1. Instantly Improving your CSing Capabilities
The first step to reaching higher ELO is definitely to CS correctly as it can take the place of kills, and give you overwhelming leads if your CSing is solid enough. Naturally, not everyone has the time to grind away in practice-tool to practice CSing, but there is an alternative. Instead of directly getting better at last hitting with auto attacks, play champions that increase the margin for error with CSing. This will be the first step to improve your games.
Examples of this are Irelia, Annie, and Cassiopeia, all of which have a reset of some sort on an ability upon a kill. Another alternative are champions with executing, spammable, or extra on hit damage abilities and passives like Zed, Karthus, or Qiyana. Simply using a champion that enhances your ability to CS will work in the short-term for improvement, and pave the way for a higher CS count.
2. Mute the Chat to Improve Your Games
The importance of your mental state when playing a strategy game like League of Legends is of the utmost importance. Dying can be frustrating, and your teammates dying could further add to your ire, but what truly tilts people off of the face of the Earth is what people have to say after these already infuriating events. Among the most infamous of them is “EZ” or just the simple “?” that will send you over the edge. To protect yourself from such attacks on your mental, just mute everyone as you get into the game.
You won’t improve your games by a large margin if you’re easily tilted by the input of others. League of Legends has a great ping system that does not require verbal communication to get your point across; use it.
3. Enlarge your Minimap
A large portion of League of Legends is interacting with enemies. To improve your games, you must have better map awareness. For all the blind players that fill up the majority of League of Legends, this is the tip for you. Enlarge your minimap to better see what is on it. Ganks, objective timers, and vision are all shown on the minimap, and these are crucial variables that should shape your decision making, so give this portion of your screen a bit more attention, and enlarge it in case you forget.
On the same note, you should be checking this enlarged minimap every 30 seconds to a minute or so to keep up with the state of the game, as well as your surroundings.
4. Ward every time it is Off of Cooldown
Whenever your ward is off of cooldown, you should be placing it somewhere on the map. Warding placement is a conversation of its own. Before even talking about where the best place to put your wards, you have to at least get your wards down in the first place. Holding onto your wards when there is no objective up makes little to no sense, and the majority of the time you won’t be around objectives that require warding unless you’re a jungler or Lee Sin.
You’ll never improve your games if you are going into everything blind. Never allow your ward count to reach two, as every second after that is a wasted second of vision you would have had.
On the same note as wards, know which vision tools suit you best at your current state of the game. These are the general rules of thumb:
During the mid-game, Mages should get a Blue Trinket, ADCs can stick with a Yellow or Blue Trinket
5. Callout Summoner Spells
The thing that makes League of Legends unique from other MOBA games are its summoner spells, and that isn’t for no reason. The importance of summoner spells to your gameplay cannot be stressed as it brings your champion abilities beyond what they were capable of before. An immobile champion can escape, a slow champion can speed up, etc., Professional players play entirely around summoner spells and the only way to know what they can and cannot get away with, there needs to be someone calling out what the enemy has and doesn’t have.
Even if you team is dense enough to not make use of the information themselves, you can capitalize on it yourself. You can do this by calling for a gank, or going for an aggressive kill that you know they cannot escape from.
6. Abuse the Sweeper and Ward Cooldown
The sweeper and war switch has surely been around for a long time, but it has only started getting more traction since Season 9, and it is a quite broken tool for getting and removing vision. Vision is an integral part of information gathering in League, and denying vision is just as important higher up the later than getting it. So after you’ve placed down all of your wards and you have to wait for that 171-second cooldown, consider switching to a sweeper for the time being and denying some vision. The sweeper will be on a 40-second cooldown, and that gives you a ton of time to erase some enemy vision from the map.
7. Ping if Your Laner is Missing
I cannot stress this enough. If your laner is missing and you did not specifically see them backing, ping their absence. If they’re gone for more than 3 seconds, call it out with a ping. Even 3 seconds may be a long time, but if you just spam missing pings, nine times out of ten, your team will ignore you so only ping out of necessity. No one will answer a boy crying wolf.
Of course, don’t expect bot lane to pay attention to your pings, because that is just the nature of bot lane for most ELOs. If you have one of these hard-headed botlaners, just ping caution or danger directly in their lane instead of your own. It’ll increase the chance that they will notice it exponentially.
8. Make use of Level Advantages
The disparity between level 1 and level 2 is such a bit gap that it could be called broken. When you have a level advantage on your enemy, you have to make use of their lower stats to make a move. The most noticeable single level gaps are between level 1 and level 2, as well as level 5 and 6. If you are level 2 before your opponent, even if you don’t commit to the kill, make sure to chunk your enemy before they reach level two to setup for a gank or kill. If you find yourself level 6 before your opponent, and you have an offensive ultimate or one that can be used offensively, don’t hesitate to start a fight before the enemy gets their ultimate ability. This advantage is one that can turn the tides of your lane, so make use of the advantage when it presents itself.
9. Know your Counters
The battles in League of Legends starts in champion select. When you lock in a champion, you have already started to play the game. Sometimes you’ll get first pick, and at that point, you have to play something safe, or high priority. A great way to improve your games is to get in your enemies’ minds before you even start the game. You may be tempted to lock in any old thing, but you will have to deal with the consequences of that action for the next 15 to 45 minutes.
When you are blessed with a later or even last pick, you have to make use of this advantage. Take the time to observe all that the enemy has selected and take that into account when selecting a champion. If you see a Nasus locked in, pick a lane bully. If you see a Jhin, pick Zed. If you see Zed, pick Fizz. If you see Master Yi, pick Jax etc., Knowing counter matchups will win you games.
10. Keep your Champion Pool Small
Nothing can throw you off your game more than trying to juggle too many champions at a time. As you play other champions, you start to lose touch with subtle things like missile speed, and damage with the other champions you have benched. Consistency helps to perfect your craft with champions. If you stick to a few champions your proficiency with them will be consistent throughout your games. To improve your games, consistency is key.
11. Try to Back Only on Cannon Waves
Proper back timing can be an entire subject of its own, but there is a simple trick that doesn’t take too much reading. That step is backing on cannon waves. The importance of CS doesn’t need to be reiterated, but you won’t have any CS to speak of if it all dies to your tower. Backing on cannon waves allows you to back and miss the smallest amount, if not none of the CS coming your way. Actually getting that CS is another issue, but giving yourself the opportunity to do so comes first.
12. Know When to Push and When to Freeze
Wave management is a powerful tools that pros do to keep the tempo of the lane in their favor. There are many minion strategies that you can implement to improve your games, but we will take a look at the most common of the bunch, pushing and freezing.
Since pushing has many modes, we will start with that first. There are two types of pushes, a hard push, and a slow push. We will get into when to use them both in a second.
Simply put, a hard push is when you are trying to clear the wave as fast as possible.
A slow push is when you are building up a wave while the minions are inevitably moving towards your enemy’s tower.
You would use a hard push when you are trying to roam, go back, pressure your enemy under tower to make them lose CS, or need lane priority. When you see that your enemy has roamed or backed, make sure to hard push the wave into the enemy turret. These are all situations where you would incorporate a hard push.
Slow pushes are much more intricate, and they have a few vastly different uses than hard pushes. Slow pushing can be used to set up a dive under the enemy’s tower, used to build tempo in a lane during mid to late game, used to fight a 2v1 and probably many more that my ELO isn’t high enough to be aware of. The moral of the story is, slow pushing can be powerful in the right hands. Using the minions’ numbers to pressure the enemy in some shape or form is the purpose of slow pushing.
13. Recognize Which Vision Tools Suit You
As I mentioned earlier, different roles at different times of the games need different vision tools. If you are a control Mage, or any sort of mage of some sort, you will need to purchase a blue trinket so you do not get popped out of the blue. ADCs should buy trinkets in accordance to where they are going to be for the mid to late game, whether that’s a side line or farming mid. Assassins and junglers should utilize the sweeper trinket, so their approach is as stealthy as possible.
Naturally, tanks can take whatever they want, so there isn’t any point in switching from the Yellow trinket. Knowing your role and all that comes with it, including which trinket to take, will contribute greatly to improve your games.
Mages: Blue Trinket
ADCs: Yellow Trinket if Mid, Blue Trinket in Side Lanes
Assassins and Junglers: Sweeper Trinket
14. Buy a Control Ward
If you have extra gold on a back, buy a control ward. It does not matter if you already have one on the map and it has not been cleared yet; you may need vision in some other area at a different point of the game. Do not be reluctant to spend money on another control ward when you have one on the map. The value of the information a permanent ward gives to your team is worth many times the gold that you spend on it.
15. Set your Jungler Up for the Gank
Finally, don’t mindlessly ask for a gank; set your jungler up for the gank. Do not push your lane if you want a gank. Callout or even bait out summoner spells from your enemies before asking for a gank. Do not waste your jungler’s time, because it is very punishing and even more frustrating for them. The last thing you want is to leave a bad taste in your jungler’s mouth after he has failed to gank your lane a few times because of improper setup. Now he’s down XP, a kill, and some brain cells.
A jungler is like a wife, make them happy and they’ll make you happy. Make them angry, and let alone improve your games, they’ll make you want to bang your head against the table for running it down your lane. Stay in your jungler’s good graces, and try not to flame them.
Hopefully, if you take what was said into account, this should help you in your next game.
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