How to Prepare for the New Season
The 8th Season of League of Legends is starting soon and it’s time to prepare for the new Season in attempts to get a great start from the get-go. While there are no secrets to gaining ELO, I can tell you it’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and you will need to take advantage of all the resources available to you.
My name’s PicklePants. I’m a Diamond Support main from the UK. I’ve been playing League of Legends for the past 4 years and have been Diamond for the last two Seasons. I peaked Diamond 2 in Flex Queue and Diamond 3 in Solo Queue during the 2017 Season. I produce League of Legends written content and have been doing so since late 2014. Most of my guides are here if you wanted to learn more (they range from simple champion guides to in-depth Support ones).
During the Preseason, there were a lot of changes. From Zoe being released to a whole new set of Runes, we should expect to see a bright and challenging season ahead of us. It’s one of the best times to learn about the game and adapt to this ever-changing meta. If you start now before the new season officially begins, you’ll have time to understand, learn, and perhaps even get ahead of the curve.
1. Practice makes perfect
Practice can come in a range of ways. Simply playing is the most common way to practice and you should play as much as possible in order to learn the game. Theorycrafting and learning from videos and guides is another great way to improve, as they can help you to notice patterns in your gameplay. Knowing what to do with video examples is one of the many ways to improve.
The only problem with this method of learning is consistency. League of Legends is a very situational game and everything you learn may be in vain if you do not act upon the information given and adapt it to your game style. Just because a player roamed at minute 5, doesn’t mean you should! Theorycrafting is great- but can you actually execute what you’ve learned? The number one thing to remember is that experience playing the game is just as important as reading and knowing how to play. The more you play, the more you will understand the game.
If you take a look at professional players who get paid to play, most of them have been playing since Season 1. If you’re new to League of Legends or MOBAs in general, it’s obvious you won’t be up to scratch with the pros – but let’s face it, are many of us? The takeaway here is that pro players grind hours and hours daily in attempts to get better – I suggest playing rigorously whenever possible, focusing on a few things to improve on each game.
Every game you play from now till your last, focus on at least one thing to improve and take away from that game. Hone in on a few things at a time such as dying less, achieving a high creep score, or having better map awareness – take baby-steps whilst learning instead of going flat out. If you try to learn too much, too quickly, you may be overwhelmed and use your time inefficiently.
Finally, since the Practice Tool was introduced, it’s become even easier to practice and “Improve your skill” as Wukong would say. Now you can practice combos, explore level peaks and power spikes, and truly experience your favorite champion in a safe environment without having the fear of falling in front of your peers. Start practicing your combos now and surprise the enemy with them in Season 8!
2. Track your stats
So, you’ve started to learn a few things about the game, and you think you’re improving. Are you actually improving or is it all…fluff?
Stat tracking is something most players do. Some will track how they are doing in terms of rank or KDA, others go above and beyond and manually tack each game. I personally, I started tracking in Season 6, but didn’t track efficiently enough or really pay attention to it. In Season 7, I tracked every single game I played in Ranked. I saw progress, and so can you.
How and why I tracked my stats
When I first started tracking my games in Season 6, I didn’t do it justice. The information I wrote was borderline useless and it didn’t help me improve. I can’t remember where or when I got the idea from, however, once I saw it – I had to make my own. I originally started to track my stats to prove to my fellow summoners that I was, indeed Diamond and that I did deserve it.
Unfortunately, I only have my Solo Queue list to show you, however, it has the same effect as the Flex one. For every game I played, I wrote some information about the game in attempts to improve myself- I’d like to say it worked.
Try your best to track as much information as you can. Provide information that is thoughtful and in depth. Anything that will help you improve should be written down. I feel each header is self-explanatory- but if you’re having trouble, check the first spreadsheet to get a taster!
How can tracking your stats help you climb and improve?
There is a sort of “honeymoon period” with climbing in League of Legends…you may be a slightly higher rank, but have you actually improved? This is where Mobalytics comes in handy! You can check between 20, 50 and 100 previous games to really track your progress and development. Compare your scores throughout these different number of games, keep track of which scores are going up, which are going down, and which are staying constant. Use this information to adjust your plans and really target your areas of weakness.
3. Take the time to learn
While League is a very simple game to understand, and the concept is the same each game, knowing what to do game-to-game every time is very hard. It’s incredibly situational and no two games are ever the same. Sometimes the best way to learn is to look externally – there are plenty of guides, tutorials and videos around that you can look to improve from.
Read articles, find Youtube channels, and watch streamers on Twitch. There are plenty of low viewer, high ELO streamers around – you can often ask for tips and get a reply!
Some of my favorite streamers are:
WeekndNA – A high ELO Challenger player who mains Toplane. He is extremely knowledgeable and provides live commentary throughout his gameplay.
Alphari – A professional League of Legends player who plays Toplane for Misfits (he is British which is a plus).
Maxlore – He’s another British streamer and the Jungler for Misfits. He also clapped me in early Season 7 and I’m still waiting for my revenge.
Like anything in life, you start from the bottom and work your way up. You should take time to learn the game and try to improve from it whenever possible. Once you have a good amount of games behind you, you will notice patterns in your gameplay and will be able to adapt to every situation.
4. Find help within LoL communities
Requesting help with your struggles is one of the greatest things a human can do. In League of Legends, there are plenty of high ELO players that are willing to help you improve. Asking for help and asking specific questions will allow you as a player to improve.
You can find help in a range of ways such as; Twitch streams, Reddit, Discord and even in-game. The main thing to remember is, the resources are out there. Don’t go around asking basic questions such as “what do I build?” or “what should I play?” These types of questions are not good and will not help you in most cases. Instead, ask questions that are thoughtful such as “If I’m being denied in lane, what should I do as X champion against Y champion?” These questions are much more detailed and usually, you will receive a more detailed answer.
When asking for coaching, make sure to take everything anybody says with a pinch of salt. This will give you the best outcome in game. The information they provide may be correct, but you need to think for yourself. It takes two to tango, so do your own research and learn as well as asking questions. Nobody has an answer to every question.
5. Solidify your champion pool
Many high ELO players suggest playing only a few champions in ranked and I agree. You should have a main role followed by a side role, where you only have a certain number of champions that you play in each of them. Ideally, you will have up to 5 champions that you play in ranked. For me, I have 4 Supports and 1 Top-laner. Depending on your role, you may want to decrease the numbers of champions. For a lower ranked player- you definitely want to have only 1 or 2.
However, as it is the Preseason, you should pick up more champions to learn. This is because there is going to be a lot of weird changes to the game…your favorite champion may become your most hated. With everything in flux, it’s the best time to learn new champions and try to get good at them. You can widen your champion pool now and then quickly shorten it once the new season arrives.
Why is it important?
A player who plays every champion will not be mechanically good on everyone that they play. However, it’s important to know what every champion does, when they are strong and how to play them, but make sure to eventually only play a select few champions yourself. You can see which champions are strong patch to patch through our tier lists, however, I suggest that you play champions you enjoy and are good at compared to ones that are currently strong.
In short, as it’s the Preseason, play whoever you want too, whenever you want too. Just shorten your champion pool for ranked. Practise playing champions in normal games, and then select a few from your list and use them and only them in the next ranked season.
6. Improve your mindset and attitude, reduce toxicity
With the new season starting soon, your attitude may change from what once was. When a player is trying to climb, they will put everything on the line to win every game possible. Realistically, it is impossible to win every game that you play. Do not get discouraged when trying to improve, take every game you play and think of at least one thing you can improve on. Losses may not be directly your fault, but try to improve on one thing during that game.
Season 8 is going to be your year if you let it be. Toxicity is something that every player, to some extent has. We have all lost our cool during a game, some go above and beyond and flame their teammates. You should NEVER flame or rage at your teammates – it will not make them play better. Remember that they are human too and you’ve probably played just as bad as them at some point in the past. Don’t expect them to play better when someone is flaming them- would you play better?
Having and keeping a positive mindset and attitude to the game is really hard. All I can suggest is to remember that’s it’s just a game and everyone has bad games. Don’t tilt and just play it through, accept that this game may be lost but continue and try your best. You may have lost the game, but try to improve and learn from it. What could you have done to play better that game?
How does this help me prepare?
Without a doubt, the mindset and attitude of the player plays a huge part in winning the game. If you have somebody negative on the team, it will be harder to win. Be the team player everyone wants- the type of person who hypes everyone up and can always be relied upon. Try your best to improve yourself and in time, ELO will come naturally.
Having the winning mindset is good. Every game you want to try to win, nobody likes losing, nobody wants to lose a game, especially when LP is on the line. Try your hardest to stay positive and not let other people put you down. If you’re becoming toxic and talking back to players who are flaming you- then you’re just as bad, be the bigger man, and mute them.
To my pessimistic brethren- focus on yourself and play to win! Every game is a loss if you don’t try to improve. If you’re struggling with this concept, mute your teammates, and move the chat away.
Anything is possible if you set your mind and heart to it. It takes lots of time to get the dream rank that you’re after, so do not feel discouraged if you do not get challenger first time around. During the Preseason you want to be maximizing your chances of getting your desired rank for season 8. So, take a step back and learn the game before jumping back into ranked- it will be worth it, trust me.
Why not join your friends and learn the game together? Practice makes perfect, spend your time now practising and trying to improve for the new season. I wish you the best of luck, Summoner.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.
Thanks for reading everyone! If you want to talk to Picklepants or get more tips about preparing for Season 8, visit us in our Discord community.