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Guide to Ranked Solo Queue

Almost everyone has hit a brick wall at some point in solo queue, a point which seems impossible to get past, whether it is due to teammates or you. Don’t give up; here are some tips to changing your mentality to becoming a winner.

  • There is no “elo-hell”. Every player is skilled relative to another player, therefore, you can’t use vague thresholds to say, “well I can’t go any higher in solo queue because I’m stuck in elo-hell.”

  • Don’t focus on one game, or even a set of games. You want to look at your performance over as broad a timeframe as possible, 20 games or more is usually where it starts to become evident. If you focus on one game, you don’t understand how you are developing as a player and instead develop queue anxiety or a fear of your League Points (LP) dropping.

  • In solo queue you want to focus on consistency instead of dominating some games and feeding horribly the next. Safer plays are usually more rewarding than that flash “E”, “Q”. “R” combination that might suddenly ace, pentakill (five kills by one champion) or Baron steal the other team if you do it correctly.

  • Play as much as possible, treat league like a sport. If you want to get better you need to practice and develop muscle memory. In addition to this, you need to understand and dissect problems you find yourself in often.

  • When you duo queue, especially if it is with a friend or someone you know well, them underperforming can strain a relationship you have with that person. From the standpoint of keeping your friends, this is not so great. Riot also tries to mess with you by artificially bumping up your matchmaking rating (MMR) when you duo queue, making it even harder to rise. This is only exacerbated further if you don’t have synergy.

  • Rage constructively, what I mean by this is, if you are frustrated, tell them what they did wrong and how they can improve instead of cursing and revealing their mother’s extracurricular activities.

  • Learn from the community. LoL is a team game, and the best resources to learn new things are other players. So when you are playing the game, if you see a way for a teammate to improve, tell them in a nice way. In this way, you hope that other players will in turn give you advice.

  • Don’t give up, both Surrender button options say no. Your team is never out until a nexus is down.

  • Make sure to try to actually win. It is surprising how many people don’t actively think when playing ranked.

  • Unless you are making the meta, don’t break away from it. Until you start crunching numbers and know exactly why and how things work effectively, chances are you will be hindering yourself by trying something outside the meta.

  • Bronze and Diamond are not terribly different in as many ways as you think. The biggest differences as you climb elo are not mechanically based but rather knowing how to team fight, pressure, and take objectives.

  • Don’t think that whatever role you are in is useless. The goal isn't always to have the most kills, or push the most towers. The goal of every role is to do better than your counterpart on the other team. Anything else you can do is just icing on the cake.

  • Use attack-move. Attack moving, by default, is set to A+Left Click or Shift+Right Click. The former is the standard use of the skill, while the latter is the smart-casted version. A lot of top players will make use of both, but not all. It doesn't matter which one you use, or both, but try to use at least one of them.

  • Disable nameplates. Choking is something that happens to even the best of players, and although this won't apply to the majority, people get stuck in high elo as well. You can prevent yourself from choking by tricking your own brain. Shift+K gets rid of nameplates.

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