Improving as a Player

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Hi this is Link from Counter Logic Gaming.

Improving as a player can always be hard. You want to figure out as fast as possible on trying to learn from your mistakes and getting better. Everyone wants to get better and win right? Well… there’s three kinds of people actually.

1. People who want to improve by themselves
2. People who want to improve but are waiting until someone tells them how to improve
3. People who don’t want to improve at all or simply don’t care.

This article is going to hone on the first category of people who truly want to get better at a game or “something”.

As someone who has been through this process multiple times (and have taught people from all three categories), it is safe to say that self motivation is a really big factor if you want to improve at a noticeable pace. The easiest way to get better is to constantly question yourself. Why did I die? How did I not kill him? What makes him so much stronger than me? You have to ask these questions constantly whenever you think you did something wrong in order to fix the problem. The best way to approach this is to ALWAYS assume you are wrong. Never blame. Blaming is the number one way to deflect and not learn anything. Sure you might be right sometimes, but chances are, there is always room for improvement. Nobody is perfect after all.

In terms of League of Legends, there are a lot of ways to approach this. Let’s look at some scenarios.

I’m a silver elo player that mains ad carry and I want to get out of “elo hell”.

There are a lot of problems with this statement and a lot of different ways to approach this statement. Here is how I would address it.

1. Why are you silver elo?
2. What is elo hell and why should you care about it?
3. Why do you specifically only main ad carry?

The typical answers are probably like..

1. I don’t know why I am silver elo. I just suck
2. Elo hell is this… “hell” where I can’t get out because everyone around me trolls and sucks.
3. I only main ad carry because it’s cool and every other role sucks.

There’s a lot of problems with this statement.

You are silver elo because you do indeed suck. But the question is to ask what factors SPECIFICALLY make you silver elo? Here is where the tricky part comes in. “Bad” players don’t know what they are doing wrong so they require assistance to understand what they are doing wrong so they can fix it. Without acknowledging the problem, it’s much harder to establish the solution. So the easiest way is to figure out benchmarks.

Benchmarks:

100 cs by 10 minutes
0 deaths by 5 minutes
1 kill by 10 minutes

Try to play/learn 1 champion from a different role every week.

These are basic benchmarks that people should look to aim for (although they might be a bit high). Now that you know these basic goals as a LoL player, you should try to compare these very basic details. These benchmarks don’t even have to do much with the game in terms of intricacies. I will go more into specific details later on. But like I was saying, if you follow these goals and compare yourself to these benchmarks, you’ll have a much easier time understanding what you are doing wrong and a much easier time approaching the solution (improving). So now you can ask yourself…

1. Why did I miss those easy cs while farming without getting harassed? Was it a mechanical error? How can I fix that now? Go into customs and practice last hitting.
2. Why did I die during the first 5 minutes? Did I not have a ward to place? Why didn’t I place my ward that I had? Did I just get ganked because I did not know his strength? How much damage did he do? How can I fix it?
3. Why did I get that kill? What did I do correctly? How can I replicate this move that I did? Did he not have a ward and I communicated to my jungler to just come kill him?
4. How come I don’t know what that specific hero does? What are his cooldowns? What’s his mana costs? Only by learning what hero does (by playing them) can you really learn how a hero exactly works. You’ll learn their weaknesses and their strengths so when you play with or vs their hero, well… now you have some stuff to work with.

Asking these questions are crucial and only by asking these questions do you submit yourself to learning and trying to get better. Works well… try it sometime if you haven’t already.

Intricacies

As you progress in skill it becomes much harder to improve. Why does this happen? It’s because you need to get more and more specific in order to hone in on a skill to get better. As you get better, naturally it becomes harder to figure out what to improve on. That’s why you slowly become the teacher. It becomes more and more important to focus on yourself and look closely to see what you can improve on simply because there are less people to watch. However, if you do find someone better than you (and at my current skill level I believe there are a couple of people out there), scrutinize them and learn. It’s more important to observe sometimes and figure out what they do that you might have never thought of. It’s the small things that separate the great from the best.

Learning is a process that can be applied to anything in the world. The people who tend to succeed are those who are self-motivated. It’s why if you like something you generally tend to do better with it because you show more interest. More interest usually means self-motivation. Self-motivation means more effort and work put into it. Learning takes time and isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be spoon fed. A silver elo player won’t become diamond overnight. It takes months to years to get good. It’s how I got good.

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by Austin Shin, on July 24, 2013