Crushing Solo Queue - Minimizing Losing Streaks
In this article I will talk about bad streaks. Losing streak is when you lose lots of games in a row, it can be as few as three or it may be ten or even more. Most of the times, during this period you feel that you are extremely unlucky, you don't really know what to do or what should you change to get out from this horrible situation. It happens in Diamond too, so it's not because of being in Bronze, Silver or Gold
The Reason Why Losing Streaks Happen and Losing Streak Probabilities
To understand this section, you need basic understanding of Math, so it might be a little bit difficult to understand. Whenever you sit down to play, there is a probability that your next couple of games will be defeats. I am sure you know that. With lower win rate, you have higher chance to lose the game and more Defeats you can get in a row.
A really simple example:
Let's assume that someone has 50% win rate, then the games will be like a coin toss since it's 50-50 to get heads or tails. Go to this website where you can simulate coin tossing. Heads will be your Victories, tails will be your Defeats. Set the Flip to 100 and select your desired virtual coin type. Click on "Flip Coin(s)" and check your biggest winning and losing streaks. The results may vary but you can see that the exact same thing can happen with your games, it simply takes way more time since a game is 30-50 minutes. For me, the biggest coin streaks were 7 and 5 and I think it will be around this number for you too. As you can see it isn't because people are unlucky, it's because that's how it is for every one who can win only 50%. If your win rate is under 50%, prepare to have even more defeats and even bigger losing streaks. Please note, that this only simulates 100 games but someone who would like to climb up to high elo, has to play way more than this and with more games even bigger streaks come.
With this calculator, you can check the exact probability of your losing streaks. It's for betting but it will be perfectly fine for League of Legends too. As you can see on the picture below, there are three fields. In the first field called "Series Length" means your number of games, "Streak Length" is your defeats in a row. "Loss Probability" is the chance to lose the game. So if you have 52% win rate, then this number is 48% because you subtract your win rate from 100%. Click on the picture and check yours based on your overall win/loss or based on your main champions' stats.
My overall win ratio is around 50% at the moment. Let's calculate mine and do the same with your own numbers. First, type in your total number of games in this season. I have 212 W and 213 L, so 425 games. As you can see, with this many games 6 defeats in a row WILL happen since it's almost 97% and of course even bigger losing streaks are also possible. With 50% win rate, you can go up slowly in rankeds even with the huge losing streaks. Like a month ago I was 25 wins behind when I started focusing on learning how to win more and analyzed my match history, my win rate started to improve rapidly. With every percent of win rate improvement, your losing streak length and probability becomes less and also more often you get longer winning streaks. Lately I am winning way above 60% of my games, if I could get only around 60% in the long run, the results would be completely different. You can see the 50% win rate on the left and 60% on the right. Losing streak length and probability instantly dropped.
Minimizing Losing Streaks
When losing streaks happen, your true goal is to minimize them because it's mathematically inevitable to completely avoid it, especially in Solo Queue in the long run. The only chance would be to win every games but even pros like WildTurtle can achieve around 70-80% win rate in Solo Queue's high elo.
Some crucial mistakes that make your losing streaks even worse:
- Believing that you should constantly try out new things:
You start to panic. You will be like "These things are not working, let's try this and let's try that." You change roles, champions in nearly every game because you desperately try to find the escape from your losing streak. You play outside of your comfort zone and because of this you won't be confident in your own skills and slowly start to tilt. With these champions you most likely have way lower win rates and as you have learnt it, lower win rate is the number one cause of big losing streaks.
Solution: Get back to your comfort zone. Play your high win rate champs, the ones you know you can handle properly. Doing well in your games, making some good moves or a 1v5 Pentakill will give back your confidence.
- Giving up more games and way sooner.
What I have realized when I tried a Silver ranked few months ago is that people give up games because of trivial things even if they could win easily. Enemy team First blood, ff20. adc missed a creep, ff20. Mid didn't get a blue buff, ff20.
Solution: Keep the faith and try to focus till the end, people throw a lot. Anything can happen. To make sure that your allies don't surrender when you could carry alone, pick a duo partner and vote "No". With two "No" votes your team can't give up when you know you can carry alone. That's one of the many benefits of playing duo queue in ranked games.
- Dragging down team mates.
Sometimes as soon as the champ select starts. Thinking about "Oh they picked Darius, it's over." or "Stupid bans, ff 20" or similar negative comments. Negative mindset is contagious, with these comments you basically lead your team to defeat. They focus on YOU instead of their champion and on winning the game which will eventually crush their performance.
Solution: If you can't say anything that could help you and your team to win the game, don't say anything. Stop typing and focus on playing as well as you can. Also, you can press the mute button when you feel the urge to start chat fighting with someone.
- Playing even though you know your overall performance is way worse than usually.
Bad games happen. Nothing works, people constantly get away with low hp, your cs is extremely bad, you have zero map awereness because of something, etc.
Solution: Don't start a new game when you know you can't focus at all. For example if you have a bad day, someone made you really angry or you are sad because of something and can't really focus on anything. Also you can try "stop-loss". It's simple. If you lose three games in a row and you feel it affects you, stop playing rankeds for that day or for a couple of more if you need to.
- Feeding, trolling, leaving.
The fact that you would like to improve your skills suggests that you don't go full feggit but if... IF you do these, don't even wonder why you can't go up. There are exeptions but most of the time you guarantee a Defeat for yourself and for other 4 people anytime you troll, leave or feed.
Solution: Don't fuckin' do it! Just think about it, how absurd it is to go crazy because of a game you play to have fun. Being angry once a while when you have a bad day is okay but I have never understood those people who go completely mental and destroy other people's fun just because a little mage killed him/her twice. Toughen up! It's not the end of the world.
How to be "lucky" in League of Legends
The harsh truth is that there are only a few people who can achieve success just by being lucky. Not just in League of Legends, but in anything. If you aren't among the lucky few, you have to do something else. Be prepared, and you will be lucky. Anytime I feel that I've mastered a champion, I become more "lucky". Whenever I play a champion with 65%+ win rate, I don't see as much raging, my allies are better, the enemy teams are throwing more, have less afks in my team and more in theirs and even if bad things happen to your team, it won't really affect the outcome. I become more aware of the mistakes of my opponents and you will be too. It will feels like they are in slow mode. It can't be a coincidence because I feel this after thousands of games and I have heard the same thing form other high elo players too. On one of my accounts, my biggest main was the old Fiora. During that time the vast majority of people blamed me for picking it because players believed she is that weak. We won 4v5s after 4v5s. If you dominate them, THEY will feel that THEY are unlucky even though you have one afk. "How can my team be that bad, I can't even win an 5v4 with these noobs." If you can't beat the whole enemy team, sometimes it's enough to destroy one enemy, and their team will fall apart. Go for the fragile ones, if someone rages in all chat from the enemy team, crush that player. Do you remember? Negative mindset is contagious, you have learnt the most crucial mistakes but they haven't.
Forget being hopeless and get used to finding the reasons. Learn how to analyze your own match history, replay your games and find out your mistakes. Some League of Legends players are doomed but you can't act like those if you would like to climb the ladder. You need to be different. Not so long ago someone trolled and spammed my whole Facebook group with hateful comments about how unlucky he is and how everyone is noob. Quoting him: "I can't carry because my allies always play like shit." I suggested him to check my Fiora guide (A wild Fiora rework appeared so it isn't good anymore) and carry with her easily, the reply was that Fiora is worthless. I offered him to practice in 1v1, so we might find out what's the problem and of course I had a strong feeling that I find tons of leaks in his play, so I wanted to open his eyes. Anytime I have beaten him I tried to give hints. He replied with an excuse or somehow bashed me. After winning against him, suddenly Fiora became OP in his eyes and that was the reason why he couldn't win. So I picked another one. After a couple of quick games I offered him to say ANY champ and I will be with it. I won, he raged even more and we could do this for days, the outcome wouldn't be different. Good bye and Banhammer. He couldn't put his ego aside, so he will stay "unlucky".
On the picture below, you can see Warwick, Malphite and Volibear in a red bracket. I love to play them, they seemed to be easy and had a better win rate than 50% so they proved that I can go up with them. After realizing this, all I needed to do is picking them as often as I could! But what happens if you can't pick your role? Pick an easy champ. Don't try to do wonders with high skill cap champs if you don't even know that role and have almost 0 experience with that champion. That's what most people do, that's what I did too for a while and that's why most people fail even though they might be better than other players in that Division. For example if you don't really play Support, don't try Thresh or if you don't have any clue about jungling, avoid Lee Sin. You have to drop out the champs that you can't play and stick to those who you can. For example I have to stop playing Blitzcrank since I can't really win more than 40% of the games. I would need lots of practice with him and so much effort to improve my win rate. So, what now? I try to find a champion that seems to be easy for me. I have tried Alistar, it worked and I like to play with him. 4 wins and only 1 lose so if I must support, I pick him from now. The first big milestone is to have 2 mastered role with 2 champions for each role and 1 backup champion for each role you don't main with 50% win rate. You can read my picks below and you should make a list for your preferred champions too.
My preferred picks:
- Top: Volibear, Malphite
- Jungle: Warwick and now testing Amumu and Zac
- Adc: Miss Fortune
- Mid: Malphite (benefit of a multirole champion) and testing Annie
- Support: Dropping out Blitzcrank and picking Alistar from now
Since I mostly play with a duo partner, picking my preferred role is a lot easier. Having a solid win rate with a champion also helps you to get what you want, people start to offer you roles or even ask you to pick your main. You just need proof.