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The Bronze Escape: Getting out of ‘Elo Hell’


With season four wrapping up in the next month or so, I figured I would help out my fellow low-elo buds!

Elo Hell. The words send a shiver through me. The term, for those who don’t know, usually references the situation a summoner is in when it comes to their ranked tier/class. The general argument is that “I’m not a bad player, my team is; ergo I’m in Elo Hell. My actual MMR is wrong and I should be higher placed.”

This is just an excuse players tend to make because it is easier to point the finger at others than admit there is a problem. Elo Hell doesn’t actually exist. If you are such a great player as you claim, then naturally you should win more games, progressing up the ladder.

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Firstly, some background information on me and why I’m writing this article. I got into League of Legends back during season one. My roommate at the time suggested I give it a try and I’ve been playing off and on since. It’s only been since halfway through season three that I tried to climb the ranked ladder.

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As far as I wanted to succeed, I was placed into bronze tier. I was upset at first since the majority of my friends were all in or around silver II. I consider my skills to be similar to theirs, so being placed in bronze was a slap in the face. After climbing and dropping I went from bronze 1 to 4 and ended the season in bronze 3.

I had failed to achieve my goal before the season ended and, to be frank, I was angry with my performance.

With the start of season four, I was eager to see where my placement matches would land me. I ended up going 7-3 and placed into bronze 1. Again my frustration was there.

However, I decided to attempt to channel that frustration and use it as fuel to improve. I changed my goal of wanting to get gold to simply climb out of bronze. Using the tips below, I was successful in advancing to silver tier!

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I’ve looked up various guides on how to escape Elo Hell and have created a list of things that were helpful on my journey out of bronze. Some of them pertain to in-game skills, while others related to my mindset or health.


Tips


Control:

League of Legends is filled with many variables that contribute to whether your team wins or loses. But at the end of the day, the only controllable variable is yourself. Raging at your team doesn’t go anywhere. Focus your energy on what you can do to help your team.

Can you roam to help a struggling lane?
Can you place an extra ward if you know your jungler is constantly getting counter-jungled?
Can you help out to secure objectives for your team?

Power Poses:

Here is an interesting video I discovered a while ago. I found it intriguing that the small things outside of the game could affect my in-game results. I would also suggest checking out the TED talk that gbay references. This is a video that could possibly impact you beyond just League.

Usually during the load screen, I’ll sit with my hands behind my head and lean back in my chair. I’ve found myself being slightly more confident going into matches. I’m not suggesting that you will guarantee a win every game after trying to use power poses. But it will definitely help you relax and get ready for the game.

Mindset:  

Walk into lane with the mentality that you own it. If you ever watch Dyrus stream, he’ll sometimes say “Get the hell out of my lane.” Now this may sound possessive but Dyrus is making a power statement. This sort of ties into what I was saying about power poses, but pertains more to the mental aspect.

I don’t know if Dyrus actually practices power poses before a game. During regional playoffs, Dyrus was able to get a kill 1v1 versus LMQ’s Ackerman and displayed his emotions. I was attending PAX at the time and was watching the games. The moment that this particular play went down, the crowd went nuts! Watching this and the other games live motivated me to want to improve.

Now how does this translate into your solo-queue games?

Well, go into lane saying this is your lane and you’re here to show the enemy who is in charge. Don’t take needless damage unless it yields a result. Sometimes when I’m playing support, I’ll attack the enemy laners as soon as they walk into lane. I’m saying, “Hey! I’m not here to just sit around and farm. I’m here to show you who is in charge.”

Wards:

Vision is one of the most important aspects of League of Legends. The whole team should be contributing to overall vision control. This is especially important around the mid game where teams go for dragon or baron. Is your support not warding enough? Then you should buy extra wards to help. Some games, I had to buy a Sightstone when I was jungling to make up for vision control. It actually worked out pretty well. Even when I’m playing marksman, I’ll pick up a ward when I recall.

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It’s very important to know when your team can get objectives such as dragon. If you can get a kill or two bot, call your jungler down to go for an early dragon. If you are going to go for an objective without having the numbers advantage, then it’s even more crucial to keep control over vision. Always use a sweeper or ward around the objective to know if an enemy is approaching.

Music:

Having the right music playing can help motivate your game. Personally I recommend downloading the Spotify app for your computer. There are tons of playlists already created to save time having to start from scratch. I usually listen to some Electronic Dance Music when I’m playing ranked. It gets me hyped up and gives me an energy boost to boot.

Breathe and take breaks:

Between matches, I usually get out of my chair and stretch my legs for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes I would walk my dog in between matches, or just go sit outside for a little bit. It’ll allow you to reset mentally and take the stress off from the last game.

Get Carried: 

Don’t be afraid to let yourself get carried. Everyone has a bad game once in a while so instead of just saying GG five minutes into a game, decide to help those on your team that are doing great. If I’m playing a role I’m not the best at and feed, I try to not go on tilt. Say your jungler is doing great, I’ll let him make calls and follow. League is all about working together towards a common goal — victory!

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Hopefully you’ve picked up on something that may help. If you have any tips you’d like to suggest, feel free to comment below! Good luck on the Fields of Justice, Summoners!


Edited by Tahalden


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GreenMtMan

Low-elo Veteran. I’ve been playing League off and on since Season One. It has only been the last two seasons that I’ve taken to wanting to improve and climb ladder. I enjoy following competitive league, mainly just NA scene.

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