working on many of them), and I’m steadily climbing the ranks (though slowly, I still make mistakes).

Anyway, I’ve decided that since I enjoy writing and need to keep up with the skill, and I have moderate skill (as well as knowledge) with League of Legends, I would pass that knowledge on.

“Dude I LoLKinged you, you’re in like Silver 2, why should I trust you?”
Because I don’t take a mechanical approach here at all, I take a more “good habits” approach, which is applicable to any stage of LoL be you level 5 and just beginning or in Diamond league, I promise there are (at the very least) good reminders here for you as you get into games, that can put you in the correct mindset for playing ranked. If you want a mechanical guide, there are literally hundreds littered throughout the interwebs. A few brave souls have attempted to do non-mechanical guides but I’ve always felt like they fell a little short in their scope, so here’s my attempt.

My plan is to make a small series of guides, each focusing on a different subject, and if they get popular I will continue them. If not then at the very least I’ve practiced my writing skills and kept them up to date, haha.

Today I want to talk about what I’ve come to see as the single most important factor in playing League, and that’sMaking Plays as well as your Mindset coming into ranked and how that affects your ability to make said plays.

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Mindset First

Something I’ve consistently noticed is that some games I will play and be doing my own thing, maybe doing really well or only holding my own, and then every other lane fails and I’m like “okay wtf. I didn’t make any serious missteps, why do I get so many of these types of games?” I’ve watched streamers doing “Bronze to Challenger” series and they lose a handful of games in the two or three weeks it takes them to get to Diamond (Granted they get an MMR boost from so many games won in a row, but still, you’d get them too if you won games in a row). So CLEARLY they have an effect on games that I’m not having, even if I’m not making any “serious missteps.”

I have a few friends who have all but given up on the game because they consistently get games like this, and can’t see that they can have a much bigger impact on the game. I advise you not to fall into this category – “If you fall in the mud, you can either notice how brown it is, or you can get the hell out of the mud. Your choice.”

Anyway, something I noticed that is common with any streamer playing these games is their absolute confidence in their ability to carry a game. Sure they have a bad game or two during the 8 or so hours they’re streaming, but overall they obliterate everyone in their path because they simply know that they can. While you may be of approximately equal skill to those in your particular league, MOOD is not learned, it is simply THERE. So play ranked when you feel excited about playing ranked.

Somehow my team always does better when I’m excited to play and feeling like crushing skulls. Not sure how it happens, but I have far less people that feed when I’m personally in a good mood. You can take it for “hippy mumbo-jumbo” or you can take it as the x-factor that simply allows you to carry harder for whatever reason. Mood is huge when playing League.

All of this is important when talking about the main subject – Making Plays. (I will probably talk about this on a later date as well, simply because it is so damn important)

Knowledge isn’t power

It really isn’t. You can know things and simply not apply them and it provides you pretty much nothing. This is why mood is so important. When you’re in a good mood you think clearer. You’d be surprised how good your brain is at tricking you into thinking it’s running at full capacity. Nine times out of ten you’ll “feel” fine but your brain is actually sluggish, and if you’re trying to make a concept into a habit, your brain lacks the capacity to do that in a game as mentally taxing as League of Legends (you might think your teammates are braindead, but imagine your parents playing the game and it will give you some perspective on how mentally taxing the game really is).

Anyway, the clearer you can think, the more possibilities occur to you, the better you are able to anticipate others’ actions and counter them, etc. You ever notice how there are some games that you are maybe jungling and you are constantly invading the enemy jungler and stealing buffs, warding, ganking at all the right times – and then there are those other games where you get there a fraction too late, only stay in your jungle except to gank on occasion, and simply don’t make too many plays? Yeah. A lot to do with your clarity of thought. When you are sluggish you can’t make plays, and I can’t stress this enough.

The more possiblities occur to you, the more impact you can have on the game. And I want you to really consider this point – it’s why I have it bolded, if you couldn’t figure that out. Think about it really. If you’re playing a game and the only possibilities that occur to you at minute 3:15 as a jungler is “do I gank mid or top lane?” then youcan’t possibly have more of an impact than if the possibilities included “mid, top, invade their jungle, or go do golems?” am I right? I mean, considering you have reasonably sharp deduction skills, it usually doesn’t take too much brain power to figure out the best option among those four. Maybe you’ll choose to gank mid in both scenarios, but you still didn’t have a bigger impact on the game in the first scenario, because at most you can only break even. Make sense?

So next time you’re in the “Defeat” screen, raging at your team because you went 5/3/2 when the team KDR is 9 kills and 21 deaths, think about what else you could have done, different decisions you could have made that could have had a bigger impact on the game. Perhaps you did wolves at the wrong time, and allowed their mid laner to get FB on your mid laner which snowballed them out of control and essentially win the game. Sure it’s not really your FAULT that they snowballed, but are you gonna describe the mud or get out of it? No one else is going to come around and pick you up. No one else cares, not in the LoL community at least. You have to do this yourself.

So, make some plays. Get out there and ask for that Thresh lantern from tribush and CURSE THEM WITH YOUR SAD MUMMINESS outta nowhere! Play the game with clarity of mind, and brush up on some of the plays you can make with your champion. Don’t rely on your team, but direct them when you can. Remember I said ASK for the Thresh lantern, he likely doesn’t know you’re there, you need to direct him a bit and things will more often than not work out in the end.

Again I can’t stress enough the importance of making plays and being able to really think clearly.

I have homework for you. BEFORE YOU COMMENT BELOW, I want you to watch at least two replays of your previous games, doesn’t matter if it was a win or a loss, just make sure it was a game where it was 5v5 and nothing crazy serious happened to influence the game (lag, riot servers, 5v4, trolls, etc.). I want you to pay attention to thecrucial moments, where perhaps someone made a misplay, or perhaps made the correct play, which set things in motion for a chain reaction to the win/loss.

You’ll notice something. You’ll notice that at least 80-90% of your games have two to five of these moments. You’ll also notice something else. There won’t be an overwhelming number of these crucial points in the same period of the game. They’re all going to be scattered (fairly equally but I have yet to do the homework myself, it’ll be interesting to see everyone’s experience with this) into the early, mid, AND late game. Maybe it’s the first blood that Kayle got (at 5% health), that snowballed her ridiculously hard and allowed her to provide pressure to both bot lane and the jungle which allowed both of those lanes to push ahead as well. Maybe it was the teamfight around dragon that Warwick engaged on too early without the support of his team (or maybe MF’s ult still had 8 seconds left when he engaged), etc.

I think you’ll be shocked as to how often each game of league comes down to a crucial 10 second (or less) period of time. Go on and prove me wrong though. Share your experience regardless and let’s learn together!

Thanks for reading guys, and expect the next miniguide in the series in a week or so, as long as I get some positive reaction from the community!



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