5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Climbing in League of Legends

5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Climbing in League of Legends

Break on through to the other side

If you are reading this guide and using Mobalytics, it’s probably because you want to improve at League of Legends. Everybody wants to become the best that they can and perform at the top level, but it can be challenging to see what you are doing wrong when it comes to playing the game.

When we look and compare low ELO players with higher ELO players, there are some obvious telltale signs that you’re the reason that you’re unable to climb. In this Mobalytics guide by PicklePants, we will discuss key five reasons why people in low ELO are often unable to climb or improve consistently.

1. You’re not playing enough ranked

Every week, Mobalytics offers free profile reviews on our Twitch to players who want to have some personal 1-1 help from our Challenger coach Morïarty. Getting personally tailored advice is a fantastic way to improve on things that may be overlooked when you play or review yourself. Having somebody else point out mistakes can be refreshing and may help you break through a block by providing more perspective.Streams

One of the main issues that our Challenger coach Morïarty is faced with is players having so-few games to their name. To be reviewed (and to make the most of the GPI,) you need to have at least 20 ranked matches played on a role to get a score. Unfortunately, we often see players reaching out to us with less than 20 games played.

Normal games are… let’s face it, not as high quality as ranked in order to improve as they’re somewhat limited when it comes to learning. One reason for this is players tend to not play at the same level as they would in ranked. Players are often taking the games less seriously or may be experimenting on champions or roles that they usually don’t play. So if you do particularly well in a normal match, it’s sort of an inflated version of your actual level of play because you’re likely playing against foes who aren’t playing anywhere near their best.Picklepants Calendar Another reason is the fact that normal MMR is completely different to ranked MMR and you will find yourself playing with players of all caliber and skill. The best way to improve at the game is by actually playing the game – who would’ve guessed?! Playing as much ranked as your mentality can handle is a great way of knowing what rank you currently play as in order to improve. Just playing games and getting numbers on your account will let you improve as you will have more experience in a ranked and in a competitive environment.

With that in mind, you should only play ranked when you’re ready for ranked. As LP is on the line, you need to play when it is more optimal for you and when you’re focused to play. There is no point playing ranked if you’re not ready to give it your best. If you’re distracted by things in real life or more in the mood to relax than try-harding, it’s probably best to play another mode.

One of the biggest problems for players in lower elo is that they do not play enough in order to unlock or play at their full potential. If you are somebody who doesn’t have a many games tallied on your account for this Season, this is probably the number one reason why you are not improving at the game. Stop playing normal games and start playing ranked.

It sounds obvious, but time and time again we see players coming to us asking for tips to improve their gameplay – yet they have so little games played. How do you expect to reach Diamond if you’ve only played 50 games this season?

2. You’re playing too many roles and champions

If you’ve read any of my previous guides, you would have seen why it is important to stick to the same champions and roles. If you play every single role in the game, you are not going to have the exact same skill required to play at each rank in each role. This is because some lanes are easier than others. Playing one role followed by a side role that is similar to the first role will allow you to take information from one role to the other. For example, Support and Jungle, ADC and Mid and Top lane and Mid are all similar in some aspects.
LoL 140 Roster
If you main Support but decide to play a different role and switch to another lane, in most cases, you’re not going to have the same mechanics nor skill level to succeed at the current rank. Arguably, Mid laners are the most complete players in the game as they require, great micro, great macro and perfect mechanics. Mid laners can practically go anywhere else on the map as they have character traits that work for almost all lanes.

Furthermore, you should also stick to the champions that you are use to and that you are good at. Playing random champion and having a huge champion pool is not going to benefit you if you want to climb. While having a deep pool and understanding what every champion does is great, you should only have a few champions that you choose to play in ranked at a given time. Be deliberate and have a gameplan going into every champ select!

For your main role, you should have a select few champions (no more than 5) and on your side roll – one or two. Knowing when to pick your champion is going to give you the optimal chance in game and having a few champions to fall back on if your main is counter picked is a fantastic way to play ranked. Picking a champion that is bad into the enemy is not going to work in your favor no matter how much you believe your Yasuo is great.

Unless a champion specifically stops working for you AKA Janna being completely unplayable, you should drop them. After dropping a champion, avoid going back to them and instead, pick up a different champion at that you are comfortable with.

If you’re struggling to find a champion that’s right for you, check out our tier list!

3. You’re dying too much

Contrary to popular belief, dying or being behind in lane isn’t always inting but it is frustrating for you and the rest of your team. Dying is part of the game and everybody’s ‘gotta die sometime’ but needlessly dying and being outplayed by the enemy is often preventable in hindsight. This is why we created the Survivability Skill in the GPI to measure the nature of your deaths.

While it doesn’t seem too obvious at first how big of an impact your deaths have on you and your team, you are putting yourself at a big disadvantage which can sometimes by non-replenishable. Every time you die, you’re unable to gain a vast amount of experience. This means that you will be behind in experience over the enemy as they will still be able to farm while you’re dead. Additionally, experience is granted when a champion is killed, which in this case, would give the enemy a noticeable lead over yourself which can sometimes mean the enemy gets the level up.

On top of that, when you’re dead, you’re unable to farm any creeps or get gold from them. You can still earn gold passively and though objectives but this is mediocre at best and it’s not going to be enough for your items. As each death gives the enemy gold and prevents you from gaining any, the enemy will be able to get their items quicker. This makes them more of a threat to you and your team which can allow them to snowball.

KDA doesn’t show the whole picture, a noticeable difference between a low ELO player and a high ELO player is the number of times they die in game. Players tend to have reduced deaths, more kills and more assists the higher you go. This is because they should know how to play to their strengths. Hashinshin may be the exception but you get the point…

If you have had a profile review before by our Challenger coach or have been in one of our live streams, you would notice Morïarty puts great emphasis on reducing your deaths and for good measure. Learning how to reduce your deaths is a learning curve in itself and it is incredibly difficult tell you exactly what to do to prevent your death. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind that can save you from dying:

  • Make sure you have your lane warded at all times toll prevent enemy Jungle ganks.
  • Keep an eye on the minion wave and do not engage on to the enemy if they have more minions.
  • Do not overextend without ward coverage or without summoner spells as you will be unable to escape.

4. You’re not listening to advice from better players

It is not very nice when people point out your mistakes no matter how friendly they put it. In League of Legends, being told bluntly what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve on it can be beneficial.Simpsons meme When somebody provides you with advice through either our coaching channel, through our guides or through our live streams, you should try to understand what they are saying and try to at least act upon what they suggest. We have many dedicated community and staff members that are willing to help you out and give you advice. However, they don’t like it when people flat out ignore them.

Many players think they know a lot about the game because they watch professional League of Legends. Unfortunately, Pro-League and Solo Queue are two completely different things. Copying what the pros do in the LCS is not always going to help you when it comes to your games. The number one reason for this is that these players are experienced with perfect communication which is the complete opposite of what we have in Solo Queue. With that said, watching professional players stream Solo Queue games can help you improve.

We see a lot of players who are low ELO that are not taking on board any advice that is given to them. While it is annoying for some, letting them get on with it is what you need to do. If you are struggling in terms of not being able to climb and not understanding what you’re doing wrong, then reach out to somebody and take the advice on board. Don’t just ignore what they say and think that you’re right. Ego is bad.

There are many ways you can apply the advice that is given it to you. One way of doing so is by writing down what somebody suggests and keeping it somewhere where you can see it whenever you play. A good place for this to go is on your monitor, for example writing it on a sticky note and placing it on the bottom or the side of your screen.

Alternatively, if you do not want to do anything physical with the advice, just keep in mind what they suggest to do. If somebody suggests that you need to purchase more Control Wards, make sure that you always have at least one on the map and continue purchasing and placing them up throughout the game.

The Mobalytics Overwolf app is a great application that you use whenever you play League. On the Overwolf app, you can use the GPI as well as the Pre-Game to help you in the loading screen. The advice that is given can come in handy especially when you are in an unfavorable up. Using this advice at the start of the game can I set you up for a more pleasant laning phase.

5. Your macro is terrible

Having a good KDA is great and ol’ but you do realize that the only way to win the game is by destroying the enemies Nexus? While getting kills and outplaying the enemy is satisfying, there is no need to constantly be looking to fight the enemy in lane or in a team setting.

If you want to get kills, that’s fine as long as you can abuse the enemy and continue to grow your advantage. For example, if you kill the enemy, you can push the wave to the enemy’s tower to deny minions as well as attempt to take the tower. This is a very good thing to do during the mid game as you can get objectives as well as kills and also deny the enemy gold and make it riskier for them to farm.

In lower ELO, many players may think that getting kills is the only way to win the game. Unfortunately, there will be cases where you are fed but you are unable to close out the game because your team lacks coordination and macro. While poor macro is not limited to lower ELO players, if you have good macro, you can easily carry your team and dictate how the game plays out.

Every 6 minutes, Dragon spawns on the Rift and many teams will ignore these objectives even though they give their team a variety of bonuses that can help them win. Dragon priority is complicated and situational, however, in general, you always want to try to take the Infernal Drake and the Mountain Drake whenever they’re up. All of the Drakes are worth getting if you can get your hands on them. So if you are the Jungler, you can gank bot lane get a kill and then proceed to either force first tower or take a Drake. Taking a Dragon with your team is safer than doing it alone. In this situation, if you can take the tower, you should do that instead of taking the Dragon.

Following on from that, the Rift Herald is a fantastic objective to take and we see not many players who take advantage of this objective. In Pro play, this objective is being picked up around the 11 to 13-minute mark. You should also try to take this objective early if you can because it can help you get towers and objectives. Like previously suggested, you can gank top lane or mid lane and then get them to help you take the objective. Towers are the way to win the game and you should try to get towers whenever you can. Not only does this grant you gold, it also opens up the map which allows your team to roam around and take even more objectives while also being able to deny the enemy.

Unfortunately, macro requires a lot of team coordination as well as individual movement. If your team is struggling in the macro department, do not be afraid to take control and tell them what they should do. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as writing in chat what to do, you can also use your pings in a friendly but demanding way such as pinging towers and objectives.

Closing thoughts

To finish off, if you’re unable to climb, then there’s something that you must be doing wrong. The 5 things we’ve listed in this guide are not the only issues lower ELO players have (and sometimes even high elo players fall victim to these), but these are the more prolific ones. If you take on board our advice, you will see yourself becoming a better player and be able to lead your team to victory more often.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.

Watch live video from PicklePantsLOL on www.twitch.tv

Thanks for reading, we hope you found this article helpful in improving your climb. Do you have any tips for helping lower-elo players? Let us know in the comments! As always, you can find Picklepants in our Discord if you have any questions.


    Ryze is best champ :ryzeangry:

  • Franz Jäger

    This blog is a pile of bullshit.
    I just lost a game with a feeder premade of 2/11, a 0/9 jungler and a 2/11 top that lost me the game because their Nasus got fed.

    I had to lose 14/2 because I can not defend 3 lanes at once.

    This stupid “It must be you” sort of shit is absolutely nonsense when there are 4 random fucknoobs around me. 20% of the “team”.

    • Agilio

      If you always get bad teammates that means that the other team also has bad teammates.

      It’s true that you won’t have 100% control every game but think of it this way, there are three types of games:

      1. Games that you will win no matter how badly you do (you get carried)
      2. Games that you will lose no matter how well you do (shit happens)
      3. Games that you can win if you play well (these are the ones that matter)

      At the end of the day, you are the constant in all your ranked games, so the “it must be you” does sort of apply if you’re hardstuck. That’s the truth.

      • Carlos Rodrigues

        This is not always true.
        Currently I have a plat and a silver accounts.
        In plat I get relatively high amounts of serious people playing, both with or against me. And there this ” it must be you” applies.

        In bronze/silver, this does not apply. The games are basically reduced to who has the luck of having the fewer worst troller/feeder/afks. The most “normal” team wins, not necessarily who’s best. I’m good enough to carry games with an afk in bronze/silver,as long as I don’t have a feeder/troller in team, done it many times. But the negative impact of a troll/feeder is too high! And for some reason I get them too regularly on this bronze/silver account, and it’s been impossible to climb due to this, my wr in this account is between 49/50 % . Real life example: support champ banned in pickphase by other team mate. Right before game starts, support decides to Troll, taking smite. I dint dodge cause he said nothing in chat, and he picked smite just before game start, and he only declared his intentions in the game. What he basicly did was leaving the adc alone, followed jungler and stole his camps with smite, rendering both our adc and jungler useless. He did nothing else all game besides this. The other team had an afk support after 5 minutes. But even so, the game basically become a 2vs4, which obviously we lost. This is an example of the story of half of my games in this account.

      • Franz Jäger

        The “constant”. Well, each player is “the constant”, in each game, out of each player’s individual viewpoint. You make no sense, sorry.

  • What is ELO exactly? I’ve been hinting about transitioning to ranked, I’ve been playing blind for 200 games so far. This guide has encouraged me to wade in.

    • Tom Dobrotina

      In LoL, Elo is just a term for your position in the ranked system (e.g. Silver 4). Try ranked, it is an interesting experience, but be prepared for people to take them very seriously as there is Elo on the line.

  • NOiR cs

    For ranked, should you one trick a champ or just use meta champs?

  • A Hanlon

    You forgot to add the Ape teammates that feed a Kata even though bot is winning :^)

  • Kenneth Hegland

    I like it, i climbed to high dia on one champ (kat), from low silver to high dia in one year. But i didnt become a good league player untill i played 30+ different champions in the mid lane on a smurf account from unranked-dia. Also a good tip too become a good midlaner is to spam TF. Atleast 100+ games with TF and your map awareness skyrockets.

  • Malaznahr

    Alright, and when these 5 reasons don’t apply to me, how do I climb? I got to Platinum 4 about 5 days ago this season, with some 30 games or so. No big deal, I’ve been on this elo for a couple of seasons so far and I’ve never even bothered trying to climb higher. This season I actually want to try reaching Diamond, so I’ve started trying. Once I got to Plat 4, I stopped winning as often… I thought alright, it has to be my fault. I started watching macro guides, micro guides, wave management, warding, tips, general guides… There were tons of things I already knew, and some other things I didn’t… I started thinking about those things I didn’t know about and I actually started implementing them. I thought I saw an improvement because I could finally get to promos for Plat 3, but then I hit another wall… I lost the promo, kept playing, got to promos again just to lose once again.

    Alright, maybe I didn’t understand what I had to do or I’m just doing it wrong… I rewatched most of the stuff, looked for other tips… How did that impact me? Well… I just lost the 4th promotion series to Plat 3. I had a win rate of 75% or some crazy shit like that while climbing through Gold on 30 games. Now it’s at about 61%, which may sound good on the surface, sure… But I’m at 76 games now, more than double what I had when I got to Plat, and I’m still Plat 4, with my win rate going lower and lower every time.

    Point 1: You’re not playing enough ranked. Doesn’t apply to me, I’ve been playing over 3 (well into 10 sometimes) games a day for the past week or something like that.

    Point 2: You’re playing too many roles and champions. Doesn’t apply to me, I’m playing Cait in the bot lane whenever I can, only picking something like Jinx or MF (whichever is open) if Cait is either banned or picked by the enemy team. If I get autofilled into mid, jungle or top, I ask for a lane swap or i dodge if no-one wants to swap; I know I’m not good enough at those roles, and I have no interest in being good at them either. If I have to play Support I’m fine with it, it’s my 2nd main role and I’m pretty decent at it; again only playing Nami or 2 other options when I can’t pick her. If I don’t get to play any of my 3 champs at either of my 2 roles, I dodge. I don’t care about the waiting penalty or LP loss, it’ll more likely than not be a waste of time and LP anyways and dodging is less frustrating.

    Point 3: You’re dying too much. Not sure. Of course I have bad games, of course some times I die a little too much… I have an average of 3.7 deaths per game on 73 freaking games with Caitlyn, my main ADC; and a 3.8 average on Nami, my main Support. This looks fine to me, and honestly my teammates die either the same all the way up to about twice as much as I do; every single game. I’m consistently the one with the least deaths on my team, save one or two games once in a while, and this is taking into account that the enemy team is trying their damnest to kill me, since I’m better farmed than most, meaning I have at the very least as many items as anyone else, often times being the one with the most items. Staying alive any more would mean not even joining the teamfights, which in turn would mean my teammates will lose almost every single time.

    Point 4: You’re not listening to advice from better players. Definitely doesn’t apply to me. This is the first thing I did one I stopped climbing. I started asking Diamond people in my friend list for advice, I started looking into Challenger guys’ videos on how to get better in every possible way (taking it one step at a time, because, again, that’s what THEY say I should do).

    Point 5: Your macro is terrible. I disagree, but I can’t prove it. And it doesn’t matter, my teammates never ever follow my calls. I don’t really type in game because I feel like it’s a waste of time, I could be farming or timing jungle camps instead, so I usually ping stuff, typing only to confirm I’m actually making a call on a Dragon or a Rift Herald or a Turret or Baron, even explaining why it’s a good idea. Some times I see 3 of them bot side, none of them has tp, we’re killing their top laner… I tell them “let’s do Baron, they can’t contest it”… They instead go base at almost full health and mana with less than 1k gold on their pockets. That’s merely an example, there are tons of other examples but the point is my macro doesn’t matter, even if it’s better (again, in my opinion) than my teammates’.

    What happens most of the times is my mid laner gets stomped as much as my top lane, my jungler doesn’t help any lanes, or helps the 0/4 top laner when there’s a Dragon up and ready for the taking instead of actually listening to my call for help bot + taking Dragon.

    What can I even do to change that? I don’t even know what I might be doing wrong anymore because I feel I’ve done so much more than I ever did in this game, and I’m doing so much better than any other player on my team. Not even based on score alone… Any help? Please. I’m dying of frustration here, and I swear I’m open to “you are wrong, you actually suck, it’s so obvious that you’re the problem that I must question your intelligence for ever doubting that fact” comments so long as they’re followed by an advice, and I WILL listen to it, whatever it is, and apply it.

  • Franz Jäger

    I find Normal games much, much better than ranked. I’ve never seen such a crybaby environment that pulls anyone down like ranked. I just counted it: Out of my last 3 games in the “allmighty ranked”, I had obviously 12 randoms. 7 (seven) ragequitted over miniscule things. One guy was saying “He took CS” – I had ONE CS as Morgana. Vayne ragequit.

    So if people are so overly in tension “becauz itz rankedz”, and thus leave and rage so fast, how is that supposed to reflect “my skill”? It’s more like rolling dice who has the least manchild to ruin your game. Also, what’s with the rating? I lose my first games due to this shit community of ragequitters and get a provisiorical rank of Iron I. Eh, what? Okay. So I look my guys up, it’s “Gold, Silver, Gold”. Enemy too. So, “unranked + gold and silver” vs “Gold and Silver” places me into IRON? What kind of riggind and manipulation is that? If I am iron, and my 4th game constiss still of Gold enemies, sorry, that is nothing but manipulation and utter garbage.

    Just play normals, people actually play better there BECAUSE they do not ragequit over every f*cking little thing.

  • Creepergeddon11