Climbing out of Bronze: A Message to Bronze Players from a failed Division 1 athlete.

Hi, My name is Sly, and I'm 6'4 and currently attend UC Davis ;). I picked up League around the middle of my college years, around August 2016 to be exact. I was currently in the midst of transferring schools. All summer I had been training to become a Division 1 athlete(My sport was water-polo). I had played water-polo for nearly 6 years at the time, and was looking to make it 7. Division 1 water polo is one of the highest levels of water-polo in the nation. In water-polo, there is no NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL for the sport, its not popular enough. Making the Division 1 level is the equivalent of being in Master Tier in League, because the next step after that is the Olympic National team. Excited to play at such a high level, I was ready to go in at peak shape. I had been lightly recruited and my best offer to a school was "preferred walk on". Excited to take a chance, one week before I head out to the new school, I had been messaged on Facebook that my chance to be on the team was revoked{{item:3070}} . With a month before my new school started, I decided to pass the time playing League of Legends. A couple of my buddies got me back into it and I figured why not. Hearing of pro players making thousands of dollars off this game, I thought to myself, how hard can it be? I quickly finished my account which was at level 24, to lvl 30. Bought the cheapest IP champs to get to the 16 character minimum needed to play ranked, and started the climb. My climb began at Silver 3. My goal? end the season in Gold. Without watching any videos on how to climb, I inherently knew, just like in sports, I needed to be skillful in a certain role. I decided to take up the jg and became a One Trick Pony with {{champion:19}} . Leveling my account to 30, all I did was play Warwick. Mastering Warwick(WW) was simple, clear camps until you hit level 6, gank a lane when your ulti was up. But, after some ranked games. Many players weren't fond of WW at the time. Some players saw him as a low impact afk farm champ. This is back when his ult was a point-and-click and ganks weren't very effective pre-6. My winrate wasn't very high with ww, and I had demoted to Silver 5. I never found myself carrying came with him, and decided I needed a new role. I didn't give up, I just tried again. Tried something new. Sometimes, you and a champ just don't mix together, for any number of reasons. Sometimes, you just need to find a new champ. Weather you are looking to become a One Trick Pony, or figuring out your champ roster, some champs aren't for you. A champ did appeal to me. Me being a fish myself, I bought a new champion and decided to try him out,{{champion:105}} . Being new to the game, I simply chose fizz because I liked his look. Me being a polo player, I liked any character that had to do with water. Thing was, I was lacking something. I had never laned before in my time playing league. Rarely did I lane in league, I had pretty much played warwick from level 1 to level 30. Taking fizz into ranked would be a terrible idea. I took him into normals and oh boy, did I have a lot to learn. Not only could I not CS, I didn't understand things like trading, freezing waves, and had zero map awareness. It's like I was playing a whole different game. Even after about 25 games with him, I couldn't stop feeding. I was playing in silver level elo, where the average player dwells in league. Playing a role I had never played before, I was getting stomped. I had neglected myself the skills of understanding the mid lane by only playing warwick with my lvl 1 account all the way to level 30. Take some notes from this: never take a new champ and take him into ranked, play some normal's before playing any champion in ranked, and understand all components of each lane before entering ranked. Not only was I a bad jg, I was a bad mid laner as well. I had been neglected learning mid lane leveling up my account. And now that I was playing with silver players due my one tricking warwick, I couldn't learn mid lane effectively. I was just getting stomped every game. Its like in sports, when you play a team that's significantly better than you, you hardly learn anything. There are so many mistakes, you don't even know where to begin. You don't even know what you don't know. So if you are in bronze elo, you have the foundation for finding your champ, your lane, and become competent with it. Being in a silver or gold elo, and deciding to play a new champ/ lane, when you've only played a certain lane the entire time, will only cause you to be stomped. No matter what lane it is. If you are in bronze, don't get down, understand that you are in the right position to really learn the skills you need to learn in the lane you want to main. But also at least have a firm grasp on each lanes role before you enter the ranked scene. With my weak skills, I ended the season at Silver 5, 0 lp. The next season, I came to a shocking statement, I had been placed in the depths of BRONZE 5{{item:3070}} . What a blow to my goal. From being placed so close to gold, now so far away. I thought, "This has to be a mistake." But, instead of rage quitting and blaming my teammates for losing games, I saw a wonderful video by the YouTube name of FoxDrop. His statement that "Your teammates are the same elo as you" really hit the spot. To say that your teammates are terrible, is the equivalent of saying YOU are terrible. I found this humbling. And humbleness is the first step. The first step to any problem, is admitting there is one. Humbled by foxdrops video, I starting THINKING the game. This game is a strategy game. As fun as it is to ram champions together all the time, If you really want to win, this game takes strategy. That's why you consistently see top streamers like REDMERCY talk about taking breaks when on tilt. It's because when emotions get the best of you, you start making irrational decisions. You really need to sitdown and really think the game. A good place to start is when you die, think why did you die? Did you overextend? Did you engage an all-in fight when you didn't know where the jg is? Did you chase a player too far and got caught? There are many reasons you died, try to learn from these and you'll learn to start outplaying other summoners. Don't just play mindlessly, really THINK the game. Bronze players need to understand that summoners rift is not about getting kills, its about objectives. Even in silver, the macro game is nonexistent. You see adc's roaming aimlessly by them selves, top laners farming top lane for 40 min, and players playing for kills and not objectives. Kills are a way to gain objectives faster, but after you become proficient in the laning phase, start thinking about the macro game. As an athlete, I had played water-polo at the college level. I played ju-co, which would probly be the equivalent of Gold-Plat range if I were to compare league to water-polo. Since I was lightly recruited at the Division 1 level, I would say I was a Diamond tier water-polo player. But, keep in mind, I had been playing water-polo for 6 years. Many top streamers you see have been playing league since season 1. They have a ton of experience and have grinded their way to the top. imaqtpie and doublelift for example, have been playing since season 1. These players have mastered the game. Their skills are the best in NA, especially the bot lane. Understand it's going to take time to reach your goal. Weather its making the silver league, gold or climbing to rank 1. Don't feel pressure to climb as fast as you can, just get better at the game, day by day, and the LP will come. League system does a good job of placing us where our skills are, so don't blame the system and understand its going to take time to reach your goal. AFK's and trolls will come. They will be in your games and I guarantee it will cost you lp. But guess what? Some bronze players fail to mention that it happens to their enemies as well. AFK's and Trolls are part of the climb experience. Every league player has to go through this. Don't get caught in that trap. You will get trolls, your enemy will get trolls. Just learn to ignore these and move on with your climb. Don't let these trolls keep you in constant tilt. These trolls are sadistic players that will only find joy to find you typing away trying to insult them. You can't insult someone who doesn't care. Don't feed the trolls but ignore them, and understand all players go through this. After 9 months of playing league, I had the skills to get back into mid tier silver elo. It took 230 ranked games, but I learned nonetheless. I wouldn't consider myself a fast learner, so maybe some of you can reach silver in less amount of games. I don't consider myself great at the game. According to, I'm literally in the 50th percentile. I'm literally the average player. Understand the numbers when you set your goal. Making gold 5 is the equivalent of being in the 25th percentile, meaning your better than 75 percent of players in NA. Making it to silver? Silver is from the 65 percentile to the 25th. That's such a huge player base. I truly believe, that if you want to get out of Bronze, anybody can. Think like an athlete. Don't rely on your emotions in the game, or just mindlessly play. But learn to hone your skills in the laning phase. Learn to really master a champion or champions. Find the lane you are most talented in. Humble yourself. THINK the game. Understand its a strategy game and not a death match. and don't blame rito on its system, the ranked system is fine. These tips will help you on your climb. I truly hope this helps a few souls out there, and goodluck on your climb. God bless. SLYSAL4 {{sticker:slayer-pantheon-thumbs}} ps- I do not row for UC DAVIS. Although I was recruited by them when they saw I was 6'4. :)
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