I have alluded to this project in my 2021 year goals post but I guess it’s time to spill the beans and fill you guys in on why I suddenly have League of Legends related goals on my yearly list, what exactly it entails and how it’s been going so far.
So let’s start at the beginning…
Renewed interest in playing League of Legends
Somewhere during worlds, I think at the beginning of October or at the end of September, I stumbled across a LoL stream of a pro player that had made his debut casting as guest this year. The last time I really followed individual streamers on Twitch has been years ago but this guy had something about him that made his streams very nice to watch. I kind of got sucked into his Discord community and, because I was enjoying the content so much, I decided to sub to his channel. He was experimenting with coaching subs on his channel and after he announced not being a pro for the next split he decided to set up a program via Patreon to coach amateurs in LoL solo queue.
At first this didn’t interest me. I hadn’t played LoL seriously in over 7 years, my last ranked game being somewhere back in 2013. I didn’t know if I had the time, and energy, to commit to grinding solo queue. Being on his discord though had reignited the will to at least try. Not in last place fueled by a small Discord tournament that was held, in which I participated, and where I managed to reach the “finals” with our roughly thrown together team. So I signed up on a whim to see if he could give me some tips to get started again and then we would see what happened from there.
Sessions and struggles
So what happened next? Well I signed up for his Patreon in December and managed to get two coaching sessions in. Basically these coaching sessions entail that I play a game of LoL in ranked solo queue and he watches and comments. Afterwards we go over the VOD of the game together for more tips and tricks and additional questions that I may have. Next to that I’m free to DM him with any LoL related questions as well as having access to tier lists per role and other content on his Patreon.
We both recognize that I’m basically a beginning player again and even though I may know a lot about the game by just following the e-sports side of things for years that doesn’t mean I’m automatically good in solo queue. He coached me through my very first placement match in 7 years and then another session where I was slowly climbing out of Bronze tier in pre-season. Both games were a bit of a stomp but I got some nice pointers nonetheless. Learning to work with the map and watching what happens in teamfights. Where to place down wards. When to engage and when to back off. It was fun and he’s a very good coach.
I’ve taken what I’ve learned so far with me into solo queue and even though I’m back in Bronze after season start, I managed to climb my way up to Silver 3 in pre-season, I feel like I’m already leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at the start of December when it comes to certain in game things. However I’m also noticing that there are things I struggle with. A lot of it will probably get resolved with playing the game more and getting more practice in on various champions but there are other things that I would like to discuss with him in our next upcoming session.
Due to solo queue being solo queue there is no perfect coordination with your teammates. You do what you can in game but it’s not the same as having everyone on voice chat and arranging things that way. As such I had to make a very big mental adjustment when it comes to losing games. I would get really upset and frustrated at first but I’m at the stage where, even though I still can get frustrated, I learn to accept a loss and move on. I’m mostly struggling with expanding my champion pool, I’m only really comfortable on two champions right now, and what to do when my lane falls behind. I’m also trying to find a schedule to play since I have a fulltime job and especially during the week finding the time to play is a struggle.
So where am I heading with this?
After a lot of thinking the past few weeks I realized that I don’t want to do something like this on a whim. I have shied away from many opportunities and commitments in life because I’m afraid to fail. It has led to some of the biggest regrets about things that I unfortunately can’t change anymore. So I want to use this project to break that cycle. I want to commit fully and wholeheartedly, not just to prove to others that I can do it but to also prove to myself I can do it.
I have a notebook in which I’m writing stuff down. I’m planning to download some VODs from games to analyze. I’ve been scheduling nights/days to play LoL and just grind. I take regular breaks tough and if I lose two games in a row I shut down the client and go do something else for a couple of hours or the rest of the day so I can shake it off and start fresh again later.
I have a clear first goal I want to reach, getting to Gold Tier, and I want to expand on that further once I get there. Because I know I will get there with time and coaching help.
I also really want to keep my readers involved in this journey with me. The successes, the frustrations. I plan to use Sundays to give a League update, whether or not I had a coaching session, what rank I currently am and anything I may have been struggling with the past week. I’m excited to tackle this the coming year and I hope it will help me break out of a vicious cycle I’ve found myself in since my teenage years.
For now it’s back to the grind. I’m currently in Bronze 2 but I have my eyes set on getting back into Silver. Let’s see how that goes shall we.