Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not;
nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

How exactly can the concept of persistence be applied to League of Legends? Apart from the obvious “never give up” attitude, persistence must be applied towards a specific goal and seen with a perspective that motivates us rather than dishearten.

After playing for Australia’s top team for two and a half years and after undertaking a management role for the last six months I have seen countless people in bronze division add me. The routine is the same every time “I’m a top player, give me a chance in your team if I don’t do well I’m a fast learner”. I reply with the same thing every time, “if you truly are a good player and a fast learner your LoL profile will be a reflection of this”. Sadly, I have never seen the same player approach me again with a diamond profile. Which I believe is due to one thing, persistence.

Let me give you an analogy:

Elo mountain

Your goal is to hike up a mountain that you’ve never climbed before. This mountain can be compared to solo queue or whatever goal you set yourself. Before you start, do you compare yourself to those already on the trail? Of course not! This challenge is about you and you alone. The only true measure of your progress is to compare yourself to yourself before you started the journey. This is difficult in a game such as League of Legends because you are constantly matched up against players and there is a constant comparison between you and another player. This leads to the adoption of vices such as pride, greed and anger. All of which stunts the growth of a player and is another topic entirely.

At a certain point in hiking this mountain you will come to a sheer rock face. You have to learn a new skill if you want to proceed — climbing.

In general there are three distinct routes one can take:

  1. A majority of people would give up. Their attitude would be “learning a new skill takes too long and too much time”. This is where the first notion of persistence comes into play. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. How much time you decide to dedicate to learning a new skill is one factor that will determine your rate of progression. But even one hour a day, one day a week will triumph over someone who has given up.
  2. Sadly, a lot of people ignore the rock face and choose to believe that hiking up and down the path that got them to the rock face is the mountain. This creates the delusion that they’re great at hiking because they’ve never even exposed themselves to the prospect of climbing. A more in-depth explanation of this can be found in UberGiantBro’s 5 reasons why you’re stuck in silver league.
  3. Overcoming the path ahead of you. Unless you are re-inventing the wheel, chances are that the correct techniques and ultimately the most efficient way to obtaining your goal is already known. This is why schooling, coaching, instructors, tutoring and guides all exist. Imagine trying to learn how to rock-climb with four other people who have no knowledge of how to climb themselves. This is exactly what unranked/bronze tier is like. Would you rather spend an eternity trying to discover the correct grip techniques, the most efficient use of your muscles and the easiest route to the top? Or would you like one of the worlds top climbers to guide you with his understanding of climbing? This is exactly the reason Summoner School has been created and why it is so important for the growth of each individual League of Legends player.

So if you decided to persist and choose option 3, the immediate factor that contributes to your rate of progression are your past skills and experiences. If you have three years climbing experience there is no doubt you will shoot up this rock face no worries.

This is why DotA players have so much success in League of Legends. Originally, when beta came out, DotA players dominated the front page of the rankings. They weren’t anywhere near as good as the front page players today but they possessed the necessary skills from previous experiences to get to the top. Now, LoL has been out for long enough for players that do not have a MOBA background to be top players.

Similarly, but a less obvious factor, is your rate of learning. Believe it or not, learning is a skill. Someone who is practiced in learning different skills or learns on a daily basis will memorise content and pick things up more quickly. Regardless of your rate of learning, those who have a teacher will always progress faster than those without.

Persistence is the only virtue you need to succeed in League of Legends. In order to persist you must acknowledge there is a rock face ahead of you. Three factors will influence your rate of progression: Time allocation, past experience, and your rate of learning.

From this it is clear, there is no guarantee that you will ever be the top player. If someone has started on the path before you and progresses at the same or faster rate the only chance of you achieving #1 is for them to give up or stagnate. But if you only compare yourself to yourself before you started then this won’t stop you.

Good luck,

Daniel “Kingpin” King

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