i made silver 5 playing with support in 2016, and then mid in 2018 (i took a break from LoL in 2017.) i get harassed almost every ranked game and half the time in unranked SR for my item choice.
i know the top tier players choose from a small list of final build items, and i have the website urls to look and see what the recommended and common top tier item choices are. i hear how the top rank items should be used by lower ranks , and unfortunately players will abuse the reporting system to try to 'force' everyone to use top rank items. i know i'm not as good as the top tier players yet. i know how to build items very very well. i test items, item combos, and runes in custom, as well as during games. it seems all my research and ability is overlooked and if i am not using cookie cutter top tier rank items, TEAMMATES ASSUME I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO BUILD ITEMS. if you watch esports and upper tier games on youtube, the players have fast reaction time and do everything perfectly. this just doesn't happen at mid to lower ranks for several reasons. here are 3 examples...
1. i was in a ranked match september 2018 and we were winning the entire game, i was winning my lane, and we ended up winning the ranked. i got reported ONLY for not using the cookie cutter top rank items. i did not argue or write anything rude or mean at all. i ended up getting a reporting timer after the game. i was very polite to my teammates, but i still got reported. honestly i think my item choice was better than most/all of my teammates. i usually get the highest cs, one of the highest k+a/d ratios, but the first 5 minutes of the match it's always "why did you choose those items?" "stop trolling and learn how to build" i also will never never kill steal intentionally, so there is no reason i should be reported simply for not choosing the top tier items.
2. i tend to play a lot of unranked with gold-diamond players (a lot, like dozens of games a day) i usually choose mid when i play with teammates above my rank, because i tend to play mid better vs harder opponents and with better teammates. it's pretty noticable how the matchmaker selects harder renemies or easier enemies based on the team's average elo. i have good map awareness for my rank, and even upper ranked players say i play very well. i tend to build SLIGHTLY more movement speed than the 'recommended top tier build' because my placement on the map isn't quite as good as gold-diamond players, so i will always be 5 seconds late to a fight if i did the recommended items and i would be dying more often if i'm 'as fast' as enemies expect me to be. also if i'm using only the recommended items, good enemies will know exactly what i'm using without taking the time to look. i know this probably isn't an issue with upper ranks who always look at the items, but lower ranks don't usually know what enemies are building, so again uncommon builds does work well in ranks gold and below. i get harassed and reported by higher ranked teammates for not using all the recommended items because
"our frame of reference is shackled by our experiences" -unknown
a gold 2 ranked friend said "using the cookie cutter top tier items is sometimes 'troll' in his rank". it's beyond the grasp of most silver-gold players that a silver player (me) can understand how items work and choose decent item combinations which are not from the small list of top rank items.
3. there are some things item descriptions do not explain, or are not obvious in the item description. ancient coin for example. when i'm playing non ranked with teammates above my rank and i am top, mid, or support, i usually choose ancient coin as my starter income item. unless you are doing very well in your lane (winning in cs and not getting ganked by jg), ancient coin ALWAYS gives you more experience than any other income item unless you are getting kills. often early game in ranked you won't be getting kills, it will be more playing safe and getting cs. if a team is getting kills, the difference between ancient coin and other income choices won't matter anyway, the team with the kills is much further ahead because they will be farming cs and probably get the first tower. for anyone who doesn't know (and a lot of people don't know this) you get 100% of the experience for 'assists' on minons using ancient coin (and the 2 upgrades of ancient coin) without hitting any of the minons nearby. without ancient coin you get no gold or xp from minons unless you do damage to them within 10 seconds of them dying. LoL considers ancient coin as 'constantly' hitting all nearby minons all the time, about the distance between 2 turrets is 'nearby'. having ancient coin (or the upgrades to ancient coin) skyrockets your experience later in the game when you near one more or allies and you aren't killing minons. usually a teammate with a lot of aoe damage will be one shotting minons so everyone can focus on champions. with anything except ancient coin you miss out on all that xp. i'v'e seen someone kill a wave of minons when i am at level 16 and i get over half my level. something else i tested, if you spam wards with the upgrades to spellthief's edge and the upgrades to ancient coin, it increases your letter grade a whole 1 letter grade (instead of a B you would get an A). keep placing wards even just in lanes or near base, and it gives you a lot higher grade, which helps with mastery tokens.
i want the abuse of the reporting system and harassment to stop for the sole reason of not choosing the top rank items and runes. if LoL wanted everyone to choose the top tier items, LoL would have implemented presets or automatic item purchasing. with the other modes and temporary game modes, it seems LoL wants players to think for themselves, not use the top rank items unless you are gold+. lower ranks just don't have the skill, play experience, or reaction time to use top rank items and do well. sure if you don't know what to take itemwise the top rank items is very helpful, but this does not mean the top rank items are the best choice for lower ranks, especially in unranked going for mastery tokens.