Good Morning Readers!
Welcome back! I know I’ve been bad about posting bi-weekly, but willpower is finite (I’m looking at you, Rich). And that’s a conversation for another day. Regardless, I’m still grinding the ladder in Ranked League of Legends, even though I haven’t been streaming as much. While all of my friends have left me in the dust and reached high Silver, I am still stuck in Bronze 1. I did get to actually experience what promos felt like!… after I dropped to Bronze 2 for two whole games, and quickly reattained my Rank of Bronze 1. (Thank God!)
I’ve been doing a solid job getting 3-4 games in each night after work and around dinner at the sacrifice of going to the gym (RIP, Pecs like Braum). Last night I hit 90 LP, for the third time, after I won my first match of the night. Like clock work, I proceeded to lose the next 5 in a row, and drop back to nearly 0 LP. Now, while this is soul-crushingly frustrating, I am trying really hard to JUST focus on my goal. That is to get better. Regardless of rank, regardless of stats and KDAs, win-rates; I just want to get better.
The last LoL article I wrote covered a wide variety of high-level ideas I know I need to improve upon. I still need to keep these things in mind, but in addition, I try to keep a note pad of “post-match thoughts.” Writing these things down while they are fresh in my head allows me to go back over a game and see where things went wrong, or what I did right. It also allows me to notice trends or patterns in my play, one of which is glaring.
1.) I am getting REKT in my secondary role
This is a brutal truth, but I f***ing SUCK at top lane. I think need to give it up. I think back to Season 2 when I was playing a lot, and I would play Top and Mid. I *feel* like I would do well, I was decent. Dueling felt like something I was good at. Since then, Top lane has changed so drastically, and I do not have the champion knowledge, or flat out practice time put in, to be good at it. Top lane is just so much harder than I remember it being.
The role of top champs has changed as well. Quite often, I’d want to play a carry like Riven or Fiora, but our Jungler would be Ekko or Xin, and our Support would be Sona or Soraka, and we’d have no tank. So I try to go Darius, who is much more of a bruiser or juggernaut, and then I’m against a Malphite or Volibear, who have much higher ability to tank or sustain. It’s not required, but in Solo Queue it’s not uncommon for the top to need to be a tank or you are just at a severe disadvantage. So then you suffer from the issue of NOT being able to carry as a tank.
Secondly, Even when I was playing the “carry” type champs top, I’d find I’d have no lane presence. I am CONSTANTLY being bullied out of lane and unable to stop my lane opponent from farming. I would do my best to keep up in CS, often going toe-to-toe, but unless the Jungler camps top, I struggle to pull ahead or even maintain parity. This leads to a situation where I am constantly under turret, and the opponent is just free farming.
This could be for several reasons. One, I am getting counter picked, and my champion is just at a disadvantage. Two, the Jungler isn’t doing a good enough job facilitating kills while I am under turret all game. Or Three, I really am just bad at the role. Now, I suspect there is some combination of the three. It’s highly unlikely I am being counter picked EVERY GAME. Its equally likely the bronze janglers are just bad. Many games I’ve asked for help over and over and been ignored. Now there’s and argument I SHOULD be able to hold my lane, and I believe that’s true, but when someone is drowning, it IS a team game, and you’ll lose if you don’t use teamwork to help the floundering player. But most likely, it’s just number 3. My lack of knowledge combined with all of the above means I’m going to have a bad time. So what can I do to fix this?
Well, I can go back to Normals, and keep practicing Top. I can reevaluate the champions I play and find ones that CAN carry and are tanky, (like Voli or maybe a Wukong or Shen). Fiora is a bit tanky, but difficult to play. All of this involves me stopping the grind, and going back to practice in Normals again. This may be a necessary evil.
…but then I look at my stats and I get this glimmer of hope:
Darius : 5-2
Clearly this is a small sample size, BUT 13-15 isn’t horrible. The problem is those stats alone don’t even begin to tell the whole story. I am carried most of those games or helped until I can stabilize in the mid game and start helping the team. I don’t generally carry like I hoped to. So I think I have to stay the course and give up on Top. I am able to recognize my lack of skill in dueling, and quite often just bullied out of lane.
The other option is pick a new role, which leaves me with Mid and Jungle. There is zero chance I support because there’s just no way I can do it, I’m really bad at it and I don’t have the patience to do it. I used to play a lot of mid, and I learned how to jungle a LONG time ago. After many talks with many people, these tend to be the two roles that people feel are best for carrying. Junglers can dictate the pace of the game, and many mid champions are very snowball-y with the ability to roam. Both roles I’d have to completely relearn which… forces me BACK into Normals. Soooo…
2.) Who do I play mid?
I used to have a TON of Ahri games under my belt. I’d love to go back to playing Mid. I bought Yasuo in preparation to begin learning him. I’d learn Zed too but he’s basically perma-banned every game. Fizz is an option, good for snowballing and ganking. I used to love the high risk, high reward champs that came along with mid. They all have very high mobility, the ability to escape ganks and can be very powerful.
Now you may be thinking, “well if you suck at dueling, why go back to Mid, Noob?” My thought process is most of the mid champs are ranged, and involve a lot of poking. Even Yasuo and Fizz play almost like ranged champions. Yas has the whirlwind, and Fizz can dash in and out like it ain’t no thang. Removing the melee aspect of Top lane with Poke just removes so much pressure. Being able to poke, poke, poke, then commit to a fight you KNOW you can win is almost like ADC. The mid champs have the ability to poke while farming, and then execute the opponent.
As much as I like the IDEA of Jungling, I am not sure how good I’d be at it. It’s been a very long time and the jungle has changed multiple times since then. It makes a certain mindset to be a good Jungler. I’d love to learn Elise, Ekko, Xin, or Lee Sin, but who knows if I could? Only way to know is to try I guess. So when I do play normals, maybe I should force Jungle and see how it goes.
It’d be great if I could just ADC every game. I know my champions, I know the opposing champions and I’m solid at the role. Sadly, that just isn’t one of the options, and even then…
3.) I am having trouble carrying as an ADC.
Many games, with my support, we will win lane, I’ll be consistently up 10-15 CS in lane, we often get a kill or two, or AT WORST we don’t feed, and hold lane. Generally, we can push the tower, avoid ganks, and play well. Unfortunately, most games, my other teammates will feed their lanes, or the Jungler will die while ganking. We do a killer job keeping the opponenet ADC in check, then 20 minutes later, i’ll be like 1/0/3 or 2/1/2, etc and their ADC is magically 10/3/5. Like, wtf happened?
Bot is not a lane where you can really roam, especially playing some ADCs that require huge amounts of farm (I’m looking at you Kog). Mid is the only lane you can really gank. They will see us coming a mile away, and if the roaming doesn’t result in a kill, you could essentially put yourself 10-12 CS down, negating any lead you may have had. So often times, I am focused on farming, harassing the opponents, maintaining vision and Dragon control, and watching the rest of my team fall apart. I have to hope my team can just survive the laning phase, so we can get to team fighting where I really shine as a teammate. Lots of times the game is lost long before the laning phase is even over, even if Bot lane has given up zero deaths. This falls under “things I cannot control” but my point becomes that it seems more difficult to carry when you aren’t able to roam or affect the game until after the laning phase. It’s harder to carry as an ADC. If someone out there disagrees, please tell me. I love to have conversations about this stuff.
Regardless, I know there are still things I need to work on as ADC. My farming can always improve, my positioning is mediocre, and I die too often:
Kog’ Maw: 9-8 | K: 5.5 | D: 3.5 | A: 6.2 | CS: 172.4
Miss Fortune: 17-18 | K: 6.1 | D: 4.9 | A: 8.1 | CS: 187.1
Lucian: 3-6 | K: 5.3 | D: 5.3 | A: 8.8 | CS: 210.9
Jinx: 1-3 | K: 3.0 | D: 3.8 | A: 6.8 | CS: 177.8
Trist: 0-1 | K: 6.0 | D: 5.0 | A: 3.0 | CS: 231
I die way too much. Again, these are small sample sizes, but Jinx and Kog are close to where I want to be in KDA. For farming, Kog is the worst which should NOT be the case. He’s so item dependent, that I really need to do a better job farming. For one reason or another, my farming is just better on Lucian, Jinx, and the one Trist game I played. I think I need to play more Jinx, even thought they were both losses. She’s among my three most played champs, but she just happen to get nerfed right when I started playing Ranked. Even with the recent Kog changes, he still feels like Kog’ Maw, Void Horror Sprinkler from Hell. The problem is I don’t always have the team to back him up. Working on my positioning will help, but I still need a strong front line.
I think the bottom line is I still just need to get more ranked games under my belt, one way or another. I worry changing my secondary role will severely set me back, but if I don’t start making a change now and ACTUALLY CARRYING games, I’m never going to climb. It’s a rock and hard place. The ultimate goal is still just “get gud.” I need to stay focused on that goal no matter what happens. The ranks and stats and climbing will come along with it. Until then, I may just need to go back to Normals and really start finding a second role I can master, because I don’t think Top is for me.
Thanks for reading, I hope this insight into my frustrating Bronze career is helpful. Learn from my mistakes, and get out of ELO Hell. If I help just ONE person not want to punch their monitor, then I’m doing God’s work.
Tomorrow, me and my teammate Matt are going to GP DC to play in side events, check out the scene and the artists. I may play, or I may report on Matt’s play. Regardless We might have some sweet Modern or EVEN LEGACY 8-man tournaments to report on, even if it’s not me playing. Stay tuned.
You can email me comments and questions at ModernGentlemenGaming@gmail.com. Click “Follow” over on the right side to follow the blog and never miss an update. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheGreat_Andini for stream times and posts. Stay strong and DON’T TILT!!