10 Tips to Help You Get Out of LOL Bronze Tier
League of Legends Rank Distribution (2013)
As of this very moment, just over 30% of North American League of Legends players are ranked in Bronze. This figure goes up to somewhere between 60% and 70% when accounting for all the inactive players out there. These stats vary a bit, but the basic picture is the same: the Bronze community is huge!
Unfortunately, there isn’t a “magic solution” to getting out of Bronze. Because Bronze is the lowest tier, there will inevitably be great discrepancies between the skill levels of Bronze players. At this level of play, communication and teamwork skills are usually…lacking…at best.
Thankfully, there are a number of simple things you can do to drastically increase your odds of winning.
1. Don't Make Excuses
People will screw up. They just will. But we’re no exception to this rule. Instead of blaming our deaths, losing lane, lost minion farm, and every other bad thing on “noob teammates," take some ownership and focus on what you could be doing better. Don't harass teammates because of their mistakes...or yours.
If you screw up, own it. Blaming others won’t help them or you. We’re all bound to mess something up at some point or another. But if you’re not learning from your mistakes, you’re doing something seriously wrong.
Do you know how I learned to anticipate enemy ganks? Or know when my team was being baited? I got ganked and I got baited. Instead of blaming the enemy team or my team, I owned up to the fact that I was the one who foolishly walked into the bush where four of them were waiting to kill me.
It may hurt your pride, but this is one of the best ways to improve. If you want to get better at this game, ego is a no-go.
2. Don’t Pick Fights With Your Teammates
This is just common sense. If you expect your team to have your back, don’t be a jerk! I can’t tell you how many games I’ve seen disintegrate because a team was more interested in fighting itself than the enemies.
If one of your teammates makes a mistake, don’t be rude. Be supportive. Instead of tearing him down, try to build him up with constructive criticism and encouragement. You won’t believe the comebacks that friendly words can cause.
For example, I once played a game as Kayle in mid-lane. After about 20 minutes, we were behind. I was 0/2/0 and only had a mediocre farm to show for my time. My team wasn’t exactly pleased, but one teammate was very encouraging. And you know what? I didn’t get a bunch of kills, but I was able to get lots of assists and help my team make a comeback. I finished the game 0/2/11, having given several kills to our ADC and top lane.
Keep your raging under control. And by that, I mean "Don't rage". Period.
Pick your words carefully. If you can’t be helpful, give a compliment or two, say something encouraging, or offer kind criticism, then stay the heck off the in-game chat. Now, sometimes a fight will break out and you can’t control it. In that case, mute quarrelsome teammates. Don’t even listen to their bickering; it’s not worth you losing your focus.
Being friendly and respectful...
Helps your teammates relax
Helps everyone to play better
Makes YOU relax
Increases your team's chances of victory
3. Don’t Try to Be Pro
One of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of Bronze players make is trying to imitate professional players' builds, play-styles, and team comps in the mistaken belief that doing so will bring them success.
Lots of these quirky pro-builds and such only seem so amazing because they’re being played by professionals. Keep in mind that many of these people are paid to play this game and know each of their champions inside and out. Because a pro appears to be wildly successful with some wonky new build or team comp does not mean that it is “OP”, meta-friendly, or even viable.
Ranked games are not the place to be trying out these weird new builds just because you heard somewhere that they’re OP. It’s also not the place to be playing unfamiliar champions just because someone online says they’re a hard counter to whomever your lane opponent is playing.
Play people you’re familiar with; play with builds you’re familiar with. Do what you can to play to your strengths.
4. Ward. Always Ward.
Sometimes, the only reason an enemy gank or team fight is successful is because you didn’t see it coming. A lot of players neglect to ward or to ward effectively. Prioritize your areas of vulnerability. Passthejelly wrote an exellent guide on warding that I'd recommend reading.
Don’t go chasing into a river blind or try to take an objective when the entire enemy team’s missing. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good your enemy is; if you are the one charging in blind, you are the one at a disadvantage. Don’t give your opponents an edge over you by something as silly as not setting up wards.
Another great warding guide:
This video was made in League Season 3. when many players made warding out to be "the support's job." Keep in mind that in Season 4, everyone should be warding--not just supports. Because warding trinkets is free, nobody has an excuse not to do so!
5. Farm, Farm, and Farm.
Even more important than getting in good trades with your opponent is farming. If you let your enemy get way ahead of you in farms, it won’t matter if you get a couple of extra hits in. He’ll just go back to base, cash in all the dough he’s rolling in, and return better built than you are.
Remember, killing 10-15 minions (depending on the type) is the gold equivalent of getting a kill. Risking it all to kill an enemy isn’t worth it if it means that he gets ahead of you by 20 minions. Make sure that harassing the enemy never stops you from farming. Ever.
Even when team fights start breaking out, and everyone is roaming. Don’t stop farming when there are nearby minions. Why pass up free gold?
6. Use Proper Lane Positioning
Unless you’re going to dive your lane opponent or make a rush on their tower, you should never be pushing the minions further than the midway point between the two teams’ outermost turrets. If you push the lane too hard, you’re just setting yourself up to be ganked by the enemy jungler.
It’s also much harder to farm when the lane is pushed toward the enemy side. Getting closer to farm means risking enemy harassment and turret agro. If anything, let your enemy do the pushing while you focus on last-hitting. Then he’ll be at a disadvantage while you’ll be comfortably farming just ahead of your turret.
Also, be aware of where you’re standing in relation to your minions. If the enemy has ranged attacks that can’t penetrate minion lines (Nidalee’s spears, Blitzcrank’s grab, etc.) then make sure you always have minions cover. Don’t stand in places that make you vulnerable. If you think an enemy is in a bush or planning to land an attack, avoid it.
7. Don't Take "Free" Damage
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you were walking your dog one day and some stranger came up and started punching you in the face, would you just sit there and take it? Heck, no! It’s the same sort of thing in lane. If the enemy is poking you, trying to zone you, or punishing you for farming, are you going to just stand there?
Either stay a safe distance away or try to make a favorable trade. Don’t just let enemies get free hits on you. If you let your enemy harass you without consequence, it’ll be that much easier for him to get you out of lane and get ahead of you in farm.
At the same time, don't let enemy harassment stop you from farming. Instead, try to punish the enemy when he moves in to kill a minion. Do what you can to deny him. This will make him more reluctant to just waltz up and take a farm. He’ll also think twice about trying to make a trade.
8. Pick Your Battles
Don’t engage in fights you know you can’t win; it’ll just get you killed and put your teammates at risk. Engage wisely in evenly-matched fights.
Pay attention during team fights. If you notice that your team is losing, back out. Don’t stick around to save what can’t be saved. It’s better to let two of you teammates die if it means that the other three of you get away. Don’t risk your own life trying to save people who got caught out or are going to die anyway. Odds are you’ll just give the enemy team an extra kill.
Especially late in the game, your team can’t afford to get caught in losing fights. One botched team fight can turn the tables and lose you the game.
9. Seize Opportunity When It Knocks
Okay, this sounds a bit silly, but it’s totally true. If you just wrecked the enemy team in the last team fight, do something useful with your lead. Push over a tower, go for an inhibitor, or push out the lanes.
Too often a team will gain a huge advantage and then totally squander it. Don’t use precious time like this to go roam the jungle or farm somewhere off by yourself. Stalling just gives the enemy team another chance to stage a comeback. When you have the opportunity, go for the win.
10. Baron Nashor Is Not a Cure-All
The buff that Baron Nashor can give a team is amazing, but it’s hardly worth throwing the entire game for. If you get your butts thumped by the enemy team, don’t risk getting thumped further just to keep them from Baron. Your odds are so much better if you just play defensively, guard your base, and wait out the buff.
Baron can be just as deadly to the team in the lead. Many teams go for Baron when they should be rushing the enemy Nexus and winning the game. Instead of going for the nearly guaranteed win, they stall and risk the enemy team respawning, making a comeback, or pushing their turrets.
If your whole team is going for Baron, wait until at least two of their team members are dead. It would be really hard for them to keep you off Baron in a 3-vs-5 fight. But personally, I would also make sure the enemy has an inhibitor down before taking Baron. This will force the enemy team to be on the defensive should they all spawn in before you kill Baron.
At any rate, the Baron isn’t necessary to win the game. If you can win without it, win without it.
Perseverance pays off!
After a whole summer without League, I decayed pretty far into Bronze. I struggled for a while, but when I started applying these strategies, I shot up through two divisions and jumped right up to my placements into Silver.
But remember, these strategies aren’t magic; they won’t guarantee a win. But, if you apply them consistently and play smart, you will advance.
Do you have an escape-from-Bronze success story? Feel free to share—I’d love to hear!
Best of luck on the Fields of Justice!