The Secret To Improving Fast At LoL

If I had to choose one piece of advice to turn an average or below average LoL player to become a platinum or diamond level player, what would it be? Maybe warding more is the answer? Maybe I could tell them that they need to just focus on one role and get really good at that? Maybe being a real ‘team player’ is the ‘secret’ to improving fast at LoL?

All these things are great, but what I have to share with you right now is even more powerful than being cooperative or warding more. This ‘secret’, as it were, could be one of the biggest determining factors between you being stuck in ‘elo hell’ or ‘league hell’ and you achieving your League of Legends goal. This piece of advice turned me from a bronze scrub in season 1 to a diamond level player in season 2.

The secret is owning your mistakes and using Immediate Reflection to improve.

Seems simple on the surface right? But yet it’s not always simple. People in general and gamers especially (LoL players especially!) don’t want to see their imperfections. They don’t want to see that they aren’t the perfect League of Legends player. It’s everyone else’s fault, not mine. I am the best.

introspection

Introspection reflection inspection

Do you think pro players got to where they are now by thinking they are the best? No. They got there by constantly critiquing their own play and using their mistakes to improve.

Bad LoL players are blind to their own mistakes, good players know they made a mistake but they focus more on others mistakes while great LoL players reflect on every play and see what they did well and what they could have done better.

This skill is called Immediate Reflection, Summoner School students would be familiar with this already. I would estimate about 80% of LoL players are in the ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ (see picture below and right) phase of this skill – they are just oblivious to their own mistakes.

fourstagesofcompetence

Noel Burch’s ‘Four Stages of Skill Competence’

Let’s take a look at your average LoL game with a specific (but all too common) scenario. Mid just roamed bot and got a double kill on an overextended bot lane. Immediately the ADC starts cussing his support for not warding the river and his mid lane for not calling MIA. Now, it’s quite possible that both the support and mid misplayed in their own right, but this ADC (who is actually fairly skilled at the game) fails to see his own mistake in poor map awareness. This ADC just missed a good opportunity to improve his game.

Now let’s take a look at the same scenario, but with an ADC who makes use of Immediate Reflection;

Mid just roamed bot and double-killed an overextended bot lane. The ADC thinks to himself, “Oh wow, our river ward just ran out and I didn’t notice. I was too zoned in on my own lane that I didn’t notice this, and that their mid laner went MIA too… I will have to keep a closer eye on the minimap and how long those wards have left.”

The ADC in the first scenario could not see past the mistakes of his teammates and so did not learn anything. The difference in the second scenario is that this ADC looked first to his own play to see what he did wrong and accepted his own mistake, then reflected on what we he could have done/should do next time.

But it gets better. The real beauty of Immediate Reflection is that you can use it all the time. In other words, even though League of Legends is a team game, you can always look at what you yourself did right/wrong in each scenario and what you could do better next time.

Although Saintvicous had had a few drinks, he made a good point about admitting your own mistakes. The video that I linked there also serves as an interesting case study for blame, although it goes on and on a bit. Take it with a grain of salt!

The part that I had difficulty with in season 1 (and even into season 2) was owning my mistakes. I sort of knew when I had made a mistake but I was always too consumed with other player’s mistakes to realise that I needed to admit that I could improve – it was always someone else’s fault more than my own. Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released. By the end of season 2 I had reached 2300 elo.

Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released.

The funny thing about Immediate Reflection is that you use it all the time in real life without realising it, everyone does. But why is it that when it comes to League of Legends, everyone is just so bad at it? Why is everyone so reluctant to look at their own mistakes before dishing out the blame to others?

I believe it’s to do with what I said earlier in that most LoL players would rather look at how ‘bad’ the players around them are than focus on their own play and use Immediate Reflection to get better.If you really are better than the players that you are matched with then you will ryze through the leagues eventually. Stop using other player’s mistakes as an excuse and learn to own up to your mistakes.

So how do you own your mistakes and how do you effectively use Immediate Reflection? It’s really not that hard. Like most skills, it just takes practice.

When something bad happens in your game, focus on the role that you had in it and what you did wrong. Don’t do what the majority of LoL players would do and blame others – this gets you nowhere. From here, admit that it was you that made the mistake, not anyone else. Ownership is important because it shows yourself that you have control over what happened. Once you admit it, you can think about what you could have done better or what you can do better for next time.

So now you know how to own up to your mistakes and use Immediate Reflection to improve, start using it! This skill is invaluable for your LoL goal, and I guarantee you that if you focus on improving this skill, you will improve fast at LoL. For more skills like this one, check out the ultimate League of Legends guide where you can find all the skills and tips you need to carry yourself out of ‘League hell’.

Thank you for reading, follow me on twitter @UberGiantsBro and all the best in solo queue!

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