26th January, 2018
**NEW AND UPDATED FOR SEASON 8**
When it comes to playing competitive games in League of Legends, the only thing players care about is winning.
Most players want to climb their way to Diamond and brag about it to their friends. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as that.
During games, players often get frustrated at losing and blame others for their own failings. This vicious circle eventually ends with them back where they started, or sometimes even worse.
The fact is Diamond elo only makes up around 5% of the LoL player base, so many people will never get there.
Don't let yourself be one of them.
With the recent start of Season 8, many players are eagerly playing their placement matches and are already starting to climb the ranks.
To help you reach the division of your dreams we have compiled some excellent tips and tricks on what you can do in-game to make yourself a better player.
From how to manage your losing streaks to which champion to pick, there are plenty of things you can learn to improve your game. If you want to reach Diamond or above, then you’ll have to put in some serious work and effort.
The most important thing to understand before you climb to Diamond is the ranked ladder system.
There are currently 7 leagues, although we are really only interested in the first five; Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
Each league (apart from the Master and Challenger) can be separated out into five different divisions, ranging from V to I.
The lowest available place for a player is Bronze Division V (Also known as Bronze 5) and this is considered one of the hardest places to climb out from. The whole Bronze league has become known as ELO hell - although this is widely debated.
An important point is that there is a second rank ladder which players cannot see. This is a secret number known as a matchmaking rating (or MMR) which is a very similar system to the elo system of chess.
This number decides the level of opposition that you are against – the higher your MMR the better your opponents. While your MMR and rank are not technically linked, it’s extremely rare to have a good MMR and a low rank, or a bad MMR and a high rank.
By understanding how this dual ladder system works, we can manipulate how we climb the ladder and finally reach that dream division.
One of the most important tools that a player can use to maximize how fast they climb the ladder is to dodge.
No not skill shots - games. While dodging a game will cost you league points, it won't change your MMR at all. Why does this matter? The amount of LP you gain per win is linked to the MMR. This gives you a ‘free loss’ where you will only lose a few points, but still be at the same MMR on the ladder.
Confused? Don't worry; it's pretty simple. To advance a league you need to get 100 League Points (Or LP). You'll get LP every win - with the amount determined by your MMR.
You'll also lose LP every loss - related to your MMR. If you dodge a sure loss, then you'll only lose a small amount of LP without affecting your MMR.
By researching your teammates using tools such as LoLking.net or op.gg you'll be able to judge if you should play this game or not. If you think you have a bad chance to win the game then just dodge the game and save your MMR.
Now that we understand the ladder system and the power of dodging, it’s time to look at what you can do on the Rift.
League of Legends is a team based game which means you are reliant on your teammates to do well. Simple words of encouragement when a teammate does something good, or a compliment when they are feeling down, can often be the difference between a victory and a defeat.
If a teammate is really struggling then you could offer to roam and gank, lane swap or tell them to abandon the lane and go elsewhere. By physically helping your teammates as well as morally you are going to ensure that they don’t tilt. Not only does this help increase the chances of winning the game, but also helps you get closer to your goal: reaching your dream elo.
Did you know? Players that regularly flame lose more games than players that don't.
While it’s important to stop your own teammates from getting angry, you can also use anger to your advantage.
If the enemy team is regularly making mistakes, or you’re constantly camping them, they are likely to be tilting. If you continue to punish them then they will eventually start to blame their team. Once the enemy team has fallen apart it should be a pretty easy win for your team, as long as you work together.
It's a sneaky tactic but throwing some comments into the all chat can easily tilt a player. Don't say anything that can get you banned (like an insult) - just say sarcastic or jokey comments. Often something as simple as "Hey Ezreal" once you've killed him can be enough to send him over the edge.
Teamwork is most certainly OP and you won’t be able to carry yourself to Diamond without the help of your team. Players who are frustrated or disappointed at themselves will not be playing at their best.
It can be hard to climb the ranks in League of Legends when you don’t have the correct knowledge. If you don’t know where to place wards in game, then that’s going to have an enormous impact on how you play. To improve your knowledge of League of Legends we suggest reading some of our previous blog guides such as How Every Item Can Make a Difference.
For the not so obvious tips, we’ve specifically arranged some top tips on how you can take your gameplay to the next level.
The meta is the current optimal composition for your team in the game. This can be specific champions, certain items, specific summoner spells or just general roles. The meta is generally dictated by Riot's balancing team and it’s important that you quickly learn what’s strong and what isn’t.
It doesn’t matter if you read a guide to Diamond if you are going to play out of the meta champions, buy weak items or just play in the wrong role. If the meta is to play a tank top and you don’t play a tank top then you can wave bye bye to reaching Diamond elo.
While it can be good to learn certain champions and stick to them, it’s not always the best way forward. When Riot released patch 5.16, the strongest top laners were Darius and Garen.
If you decided, you wanted to play Akali because that’s who you usually play then you are instantly putting yourself at a disadvantage by ignoring the meta. If you are a fantastic Akali player, but only an average Garen player, you’ll probably perform better for yourself and your team on Garen.
By correctly playing the meta you can increase the chance of winning your game and launching you into Diamond elo. Be sure to keep an eye on websites such as NerfPlz to make sure you understand the current meta.
Losing in LoL is inevitable, unfortunately, it's impossible to win every game no matter if you think you're faker. When you start to lose games in a row then you’re on a losing streak.
Being on a losing streak affects your mental state and increases the chance that you’re going to make a mistake, get frustrated by insignificant errors and potentially even rage quit.
It’s easy to deal with mistakes and your first loss of the day, but when you’re onto the third or fourth loss in a row it can become very frustrating. That’s why it’s important that you just stop after three losses.
The best way to recover is to have a break and play another game instead. It's also useful to do some breathing exercises or meditation to improve your overall state of mind.
If you want to learn more about how you can avoid going into a tilt you can read it here.
Vision wins games. It's a simple as that. If you watch any pro games you'll notice they spend a ridiculous amount of money on wards even in the first few minutes of the game.
It’s by far the most important objective in League of Legends (apart from the Nexus) and it’s important that you correctly use it. No matter what position you play, you should always put a ward down for your team. In lower divisions, wards are often dismissed as worthless and expensive, but if you want to get to Platinum elo or beyond, you should understand how important they are.
Your trinket should be regularly used and you should think before you place a ward. If you’re going to focus your attention on the top lane then why would you ward the bottom half of the map? If the dragon isn’t up for 4 minutes then don’t waste a ward in the dragon pit.
It’s also important that you pre-ward valuable objectives. If the dragon is spawning in 1:30 then start getting some deeper wards down into the enemy jungle so that you have full control of the area.
It’s equally important to deny vision. Pink wards and sweepers can remove enemy wards taking away their information about your champion’s position. Don’t recall in plain sight because you are giving the enemy information that they can use to push or position their Jungler.
If you recall in the bottom lane and the enemy sees you do it then it’s just inviting them to have a free dragon. Vision is the difference between Bronze and Diamond and if you can learn how to manipulate it correctly then you will be able to reach Diamond in no time.
When playing lower divisions such as Bronze and Silver, the chances are you will be the best player on your team. To stand any chance of winning and carrying the game, you should look to play offensive champions that can have a huge impact on the match. Offensive champions let you stomp your enemies, and with some, you can easily manage 2 or 3 v 1 scenarios.
In low divisions, there is a much higher chance that your teammates will go afk or disconnect during a game. This means in some games you will find yourself in a 4 v 5 scenario. As frustrating as it can be, you just need to deal with it. The best way to deal with it is to pick an offensive champion you are really good at and can crush your enemies.
If you play a defensive champion, then the chances are you won’t be able to deal enough damage to make an impact in the game. This means no matter how good you are; you won't be able to carry. Playing an offensive champion can seriously give you a huge advantage when playing in lower divisions, if you want to reach the top divisions then choosing your champion wisely is a must.
Once you’re out of the noob divisions and start getting into your “true division” the games can suddenly become considerably harder. When tackling the higher divisions, it is best to switch from an offensive champion to a defensive one. This change will naturally make you play more defensive and allow the better players on your team to take over and carry the game. By not dying and feeding you deny the enemy team additional gold and experience.
Defensive champions are a lot harder to kill than offensive ones, and this will allow you to stay alive longer in game. In addition to this, most defensive tank champions are usually full of crowd control abilities such as stuns, slows and fears. Using these in team fights are an excellent way to increase your chances of winning by supporting your other teammates.
If you keep getting rekt every game, then it’s probably time to switch over to a defensive champion.
When you're winning in League of Legends it can be the best feeling ever. A 3 game win streak can make you feel like you’re going to be in Diamond in no time. But then suddenly you go into a 3 game losing streak, and you think it’s the end of the world.
How you manage yourself during these losing streaks is what separates a good player from a great player. Great players will instantly recognize when they are tilting and will do something about it. Other players will just keep on playing and hope they start winning again.
So what can you do when you are losing and tilting? The first thing is to examine your previous games and work out what is going wrong. Was it your fault with bad plays and champion selection, or was it to do with someone else on your team?
If it was your fault, then you should look at changing your current strategy in future games or even taking a break for a while. If it definitely wasn’t your fault and somebody else on your team was the cause, then stick to your strategy. Unfortunately, you don’t really have any control over anyone else in your team so all you can do is continue to play your best and focus on yourself.
By recognizing when you are tilting you’ll be able to do something about it instead of just hoping and praying that you’ll start winning again.
When playing a fast-paced League of Legends game it can sometimes be hard to tell your teammates what to do. The chances are you won’t know anyone on your team and therefore won’t be voice chatting with them. To make things worse, most of the time you won’t get a chance to type anything out without missing CS, getting harassed by your opponent or getting flamed by your teammates for going “afk”.
To solve this problem, you’re going to have to learn how to use smart pings. Pinging is a great way to inform your team without having to type anything out. Most of the time the pings will be fairly self-explanatory if used correctly. With these pings, you can tell your teammates which enemy to focus on, which objective to take, or what to look out for. When playing with complete strangers, communication is key in order to win. It might take a bit of time to get used to pinging objectives and other players but you’ll soon see a huge difference in your games.
Unfortunately recently there has been an influx of ping spamming. This is not recommended because it's going to tilt your team and reduce the chance of you winning. If you are a victim of ping spamming then you have to learn to ignore it. Unfortunately, you still can't mute pings.
Another trick to becoming a great League of Legends player is to constantly track the enemy's Jungler on the map. By tracking where he is at every given time you can use that information to make some interesting plays. Since you now understand the power of wards and vision in game, you should have constant vision on your enemy's Jungler. This means when you're playing in lane you'll have a good idea of how far away their jungler is. With this information, you can decide when its a good time to start a team fight or avoid one.
If the enemy jungler was last spotted on the other side of the map then it's probably a good time to push as hard as possible. However, if you know the jungler was last seen in the lane near you, then you'll probably want to avoid that. By constantly tracking the position of the jungler you'll have a good idea of when to play offensive and when to play defensively.
Before you jump into a ranked match it’s important to have a pre-game checklist. A pre-game checklist is a list of important things you should check before you even enter a game. Think of it as a pre-game ritual. It might sound silly and pointless, but trust us, a simple list like this can greatly improve your gameplay.
Things to include on your checklist are:
As you can see there is a variety of different things to check before entering a game. Let’s have a quick look at them all in more detail.
One of the most important things to check on the list is your internet connection. We’ve all had that one player who joins the game and instantly starts complaining about how bad they are lagging. What if they checked their internet BEFORE they joined the game? Wouldn’t this save everyone the pain and frustration?
A handy tool to use to check your internet connection before you start your game is speedtest.net. Using this tool, you can test the quality of your internet to see if you are lagging. If your ping is 60 or less, then you’re good to go. If you get a high number of 200 or higher then your PC might not be prepared for gaming, this brings us onto the second point.
Before entering a game, you’ll want to make sure you pause any downloads or updates going on in the background. These might be happening without you even knowing! Torrenting programs, internet downloads, Steam and game updates can all be the culprit. You’ll always want to exit any unnecessary programs before you enter a game, not only will it speed up your PC but it will also stop any annoying notifications or popups during your game.
Other things to check on your PC before starting are things like your batteries in your mouse (if you use a wireless one) or your keyboard. Wireless devices can be very useful, but not when the battery runs out! Now we’ve covered some things to do with your computer and equipment; it’s time to move on to yourself.
Checking yourself before you start playing ranked games is another important factor that can have a huge impact on your games. Your mental state will affect how you think and act in games, if you’ve lost the last few games and are in an angry mood then it’s probably best to take a break.
Having a negative mental state can have disastrous consequences on your gameplay. If you need help with overcoming your tilting, then be sure to read our guide on how to stop tilting.
Other things you should check before starting your next game are if you have enough time to finish the game and that you are fully concentrated. If you’re slightly hungry or dehydrated, then you might need to take a break in order to regenerate yourself. Playing on a hungry stomach is a bad idea and it can be easily solved.
As you can see, become a Diamond elo player is all about preparation and practice. Without a plan of action then you're just mindlessly playing LoL and hoping that you win. By having a checklist and step by step guide, you can ensure you're at your best performance for every game.
Now you’ve got plenty of in-game tips, it’s time to go out and put them into practice! See you on the rift!