Season 6 recently started and even though a lot of you have already played their placements, there's high chance a decent portion of you hasn't done them yet. Even if you have, these tips should help you enhance your solo queue experience.
First, let's talk placements.
The first matches on your account have huge value. Let's say you were Bronze (1200 MMR) last season. Your MMR gets a soft reset each season - your current MMR + baseline MMR which is 1200 / 2.
So if you were Bronze (1200 MMR), at the starting point of your placements you are literally where you started - 1200 + 1200 / 2 = 1200.
From now on every game you play in your placements (and possibly some games after your placements) is of great importance to your MMR. If you are ‘X’ MMR, every win you get in your placements gives you more than the usual games after your placements. Let’s say a win in your placements gives you 50-100 MMR, so by going 10-0 you give yourself a huge head start and also comfortable room for losses in the future.
If you troll in your placements and don't take them seriously, you lose most or only win a few games, you will put yourself in an awful position since every game you play raises or lowers your MMR by a ton. So if you go 0-10 but then you decide you will start playing seriously, it might be too late for that. You will waste a ton of time climbing because your MMR is already terrible.
'But... I was Silver V in S5, I won most of my placements (6-4) and got placed in Bronze V! Rito please!', some of you might say.
Let's try and explain why that happens and why it's not a big deal.
You should think about your account in MMR, not in divisions. Where you start in terms of division doesn’t really matter. Especially in Season 6, since even if you do well in placements, you get placed a bit lower than you were in the previous season. (Your MMR is still great though and all you have to do is just play the game, LP gains are pretty good in Season 6.
Let me give you an example: All the Challenger players, even top 10 on the server get placed in Platinum 1 no matter how they do in placements. Even if they go 10-0, they still get placed in Platinum 1 AT BEST. They don’t get discouraged though, because they know their MMR stays the same and all they have to do is play a certain amount of games to get to where they were before. It’s the same with lower elo. If you were Gold in S5 and you get placed in Silver/Bronze in S6, chances are, your MMR is still pretty good and all you have to do is play 30~ games.
How to do better in solo queue
1. Play only a few champions. Start off by playing only 1 champion. Of course, don’t choose a champion that’s permanently banned (like Tahm Kench for example). Try to play a champion that’s flexible and can be played on at least 2 roles. Lulu/Nautilus/Poppy/Annie are some good examples. Of course, it’s not necessary, that’s just how you should start in my opinion.
Play a ton of games on that champion and perfect your play. I can assure you, if you put in time and look at your own play objectively, you will get really good on it. You will notice you will be a lot faster reacting to certain plays or initiating certain plays on that exact champion, it will also be a lot easier for you to expand your knowledge on different aspects of the game like roaming, pressing your advantage in lane by taking tower and rotating etc. etc. You will also be able to possibly translate the knowledge you’ve acquired to some of the other champions you decide to play in the future.
2. Don't AFK at the start of the game. More often than not your team will want to invade and being AFK might piss them off. You might think it's not a big deal to be 1 minute late because you had to go take a piss or get something to eat but it actually is. You want to be doing everything you can to win each game (if you're serious about climbing). Especially in lower elo, people tilt fast and they tilt hard. That level 1 invade where you get first blood might win you the game. (The enemy team might start arguing/blaming/flaming each other from the get go and your own team’s spirit is high because you’re already ahead) You certainly don’t want to miss out on that opportunity.
3. Try your best when you're on your secondary role too. Don't just write off games because ‘you don’t even play top’ and then proceed to go 0-10 and single handedly lose the game for your team.
4. Allow yourself to get carried when you’re having a bad game. A lot of people constantly complain about teammates, but truth is, sure, you get feeders, ragequitters on your team but you also get good teammates that do really well in your games. Statistically, it’s more likely that the enemy team has a troll/feeder etc. than your team. Statistics don’t lie. If you’re having a rough game and you notice the Yasuo on your team is 10-0 (True story of course! :D), just try to farm up, don’t look to make plays or fight the enemy laner that’s already ahead. Buy some extra pink wards. Build full tank if you’re a 0-3 Lee Sin and just be a meat shield for your team. Don’t try to be a hero, allow yourself to get carried every once in a while, there’s nothing shameful in that.
5. Pick simple champions and possibly focus on teamfighters, champions with crowd control. You can win with anything, but you will increase your chances of winning by playing something simpler and easier to follow up on, that also has CC.
Don’t look to split push in solo queue. It almost never works. You have to accept that your team will probably get caught or engage a stupid 4v5 fight and then get pissed at you for not being there. Pick something that’s strong in teamfights. Especially in Season 6, people tend to group a lot quicker and teamfight a lot more.
6. Try to learn and play the OP’s. Win rates and percentages don’t always tell the whole story, but every once in a while, something gets really out of hand. Examples: pre nerf Graves, runic echo/Strength of the ages Udyr, pre nerf Miss Fortune, pre nerf Trundle, pre nerf Poppy, pre nerf Soraka, pre nerf Kindred, current Kogmaw with rageblade/fervor/hurricane etc. etc. Be constantly on the look-out for champions like these who have insanely high winrate. After all, there has to be a reason for them to be that far ahead of others in solo queue.
7. Up your vision game. Sure, vision might not be the most important thing in solo queue, especially in lower elo, but it does make a difference. Buy that pink when you back, it’s only 75(!) gold and might give you permanent vision of a certain area. Place the ward just on the edge of the brush, maybe it gives your jungler that extra oomph vision to invade better because he sees the enemy jungler is 20% HP on his raptors.
Ward that brush where you are going to fight in the next 2 seconds or use your blue trinket as a teamfight starts so maybe your team has better overview of it.
8. Try to only say important things and don’t harp on the mistakes of your teammates. Especially in lower elo, even if you have good intentions, chances are the person you’re trying to give advice to or help will get offended. We’ve all seen that guy who says: “1 MORE WORD ANG I GO AFK” after you tell him that it might be a good idea to group. Just ping and time summoners most of the time. If your team is ahead, maybe you can think about trying to lead them into objectives because that’s when they’re prone to communicating more.
9. Go over your own replays and also watch streamers in detail. One of the most efficient ways to improve is by watching your own replays. If you’re objective and admit your faults it is easy to grow as a player. Pick a streamer that plays your role or find a VOD where he plays your favourite champion and just look over the things he does ingame. Try to think what would you have done in that specific situation. And be consistent with it, don’t just watch one game and think you got it all covered. It is boring and it is hard to look at yourself failing time and time again, but it’s also really effective.
10. Don't surrender. Even if you might be slightly better than your opponents and you think "you're wasting time" by playing this exact game (let's say you were Gold 5 in season 5 and you got placed in Silver or you're playing against Silvers in your placements). The only time where it's worth it to surrender an actual game is if you are infinitely better than your opponents which is almost never the case. You can win any game, even the most hopeless ones and it is worth it to stay in it in the grand scheme of things.
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