Are you a generous person?
Do you want happier friends?
Then share the wealth!
How to get zen-like calm & enjoyable games with tips that aren't just "hurr durr, mute all, noob."
Expert on perspective-shifts shows you how to get instant improvement in your mental stability in this in-depth guide.
This tilt guide is already long AF, so I won’t waste time with my story, except to say: I used to wish teammates (and their families) would burn… and I overcame that extreme tilt to be a generally calm player.
And you can master your tilt issues too.
Please use the table of contents to find sections that interest you most.
This is because most “how to avoid tilt” tips are just ‘action steps’ for you to take, but those actions will be hollow and ineffective for most people, because actions tend to be unsustainable and sub-optimal when they’re not backed by a strong, rational, motivated reason for taking them.
The most effective actions you take in your life are the ones you’re fully aligned with. The ones you fully embody. The ones you’ve fully internalized.
Actions you just try out ‘because someone said so’, rarely, if ever, help much.
This means that before you try anyone’s action-based tilt advice like ‘just mute people’ or ‘play other games as a break’…
…you’ll need to adjust your mindset and shift your perspective on certain things, or your attempts to apply that advice will fail.
“Do this and you won’t tilt!”
“Do that, it works for me!”
Most of the ‘helpful advice’ you’ve read on Reddit, or the tilt tips you’ve seen on YouTube, even suggestions to stop tilt from your trusted coaches…
…were either completely wrong, impossible to apply without the correct mindset, or not nearly as effective as they could be with what you’re about to learn.
So you google “how to prevent tilt in league of legends.”
You spend tons of time trying all the tilt tips out there, meanwhile, you struggle just as much, if not more, with tilt issues.
You know your tilt is costing you games.
And if not, you know it’s costing you joy and fun.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
And since no one taught you any truly effective ways to deal with tilt until now…
…it’s definitely not your fault you haven’t been able to beat tilt issues yet.
And now that’s about to change.
You just need a fresh approach.
And you’re going to get exactly that on this page.
I’m Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca and I’ve been through some of the most tilting situations you can imagine.
In my younger years I was a total a$$hole.
As a teen, I was officially tested as a ‘genius’, but all that did was increase my arrogance and superiority complex.
I ended up evicted, broke, abandoned, isolated, betrayed, jailed, robbed, homeless for years, suicidal, and more.
And I turned all that around by changing my perspective on so many things.
In fact, I’ve had to change thousands of my own perspectives in life, one by one.
I started out judging ‘shallow’ pop-stars, but now I love and respect their accomplishments.
I used to think I was better than everyone, now I know I have my own value, and others have theirs.
I once believed making money was hard, now I’m certain that business is simple.
In fact, I helped Evan Carmichael (he’s worked with Tony Robbins & pissed off JK Rowling) grow his brand from 1,000 followers all the way to 3,000,000.
Anyway, the point is that I’ve one-eighty’d so many views it’d make most people’s heads spin, and my clients now call me the ‘living mindf*ck’ and the ‘best mentor ever.’
I managed to calm my tilt in some of the most high-pressure, tragically negative situations possible.
Except for one.
I still tilted in League Of Legends.
And that tilt went on for years.
It made no sense, how could I be so positive, optimistic, and chill in so many areas of life…
…but still tilt in League?
To solve it, I had to start back at the basics.
So before taking any ‘steps’, or applying any ‘solutions’, or following any ‘advice’…
I humbled myself and took a hard look at tilt.
I’ll explain what tilt is, but let me just say that tilt is a major factor in creating “losing streaks.”
And even pro players like Faker, Bjergsen, or Doublelift fall prey to tilt, and go on losing streaks.
And losing streaks in League Of Legends suck.
Even if you’re winning, having un-cooperative allies can be frustrating. These things, and many others, can start a downward spiral of ’tilt’ that prevents you from climbing ranks or even enjoying a game you once loved.
So what is tilt?
Wikipedia has a wordy definition but I simplify it to this:
"Tilt is an internal reaction to in-game events causing reduced performance."
Basically, you make plays that you shouldn’t, you tend to get even angrier over tiny things, you may want to surrender, AFK-farm, flame your teammates, and other counter-productive actions.
The term is said to have originated in poker, but may go back to the days of “pinball machines.”
Regardless, it can be obvious when we’re tilted, but oftentimes tilt can “creep up” on us and before you know it you’re seeing red and making sub-optimal decisions, even throwing any chance of victory through your degraded gameplay.
Note: At time of writing, I’ve drastically lowered my tilt, but it does still happen occasionally. I’m practicing all these tips myself too, so that I keep improving.
I used to wonder why I tilted so easily in League Of Legends, so I started digging into why.
I found that tilt is more common in League than in other games because…
None of this is to excuse tilt, poor behavior towards others, or sub-optimal decision-making.
It’s just to point out that League’s learning curve is steep, and it’s kind of a pressure-cooker.
It takes many games before you actually feel “in control.”
And it takes a specific personality/mindset to grind through the thousands of games before you embody the fundamentals.
The game has countless interactions, variables, and puzzles to solve. The thrill of masterfully stomping lane or securing a comeback victory is a pretty big high, but until you’ve got the fundamentals down…
League can be confusing, overwhelming, and tilting because of “troll” allies and irreconcilable differences between the beautifully coordinated gameplay you see on YouTube and pro matches vs your own experience of solo queues sh*t-show.
…but it sheds light on why tilt may be more common in League than in chess or checkers.
The biggest source of tilt is expecting a specific outcome, while “not knowing what to do” to achieve it.
Basically, tilt in League comes from not knowing how to progress a match towards the desired outcome (usually a “win”).
When we’re feeling “clueless”, powerless, and a “victim” of the other nine players, it causes instinctual frustration to burst out. It causes our emotions to go “on tilt.”
And any ‘bad experience’ that we’re unable to properly navigate at the time, can become a ‘micro-trauma’ in our mindset or nervous systems, often without us even realizing it.
If it happens more than once, it can become an ‘automatic’ trigger, making us tilt whenever something similar happens.
Venting or tilting is an attempt at reclaiming agency, power, and options. It feels better than “not having a single viable option” in sight.
If you Google “how not to tilt”, or even ask ChatGPT what to do about tilt, you’ll get common ‘fluff’ advice.
You’ll get standard tips such as:
I’ve heard these a million times.
And they’re okay tips, I guess.
(Meditation’s or exercise is probably best of these, but quite a commitment. ‘Muting all’ is a decent ‘quick-fix’ for some.)
And if they worked reliably, I’d be the first to tell you.
But they work so rarely, and almost never with anything more than ‘mild’ tilt.
They certainly didn’t help solve my tilt issues, and I’d be surprised if they helped anyone else’s.
There’s a reason why these tips fail though.
The main reason the things listed above don’t work is that:
They’re “action-based” solutions for “nervous system” or “mindset” traumas.
Tilt comes from previous trauma, tension, or anxiety stored in the body, that re-emerges during intense, or high-pressure, moments.
So, to solve these things, you’ll need mindset- or body-awareness-based solutions, which should make a lot of sense.
For me, the things that soothed my tilt issues the most were a) perspective shifts and b) body-awareness practices.
And it wasn’t enough for me to change one perspective, or two… I had to change many of them.
For me it was, so it might be for you too.
Many shifts were needed for me, because I had an extreme case of tilt.
My tilt got to the point where I was tilting every game, in the first 5 minutes, after one or two mistakes from teammates.
So I’d scan Reddit and Google, even read books, and still be unable to avoid tilting. I’d change my perspective on ‘blaming teammates’ or something, but it didn’t help.
The thing that truly helped was diving deep into a number of my perspectives on League and life.
I had to really understand Riot, League, matchmaking algorithms, the solo queue ladder, pro players, corporate reputations, game psychology, gambling addiction, and more.
Understanding these will clear your confusion and replace it with confidence.
It’s possible that understanding one or two of these things will clear your tilt and ease your mind during your League matches.
But if you have a serious case of tilt, like I did, you’ll need fresh perspectives on most topics here.
And towards the end of this post, I’ll offer body-awareness exercises and practices you can use in order to ‘embody’ each perspective-shift, rather than just “know” them “intellectually”, because an intellectual understanding is not nearly as effective at stopping tilt as a “fully-embodied knowing.”
You need reliable knowledge that’s ingrained in your muscle-memory.
Tilt disappears only when helpful concepts jump to your mind instantly whenever it crops up.
So let’s get into them.
They explain that…
There’s a hidden social contract you ‘sign’ implicitly, every time you play ranked.
Everyone signs it, but most don’t realize it, and then they get surprised by ‘the rules’ of the contract when they ‘kick in.’
Technically, Riot ‘should’ explain these hidden rules of the contract to everyone who plays, but they don’t.
(Basically because doing so would cost them lots of money.)
That said, if you do understand the solo queue contract, you can manage your expectations better and not be caught off guard or tilted like those who are unaware of it.
Here’s a taste of the hidden concepts you must accept as part of The Solo Queue Contract:
There’s much more to it, but you can watch this episode of Broken By Concept if you want to dive deeper.
Understanding the solo queue contract, and what to expect when you click ‘queue’, will help you manage your expectations and stay more calm and untilted while playing.
And your expectations are often hidden or subconscious.
Players often feel their game (or climb) should be going a certain way.
They think they should be “winning more”, or their teammates are “bad”, or their teammates should be doing XYZ.
Many expectations are about things out of our control.
But we still want control over them.
We want control over something we can’t control…
…so how do your body and mind deal with this clash between expectations and reality?
They ’tilt’, and you end up feeling bad.
But “improving” is 100% in your control.
So even if your games go bad, even if your team is feeding, you can still get a sense of control by dropping those uncontrollable expectations, and then focusing on what you can do to improve.
Ideally, don’t even think your team “should be doing X.”
Instead, look at the situation and ask yourself, “what can I be doing to best improve my odds of winning?”
Because the only thing you can expect from Solo Queue… is messy, chaotic, ‘bullsh*t.’
Expect that people will judge you on your win rate or op.gg.
While others will foolishly copy what works at the pro level and be surprised when all it does is throw games in Bronze or Diamond.
You can even expect completely delusional, possibly psychotic teammates like the uh, intriguing person, in the video below.
Expect all this and more.
By expecting these things as part of ranked League Of Legends, you can mentally and emotionally prepare for them.
Make your expectations and narratives match the true solo queue experience, according to the “contract”, as well as everything else you’re signing up for by playing.
…Then you need a perspective shift.
And that shift is as follows:
When you see a win rate statistic, that win rate statistic is almost meaningless.
There’s not a lot you can take away from it.
The only time a win rate has any useful meaning is when it’s measure across many thousands of games.
Because win rates can only be measured properly over many games.
Measuring a win rate over ten or twenty games is like measuring a country’s weather based on a single day. It’s just foolish to put any stock in it at all.
In approximately 30% of your games… you’ll have two winning lanes. If you belong in your ELO & don’t personally throw these matches, these are ‘free wins.’
In approximately 30% of your games… you’ll have two losing lanes. If you belong in your ELO & can’t hard carry these like a smurf, these are ‘auto-losses.’
In approximately 40% of your games… you’ll have one winning lane & one losing lane, which means these matches are ‘on you.’ If you make excellent decisions throughout, you’ll win, if you make poor decisions throughout, you’ll lose.
(For some of these you will lose the game for your team, even if you don’t realize it until post-match review.)
This rule means that even if you’re playing exceptionally over hundreds of games…
…The highest win rate you’re likely to see is about 70%.
An average player in your ELO will see ~50% win rate from their performance.
If you’re slightly better than your rank, you’ll maintain a 53-55% win rate (across hundreds of games), which is a reasonable & adequate win rate for climbing.
At the same time, anytime you’re learning a new champ or improving at a role, you should expect a ‘negative’ (sub-fifty-percent) win rate.
The only people who break this 30 / 30 / 40 rule are A) high-level smurfs (not you), B) natural prodigies (also not you), or C) scripters/bots (hopefully not you).
Note: The 30 / 30 / 40 aren’t exact numbers. It could be 40 / 40 / 20, or 33 / 33 / 33, or something else. The principle is what’s important here, and the principle holds true.
The more ‘noise’ in your match history, the longer it takes for the algorithm to figure you out.
Basically, if Riot sees your account playing tons of games in Bronze (especially if you’re losing or skill is rarely improving), it thinks you “belong in bronze.”
If Riot sees your account playing only a handful of games in Bronze, (and winning all of them, rapidly reaching Silver or Gold), their algorithm considers you “not belonging in Bronze”.
Either way, your LP gains will reflect these statuses.
UnrankedSmurfs.com made a 2023 video explaining why it takes less games to rank up a new account, and why old accounts have to grind many more games to climb.
They also explain why it’s wise to spam one or two champions only on your main account, never deviating as you climb, while keeping a separate “alt.” account for experiments, off-role, screwing around, etc.
This is partly why one- or two-trick accounts can often climb higher in less games.
There’s less noise and less variables for the algorithm to deal with, and it can assess your skill better.
As mentioned above, professional boosting / ladder-climbing company UnrankedSmurfs have discovered that if you want to switch champions…
…it’s best to do that on a ‘non-climbing’ alternate account, rather than your main climbing account.
And this makes sense.
Think about a sport such as Nascar racing.
If you wanted to win Nascar races, you wouldn’t switch cars every couple of races, would you?
Of course not, because it’s important to master one vehicle first, really learn the ins-and-outs of it.
Learn to drive one car and how it handles, only then can you really start pulling off stunts and winning races.
The same applies to League.
Just like checking your mirrors and reading the road in a car, your “mental stack” will struggle to track enemies and watch the mini-map until you can pilot your champ through total muscle memory.
The less vehicles (or champs) you pilot, the better, at least when you’re trying to rank up.
A reliable approach is to start as a ‘one-trick’ or ‘two-trick’ up to Silver ELO, expand to a ‘three-trick’ in Gold / Plat / Diamond, and finally a ‘four-or-five-trick’ in Master / Challenger.
The pros you look up to have all been a “one-trick pony” for a while, whether you realize it or not.
They know how important it is to get the ‘feel’ for a vehicle if they intend to win races.
If you were to play ten champions for 500 games each, one of those would have significantly more wins than the rest, because consciously or subconsciously, you’re inclined to pilot it better than the others.
This is your ‘best champion.’
Pros identify which is their ‘best champion’ and make sure to leverage it.
And being a “One-Trick Pony” (OTP), even if just for a season or two, simply means identifying your ‘best champion’, and committing to improving and winning with that champion.
If you have to experiment, do it on another account or in normals, not in ranked.
(Also, keep in mind some champs are like motorcycles, some are like mack trucks, some are like ATVs, some are like helicopters, etc.
They may look similar because they all get you from point A, to point B…
…but they have entirely different skill sets, and switching from one to the other will set your improvement back, hard.)
Even though the champions and roles may look the same (“just press four buttons”)…
…the truth is each role in League is incredibly complex, and unless you’re Challenger already, you’re unlikely to understand more than one or two roles correctly.
You may think you know what decision your jungler should make (“free gank bro!”), but you could actually be wrong for countless hidden reasons. (Gold spikes, upcoming objectives, level spikes, win conditions, etcetera).
You may think your mid-laner should rotate to match the enemy mid-laner, but since you don’t know mid-lane as well as you believe… it turns out that actually, Anivia should actually not follow the enemy Zed into a dark fog-of-war river, because they’ll likely get popped, feeding the Zed even more.
You may think you know what decisions your teammates should make, but most of the time, you’ll be wrong.
If you’re struggling to climb, it’s easy to get “grass is always greener” syndrome, and want to switch roles, champs, etc.
This lack of commitment and constant switching ruins climbs.
It prevents you from learning the invisible complexities of your role, or of anyone else’s.
So commit to a role to minimize tilt in League Of Legends.
At least at first, when you’re doing your best to beat tilt.
Because whether we’re talking Pro-Play, Masters, Bronze, or Iron… every role has impact, has downsides, and can climb / carry.
Switching roles will just set you back hundreds of games, and make tilt more likely.
Yes, you really do.
Think about any team sport on the planet.
If you’re a ‘Forward’ in basketball, it’s very different from playing defense.
If you’re a Striker in soccer (Football), it’s very different from being a Goalkeeper.
If you’re a Pitcher in baseball, it’s very different from being a Baseman.
Imagine if any of these players were unclear or confused about their roles.
Imagine if any of them mistook their job for someone else’s, and did that instead.
It would be chaos, and there’d be a very minimal chance of victory.
The same applies to League.
Every champion has a ‘job’, ‘identity’, or ‘role.’ You must identify what your job is in [Game X], then pull it off as effectively, and optimally, as possible.
If you do your job efficiently, game after game, you will climb well.
How do you find out what your champion’s job in this game happens to be? Well, start by asking yourself some questions:
Figure out your champion’s ‘job’ in the current game, and do that job to the best of your ability. (Hopefully impressively well.)
In the racing scene, just because other racers use a certain vehicle, or just because the ‘Lux’ vehicle got ‘its E buffed by 40 damage’, or because your favorite racer uses a very advanced car…
…That’s still no good reason to invest your time into a certain vehicle.
In fact, the above are terrible reasons to abandon whatever car you’ve been mastering for the past 10, 100, or 1000 games.
And they’re terrible reasons for to avoid experimenting until you find a car that suits you well.
What I’m getting at is this:
If you’re reading this, ‘the meta’ probably doesn’t matter for you.
And that same meta will just get buffed, nerfed, or patched in a couple of weeks or months anyway.
So unless you’re Master-, Challenger-, or Pro-Tier, it’s a huge waste of time, energy, and precious practice games to bother at all about ‘the meta’.
There’s no point being a ‘meta-slave’ until you’re already an accomplished Nascar driver (‘Challenger+’) looking to shave a second or two off your race-time (or add tiny LP gains to your rank).
Some dancers are naturally talented, and don’t need to use a mirror for their form, nor do they need to review footage of the choreography.
These naturals are rare, and they’d never be reading an article like this.
Similarly, some League players are naturally talented and don’t need to review their replays much, if at all.
But again, they’re ridiculously rare, and if you’re reading this post, you are not one of them.
For everybody who’s not a ‘freak natural’ at their task, review is simply… mandatory.
Especially if you want to beat tilt, because tilt comes from feeling powerless, out of control, or at the mercy of others…
…and VoD review is the best way to prove to yourself that games are more in your control than they seem.
Challenger players know this, which is why when they’re shown a “lost game” from lower ranks you’ll hear them say “I could’ve carried that Bronze / Silver / Gold game easily.”
This is because they’ve reviewed similar games, they’ve seen similar situations, and know the micro and macro decisions that would’ve influenced the game’s outcome.
They know various decisions could be reviewed and changed, to create a victory.
Small things like where to step, what to ping, and who to target.
As well as bigger things like what to draft, how to itemize, and how early to rotate.
All that information is waiting for you in your games… it just needs to be consciously walked through, reviewed and learned from.
Then that’s the first thing you must learn.
It’s the first problem you must solve if you’re serious about climbing in League.
Because if your review habits are poor, you may not improve at League for years, or decades.
And if your review habits are great, you may be able to hit Master or Challenger in months.
The good news is, reviewing games isn’t some magical, mystical, impenetrable task.
Reviewing games is a skill.
Just a skill, like any other.
You can suck at it, you can excel at it, and you can improve at it.
So do whatever you must. Google ‘VoD review.’ Reddit search it. YouTube it. Ask friends, coaches, whoever. Just make sure you learn how to review your games.
(The process for reviewing and improving in anything really breaks down to…
…Make a decision. Get an outcome. Review that outcome. Improve your decision.)
Well, let’s take a loss where you played extremely well, and examine every death and lost objective.
You pause at the exact frame you made the decision which caused the death or loss.
Then you figure out why you made that choice, and form a plan to avoid doing so in the future.
With a bit of practice, you’ll never die in that way agan.
Most player’s deaths come from bad positioning, and most positioning errors come from not respecting enemy numbers, cooldowns, or fog of war. Some come from greed. A few are just mechanical misplays.
Point is, every death you examine this way makes your League skills substantially and permanently better.
You can catch (and fix) mistakes that you’d fail to see even by spamming a thousand games.
Good beginner things to focus on during reviews:
Or review other things that suit you more.
Either way, each game you play has at least 2-to-5 “pivotal moments” that make you feel a bit ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘confused’, so it’s wise to start by reviewing the before-and-after of each of those.
Rank each decision you made leading up to them and after them as a “percentage success” or “percentage beneficial”.
Was your decision 90% likely to pay off? Was it only 50% likely? Was it less?
This is the power of reviews.
And besides all this… have you ever wished you could “just know” what to do to carry games like the pro players do?
That ‘knowing’ looks like magic, but it’s actually human intuition, honed and refined over thousands of consciously processed and reviewed games.
Reviewing is the best tool for improving your intuition.
I felt that way for years.
Matchmaking had to be rigged, considering the games I was experiencing, right?
But I was hopping from champ to champ, barely reviewing my games, and queuing for different roles…
So how was matchmaking going to place me where I belong, or assess my skill fairly, when I kept changing all the variables on it?
And I was complaining about the matchmaking with less than a few hundred games on my accounts, so I wasn’t even providing the algorithm with enough wins and losses to figure out my skill, even if I was one-tricking properly.
It’s kind of like when you want to blame AT&T for bad internet.
It’s tough to blame them if you have bare wires everywhere, your modem’s covered in dust, and you’ve been fiddling with your router settings and your OS.
It’s much wiser to get all your ducks in a row, make sure your side of things is in top shape…
And only then blame the corporation that’s invested millions in providing the service you’re criticizing.
If you don’t have hundreds of consciously reviewed games. If you’ve not focused on one to three champs. If you’ve not had a strong review process…
..Then you shouldn’t be pointing a finger at a cold, emotionless ranked-ladder service that treats everyone the same, and that thousands of people climb reasonably well to Master or Challenger each season.
At least, matchmaking feels bad, to a huge chunk of the player base, often.
And weirdly, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
It’s designed to feel terrible. It will probably never not feel terrible.
But Riot’s matchmaking is not terrible.
It may not be perfect, but you’ll only find one or two games that do matchmaking any better. Riot has invested a lot of time, money, and staff into making theirs at least serviceable.
The integrity of the League’s Challenger & Esports Scenes hinges on it being so.
Think about how the pro scene comes to life.
New talent must be scouted. That new talent isn’t scouted from Bronze and Silver… it’s scouted from Challenger.
So, talented players must be able to climb to Challenger reliably, to be scouted by Pro Esports Teams. They can’t afford to have terrible matchmaking ruin their climb.
Likewise, poor players must be demoted and kept far from Challenger, so pros end up playing mainly with other pros. Period.
League’s entire Esports budget hinges on the integrity of the ladder…
So they have to keep matchmaking functioning reasonably well.
So why is it so tempting to blame matchmaking?
Why is it so tempting to complain about it?
Or to act like it’s against us and that Riot’s happy to ruin the integrity of their competitive esports division, just to cause us, personally, pain?
Well, look at where the complaints come from.
You’ll often hear complaints about matchmaking from unskilled players playing the victim, even if they’re given a ‘bought’ account.
You’ll rarely hear complaints about matchmaking from 95% of Master+ players, even if they’re forced onto a hard-stuck account.
Why is this?
It’s because League’s algorithm does work overall, and talented players who play a healthy number of games absolutely do climb the ladder.
I’m not talking about a ten, twenty, or fifty-game basis, but when you cross into multiple hundreds of games, ladder integrity becomes higher and the algorithm is quite reliable.
This is why many players can climb, and also why many players get rusty and fall.
So yes, you’ll sometimes get a first-time Soraka feeding in your games, but
This means that over multiple hundreds of games, you absolutely will get as many ‘free wins’ as you do ‘auto-losses.’
If you want to prove it to yourself (or to try and prove the opposite), track them with reviewable replays and see for yourself.
The perspective shift here is to…
See each game of League like a brick in a staircase you’re building.
If everyone plays well that game, you get a beautiful, pristine brick.
If everyone feeds hard and loses, you get a slightly crumbling, unstable brick.
If half play well, and half don’t, you get a fairly solid, but ugly, awkward-shaped brick.
And with each brick…
Every League player is going to build & climb their brick staircase.
They’ll do it either fast, slow, or not at all depending on their play.
Not every brick will be perfect, but the better you play each game, the more solid and lovely your bricks will be.
It’s fine to lose, to have some bad bricks, but as long as you’re truly, truly improving your play, more and more of your bricks will be solid, and you’ll climb the ranked staircase fast.
What does this mean?
It means that when matchmaking pits two teams against each other, it’s not a guarantee of a fair game.
It’s not a guarantee of a fifty-fifty chance at victory. It’s not even a guarantee of a sixty-forty chance.
A single game can easily be a ‘free win’ for you.
It can also easily be an ‘auto loss’.
That’s just how the ladder works.
If you had a device that could calculate the ‘victory chance’ for each team after the lobby, you’d be shocked at how often the game is heavily favored for one side.
But this isn’t always matchmaking’s fault.
Because matchmaking isn’t a mind-reader, matchmaking doesn’t know the mental state or decision-making of each player when they press “queue.”
Some of the ten players in that game could be making matchmaking extremely difficult through:
All of these things hugely impact the outcome of the game, and are things that Riot’s algorithm would have trouble predicting or compensating for.
Maybe one day Riot’s matchmaking will be an AI like ChatGPT-6 or SkyNet or something, able to read minds and ensure all ten players are playing optimally.
For now though, it does the best it can with each game, and it knows it will need hundreds of games to mitigate all the ‘free wins’ and ‘auto losses’ that “come with the territory.”
This is why all players, including you, should be taking a longer-term view of their climb, rather than caring about one game (beyond reviewing what they could’ve done better).
There are plenty of super-easy (or super-hard) matches decided before the game even loads into the rift.
So accept that many of your matches will be at least 70/30 favoring one side, and learn to improve your performance every game, despite that.
You decide how much value you get out of a loss.
Some people have a review process that helps them get a lot of value out of every loss.
Others make every loss an even longer waste of time by drawing it out and learning nothing from it.
Whether a loss is a huge waste of time or not isn’t really relevant, because losses are part of the ladder for everyone.
Everyone goes through the losses, even Faker.
Most players who climb eventually realize the losses are part of what they signed up for.
If you want a successful business, you’ll have to go through failures, bad clients, rejections, the works. Often years of it. In the end, only you decide if that’s worth it.
If you want to raise kids, you’ll have to go through illnesses, traumas, bullies, bad influences, and more. Often years of it. In the end, only you decide if that’s worth it.
If you want to climb the ranked ladder (especially if your aim’s to be one of the less than 7% of players who are Platinum or higher)…
…you’ll have to go through leavers, unfair teams, and yes, many hundreds of losses. Often years of that. In the end, only you decide if that’s worth it.
If you felt any of the above activities weren’t worth your time, the obvious solution is to stop doing them.
If you feel a ‘losing’ game of ranked isn’t worth your time, you shouldn’t be playing ranked at all, because those losses are a guaranteed part of the journey, and nothing is magically going to make them disappear.
Your options for losses is to review them and become a better player, or to stop wasting your time on an activity that you don’t feel is worth your time.
Here’s a quote from the top Google result about the game of poker.
“Unlike the other games on a casino floor, poker is a game of skill, and the world’s top pros make money because they’re the best players in the game.”
And just like Poker, League Of Legends has you ‘drawing random cards’ (your four allies), and competing against five other random cards (the five enemies).
It’s possible you’ll get five, ten, or even fifteen unlucky hands (bad allies) in a row, but over time, all good players climb.
15 ‘bad hands’ is meaningless to a skilled poker player, and 15 ‘unlucky teams’ is meaningless to a skilled League Of Legends player .
If a player with diamond-level talent competes against silver-level players for long enough, the good player will eventually win.
Ask yourself this:
No, they don’t.
And why would they?
When a player is so much better than the division he’s in, games feel almost totally in their control. They feel like they can drag their ‘dumb team’ over the finish line easily. They feel confident they can carry, even if they get a few unlucky games.
From the same site:
In poker… even the best players will find themselves on the losing end of hands that they played perfectly.
Talented, mature League players understand this.
And those smurfs I was talking about?
The most they’d say about their games is: “man games are chaotic down here”, or “Hmm, I have to play around these guys’ weird decisions to win.”
They wouldn’t say a peep about “games feeling like coinflips”, because they know they’re better, and know each game with these “lesser players” is basically on their shoulders.
They also know they’re more than up to the task of carrying.
But if you put each of those smurfs back in their proper rank… how do games feel then?
Then games feel hard.
Like a 50/50 coin-flip.
Because now, in their proper rank, they no longer have ten or twenty times as much game-knowledge and skill as their lobbies.
If we took you, and put you in a game with nine literal toddlers who’ve never player League, or even used a keyboard before… the game wouldn’t feel like a coin flip.
You’d stomp them, and carry so hard.
Because you have way more skill and knowledge.
But if we throw you into the rank you belong in, the rank of your actual, true, consistent skill-level… guess how the games are going to feel?
That’s right, games in your correct rank will feel like a coin-flip.
No one likes to admit this fact, but the only time games feel “coin-flippy” in League is when your skill level needs some serious work, and you’re just barely pulling your weight for your current rank, skill-wise.
If your games feel like coin-flips, you have a lot of replay-review to do, because a better player wouldn’t feel that way if we put them into most games at your level.
A better player would see clear win conditions, even if they were challenging ones, and they’d focus their performance, “play it out” to those win cons, and…
You’re certainly free to think and feel that way, but here’s the perspective shift:
Turning ‘tough games’ around with creative play is how anyone climbs.
Remember the 30 / 30 / 40 rule?
You’ll have 30% free wins and 30% auto-losses.
But you’ll also have 40% challenging games with at least one of your allies feeding the enemy, and one of the enemies feeding your allies, and in these games it’s on you to make up the difference.
I call these “climber” games.
‘Climber’ games won’t be ‘obvious wins’, and may even appear to be ‘losses.’ – Me.
The trick is to learn how to recognize them properly, without getting emotional, and if you’re ever even slightly unsure, default to playing them out to see.
Because even games that appear to be losses at ten minutes, or twenty minutes, doesn’t mean they can’t swing back in your favor in an instant at 30 min. or 40 min.
(That said, if you see a 4-to-1 surrender vote, Riot’s data says that game is 97% likely to be a loss.)
And Riot have done a lot to make sure that’s possible.
Riot have put in a ton of ‘comeback mechanics’ into League, and smurfs abuse them to get 80, 90, even 100% win rates in Bronze, Silver, etc.
It’s important to have this understanding:
A sh*t player randomly getting a lead… is still sh*t.
A bronze player going 11 / 0 / 7 by twenty minutes isn’t winning, he’s just become a giant bag of “shutdown gold” waiting to be claimed at twenty-five, thirty, or thirty-five minutes.
So don’t panic.
It’s okay, don’t tilt.
Don’t jump to the conclusion that “this is an autoloss.” Instead, be patient and see that fed enemy as your precious win condition, and know that when you shut him down, not only do you get 1000g , he’ll also tilt too, and instantly blame his “terrible team” for his first death.
The sh*t Bronze player, even when fed, will continue to be a sh*t Bronze player, likely to tilt, and unable to carry the game…
…but only as long as you stay calm, keep playing, and refuse to hand over the game.
Everyone is making mistakes constantly, including you…
But only a high-level coach or player is likely to spot them.
That’s the thing about mistakes.
Most mistakes are invisible.
If you’re reading this, chances are you make tens, even hundreds, of mistakes each game.
I know I do, but I used to swear I was “playing well.”
People usually don’t even know they’re making mistakes.
This includes you, and me.
A better perspective on mistakes is not to see them as “mistakes” at all.
Instead, see them as decisions.
Some decisions are effective, others less so, but they are what they are, and League is about which player makes the most optimal decisions and handles sub-optimal ones best.
All nine other players in your game are making decisions.
Those decisions may seem terrible. They may even be terrible. But if you think deeply enough, they’re understandable.
They really are.
And if you can understand players’ “crazy” choices, you can leverage them and win from them.
Your ADC playing like a bot? Ward lane for him, then roam, and help whoever’s strong. People not pushing out sidelanes? Do it yourself and soak extra gold. Your team keeps taking bad fights? Maybe it’s a pressure or vision-problem.
Judginess kills fun. Judginess kills progress. Judginess makes you a victim.
If you want to improve, drop all judgment, and judge no decision or mistake that occurs.
Most importantly, great league players understand this key point: There’s usually something you could’ve done to mitigate your teammate’s mistake.
A good coach would spot it in the VoD review, even if you can’t.
If you care about climbing ranked and winning more…
Find those mistake-mitigating-choices and make a committed note to do that next time.
Hey, I get it, I’ve been there.
Like you just want your teammates to do something, anything, right?
The perspective shift here is that they actually are.
Your allies are behaving according to their current level of consciousness, their current societal programming, and their current neuroses.
None of those things are going to change instantly mid-game.
You won’t find a single person who magically became a better person and shrugged off their societal programming mid-game.
So they’re going to continue behaving according to their nature for the duration of your game.
So you have two options, a) leverage their behaviors & quirks to carry like a great player would, or b) crumble into tilt practically guaranteeing the game becomes a loss.
Those are your two options.
Every. Single. Time.
An attitude of “I need to play super hard to make up for the incompetence of my team,” will slow your climb majorly, or stop it entirely.
An attitude of “my four allies are resources for me to use, and just like a great artist can make art, even with crayons, I can create victory with these four folks“, will speed your climb.
Yes, your teammates will “suck”, often.
But a stronger player in Master, Challenger, or Pro Esports would win with those same “sucky” teammates.
This is because they’ve learned a healthy way to approach “bad” teammates, and you must learn the same approach if you want to win more games, too.
Here is the approach:
Admit that there is something each teammate does well.
League’s matchmaking isn’t the world’s best… but it’s top three. It’s better than most games.
It works for countless players to climb the ranks, and its algorithm has placed players with teammates of ‘similar skill’ for over a decade.
The algorithm knows more about these teammates than you do.
You only know how they’re behaving in a single game.
Riot’s tracked them over many more games than you have.
And Riot’s algorithm knows that there’s a reason they’re in this rank with you, and while they may be “trash”, they do have something they do well.
Whatever your mates are good at, inclined towards, or useful for… Learn to spot that.
Actively look for it, instead of looking for their flaws.
Use their strengths just like a stronger player would do.
It will help you win games when you can start to identify what your mates are good at and use them for it.
At the very worst…
Even if they’re Iron-Tier feeders…
Play smart and use them as bait to get kills, win objectives, and spike hard.
(Plus, be on the lookout for smurfs, a standard part of the League Experience, and learn to play around them too.)
At first I had trouble with this perspective, because I thought:
“They’re not bots, they’re people.“
The way people move along their life paths are actually very similar to bots.
We have certain ‘programmed behavior’ and we get stuck in loops, repeating that it over & over, with no one able to change it for us until we decide to get therapy or have an epiphany or something.
Since all people can only act from their ‘current state of consciousness’, they are, for many intents & purposes… ‘bots’.
They’re only able to behave according to how they’ve been ‘programmed’ by society, trauma, neurosis, and ego.
So consider this:
And have you ever see your ‘bot-allies’ constantly feed the enemy?
Sure you have.
And you dealt with those feeding bots and won anyway, right?
And you’ve done so even while you’re playing against ‘intermediate bots’, right?
That’s exactly what smurfs who are better than their current rank approach the game.
So, just pretend your allies are bots and acknowledge that there’s nothing you can do about their behavior, even by communicating with them, since they won’t magically break their ‘societal programming’ (at least without a lot of therapy, soul-searching, or humbling via ‘life’).
Since that’s the case, you just have to work with what you’ve got.
And remember, one of these approaches is exactly what your League idols have done to climb.
The beauty of being a human being with free will is…
You’re free to blame whatever you choose.
And while blaming others may ‘feel good’ for a moment, it will hold your climb back for years.
So if you want to blame something for your losses, be smart, and choose to blame things like these:
Then, go back and think about what you could have done differently.
Don’t blame your Malphite because he “didn’t have an R on his keyboard”. Don’t blame your bot lane who fed eight deaths in ten minutes.
These things are out of your control.
They’re just situations League serves up to you (and everybody else), at some point.
If you want to climb effectively, be humble regarding your performance, and accept that there are many “losing games” that you could have won.
Look at greats in any sport, Jordan, Messi, Gretzky.
Not one of them ‘needed’ good teammates.
They found their greatness within, and focused on leveling up their own skills.
If you want to climb, be as much like them as possible.
If you still struggle with tilt after releasing all blame from others, then you still don’t fully understand that only you can influence the outcomes of your games and climb.
It’s something you must come to terms with.
Or at least, I used to.
I used to care about winning every single game so damn much.
And occasionally, I’m still tempted to make “winning” my goal each game. I don’t, though, because doing so is a recipe for tilt.
Riot will give you many games you simply aren’t good enough to carry.
They’ll even give you games that perhaps no one could carry.
Even Faker, consistent world champion, gets 12+ game loss-streaks and uncarryable teams dealt to him by Riot.
He doesn’t head over to reddit to whine, or throw tantrums…
He just accepts the losses, looks to improve, practices, and aims to carry the next 24 games instead.
You will be dealt many losing hands.
If you want to win and climb ranks in League Of Legends… there’s only one approach that’s ever been effective or reasonable.
This means seeing each game as a “win” whenever you:
And since both of those things are totally in your control, they can happen every game.
It’s “mentally unhealthy” to make “getting the victory screen” your goal, since that’s something you can heavily influence, but isn’t totally in your control.
Instead, recognize that “winning more often” is a side-effect of your consistently improving skill, performance, attitude, years of experience, and so on.
If you focus fully on the above, looking for every nuance in your play possible to improve, then ranking up will be a guaranteed side-effect.
This is the perspective that the “rarely tilting” pros you look up to have towards the ladder, and it’s one that relieves tilt-tendencies…
…but no one can make you adopt this perspective, except you.
League often looks like a flashy, aggressive, “go-go-go” game, but it’s more so a game of wise patience.
Optimal League gameplay is:
Optimal gameplay is leveraging all the ‘messy situations’ that other players create to the highest value possible.
This is what Challengers do to smurf with 100% win rates through lower ranks.
The same applies to climbing the ladder, the path may not be fast, or even linear.
You’ll have ups and downs, and over many games, if you’re focused and not “hopping around” from champ to champ and role to role…
The system will place you in your ‘true rank’, where most games will feel “coin-flippy” until you review your replays and improve your skill significantly enough to climb again.
It takes the average player, who’s skill-level is appropriate for their current rank, at least 100 focused games just to go up a single rank.
Climbing the ladder in League Of Legends is a journey.
You’ll peak at some ranks, you’ll drop down into valleys, and you’ll go on streaks, but if you’re focused constantly on improving, and you commit to your review process, practice, and decision-making, a higher rank will be a side-effect.
So practice patience instead of greeding for instant gratification or non-stop wins or perfect teammates.
Montage-plays rarely win games, but a couple well-placed control wards can.
Impressive KDAs might be an indicator you’re playing decently, or they might signal you’re too scared to pressure the map.
But pros know League’s a game of stacking small wins and securing invisible advantages.
One extra minion can be the difference between winning or losing lane.
One well-timed reset or back-timer can determine the next big team fight.
Vision, wave control, and recalls aren’t flashy, but are often game-deciding.
This makes them well worth reviewing, improving, and practicing.
Especially since League is a game of “stacking specific advantages.”
What matters is each specific decision, at each specific moment.
What matters is [this] game, [this] lane, [this] moment… are you making wise decisions now?
If you’re constantly asking questions like:
“How can I make my teammates’ lives easier (even if they suck)”, and “How can I make the enemy’s lives harder (even if they’re smurfs)?”…
…you won’t have the mental or emotional bandwidth left to even start tilting.
Do you know how jockeys who have fallen off a horse starts riding again?
They just “get back on the horse.”
That’s where the saying comes from. 🙂
Or do you know how drowning survivor gets back to swimming?
They don’t do it by reading about it. Or complaining about it. Or focusing on their anxiety.
They do it by “dipping their toe in the water.”
They do it by nudging their way step-by-step, back into the pool. And it by having the courage and ‘doing the thing.’
So you’ve lost some League games. Or some LP. Or some rank. Or you’ve had someone flame you. Or some other micro trauma related to League Of Legends.
I get it.
We’ve all been there. And just like falling off a horse or coming close to drowning, it can create anxiety.
But there’s only one path back to succeeding at whatever caused the trauma in the first place.
Practice. Action. Courageously baby-stepping your way back into it.
Just like other ‘unpleasant’ things like going to the gym, or waking up early… you just do the thing.
If you’re not ready to do it, then start getting ready…
…because eventually, you’re going to have to take a step, and do it.
No one can do it for you.
You “just do it.”
You embrace the “suck factor”, and like anything ‘unpleasant’, if you stick to it for a few weeks, your body and mind adapt, and it starts to feel easy and normal.
Waking up early feels yucky at first, but after a committed month, it feels easy and normal. Hitting the gym feels like a drag at first, but after a committed month, it feels easy and normal.
And the harsh truth is…
If you can’t do something worthwhile because it feels ‘bad’ for the first month or so, you’re acting like a spoiled child who needs to have everything their way.
If that’s the case, you’ve little discipline, and you’re unlikely to get very far in life.
Sorry, that’s just how it is.
Everyone has to do some things that “feel awkward” or painful at first, until they get the hang of it. That’s why they’re a challenge.
If they felt divine right off the bat, they’d be no challenge at all.
It’s how you learned to walk and ride a bike, and it’s how you learn to climb the ranked ladder too.
No way around it.
Worried about losing your lane? There’s no point. The best players in the world lose lane too, just check any of their op.gg’s over the last year.
Worried about losing or “not deserving” your rank? Again, no point. True rank’s found only after hundreds of games, and if you do have a low rank after hundreds of games, you either… belong there, or you don’t.
If the latter, the only solution is to improve your play to such a point that you can actually carry yourself out of it.
Worried about ‘bad teammates?’ Still no point. Every League player you admire gets them and manages to rank up despite them. You can too. It just means raising your skill-level.
(You can read the section on teammates for more on this.)
The point is, similar rationales can soothe any “worry” or “anxiety” you have about the ranked ladder.
League Of Legends is a game, an activity.
And like horse-riding, cycling, or swimming, there’s no rational reason for anxiety about it.
I had the narrative for a long time that I was “better than my teammates.”
I had the narrative that I “deserved a higher rank” than I’d been given.
If I was “gold”, I’d swear I was playing better than my “gold teammates.”
And maybe my narrative was true, in a way.
I was better than them, in game after game.
But that wasn’t the whole truth.
The whole truth was this:
Yes, I was better than my teammates, but I was not better enough to carry consistently.
I wasn’t nearly as good as the streamers I looked up to, and I was making tons of “invisible mistakes.”
So like many people, my narrative was ‘true’, but also misleading.
I knew I could “pull my weight” most games, but “pulling my weight” is just another word for “being adequate” or “having a skill-level near the top-end of my current rank, but not high enough to climb.”
The truth is…
If I was good enough to be in Plat, Diamond, Master, etc., then I would be able to carry my current “Gold-ranked” games, with a positive win rate.
And since I wasn’t consistently carrying those Gold players to victory, it could only mean one thing.
I had improved a bit, but I simply hadn’t improved in skill enough to carry myself out of gold.
Sometimes you have to improve yourself in many ways to consistently carry your current rank.
Your KDA may be great every game, but at your current rank…
Kill-participation and timely rotations may be the skill you need to climb.
Or maybe you KP is great every game, but at your current rank…
Optimal vision-score may be the skill you need to climb.
Or you may need both of those, plus higher damage numbers, and more, in order to climb past your current rank.
If you can’t maintain a decent, positive win rate in your current rank…
You’re absolutely missing key skills, and you’ll find them through VoD reviews, coaching, practice, etc.
You must realize there’s a big difference between:
“Being able to perform ‘reasonably well’ in your current rank”
“Hard-carrying consistently in your current rank.”
They are very different skill levels.
And chances are you’re tilting because you’re the former. Chances are you haven’t yet improved yourself enough to become the latter.
Sure, I can play Plat games with some of my Plat friends.
Maybe I can even carry a few of them.
But that doesn’t mean I deserve to be Plat.
Deserving Plat means consistently stomping in Gold, period.
So if you don’t have the skill-level to consistently win with Gold teammates, you don’t “deserve” a higher rank.
To get that, you must commit to a healthy review process, and consciously improve your decision-making.
Ugh, I’m not a fan of this cliche, but… it exists for a reason.
You didn’t come to earth to have everything in life served up to you on a silver platter.
Least of all your desired rank in League Of Legends.
You came to apply yourself, learn from failures, and become a better version of you.
Don’t believe me?
It’s what you’ve been doing that since you were an infant.
While learning to walk, you embraced failures, until you became a version of you who mastered walking.
Same with learning to talk.
Same for reading, writing, and math.
Same for using the internet.
And even for gaming.
All the awesome things you’re capable of right now required you to learn them through harsh failures, not caring about the end result, and just doing your best to get the hang of them.
Same goes for League.
You can attain wonderful ranks, but paradoxically, only by not caring about rank, and instead focusing on being a better player, each and every game.
I’ve never found a tilted person to do this.
Imagine if I “encrypted” your rank for the next hundred games, and you couldn’t see it.
What would you do?
You’d simply play your best, aim to get better, and then…
You’d be surprised afterwards to see, your unencrypted rank shows that you’d climbed some divisions.
If you focus on enjoying your games and replay reviews, it improves your mental and makes the next game easier because you aren’t going into it with a bad attitude, expecting another loss.
So let’s address your perspective on focus and intensity during play.
League Of Legends takes the mental focus of chess combined with the emotional stability of navy-seal training.
And for the forty or so percent of games where you’re the deciding factor, it’ll often require that focus for 40+ minutes at a time, because those games are likely to be scrappy, and lengthy.
League is one of the most mentally intense games in the world.
It’s like chess, soccer, and mixed-martial arts all at once.
You need to be ‘in the zone’ when playing, and it’s vital you have the discipline to stop when you’re not in the zone.
Even Challenger players, pros with dedicated coaches, and experienced reviewers miss many things during games, because of how focused they are during the chaos of a League match.
These ‘missed things’ are only visible when the pressure is off, and you’re calmly reviewing, even for accomplished pros, which is why good review skills are so important for climbing.
It’s easy to play thousands of games on autopilot, for years, without reviewing, causing you to barely improve at all.
And being focused as much as possible means you’re likely to win the key games that will help you climb.
Here’s an excerpt from a guide on League Fundamentals by u/LedgeEndDairy that explains how playing out and winning even one or two games can help you climb:
It isn’t pretty, it isn’t flashy, it isn’t even really that noticeable. It’s winning game #17 and #55 in a 100-game stretch, instead of losing them, because your increased skill with the fundamentals was the difference between your team losing and winning (it may even be that game #55 you went 0/4/6 instead of 0/7/3 or something! You just focused on not dying as much and trying to have as much non-risk impact as you could on the map, instead of inting into the enemy over and over trying to ‘catch up’ again). A 2-game swing in 100 games is also actually a 4 game swing in LP gains (51-49 = 2 vs. 53-47 = 6).
You will literally never know that those games were won through you doing the right thing a few more times, which ultimately led to the victory. It will never really be apparent that that’s what happened.
So build your stamina and ability to play out prolonged, intense games and turn them into a win, and you’ll climb more and tilt less.
Many casual players don’t like to admit this, but pro eSports athletes all know it’s true:
Your hydration, sleep, food, stored body-tension, work / life balance, mouse & internet settings, and more can affect your focus, intensity, and rank.
Same goes for the friends you talk to about League.
If your circles have crappy, limiting beliefs about League, being around them will often infect you with the same. If your friends have toxic narratives that go against what I’ve taught here, you’re extremely likely to absorb them and increase your tilt tendencies.
Your environment matters.
And this makes a strong case for “muting everyone”, and either turning on, or turning off, music during games… depending on whichever environment helps you most.
It’s simple, but highly effective.
You commit to playing X number of games per session (usually two, three, or four.)
You make sure to play no more than that.
And you make sure to review each one, regardless of what happened during them.
This has many advantages. It…
Playing intense games is like working out, and the same way fitness requires ‘rest and recovery’ periods…
Most people can’t spam games nonstop and get proper benefits.
The same way you’d take time off from the gym after a good session, you’ll benefit from doing similar things in League.
As I said earlier, there are some ‘natural freaks’ who can do things the majority of us would suffer from…
…and those kinds of people would never be reading an article like this with any sincerity.
So if you’re here, reading this, you are not like Tyler1.
And you’re likely to hurt your results by even trying to copy his “live with the tilt” approach to League.
A mistake on the first minion wave can snowball shortly into a triple kill at the dragon.
A triple kill at Dragon can then snowball into a fed enemy smurf.
A fed enemy smurf can avalanche into a guaranteed loss.
This means League is a strange, unique game where you want to be playing the first five to ten minutes as flawlessly as you can, and it’s worth reviewing and practicing them until you truly master them.
But it also means that if an enemy gets a significant lead, they (or their team) can easily throw the game the same way through a ‘snowball-y mistake’ at Dragon, Baron, overstaying for Inhibs, etc.
The snowball-y nature of mistakes in League is why it’s essential to review your replays and find those costly mistakes, then avoid making them.
This is what makes a great player.
A great player makes far, far less costly, snowball-y mistakes.
Not only that…
A great player spots similar mistakes from the enemy when they happen, and pounces on them to secure leads and victories.
Chances are you’re doing neither of these things well enough to climb past your current rank very quickly.
Most players talk about micro, macro, champion pools, flash/ult usage, etc.
And sure, those are good League skills.
Others’ll discuss wave-management, tempo, and vision-control, as less obvious –but even more important– skills to improve at.
But rarely will you hear people discuss some of the most important, invisible skills in League.
Pings, ‘body-language’, & communication.
It may not be obvious, but these things can lead you tilt & lose, or lead you to stay calm & win.
Pings, like reviews, are a skill.
If you suck at pings, the chances of your team “working against you” are high. If you’re great at pings, the chances of your “team cooperating” is high.
Challenger players ping better than most. They know that just a few clicks to increase the probability their team cooperates is totally worth it… how about you?
Failing to ping well is a misplay, so, look for ‘ping moments’ in your reviews.
Most players don’t realize they’ve cost their team many games through poor ‘body language’ in game.
They’ll click forward towards an enemy, baiting their team into getting picked, or into bad fights.
They’ll click towards their own base, when the enemy is dead and there’s a free inhib waiting to be taken.
They’ll bait their ally to a bad fight, by attacking an enemy Leona, while the squishy Draven attacks for free… resulting in Leona escaping as they feed Draven a double kill and he runs the map.
Most people who tilt don’t review their body language in game, and so, create many more losses than necessary.
Then they blame those losses not on their poor body-language, but on their team.
Food for thought.
Just like reviewing, and pinging…
Calming emotions is a skill too.
It’s a practicable one.
And like any practicable skill, you get out of it what you put into it.
You can have god-tier, hyper-disciplined practice, where you track and measure and review every tilt-session like it matters, because it does.
Or you can have half-assed, sh*t-tier practice.
The kind where you practice once in a while, get rusty, forget all you’ve learned, and continue to tilt with zero improvement.
In my case, I have a sheet where I track “moments of tilt”, especially early when I’m still ‘sane’ and just ‘irked.’
But I also track all the way to when I hit ‘blind rage’ mode.
I track the reasoning for each emotion.
But I used to do none of these things, and so my tilt continued.
The thing is, no one can make you practice being un-tiltable… except you.
And you’ll only apply yourself to more rigorous practice when you truly make the choice to.
If you get that the tips here will help you remain calm, but you still have trouble avoiding tilt…
…your problem is likely execution.
Specifically, loss of focus or awareness of these tips during your matches.
This means you don’t have reliable, habitual awareness of these points while playing. It means you need practice in this area.
So, during champ select / loading screen, and in-game (ie: every time you base), just check in with the most helpful perspectives, understandings, wisdom, and rationales outlined here.
For example you could ask yourself:
“Is there any reason to worry about this game? All I can do is try my best to use this upcoming game as an attempt to get better, because climbing in League is a side-effect of my continually improving performance, nothing else. As well, losing this game is perfectly fine, because some games are auto-losses, and I can still learn and improve from them, which is technically a ‘win’ anyway.”
Or you could make a mental note that struggling to “get anything” out of this game is fine too, because that’s part of life. It can happen. You could acknowledge “maybe my review process isn’t perfect, or I don’t have the knowledge to know what takeaways are key, at least without a coach… so all I can do is try my best each game, improve my champ mastery, muscle-memory, macro, micro, and so on. I’ll just aim to figure out what I could be doing better.”
What would happen if you brought things like this to mind as clearly as possible pre-game?
What would happen if you did it when you recalled to base?
What happens to your anxiety and tilt?
This is something you can experiment with, investigate, and directly experience for yourself… and I highly, highly recommend you do.
Our society trains us to ignore our feelings and sensations.
It’s easy for most people to get wrapped up in your thoughts, beliefs, and narratives especially while playing League.
Even more so while ‘tilted.’
Someone who is performing well tends to be more aware of themselves and their activities. They tend to be more present, more focused.
On the other hand, players performing poorly tend to be the opposite.
It’s common for tilting players to ‘dissociate’ from their body, and become completely unaware of their breathing, muscle tension, teeth-grinding, hydration levels, and so on.
This dissociation is a huge sign that your decision-making is sub-par.
It’s a sign you’re likely to tilt, or tilt harder.
Dissociating from your body is like your personal neon warning sign to breathe deep and come back to the present moment…
Or else you’re going to end up with an undesirable result, such as a lost game, an upcoming losing streak, physical stress, emotional trauma, or worse.
How do we fix this?
Have the discipline to play X-blocks of games.
And have the discipline to put yourself in tilt-causing situations, but catch them as they’re happening.
Realize that you’re going through an emotional situation, then check in with your self.
Ask “How do I manage this? What do I want to do with this feeling?”
Consciously think it through: “I can ‘int’, I can take a breath & refocus, I can mute chat so it doesn’t spread to my teammates, etc.”
Even if it’s tricky to catch these moments, you need to start somewhere, and gradually aim to catch them sooner and sooner.
If you’re serious about it, if you track it, then with enough practice, you will.
You may need to really look into yourself, like a buddha, and understand “what is making me tilt in this moment” and “Do I have control of it? Do I have control of me? Is the best thing I can do just to ping and not tilt? Would a pro player find value in this game? Can I?”
If you still struggle with body awareness you want to try…
This is long enough so I won’t get into these things here, but if you really, truly have tried all the mindset-based solutions here and none of them worked…
…you may have trauma stored in your nervous system, that bypasses your conscious mind, and must be solved using nervous-system-based solutions.
If you’ve committedly applied the perspective shifts above, your tilt should be mostly gone.
If it’s not, I find it hard to believe you’ve actually applied the things above.
But if you’re some super rare soul who just can’t solve their tilt, you could try the following ‘coping’ option.
If you can’t stand the teammates Riot pairs you with, find your own.
In traditional sports, people wouldn’t play with ‘randoms’ very often. Instead, they’d form or join a ‘league’, or get a group of friends together for a ‘pickup’ game.
This is how fun games have “always been done”.
Just because League gives you a magic “queue” button that instantly serves you up teammates, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best way to play the game for you personally.
You may have more joy and success by following a more traditional route.
Does it mean you’ll have to experiment, explore, and find a group of people to play with that suits you? Yes, but that’s a small price to pay for a peaceful, enjoyable gaming experience for months or years to come…
…and it’s something countless people in generations before you have managed.
Duo queue sounds good in principle.
“Why not have one less variable to deal with?”
“Why not get a friend to guarantee less trolls on my team?”
Well, that’s not usually how it works out.
Duo queue helps boosters and smurfs who are already talented at the game, and already fairly tilt-proof.
But duo queue harms most players who a) need to work on their ability to carry and b) need to work on being tilt-proof.
There’s a few reasons for this:
Duo queue is great for fun, and for smurfs, but for most players it hurts the learning process.
Just like in tennis, people don’t master the sport and get good by playing doubles…
…they practice being great solo tennis players first, then eventually partner up with another strong player.
Because you’re playing right next to a teammate who may tilt you, all the above advice stands, but it’s even *more* important.
Ultimately, you just have to make do with what you’re given, and make the most optimal decisions possible, improving them as you go.
There are people who climb to Challenger on support, even with completely ‘braindead’ ADCs.
You can be one of them, but you may need to make some adaptations.
One of the best places to start is wave management.
Is your wave management good enough?
Because with great wave management, you can…
If worse comes to worst, Support is one of the ‘free-est’ roles, able to roam the map and support whichever ally they feel is the best pathway to victory.
Support is a high agency role, and heavily in charge of vision for objectives, roams, target-selection, and more.
One other thing that can help a lot in the lower ranks:
Consider playing mage supports.
There are pros and cons to doing this, but overall, you’re putting more agency into your hands.
Mages can burst people on their own, sometimes 1v2, clear side waves, even split at times.
Plus, since they’re ranged, you can also help manage the wave state, thinning it out, freezing it, or pushing it as needed.
Watch Coach Cupcake’s YouTube videos and learn vision control, support matchups and synergies, and how to comeback from behind.
As with Support, you’re playing in lane with a teammate who may tilt you, so all the above advice stands, but it’s even *more* important.
You scale with gold more than with levels, so learn to soak up epic amounts of gold without leaving your team high-and-dry in fights.
You’re a squishy target with zero room for error, so track enemy cooldowns, flash-engages ranges, and all CC threats at all times. Make this muscle memory until you can with absolute confidence know everything that can kill you has been blown, and play accordingly.
Your support may abandon you, or even feed your laner, more often than you’d like, so learn to 1v2 safely, play from behind, adjust your champ pool, and draft accordingly.
And mostly, just apply CookieLOL’s lessons as precisely and consistently as you can.
Watch Cookie’s YouTube videos to see him come back from the worst games, with the worst supports imaginable, and pay close attention to what he teaches and how he pulls off these feats. Learn to do the same.
And League is a game of many concepts.
And ’embodying’ a concept in League is much different than simply ‘knowing’ it intellectually.
And it takes a while to embody each concept, to embed it in muscle-memory.
That’s 600 games, just to learn some of League’s basics.
Imagine how many more games it’ll take for complex mega-concepts such as team-fighting, baron-dancing, and split-pushing.
So breathe, relax, and focus on one concept or learning objective for the next hundred games at least, until you’ve mastered it.
This approach will permanently make you a better player.
Then move on and do the same with the next concept, which will permanently make you an even better player.
Repeat this process until you’re good enough to hard-carry out of your rank, just like the streamers and youtubers you watch do.
How long does it take to get truly good at something? 10,000 hours or so?
How long does it take to get ‘decent’ at something? 5,000 hours perhaps?
Well, a game of League of Legends averages about 30 minutes…
So two-hundred games of League is literally only 100 hours of practice.
You can’t expect to be good at League’s concepts in a hundred hours, or two, or three.
Make peace with the fact that it takes thousands of hours, and none of those hours can be spent blaming your team, or playing on autopilot, if you want them to count.
But it makes sense.
Riot isn’t your best friend.
They’re not looking to make sure you, personally, are happy at all moments of your League career.
They’re a corporation looking to maximize player retention.
So although the matchmaking and ladder must be high-integrity, especially because all the money in the eSports scene…
…matchmaking and the ladder don’t have to be ‘fast.’
Riot does make you grind more than necessary.
But you, as a player, also make yourself grind more than necessary.
Because Riot’s algorithms need a healthy quantity of data, and they need that data to be decent quality.
So if you play only a few games (under a thousand), you rob matchmaking of the data it needs to place you properly. That’s on you.
Or if you do play enough games, but your champ pool, champ winrates, and champ performance are all over the place, you rob matchmaking of proper quality data. That’s on you too.
Riot also encourages smurfs, because ultimately it’s more money and more player retention for them.
But smurfs are like potholes in a road.
They’re there occasionally and it’s up to you to drive around them if you want to reach your desired rank.
No point complaining or tilting over them.
The same people consistently climb in both games, over and over.
How is this possible?
Because they understand the game, they know the game has occasional elements of ‘luck’ in it, but overall their skill is truly what matters, when applied across many matches.
The inventor of card-decks didn’t rig that deck against certain players, while having it help others.
Same goes for Riot’s ranked ladder.
It’s more comforting to our egos to tilt, blame teammates, blame Riot, or blame luck, but the people who climb ranks every season know that viewpoint is a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy, and it will keep you stuck.
The beauty of attitudes and beliefs is you get to choose your own, at any time.
You can believe what great players believe, or you can believe the opposite.
So, are you going to take control of your climb, take control of your emotions, take control of your tilt…
Videos that inspired some of this guide:
My favorite VoD-review apps:
Related Reddit Threads:
Tilt-proof, inspiring, & educational YouTubers:
Are you a generous person?
Do you want happier friends?
Then share the wealth!