About Bronze Players
Bronze players take a lot of hate from the community for their skill level and sometimes for good reason. Many bronze players have a mentality of “my team sucks” or “I just can’t carry.” These are common phrases heard from bronze players and it is why bronze players are made fun of by the rest of the community.
If you are bronze, you are bad at the game. This is the definition of being bronze. Because your skill is so low, you are not good enough to know what your skill level actually is. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect and is the reason for the “my team sucks” mentality. Only when you accept this fact do you have a chance of climbing out of bronze.
What are Bronze Players Good At
Nothing. However, this can be used to your advantage. If you have accepted what I said above, you will understand that everyone else in bronze is the same way. This means your opponents also have no skill, so by having at least one strength you can be better than anyone else in the game. I’m going to repeat this in bold:
The key to escaping bronze is having one thing you are good at
This may not seem to be helpful, but I can guarantee if you do this, you will outskill your opponents and be able to climb. If you are thinking “okay, that’s great, but what is the one thing I need to be good at?” I can only give you advice, but I can’t tell you the one thing that you should be good at. I will give you a recommendation, but it is up to you to discover your strengths as a player and use them to your advantage. Like any skill in life, being good is something you must figure out on your own, but I will do what I can to help you.
Recommendation: What to get good at
Farming. If there is one skill that will always need practice, it’s this. Getting good at this will benefit you always regardless of rank. You can be lacking in many other areas, but if you walk into a fight with more gold and more items than your opponent, you will win more than you lose just by pure stats alone. Many bronze players will have 20-30 CS by 10 minutes and you can easily double this.
What about jungle? Like I said above, you must find what works for you, but I would suggest getting a jungler who can farm well and getting good at jungle routes to maximize your farming. Like laners, you can double the other jungler’s CS just by getting good at this skill.
What about supports? There isn’t much of a reason to support in bronze, because your team won’t take advantage of most of your abilities anyway. I would suggest picking up Annie, getting a sightstone + sweeper, then going full AP. You will still act as a support, but have kill potential as well. You can use your q to pick up all the CS your adc is missing (they will likely complain, but it’s lost gold otherwise, ignore them).
Regardless of what skill you choose to practice, it’s important to practice one thing at a time and focus on improving at that one thing only. You only need to have skill in one area to climb out of bronze and trying to be good at that one thing should be your priority. If you have the right mentality and choose to improve your skills, you can climb out of bronze.
About Silver Players
If you’re in Silver, you’re in good company. About half of all ranked players are silver. Around Silver V is usually the starting point for players who have never played ranked before.
Silver players typically have one or two aspects of the game they are good at. This varies a lot between players, but if you ask a silver player, they usually know what this is. From my experience, most silver players tend to be strong in something related to killing someone else (either strong laning or strong teamfighting). In some cases, laning in particular, silver players can be good enough to win lane against gold and sometimes platinum-level players.
However, beyond their main skill, silver players tend to lack skill in other areas. Often times these other skills have not improved much since bronze and their weaknesses are noticeable. Since silver players often have skill in killing-related areas, they often lack the ability to control the map and close games. Silver games rarely have either team leading until about 30 minutes into the game where one team takes a definitive advantage.
Common phrases heard from silver-level players are “win lane lose game” and “I get fed but can’t carry my team.” In a particular team, there are often players who have different strengths depending on their role. Silver players understand their strengths but do not understand their weaknesses. Those who excel at laning will wonder why everyone always loses their lane and those who excel at map control will wonder why everyone is always getting caught out of position.
Most silver players understand their strengths, but not weaknesses. Understanding this is the key first step. If you have difficulty with this, ask any friend to watch you. It does not take high ranked players to help point out your weaknesses. Once you have determined this, work on your weakest areas of the game. The key to escaping silver is to improve your weaknesses and become competent in most areas of the game. I will repeat this:
The key to escaping silver is to improve your weaknesses and become competent in most areas of the game
Recommendation: What to improve
Map control and how to control the flow of the game. Many players assume map control = wards. While this is a part of it, it is only a small part of a bigger picture. Being able to control the map will win you objectives and free kills from your clueless enemies who walk where they shouldn’t.
Controlling the flow of the game is similar and very related. Push your enemies into bad situations that get them killed. If you and your team are knowledgeable enough, good split pushing will cause confusion and frustration for your opponents as they waste time running back and forth while they lose their towers.
If you are a jungle or support player and these skills are your strong points, choosing strong initiators will help you punish the mistakes of your opponents by catching them out of position. Junglers like J4, Maokai, or Vi and supports like Leona and Taric have strong, reliable initiations and can allow you to control the pace of the game.
Climbing out of silver will take more effort than getting here from bronze. There will be more things to improve on and it will take longer, but if you keep working to improve, you will climb. Understanding your own play and being able to learn how to improve is something that becomes even more important as you continue to climb higher.
About Gold Players
Gold is where everyone strives to be. Shiny borders, championship skins, and setting yourself apart from the rest of the playerbase has many players setting their eyes here. Reaching gold means you’re in the top 25% of the community. Gold is where quality games start to happen and makes it one of the fun rankings to play at.
Gold players often have developed all of their skills to a reasonable degree. Each player still has their strengths and weaknesses, but they typically do not have any huge issues. These players have usually been around for a least a couple seasons so they’ve seen and done many different things. They understand how to play in each phase of the game and there is a general sense of knowledge. These players sometimes start giving advice to their lower-ranked friends (even if their friends may not have asked for it) and often start taking proactive steps to improve their skills.
Because these players have branched out their skills, gaining experience in many different areas leaves few areas they have truly mastered. Gold-level matches are much more defined than those in lower ranks in the early and middle parts of the game but often fail to end when they should. Unlike silver matches where no team gains a lead until 30 minutes, these matches have a team take a definitive lead, but still suffer the same difficulties in closing the game. This frequently leads to the iconic “gold throw” where one team holds a lead for half the game, fails to end the game, and eventually loses their lead to the other team, which can result in losing the game.
Common phrases from gold players are “We had a lead and then threw it” or “Why can’t my team just end.” These players often have some knowledge in every aspect of the game, but lack the in-depth information to make definitive decisions in cases where the next move is not always apparent.
In some cases, these players may encounter opponents that appear better than them at everything, making them feel outclassed. Skill sets of these players are often similar and may not be enough to turn around losing situations without help from teammates.
As you continue to climb higher, the amount of work you must put into improving your skills increases exponentially. If you intend to climb out of gold, you must make the decision to put in a real amount of effort into improving.
In order to escape gold, you will need to approach mastery of a certain part of the game. Unlike silver, this is not a small subset. You must develop your skills to the point where you could teach other people about it. The key to escaping gold is to master a large part of the game. As always I will repeat:
The key to escaping gold is to master a large part of the game
What is “a large part of the game?” I believe the LoL-specific terms are not adequate, but I will use them since they are well known. There are two primary areas I will discuss: game knowledge and mechanics.
Recommendation 1: Game Knowledge
For the majority of players, this is my preferred area of skill to suggest improving because it leads to more consistency and better teamwork. When I refer to this category, I am talking about everything that does not involve fighting. This is a very wide range of skills and players looking to climb using this method must have skill in all aspects.
Controlling objectives, map areas, minion waves, and enemy movement are just a few of the things to learn and master. Simply having this knowledge is not enough. You must effectively apply it and communicate the necessary information to your team. Players that have mastered these skills can lead their team through the game by knowing where each player needs to be and how to effectively control the flow of the match.
The majority of platinum-level players are skilled in this category.
Recommendation 2: Mechanics
I refer to this category as anything involved with fighting the enemy team. This includes skills in laning, dueling, skirmishing, and teamfighting. In order to excel here, you must be significantly more skilled than your opponents. Going even is not enough and falling behind is unacceptable. Teamwork is still vital and attempting to win the game alone will result in repeated failure.
If you wish to follow this route, I highly suggest playing only 1-2 champions in a single role and getting as much experience with them as possible.
It is very rare to find a platinum-level player in this category. Since the majority of platinum players are skilled in the first category, losing lane is rarely a large concern and they will often force objectives to negate anything they lost from earlier.
Climbing out of gold will require substantial effort and is not a trivial task. Replay analysis is useful tool to help see your games from a new perspective. Play to improve, not to win, and you will climb.
About Platinum Players
Platinum is the most loved and hated ranking at the same time. To most players, it is a far off dream of elo heaven. To those in it, it’s reverse silver. Reaching platinum means you’re in the top 10% of the community. Platinum is where some of the absolute best and absolute worst games happen, sometimes in the same match.
Platinum players have a lot of strengths and typically have one aspect of the game they have nearly mastered. Game knowledge is usually strong with objective control being a priority. Teams make coordinated movements and general teamwork is strong. Game throws do happen but are much less frequent than gold. Players who reach this ranking for the first time often feel they finally “made it.”
However, every platinum player has a distinct weakness. I do not have to tell you what this weakness is, because you are very well aware of it by this point. Your lower-ranked friends, your sister, and your girlfriend don’t know, but you do. You have adjusted your playstyle to account for this, but you know that if you are against an opponent who is able to exploit this weakness, they will destroy you. If exploited, this weakness can negate everything I just said in the previous paragraph as your opponent defeats you as easily as beginner bots.
I frequently refer to platinum as “reverse silver” because it comes with many of the same problems that occur in the opposite way. Platinum games can often be one-sided stomps where one team gains an early lead and never loses it, taking all the objectives and pushing for a quick sub-30 minute victory. Where silver players are usually lackluster, but have their moments of strong play, platinum players have generally strong play, but have moments that make them look like silvers.
Common phrases from platinum players are “I do everything perfectly but still lose” or “here are some quick tips to climbing the ranked ladder.”
Unfortunately, for many players who get this far, faced with the significant difficulties in getting to diamond, many of these players simply stop here and playing ranked becomes of matter of protecting ranking each season instead of climbing. This is certainly not limited to platinum, but it appears to happen here much more than other ranks.
Escaping platinum is a very difficult feat and will require a large amount of effort to continue climbing. If you wish to keep going, you must not be content with where you are and must continue to dedicate yourself to going higher.
At this point, there are fewer and fewer issues to fix and those that remain may require significant changes to your playstyle, potentially starting over completely and reworking everything about how you play.
A large amount of platinum players are very passive, even in situations where they should not be. Often this is done to protect weak areas of the game, laning especially, because getting here typically required a focus on non-fighting skills. Diamond-level players do not have these reservations and will take advantage of these mistakes harshly until you are effectively useless. The key to escaping platinum is to stop hiding your weakness, fix it, and become a proactive player from game start to finish. Repeated:
The key to escaping platinum is to stop hiding your weakness, fix it, and become a proactive player from game start to finish
Recommendation: How to Relearn the Game
Do you remember what it was like to play in silver? Games were massive murder-fests and fighting was nearly constant. You look down on these players now for how lacking many parts of their game are, but in your journey from silver, you lost a certain part of yourself; you lost the ability to take risks.
You are the “farm for late game” Vayne. You are the “must get stacks” Shyvana. When you’re up against the first actually decent Caitlyn, they will force you under tower so much your cs goes negative. Your team will think the enemy Lee Sin is their jungler because all your jungle minions think you’re one of them.
There is a small community you made have heard of called “silver vs plat.” Go play in some of those matches and watch those silver players. There will be a point where you lane against one and they beat you.
The mistakes you make are no longer about what you do. It’s about what you don’t do. Play Rammus top. Play Riven mid. Rediscover what brought you to the game in the first place. You must reinvent yourself as a player because passively waiting to win won’t work anymore. You must take that win for yourself.