I've been playing since early June. Started this season in Silver 3, dropped down to Silver 5, and am
currently in Gold 5. I wanted to share some of the things I did to help other low-ranked players do well and move up in the ladder.
1: Adopt a Winning Mindset
If you want to win, you need to take Storm League seriously. Your goal is to rank up; not to have fun. To rank up, you need to learn new things, put them into practice, and develop consistency. If you find the process of improvement fun, that's great!
Unfortunately, many of your teammates will not have a winning mindset, but the opposite. It's obviously stressful to push yourself to do your best while being undermined by your peers, but you have to get used to it in order to improve in the long term. Learn to manage your emotions to avoid burning out. I find that bottling up negativity is counter-productive. My personal rule is to never criticize my teammates in close games, but to be as honest as necessary in games in which we're clearly outmatched. Trying to turn an imminent loss into a win, while technically possible, is short-sighted and not worth the effort and stress. Let out your frustrations, take the loss, analyze what you did well/poorly, and move on to the next game. As long as you're improving, you'll rank up in the long-term.
2: Play a Small Hero Pool
Quality over quantity is a maxim that holds true everywhere in life. This season, I have 146 games played. Among those, I have 41 as Tyrael (26-15) and 47 as Sonya (26-21), meaning that 60% of my games are from my mains. Indeed, had I only played those 2 heroes, I would have hit gold even sooner. But learning other roles is never a bad thing: the skills you learn are transferrable to future games.
Why did I focus on Tyrael (AA/Smite) and Sonya in particular? Because they're extremely durable heroes with simple mechanics who can essentially 1v5 in teamfights with their self-healing and above-average damage output.
Tyrael is quite a rare pick in low ranks. Often, players who are bad in practice will accuse me of playing a hero who is bad on paper. That's usually a self-fulfilling prophecy that results in a loss. Other heroes I used that I think are very good for low-skill players are: * Apoc Diablo (R-Q-E combo is easy to learn) * Lucio (high healing output, just don't try to be a clutch healer: time Sound Barrier to absorb cooldowns once the enemies commit to a fight) * Tychus (shreds front line and doesn't require stutter-stepping; use Q to chase & kite).
Treat SL as a test of your knowledge and skills, not just a game. You need to study to be prepared. I spent hours and hours on Heroes Profile analyzing hero & talent win-rates on various maps over various patches. You'll soon realize that your peers rarely play a "focused" talent build that complements their playstyle, and vice versa. The death screen offers a great opportunity to check out what everyone has picked. Figure out your allies' capabilities and your enemies' weaknesses and learn to exploit them.
Watch videos from Not Paradox, Fan, Chillrogg, and JHow to learn how to play various heroes and the macro-strategy for every map (soaking, camping, etc.). Re-visit videos you've already watched and look for something new. The more you know, the better you'll do in SL. For example, last season Hanamura Temple was my worst map; this season it's my best. The reason? Understanding the importance of camps and playing AA Sonya, who can solo the Sentinel.
4: Learn How to Teamfight
As a bruiser & tank main, I learned the proper positioning for front line heros, as well as when to dive (almost never), when to retreat, and how to protect my backline from dives. As a rule, focus on killing the enemy frontline first to remove the their biggest source of CC and defense, not to mention turning the fight into a 5v4. Diving will often get you killed and do the opposite as you'll be taking way too much unnecessary damage. If you're an assassin/healer main, help your frontline kill the enemy front line.
If you or your teammates die or get low on HP during a long objective (Hanamura, Volskaya, etc.), tell the survivors to back off. I usually retreat ping and say "Wait for respawn/hearth, we have time". You can re-engage at full strength.
tl;dr: Growth mindset, one-tricking, learn micro+macro, & focus the tank.
Hope this helped others! If anyone has tips for Gold, please let me know!
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