The countdown now begins as Riot have release patch 8.1 which has set out the start of season 8 will be on January 16. At the end of preseason comes the scariest moment for most ranked players, placements… That point in time where seasoned veterans return to the rift looking towards great new heights, new level 30’s join the chaos looking to prove there merit, and the trolls are out in storm aiming to crush dreams.
As Riot have explained in their patch notes (I may do patch breakdowns in the coming future if these are something people want to see) the season reset will begin on January 16 and with it patch 8.1 hit. Patch 8.1 was quite a small patch mainly around neatening the game up ready for season 8. There were a considerable amount of bugfixes for Syndra, they added slightly more counterplay to Zoe in regards to being able to see her and her abilities clearer, along with a few small buffs and nerfs to Brand, Eve, Graves, Heimerdinger, Kayle and Skarner. This is not surprising however, as Riot tend to value the start of the season as highly as they do the world championships, e.g. they wont bring out too big of a patch unless absolutely necessary as they don’t like to disrupt the feel of the game ahead of the big day.
Now that we have our patch and our start date the real excitement begins as placements come around. Will you get the start you want, 10/0 W/L placements and get in Gold straight away, or will the trolls get hold and drag you down to a lovely 1/9 W/L placements and you’re back to climbing out of bronze? It’s always an anxious time as we all want a good start but not everyone can get it. And what about all the smurfs out just level up another account. Let’s address this one at a time.
These are and always will be a part of LoL due to it being a team game. Whenever there is a team required there will always be that one person that will be trying to drag the team down for whatever reason. The key here is the glorious mute button and your mindset. As much as we all wish we had a BAN stick we don’t (sadly) and as such there isn’t a lot we can do about them. Your best bet is the moment they start raging and trolling, hit the mute button so you can’t see them disturbing chat. Then you need to think about yourself and what you want to achieve and remember it is just a single game. Many people will play hundreds if not thousands of ranked games in a season and 1 out of the first 10 doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
Think about where you want to be (Plat? Diamond?or even just escaping Bronze for some people), you can’t hope to get there if you are busy worrying about trolls in games. I know it’s hard to ignore them it really is (I actually sent Riot a support ticket asking for my chat to be removed once so I didn’t have to deal with them, they refused), but you need to focus on your game and how you play. If they get to you have a break, go wash your face, have a nice cold drink and come back in 10 minutes. This way if the trolls are still around it’s likely they have already been placed in a game and you will be with a different round of players that have freshly come out of a game. Think of them like your 2 year old nephew that keeps kicking your shin. Each time you react and get angry he laughs and enjoys your reaction, but if he does it and you don’t react to him he will very quickly get bored and move on.
The Good Start:
This is perfect, you escaped the trolls and got off to a blinder (apologies for my Aussie slang sometimes I can’t help it) now it’s about stabilising and riding the wave. Emotions will be high you think this is it I’ll hit my goal by tomorrow. Back down to reality there buddy, the way the system works is it will be almost impossible for you to be placed exactly where you were come the end of season 7 (challengers get placed in plat traditionally, plat to gold, gold to silver, silver to silver or bronze). So in reality the higher you want to achieve the longer it is more likely to take to get there. Be happy you got the start you wanted, but also be realistic. Remember there are at least another 100,000 players queuing up right now with you, that most likely haven’t finished there placements and could be far worse or far better than you, it’s all a part of the system.
The Bad Start:
This is where some people will simply throw int he towel and give up ranked all together. This is also where I’m gonna sound a little harsh, but you need to suck it up and accept it then keep your eye on the prize. I understand you have been given the hit hard and got trolls in 8/10 games and the last 2 games you just got outclassed. You need to accept what you got and keep moving forward though. The best thing you can do right now if you are in a bad mindset is to walk away for a bit and take a break. Go for a run, have a drink, go hit some golf balls (if you have the facilities near you to be able to), or even go play a different game, you need to do something to let out your frustrations because playing more games won’t do it.
One of my mates proved this to me a long time ago, we were having an overnighter, and at about 10PM we hit a streak of losses and I was getting incredibly irritated to say the least, yet he was fine. I couldn’t shake it but he told me to go have a break and I refused and said we will keep going, so he challenged me to a 1v1 and if he won I took half an hour to chill then come back and if I won we kept playing (at the time I was far better than him mechanically and game knowledge wise so I thought I had it in the bag). Little did I know he was well aware I was tilted and had the game int he bag.
We played and I gave it my all because I knew I was better and thought I could do it, but he wiped the floor with me. It took him all of 6 minutes to farm up enough gold to get a quick base in, come back and all in me then it was over. He told me after “Your head wasn’t in the right space to win that. You were to concerned about what had happened and weren’t thinking straight I just had to load in and the game was basically over”.
For placements this is the single most important thing to your climb. If your mindset isn’t right when you are about to enter lobby then you aren’t going to be performing at your best. League of Legends requires an immense amount of concentration at the best of times, so just imagine how much it needs at it’s worst when you are fighting not only trolls and smurfs but also yourself. If you play a game where you are tilted and the remainder of your team are fine, it may as well be saying you are going to play for the other team. You won’t be thinking straight, you won’t be making smart calls and your mechanics are likely to be sloppy. I know it sounds harsh but it’s true. The best thing you can do is to take a step back, take some time to get your head straight then return to the rift. Your duo friend would much rather you relax and take 10 minutes to chill than to queue back up and have to carry you through a third game because you aren’t thinking clearly.
My best advice I can give anyone for placements is to remember they are simply 10 games out of the hundreds or even thousands you will play this season. It’s okay if you lose some or all of them, it’s not the end of the world and you can recover. I’ve experienced them all in my time playing the game, the good, the bad and everywhere in between, and you can always recover and achieve your goal if you remain focused. Take some time to yourself get your mindset in a better shape and then take on the rift. At the end of the day this is a game and we play games because we enjoy them. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, then you need to readdress the situation.
Lastly as the picture says “Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day” and your final season rank won’t be built in placements. It’s going to take time and a lot of determination, so get ready, put your big boy pants on, get a nice glass of water or cup of tea and hold on, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.