I often get asked how how to reach challenger rank in LoL. Although there’s no simple answer, and climbing certainly requires a great deal of time and patience, there are things that you can do to significantly improve your chances of ranking up quickly.
Although these methods aren’t foolproof, I’ve found the tricks below certainly help to mitigate risk and place you in a much greater position to win matches. I should stress that much of the below will significantly reduce your Champion choice and whilst it’s more than possible to win against any team with any composition (just about), I’ll reiterate that this advice is all about improving your chances of success.
Learn The Current Meta
The first and arguably most important part of beginning your “how to reach challenger rank in LoL” is to understand the current “meta” and how the majority of players are playing. In this instance and at the time of writing, there’s a handful of Champion’s who’re top-tier. The Jungle plays a key part in the current meta, largely because Drake’s – and the buffs they provide – give so many benefits to the team. Fighting over Drake’s, and largely ignoring the top lane because of it, is where we’re at. The result of this, is a focus on team-fighting early game (for the Drake) but also a Jungler capable of securing it solo (if needed). Ignoring a meta will hurt your ability to climb.
Learn As Many Champions As Possible
While there’s no expectation that you need to know every Champion inside-out, and play every single one to a high mastery level, it’s fair to suggest that understanding Champion kits, and their limitations, will help you immensely. Not only does this provide you with a real understanding of how an opponent might operate, but also what their primary weaknesses are.
This level of commitment can be time consuming, but it helps enormously when in a lane. You’ll understand when to push or to play defensively, and you’ll also be far stronger at understanding team-fights and how aggressively you can play.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice we can give, but don’t die. Whether you’re top lane against a solo opponent, or bottom against a pair. Dying has enormous consequences in League of Legends. Repeatedly dying will feed your opponent, allowing them to punish you more, and your team.
Considering you can solo carry in LoL, doing this pretty much ensures you’re tilting your entire team, and giving the opposition every chance to win. Play safe, aggressive only when needed, ward plenty, and use your Tower.
Building on the above, it’s incredibly important that when you go pursue Draft/Ranked that you don’t just play one Champion. I really can’t stress this enough. Players that only have a tiny pool of go-to Champions are at a huge disadvantage. You need to not only choose your ideal positions (mid, top, bot, support or jungle) but also a handful of Champions within those positions.
For myself, I love mid and top, and although top lane is weak in this meta (in comparison to bot, mid or jungle), it’s a role I’m comfortable in and one in which I feel I can carry.
Knowing multiple Champions within your preferred lane ensures that if the opposing team do make solid, tactical bans, you aren’t going to be instantly neutered. Usually, 3-4 Champions per lane position is more than enough.
Secure Meta Champions
I really cannot stress this enough – try to secure meta Champions early. There’s no denying some Champions are stronger than others, and as unfortunate as it is that some Champions drop out of the meta, it’s incredibly important that your team secure the “best” as quickly as possible. At the time of writing, the following Champions are the backbone of most teams.
Whilst there are other Champions, should these be unavailable, they are undoubtedly a set of characters that will give you and your team the best start. Securing as many of these is a must, but always remember to have flexibility for counter picking: it’ll massively help you on how to reach challenger rank in LoL.
Accept You Will Lose
Possibly the best advice I can give: never expect to win every match. The key to climbing is to simply win more than you lose. If you accept that you can’t control what Champions your team picks, how they play or what they’ll do in game, you’ll also feel instantly better. My worst series of losses was 14 in a row; I simply couldn’t win anything. I ended up falling down the ladders. It was awful and at the time, I got really stressed with my team mates and all their failings. After taking a break and realizing it isn’t something I can control, I focused entirely on my own play, my positioning and rotations. It made a huge difference, and in just a day, I’d recovered all my losses and gained on where I started. If you can learn from your losses, you’ll be much better positioning to climb.
It’s amazing to see, even at the highest rank possible, players still pursue poor rotations. If you want to learn how to reach challenger rank In LoL, you need to understand there’s a time and a place for soaking, lane pushing, freezing, or heading to the Drake.
While I won’t make any suggestions on when you should do these things (that comes with practice), it’s important to remember such things as protecting the Baron (if you can), gravitating towards the Drake when it’s up (if your team can take it down), securing a Tower if you aren’t extending too far, and joining a team-fight when you hit the mid to late game.
There’s no magic button on this one, but if nothing else, follow the instructions of players who are clearly doing well (or clued up) – and be sure to aid in team-fights when you can (especially Drake).
The Drake is pivotal in 9.24 and ensures that your team gain a steady bonus based on which Drake you kill. The aim, if your team can, is to snowball control of Drake’s and eventually the death of 4, for maximum bonuses.
Failing to take control of the Drake/s will leave you and your team at a significant disadvantage. Not only in terms of map control, but also fairly substantial bonuses that are accumulative. If you ignore the Drake, and subsequent spawns, your team are really going to struggle to get back into the game.
Ward them, secure them, capture them before your opponent.
It takes a great deal of time and practice to learn when is and isn’t good time to push. When the enemy team is dead it goes without saying – you push. It’s the moments in between wipes that takes finesse and map awareness when the enemy is full strength or out of position. Into mid-game it’s fairly easy to get a Tower or two. Timing that assault, certainly on your own, is more instinct than something I could teach here. The best advice I can give when debating as to whether or not you should push:
1. If you’re at the enemies Tower/Inhibitor, how long would it take you to destroy it?
2. If the enemy were to pounce on you from behind, whilst at the Tower/Inhibitor, could you reach safety without dying?
If the answer to both the above questions leaves you in any doubt, or you fear that solo or in a group it’s too risky based on the enemy location, or the fact you don’t know their location, it might be worth doing something else.
I’ll freely admit I’ve lost my temper when playing League of Legends and directed it at players who were clearly at fault (intentionally dying, attacking the tank instead of the assassin that’s on 1% health), but it does very little to help the team. It agitates everyone, can make players play worse by being agitated and it makes you look a dick. I’ve found being positive in chat, right from the start, changes a mood instantly. Saying hello, being encouraging and positive throughout a match – even when things go wrong – makes a huge difference in the mindset of players. Only yesterday, my team was playing terribly and dying constantly through a variety of errors. I gave a pep talk after our wipe respawn, provides some tips, encouragement and a strategy. We ended up turning the match around in six minutes and winning, despite only having secure a handful of kills before then. Best of all, being nice will allow you to make friends who you can then pair with in the future.
Don’t Give Up
Building on the above, I’ve lost count at the number of matches I’ve played where people give up within the first few minutes. A few careless deaths, in League of Legends, does not spell a total failure. That’s not to say you won’t be punished for feeding, but it can be overcome through team-work.
1. Are people lane paired properly?
2. Could you switch one Champion to another lane?
3. Can you assist them by waiting to gank?
4. Is it simply a case of over extending or playing too aggressively?
Once you’ve addressed these issues, regroup, formulate a plan through chat, and work as team to focus targets and soak experience. Just don’t give up.
Have a tip you want to share? Think I’ve missed something that could be valuable when learning How To Reach Challenger Rank In LoL? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list.