The #1 Secret Key to Climbing at ANY Elo

It's a very simple 2-step process.
Step 1: Look at the map
Step 2: Tell your teammates what you see
That's it.
The better you do this 2-step process, the higher and quicker you'll climb. Period.
Now you may be thinking that there's no way that this applies to every elo. You may think that Diamond players have perfect map awareness (they don't), or that Bronze players just simply won't listen to pings (we can argue about that later), but even if these misconceptions were true, my method for climbing would still work.
Here's why:
League of Legends is all about macro. It does not matter how good your mechanics are, how much cs you get, or how many kills you get. The ONLY thing that matters is which team kills the other's Nexus first. In other words, every single time you play a game of League, your goal is exactly the same: destroy the Nexus.
This means that everything you do during every game should be focused on that one goal of destroying the enemy Nexus. The only way to destroy the Nexus is to get objectives. This means that your focus during every game, regardless of your position, should be aimed at getting the objectives you need to win the game.
Back to the Strat:
You're probably wondering what more there could possibly be to such a simple process. You're probably tired of people telling you to look at the map. You already know you should look at the map. That's not why I'm here.
You may have noticed that I said the "better" you do the 2-step process the higher and quicker you'll climb as opposed to "more often." Knowing when to look at the map and what information to share with your team are important aspects of the process.
Although the "Golden Rule" is to look at the minimap between every cs (for laners), focusing on following this rule isn't going to help you at all. The problem is that people advocate looking at the map without understand WHY looking at the map is important. Remember, this all comes down to objectives.
So, why do we need to look at the map? So we can get the information we need to strategically attack objectives. What information is that? Glad you asked.
The following is CRITICAL information that you find by looking on the map:
1) Where the bad guys are
2) Where the bad guys aren't
3) Where the minions are
4) Where the minions aren't
5) Ward locations
6) Objective timers
Any time you look at the map and find ANY of the information listed above, you NEED to communicate what you've learned to your team. How you communicate this info to your team is critical in how much success it brings you. Let's look at a few examples:
Example 1) You're the jungler and you notice that the enemy Fizz mid lane just walked into bot side river brush.
-A) You ping mia on the mid lane. Fizz walks bot lane and gets a double kill. You say, "well I pinged mia...."
-B) You ping mia on the mid lane and you ping caution on the bot lane. You type to your team "Fizz headed bot lane be careful." Your bot lane stops pushing and tries to farm safely from their side of lane. Fizz walks bot lane and because your told your bot lane to back up, the opportunity for a good gank is gone. Fizz is upset about this and tries to dive your bot lane under turret. He dies and your Janna types "lul" in all chat.
This is the absolute most basic communication you should be giving your team. If you see somebody go mia without knowing which direction they were headed, ping 4 times. Make sure your team knows. If you do this in Bronze, you will climb.
Let's take a look at a more advanced example:
Example 2) You're the mid lane Orianna and you're losing badly to the mid lane Zed. Zed just walked into the bot side river brush. By now you're getting pretty good at looking at the map, so you've also noticed that both your jungler and the enemy jungler are farming their respective bot side jungles. It's clear that there could be a massive fight bot lane that could completely change the outcome of the game. What should you do?
A lot of people's first reaction would be to follow the Zed bot so that they can be there to help their team for the fight. This is WRONG. If you're behind the Zed, you CANNOT walk into the dark behind him. All you can do to help bot lane at this point is to give them all the info you have. Ping danger through the river where Zed is coming, ping danger in the bot side jungle where the enemy jungler is, ping assistance on your own jungler and the bot lane. If the fight is too much for them to handle under their turret, ping them to give up the turret. MAKE SURE they know that you ARE NOT coming to the fight.
INSTEAD of going to the fight, you head top lane because you know that the enemy jungler is bot. You gank top lane and get a kill, and because the enemy jungler is still bot, you then take rift herald with your top laner. If you do this Diamond, you will climb.
This is perhaps the most important concept to understand: Looking at the map isn't just beneficial because it helps keep your team safe, it's beneficial because it allows your team to play as aggressively as possible without committing errors.
So remember,
Step 1: Look at the map
Step 2: Tell your teammates what you see
As always, I'll be here to answer any questions or go over any specific problems you're encountering on the ever-evolving League of Legends ladder. See you all at the top.


Popularwhat ranged champs can go top


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Don't ban Cho'Gath please,


look at him go

like a boss


Buffs focused on the early game coming for Lucian and Lux

Lucian and Lux are the latest champions to be buffed on the PBE, according to the test server's most recent update. So far, Patch 8.6 is jam-packed full of buffs and little else, and with these changes, that trend is only continuing.
While it's true that Lucian has been struggling and needs all the help he can get, Lux is performing as a strong mid laner, and her off-role as support mage is doing well, too. Her buff isn't quite as impactful as Lucian's, but it's still a meaningful change, and she'll be significantly stronger as a result.
Her ultimate, Final Spark, has a mechanic that causes its cooldown to be partially refunded if she kills a champion with ability. The amount that it refunds increases with each level, starting at a 10 percent refund and ending at 50 percent at max rank.
With this buff, the refund will now start at 30 percent, while still ending at 50 percent. That means, as long as she lands a kill with Final Spark, its cooldown will be reduced by about 24 seconds, which is much more potent than the eight seconds that are currently refunded by the 10 percent.
Lucian's buff is more straightforward, as it's a simple flat damage buff. His W, Ardent Blaze, will have a higher base damage after this change. Rather than starting out at 60 damage and ending at 220 at max rank, it'll now deal 85 at rank one and end at 245, which is a 25 base damage increase across the board.
Base damage values are usually what carries champions from the early game into the mid-game, and it's right around there that AD scalings start to pass them by. A 25 damage increase is a lot, especially at early levels, but once he hits around level nine, it'll be hard to tell that the buff is even there.
That's okay, though, because Lucian is an early-game lane dominator that's struggling to actual dominate his lane. With this base damage buff, his luck may finally turn around.
These buffs are expected to land with Patch 8.6 next week.


Patch 8.6 Brings Open Parties and Voice Chat

Playing League with friends just got boosted. Open parties are a new way to fill a lobby without spamming invites, and it’s live right now. Parties will have voice chat equipped in patch 8.6, so feel free to request a gank from your farm-loving Udyr in real audio.
The days of sending a bunch of invites and staring longingly at your screen for friends to accept are gone. Pick a queue and your open party will appear to your friends in their friends list. They’ll see the number of spots available and the queue you chose. With one click, they'll be in the party and their buddies have an option to join too.
So if you choose to play Draft Pick, your friends will see 1/5 spots filled for Draft and press the button next to your name to join. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see 2/5 spots filled for Draft and choose to join as well. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see 3/5 spots filled for Draft and choose to join as well. Once they’re in, their friends and yours will see we’re taking this joke too far.
Queue restrictions are the same, so you can’t play with more than two teammates for Twisted Treeline and you can’t enter Ranked Flex with four players.
If you’re not feeling open parties, turn the feature off with a toggle in your lobby and the client remembers your setting. If you close your party, you can still send invites to friends.
After patch 8.6, your party can’t ignore your cries for help because they’ll hear you in voice chat. Voice chat only works for parties that queue together. If your party is a duo, you’ll only hear their voice in-game. As soon as you join a friend’s party you’ll connect to voice chat automatically and remain connected for as many games as you play together. We all have that quiet friend who doesn’t yell loudly enough when they’re getting ganked; just press tab in-game and adjust your settings to hear them. Voice works for any party of two or more players.


10 thoughts going into week 8

Would you rather start the game with four Banner of Commands in your inventory or four solo queue teammates? Patch 8.4 brought forth a lot of changes and the teams that adapted best this week were the most consistent team (Clutch Gaming) and… the most erratic team (Counter Logic Gaming). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Here’s this week’s 10 thoughts:
The FOX bot lane struggled last weekend, which maybe provides a blueprint for teams looking to knock them out. But the loss against GGS may end up being a blessing in disguise -- I think rolling too comfortably into the playoffs creates complacency, which has plagued some of the FOX guys in the past. Especially around playoffs. But if they lose a game this weekend, it’ll be three straight 1-1 weeks. That is decidedly average.
If you’re a top team, and you lose to CLG when CLG is at the bottom of the standings, does that actually count as a loss? That game was over as soon as C9 acquired a massive early lead. Rookie mistake -- CLG always plays better with their backs against a wall. Anyway, I wouldn’t take too much from that going forward. It’s a lot easier to not throw again than to learn how to secure early leads. C9 won’t really be tested until playoffs, where Licorice could finally be attacked (in-game and in the pick/ban phase) in an extended set.
The final stretch of the season is brutal for CG as they take on three of the top teams in the league to close out the season (100, FOX, and TL). They’ve had doubters all split because they just don’t feel like an elite team (I don’t necessarily disagree). Whatever that means. Like, they could win the Spring Split and then sweep MSI, and there might still be some people who say, “Eh, they’re good but I still don’t know about them.” And to Clutch, that’s probably fine -- being underrated takes off a whole lot of pressure.
If you’re ever trying to speedrun something and you screw up early, you just restart. What you see when TL loses is just the unfortunate side effect of that. They either win fast or they roll over and lose. Why a team with so much veteran presence can’t play from behind is truly a mystery. If they figured out how to win even a third of those games, then they’d be sitting right at the top of the standings. Win lane, win game only works for so long.
No.5 OCEAN’S 100
Sometimes you get the thieves from Ocean’s Eleven -- a suave and star-studded cast that executes a heist to perfection. And sometimes you get the thieves from Home Alone that slip on a bunch of marbles. Going into Week 8 is a bad time to still be working on your identity, but they’ve managed to be firmly in playoff contention anyway. A lot of that is thanks to their bot lane popping off the last couple of weeks. I still think they need to figure out how to get Ssumday more involved -- for a player of his caliber, this has been a fairly lackluster split. Stick him on some carries!
Most of the still high expectations for TSM are predicated on their historical performance in the postseason. But if you shook up the letters a bit and said this was STM, then what is this roster but a passive blob of inconsistency? If you look at the 100 game, Bjergsen plays a few of the team fights as a back line mage (Galio is not a back line mage). Watch the Galio in this clip for example:
Why is he so far back? If they don’t win that fight, they lose the Baron and likely the game. He’s way too good of a player to not commit here. That choke is a great spot for Galio’s taunt-Flash combo. You see even Zven goes over the wall. This play is a microcosm of the risk averse nature that’s characterized TSM for years. They absolutely need to take some more risks if they want to win this split.
TSM’s matches this week are against C9 and TL -- both are games they could lose, which would potentially let CLG tie them in the standings. And if we look forward to next week, we’ll see that CLG’s last game of the split is against… TSM! Going from 3-9 to 9-9 and making playoffs -- all while knocking out TSM as well -- I can’t think of anything more counter logic... except maybe losing that last game after making it all the way to 8-9.
Compared to the other two 4-10 teams, FLY just doesn’t look like they have any fighting spirit in them. AnDa’s struggles this split can be attributed to both his inexperience and his team’s communication struggles. For a jungler, being able to coordinate with your mid laner is critical, but Fly hasn’t been around for the entire split and there’s a language barrier. This forces Turtle to take some risky stunts (heh) to try to win fights for his team. As is, though, it’s hard to imagine this team just randomly gets better.
It’s still premature to say the future is bright, but this team has really weaved together some impressive performances in the last few weeks. The win over FOX wasn’t a fluke -- they outplayed them from the get-go. And say what you will about this team, but they know what they have to do to win. Their problem is they sometimes screw up the execution. Hai randomly gets caught out or Contractz mistimes a play or they force a random Baron. A lot of those things are immediately identifiable and fixable. They’ll be a dangerous team in the summer if this growth continues. It could be the Gold-to-Challenger in one split dream.
At this point, as OpTic, you have to ask yourself if Zig or Dhokla are actually that much worse than some of their counterparts. I don’t think they are. OPT’s play with Dhokla not deviating much from their play with Zig kind of confirms my suspicion that OPT just have no clue how to get their top laner involved in the game. They may as well stick Dyrus in top lane. From management down to the players, I think everyone can shoulder a bit of the blame, so it seems weird to me to point at x or y as being the sole problems. They’ve looked so close to being there at times this season, too, but it just hasn’t come together.