Today’s post of mine is a bit different than usual. I have gathered most of my knowledge about League’s mental game and put it into one compact blog post for you.
If you follow these rules, i can guarantee that you’ll not only have a more enjoyable time climbing the ranked ladder, but also more long-term success.
Take every game seriously. Whether you are in your Diamond V promotions or playing first time Gragas in a normal game, play every game of League seriously. Focus intently on your play and think about every choice you’re making. This will allow you to play your best and notice areas for improvement. Analyze every decision you make and try to justify why you make that decision.
By keeping focused in every game, you can notice your own errors while you’re playing, and work to correct them. If you are distracted, you may miss the errors you make and thus miss out on the opportunity to fix them. You cannot notice your own mispositioning in a teamfight if you’re watching a movie on your second monitor at the same time. Keep focused and keep alert.
Bad games happen. Teammates go AFK, or you go 0/5 in lane, or so on. It is important that you keep a clear head and avoid tilting. Extreme reactions such as going AFK, intentionally feeding, or ignoring your team only put you at a disadvantage. You cannot improve by being an active detriment to your team. Even if you are having a bad game, continue to play as you normally would. Focus on your errors, play seriously, and try to find a way back into the game. Even if you do lose, you will at least be able to identify mistakes in your play and improve from there.
Try your best to reduce the chance of tilting to begin with. Avoid playing League (at least, playing ranked) when you’ve had a bad day or are already angry. It is better to play a relaxed normal than a serious ranked game if you have the chance of tilting, or even avoiding playing the game at all. If you have had a string of rough losses, then playing one more game is probably not the best idea. This is subjective, but if you feel your concentration beginning to decline after several bad games, or you become more irritable, a break is likely in order. Finally, if you do begin to tilt in game, do everything you can to mitigate its effects. Mute toxic teammates, put on some music to help relax you, and focus on your play instead of anything else in the game. A tilted mind is an unfocused mind, and an unfocused mind will not improve as fast as a focused one.
Focus on Yourself
Everything is your fault. Not literally of course, but this statement exemplifies a very important attitude to have when looking to improve. While there are four other players who are not perfect in your game and who are going to make mistakes, it is absolutely crucial that you do not focus on their mistakes. Instead, look at what you could have done better when a play goes wrong, and focus on improving that. Do not worry about the mid laner getting solo killed in lane. Instead, notice that you never used teleport to make a play in lane phase, or were consistently down in CS despite having a winning lane matchup.
By isolating yourself in the game, you isolate the aspects you can directly improve on. You cannot improve a bad teammate, but you can improve your own play. Even in an instance where you did not do anything wrong but a play went sour, by focusing on yourself you can find something you should have done that would have made it turn out better. Worrying about what you can control, not what you can’t, will allow you to point out things that you can improve to make your next games better.
Modify your Goals
You might want to climb to Master Tier from Silver by the end of the season. You may want to keep your ADC win rate at 70% throughout the season. You may want to make LCS. While having far-reaching goals like this is good, these goals can often be demoralizing as they take a long time to achieve. Instead, try smaller goals directly relating to improving your play. Some examples are:
“I want to solo kill my lane opponent before ten minutes in the next three games.”
“I want to improve my CS to an average of 7 CS per minute.”
“I want to make sure I always have wards around crucial objectives.”
Focusing on smaller, more achievable goals has two benefits. The first is that these goals are easier to achieve, and achieving them will give you a sense of satisfaction and motivation to work towards the next goal. The second is that these goals are steps that allow you to reach your more ambitious goals. Smaller goals let you focus on improving specific mechanics in the game, and by improving these mechanics you get better, win more, and rank up. While you may want to reach Master, focusing on mechanics like CS or warding are the skills that are going to let you achieve that rank, and should be the goals you focus on.
Study the game
It is very likely that you don’t know everything about the game. Nobody does. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to learn. Guides on specific champions, playstyles, and mechanics are plentiful in both written and video format for you to access. Another excellent source of information is the professional scene. Either from watching matches and listening to the casters’ analysis or watching a pro’s stream and focusing on how they play, these are free and easily accessible sources of knowledge on every facet of the game.
One excellent source of specialized knowledge are the alternate streams focusing on certain lanes. For example, Rift Rivals NA vs EU had an alternate stream focused on the bottom lane with analysts as well as professional players doing the cast. This stream focused exclusively on the bottom lane, providing a detailed analysis on the way it was played. Streams like this area a prime source of knowledge for improving one’s knowledge.
Remember, the more you know about the game, the better you will know how to work with your team composition and secure a win, so make a point of learning as much as you can.
Practice is key
The best way to learn is by doing. By practicing with all the tools mentioned above, you are sure to improve at the game. Some things are best learned through trial and error. There is no better way to learn when a bad time to trade with your laner is than by taking a trade and losing three quarters of your health and a summoner spell. Frequent, good practice is the key to improving at League of Legends.
Well, there you have it! By taking a serious, focused approach at the game and always focusing on your own play, you will be well on your way to getting better at the game. Though the goal of Master Tier might be far away, it will come with continued practice and from focusing on your own individual play. Best of luck climbing the ladder!