League of Legends

Things I learned by climbing from Iron 3 to Gold 3

LeagueofLegends5 - Things I learned by climbing from Iron 3 to Gold 3

view?usp=sharing - Things I learned by climbing from Iron 3 to Gold 3

Screenshot, op.gg profle*

^(please ignore the janna adc games I've been spamming. I'm collecting footage for a vod I want to make.)*

Stats: started season in Iron 3 (March 2020), climbed to Gold 3 in 181 games with a 60% overall winrate


  • I know that this is not an impressive achievement, I just want to share my thoughts (since gold is a goal a lot of people set for themselves). Thanks in advance for all the diamond+ folks who come in and tell me how a gold/plat player shouldn't be giving advice, but I'm just sharing my observations, and y'all are welcome to disagree.
  • I'm objectively not a very good player (the highest-ranked account I've ever had has been Plat 4 in EUW, I have potato mechanics, I frequently get stuck for dozens of games in high Silver)
  • I am most comfortable in Jungle, with Support as my secondary.
  • I live in Europe, but I am from North America, so my previous "main" account is from there (ended last season Gold 3). This year, I got really frustrated with the ping difference so decided to take my previously lowest-rank account and practice new roles/champs.

Approach: I was playing pretty random things until ~mid silver (playing lots of offrole and new champions, but spamming one thing at a time to try to get better/truly learn). I made the last push to gold on adc Jinx, and have been playing my actual tryhard champion (Sejuani) afterwards.


1. If you do well, you will see less trolls.

Throughout the whole climb, I did not have very many afks or trolls, and when I did, I noticed it was generally on games where I was not doing well (there were obviously exceptions, e.g., a karthus invading level 1 and dying then immediately afking, but they were in the minority). The better your statline AND mental, the less likely people are to rage and afk.

People who complain that 50% of their games are being ruined by trolls are either showing off their confirmation bias, or else they aren't doing that well to begin with: they are doing poorly in-game (INCLUDING not helping their team – we aren't just talking about solo kills) or they are "talking back" to people/raging in chat and feeding the troll's fire).

If you're a positive influence and play well, you WILL see fewer trolls, because you will not be contributing to tilting people. That's not to say the trolls are "right" – obviously tilting/raging is bad – but you need to acknowledge the effect your own gameplay/chat has on people who have poor mental to begin with, and play around that

2. Your winrate will be higher the further below your "true" elo you are currently playing

This one should be obvious, but the number of time I have to argue with people on this subreddit about this point makes me think I should just come out and say it.

If you are playing at your actual skill level, your win-rate will be 50%. If you are better than the elo you are playing at, it will be above 50%. You do have to play a few dozen games to see this stat pan out, but at the end of the day, you have control over 1/5 of the players in your team – yourself. You are the only constant between games. If you are actually a net positive influence, you should statistically see fewer trolls on your team (the remaining 4/5 players) than the enemy team (who have 5 whole players who are not you). If you think all your games are ruined by trolls, see point #1.

Along that line of reasoning, the magnitude of the difference between your skill level and your current elo will determine how much higher than 50% your winrate is. That's why Challenger smurfs often don't drop a single game until they get to gold/plat (100% winrate), whereas I got there with a measly 60% winrate. Most people climb with a 51-55% winrate, i.e. slightly above the skill level they are currently playing at. And yes, the closer to 50% your winrate is, the more games you will need to spam.

But consider this – if you are winning 51% of your games, you are probably already very close to your "actual" elo, so what does it matter if you get 1 more rank? You should at that point be focused 100% on improving, since your teammates are clearly close to your own skill level.


3. Don't spam a bunch of different champions (if your main goal is to climb + if you aren't a mechanical God)

As mentioned above, I'm a mechanical potato. There's a reason I main Jungle and Support – my reaction time could rival a toddler's, and last-hitting cannons is pretty much advanced calculus to me. I still picked up some wins on lane roles, though. But I was spamming the same champion over and over. I didn't just play a random game of Jinx – I played dozens of games of Jinx in a row. This definitely helped contribute to my climb. I've seen this a million times in other places, so I won't spend more time on this point, but just throwing my own 2 cents into the massive pile – if you really want to climb, stick to a few champions at a time.

4. Consider the worst-case scenario. If it tilts you, don't play.

Before playing every game of ranked, I would ask myself: what would my reaction be if every lane went 0/5 before 15 minutes and started flaming me/each other?

If the thought made me want to throw my computer out the window, I wouldn't play ranked.

You need to be in a good mental state to play ranked. If you are playing just to get the dopamine hit when you see the enemy nexus explode, don't play. If you are playing because you just lost one and want to earn back that LP, don't play. If the thought of someone "jg diff"-ing you tilts you out of your mind, don't play.

Assume everything bad will happen in your ranked game – afks, trolls, feeders, whatever – and, if after considering all that shit, you still want to play, then you should queue up. Because if that's the case, then you are clearly playing to improve your own skills and to have fun, not just to "win."

I had so much more fun playing on this "fresh" account than I ever did when trying to grind my bad-ping NA account "back to Gold." I had no pressure on myself and was just playing because I felt like it. That's some advice I would give everyone, not just to climb, but also to enjoy the game more. Because League can be fun, but it is also filled with toxic assholes. Make sure you're in the right state of mind to deal with that before you queue up.

5. The further below "your" elo you are, the more you should play selfish/ignore your team

Like in point 2, if you are truly playing "below your elo", your winrate will be high. If so, you can afford to play more selfishly – taking as many resources as you can for yourself, ignoring your team pings if you think they are making bad calls, taking kills, anything you need to be able to carry. On the flip-side, don't count on your team following up on your calls – you should obviously try to ping, but if you go for the 100% optimal challenger play and expect your bronze teammates to follow up, it's your fault if you die because they didn't. If you know you are smurfing, you need to play like it.

On the flip side, if you are close in skill level with your team, you should start to play more selflessly. e.g., you can actively give kills/resources to your team. This is risky, sure – it's solo queue after all – but if you acknowledge you are playing close to your real skill level, that means, on average, your teammates are as mechanically skilled as you, and you should trust them (a bit). Similarly, if the team makes a call and you think it might be dumb, you have more to lose by not following up than by following up and seeing how it goes. If you know it's a bad call, obviously don't do it, but if you aren't sure – the quote goes "better to do the 80% play with all 5 teammates than the 100% play with 4". Acknowledge that you aren't the only person thinking about macro on your team, and that your gold-level macro in a gold-level game will be right (and wrong) as often as your teammates. So, play together!

That's all I have to say for now… maybe I'll add edits if I think of something else, but just wanted to share my observations/thoughts! Looking forward to some colourful discussions in the comments 🙂

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