Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Hearthstone Key Give Away!

A friend of mine gave me a Hearthstone Beta key and I finally received one through another round of key releases. I thought I would just share this one with my readers! Happy Holidays and thank you for supporting my blog! First come first serve :)  

Key: 8912255150847385312959563

By the way, if you take the key please do everyone else a favour and comment that it has been taken. Cheers. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

League of Legends Season 4 Jungle Preview

Finals are over. Season 4 patch has been released. Yasuo is now on summoners rift. And I am now back from my ridiculously long hiatus with promised content. I'm sure a lot of you, maybe like two people, are interested in what I feel about the new jungle and game changes in general. In this article, I will go over the general theoretical changes that can be applied to most games due to the new patch.  

Check it out after the jump!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The One Year Solemn Update

Wow. I can't believe it's been a year. If you're reading this, I can't describe how much it means to me that someone actually reads this. Thank you.

There has been many positives of this blog for me. Especially the day when I got ~30k views on a single article thanks to Reddit traffic, the AMA I did back in September where I got a lot of good questions, and hitting platinum (not diamond) while playing against Destiny. It's been a very encouraging year for me, especially given the state of things a year ago for me. I still have a lot of things I want to write about, lots of articles I started and haven't finished, and a web series I would really like to find time for in Season 4. 


I'm not going to try to hide it, i've been really slowing down my posts for the past month. I didn't write anything for the month of October and I didn't write anything for Season 3 Finals. What a shame. However, nothing is without good reason. Unfortunately, like many people who find their hobbies aligned with eSports I have been dragged back into the real world.  School, work, social life has really taken its toll on me. Furthermore, the disbanding of my team has removed a lot of my competitive drive that pushed me to write for this blog. Unfortunately, again, I don't have the time to work with another team.    

This doesn't mean i'm going to stop blogging. Unfortunately, the prevalence of my posts are going to be seriously hindered (I doubt anyone is even going to care). Which might mean my popularity is going to go to other bloggers like, oh god forbid, stonewall the rambling, concept-less machine. However, I hope to continue three things in particular: Understanding series, State of the Jungle series, and, begin, my web-series. Of course, this is actually a daunting task for someone who aims to maintain Diamond division, finish his last year of university, works part time, and wants to retain a social life.    

I wish everyone the best of luck in securing their Season 3 rewards. Hopefully I will meet a reader of mine in Solo Queue one day. I think I can successfully say that I have been a "real terror" this season. 

League of Legends Season 4: Hopes & Suggestions

Magma Chamber? A dream or possibility in Season 4?
With Season 3 coming to a close in the near future, I reflect on the season of the past. I can't believe it's been a whole season since I have started this blog. I have definitely achieved my goals, which is actually nothing I would argue this article, this season and am looking forward to playing and writing about League of Legends in the future. However, with Season 4 not quite here I thought I would write an article about my hopes for Season 4 in regards to this game, personally and technically.

See my hopes for Season 4 after the jump!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Solo Queue Smurfing & Reddit AMA

With the end of season 3 coming to a close, there are many individuals out there who are trying to make it past the Gold V border to get the victorious Elise skin. As I have already secured my Diamond rewards, I have been, errr.... (awkward, riot pls), smurfing to get gold rewards. I have always been very adamant about denying ELO hell, as with many popular bloggers, however, I think it's safe to say that in the short-term there are just some games that are absolutely un-winnable. This is especially relevant when players get to the DivisionX 1 -> DivisionY 5 border where many of the DivisionY 5 players don't really care about solo queue anymore. In addition, currently there is an influx of DivisionX 1 players who really don't belong in DivisionY 5 but still play a ton to get it; also, an influx of smurfs in this border. Regardless, I still hold to the fact that players who deserve to rise will eventually rise.

LolKing Statistics of my Bronze I to Gold V climb
As a player who struggled his way up from Bronze (1100 ELO) to Diamond V, I thought it would be a little more difficult than it actually was to bring accounts from Bronze / Silver to Gold V. Instead, I find it very easily climbing the ladder, even skipping divisions in between because my MMR was so high. Ironically, when I was playing solo queue I did not play jungle, my best role. Instead, I found it incredibly easy to carry from mid lane. Games would usually be over at the twenty to thirty minute marks when I would be incredibly fed and all the other lanes would be snowballed to all hell. Generally, I played Kayle because I found that her kit lets you presure lanes, clear waves, do consistent DPS, roam swiftly, and help your teammates who get caught out of position. I found it a little more difficult to carry from the jungle because players don't really know how to accommodate ganks and you don't necessarily get the same amount of farm as a mid laner. I remember one game specifically where I was laning as Kayle against an enemy Veigar. I was able to secure first blood within thirty seconds of laning just because of the raw mechanical skill disparity between the laners, then able to turn two versus one jungle ganks into one for nothing trades multiple times. At the end of the game, I feel like I violated the Veigar's confidence as a player (the Canadian me says sorry). Unfortunately, that is the true skill disparity between a diamond player and a silver player regardless of me being an absolute terrible laner. Albeit, even with the skill disparity in many games I did manage to lose 3 games on a specific climb from Bronze I to Gold V. Furthermore, I did not have a veil of invulnerability that I might be giving off as I did manage to lose lane or die to ganks several times; however, my superior mechanics, decision-making, and game flow knowledge managed to turn a losing game around frequently.

A closer look at the lolking graph shows my progress of two days in solo queue
Anyways, those are just my adventures and general thoughts on solo queue for silver players. Seriously, a good player would never be stuck in low ELO for long. It's only for those who are only a little better than their current division that would be stuck for a bit longer than usual. With that said, I managed to get approved for an AMA on r/summonerschool. I will be answering questions on jungling, arranged 5s, and solo queue which will be posted on Thursday, Friday, or the weekend. I will provide the link when available.  

Also, here is a shameless plug to my friend's stream. He is a Diamond 1 support main who constantly appears on popular streams. I also played 5s with him from back when we were bronzers to when we became diamonds. He is a great guy and teaches proper supporting  (not the solo queue shit) and has a great attitude. Check him out here.

Reddit AMA: Click here 

Update: I had a great time answering a lot of the questions on my AMA! A lot of players were very responsive with my answers and took the time to really try to get to the core of their issues instead of focusing on circumstantial issues. I actually had a lot of people encourage me to keep doing things like this. Most surprisingly, some people offered to donate to me and ask me for lessons. I do not take donations, nor do I charge for my advice. My only hope at the moment is that I am able to help others with their jungle journey!  Check out some of the cool responses I got from some friendly people, below!

Sorry! I'm here to help you not take your money; knowledge should be free
Glad to hear from the same person that my advice actually helped!

Nope. Not going to take your money. I'd be glad to help when I have time though!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Season 3 World Championship Thoughts - Fall of the Olympians, Birth of the Titans

This article is going to quickly highlight my thoughts on the 2013 Season 3 World Championship Tournament where there has never been so many new teams playing and old teams disappearing. While I am aware at the time of this post there has already been two days of play, I feel like it is irrelevant to my post as I will be, most importantly, going over the reasons for my thoughts and not just calling it as it is. With that said, click the jump to see what I think of the S3 LoL WCs.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Site Over-haul & Update

One of the best League of Legends videos I have ever seen

This is yet another small update post as I finally get settled and decided on what I want to do with this blog in the future. If you have visited my blog before you will recognize that it has been changed, hopefully, to something more visually pleasing. I finally got rid of the disgusting title at the top of the blog after a couple hours of working on the banner, and the HTML. I hope my readers find my blog more pleasing to look at now.

There are three main things I want to clarify here:  

1. I will be continuing with my 'understanding series' which will now all be clumped together as jungle guides along with champion guides. I will, hopefully, release my ganking guides that I had incompleted for several weeks now in the near future.

2. I will be continuing my State of the Jungle series with the latest one covering the current competitive state of the jungle as we enter Season 3 Worlds.

3. I will be working on two new series. First, a jungle tier list which, for some odd reason, many viewers find to be fascinating. Second, a new video series named 'Mind of a Jungler' which follows different game modes of Summoner's Rift from Solo Queue, to Duo Queue, to Arranged 5s where I explain my mindset and thought-process of a jungle game.   

With that said, I hope anyone who sees my blog will be happy to know that I will be getting back into the groove of things starting next week! Until next time, summoners!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome to the Diamond Club!

Obsession is nothing but a precursor to success. Those who succeed, brilliant; those who fail, insane. 
Welcome to the Diamond club, North America's best. Home to those insane enough to play solo queue till they hate themselves and home to those who skilled to win enough games to be the top 1% of League of Legends. Where players have beat through the likes of ELO hell and risen to the glory of ELO heaven. You may be reading this post and think that I have had an easy path to diamond, let me assure you that I have had a very rocky path. While I can't speak for every diamond player out there, for me it has been a very long road. When many people see those who are "at the top" they simply see the result but not effort and sacrifice they put in. If you've seen my very first post you'll know that I have not always had such success in solo queue.

Yep. 8,800 hours is 366 days. I was kind of obsessed. 
I am willing to admit something very personal that even many of my close, personal friends are not aware of. I have a very serious history of obsession. I immerse myself obsessively in games almost religiously to a point where it takes priority over everything else in my life. To put it into context I have over a year's worth of game time on Guild Wars, one whole year of game time over 3 years. I have been like this for a very long time such that even on my 21st birthday I thought of nothing but solo queuing to diamond. I think it boils down to the feeling of control games give me that other activities don't. Regardless, my obsession obviously transferred over to League of Legends where it consumed my everyday life. I did not casually play League of Legends to get to diamond, I casually went through life to live League of Legends. Even when I wasn't playing, I was looking at guides, watching streams, watching pro games, analysing games, reading r/leagueoflegends, theory-crafting, etc. I guess the point of this confession is that I want people to know that just because you may have the ability to play in a higher tier, it's something that is earned not given; especially to those who are not gifted at this game. 

I feel like this post wouldn't be complete without my story the past two to three years in League of Legends. I began at the bottom; upon hitting level 30 I went into ranked and started at 1100 ELO. I'm not going to lie and say I have always had the attitude I have today, when I was at 1100 ELO I blamed trolls, bad players, afks, the whole nine yards. My friends can surely attest to my 'solo queue mentality' of the past (sorry, David). Eventually, I became better at the game and made my way through to silver. I think it was that moment where I realized I had the potential to become decent at this game. Upon watching streams of professional players, I realized that I could do very similar things to them and they were not some out-of-reach play style. As such, I slowly progressed my way to gold. When I reached gold, I hit a huge mentality spike. I was suddenly, as labelled by the community, not absolutely terrible at the game. I grew an incredibly large ego at the game and became a serious rager. I still don't understand how I haven't been banned to this date. I would purposely throw games when anyone on the team made a mistake and tell them they didn't deserve to gain any ELO whatsoever. In my mind, I was the greatest and I could win back ELO at any moment. It was at that moment when I had a serious sense of frustration when I failed to hit platinum because of my rage. For a huge period of time, I stopped playing solo queue entirely and focused on playing arranged 5s. My teammate, who is probably one of the nicest guys ever, managed to hit platinum before me. At the end of Season 2, I was the worst kind of rager in solo queue; I was the kind of guy everyone dreads to have on their team. Albeit I raged, I still believed, and believe to this day, I was good and deserved to rise at that time. Finally as Season 3 started, I duo queued with a friends who inevitably carried me to platinum by telling me to plainly "shut the fuck up."However, being obsessed as I was, platinum was not enough. I wanted to join the famous Diamond club and play with my jungle idol since bronze, TheOddOne. As such, I obsessively played solo queue again. It was around my climb to Plat II when I played around 30 games in that division before finally dropping back to Plat III. I couldn't sleep at night because I had reoccurring nightmares of failing to achieve Diamond like I failed to achieve Platinum last season. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate at anything outside of League of Legends, I didn't eat properly, and I hand constant pains in my hand from playing more hours in a day than i'm willing to admit. In hindsight, I think it's safe to say I lost many of those games because of my poor attitude over anything. That was when I looked at my friend who was now in Diamond 1 and thought to myself, why am I not there. What does he do that I don't. I as mechanically strong and strategically stronger player than him. It was also around this time where I got my chat limited for 5 games because of my verbal abuse. Finally, I decided that I would try to be an overly nice person in solo queue even though I firmly believed that it doesn't help solo queue. I would NOT type anything when I see mistakes and I would only type positive comments. I basically became a cheerleader for the team. To my surprise, it worked. I previously believed that no matter what you typed it would not effect the game because the outcome was decided by play. However, you can't deny results and 15 game win streaks to get me to plat I and 10 game win streaks to get me to my Diamond series are results. To be honest, a lot of people told me I have had an attitude problem but I didn't believe it. Rationality has a funny way of losing to anger; passion has a funny way of trumping logic. If anyone I have ever played with were subject to my rage, I am truly sorry and I apologize. 

I ride motorcycles and, while this may be unrelated to League, this really helped pump me up and motivate me when I was doing my series. Just thought i'd share an amazing video!

So, that's my story. From Bronze to Diamond: a rager's story. To be honest, I have played with many diamonds during my Plat 1 Streak (many times pure diamond games) and I honestly don't see a difference in play. I can only say that Diamonds are just more consistent, level headed Platinum players. I hope anyone who sees this post and is trying to ladder takes away two things. One, believe in yourself. You are the only one who is going to help you win. You are the one consistent factor in every game you play. If you don't do well every game, chances are you are the reason why you are stuck in your league. Sure there are odd games here or there, but in the long run (i've played almost 600 games of solo queue) it's just you versus the world, you versus probability, you versus no, you versus can't, you versus afkers, you versus ragers, you versus them. Two, have a positive attitude. Seriously, a positive attitude goes a long way in terms of both in game moral and learning how to play better. Don't ever sit on a high horse and always take personal responsibility even if its something uncontrollable. 

I wasn't even aware Nocturne was my highest performance champion
Hopefully, In season 4 I will be able to retain my Diamond and hit Diamond I. I won't be trying to climb any more in the ladder, outside of some odd entertaining games, as I am actually sick of solo queue in high ELO. I always try to convince people that high ELO is actually ELO hell and low ELO is actually ELO heaven. As such, I will probably be smurfing a bit (silvers beware!) Eventually, I will try to hit the legendary Diamond I and play with TheOddOne. Keep a lookout for future promised posts, updates on World Championships, and a jungle tier list!   

On that note, I'd like to end with a really great sound cloud that really got me in the mood to play League of Legends! Thanks TwoFriends <3 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Skill Caps & Update

I have finally beaten the 50 ELO / LP barrier that has plagued me in the past!
This is just another short update post. If anyone has been wondering why I have not posted anything in a while, it's because I have been desperately laddering to diamond. It has been a rough path, but I feel like I can finally do it. The past week I have played ~80 solo queue games with almost 60 of them irrelevant. I felt that I reached a skill cap that I couldn't overcome at Plat II ~0-40 LP. Eventually, I dropped down to plat III after several losses in a row after playing on tilt.

I was completely devastated, I felt like I was in the same situation as last season where I tried to get into platinum and was 14 ELO away. However, after taking a small break and discussing mentalities with a close friend, I managed to pull myself together. I told myself that I might be stuck at a certain tier like last season, but I wasn't going to give up until the very end.

Today has been incredibly motivational for me. I feel like I have defeated the skill cap that I hit at plat II. After watching several of Cloud 9's games, I paid close attention to what Meteos did and followed his more 'farm' heavy jungle mentality to some degree of success. Although I tried Meteos' style of jungling, I still played very aggressively and managed to snowball several of my games. Mostly all my games today have given me incredible KDAs as I made sure to prioritize avoiding death over anything else.

This is more of an update than anything. I will resume my regular posts probably after I hit diamond or the season ends. However, with this break in skill cap I feel like I have a real fighting chance at hitting the diamond club. What joy it would bring me if I could overcome two tiers in one season!

Edit: I am now plat I! Yay! Time for elo clamping and the final road to diamond!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Counter Jungling Guide

You don't have to be a genius to figure out how dead that Amumu is; Chauster once told Doublelift something along the lines of "even jesus couldn't get you out alive because you were in that position to begin with, you just happen to have the mechanics to get out of it alive this time." While the quote directly refers to Doublelift's ability to survive terrible situations with pure mechanical skill, I feel like League of Legend players can really learn a lot from Chauster's wisdom especially when it comes to new junglers being counter jungled. Counter jungling is an application of knowledge and situational understanding of League of Legends; likewise, preventing counter jungling is the same.

Check out 'understanding counter jungling' after the jump. Warning: wall of informative text to follow

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Junglers, Gold, and Cost Efficiency

Recently, it feels like Riot has been intentionally just nerfing junglers to the ground. Frankly, I am appalled by these changes to the jungle but, like every other jungler out there, been desperately finding ways to get around these changes. It seems Riot did not learn from the Udyr nerfs where they took away a part of his passive (dodge) and didn't replace it with anything else. While Riot has stated that they intend to find methods to give junglers more gold, I find it difficult to understand what they expect junglers to do at the moment.

Find my rant on Riot's jungle nerfs by clicking below.

State of the Jungle: Article 6 - General Patch 3.9

State of the Jungle: Article 6 - General Patch 3.9

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities. 

See what the jungle camp changes and the best of the professionals have to offer to the jungle meta after the jump!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Post-Vacation Update!

I haven't been posting a lot recently, even with all the changes in the current LCS jungling meta due to patch 3.8, because I have been trying to get myself up to speed on my planned road to diamond. As you can see in the picture above, I have been climbing slowly over the past couple days with Elise and Lee Sin in the jungle to great success (66% win rate in the jungle).

Those looking at my blog can look forward to the upcoming articles!
- Understanding Ganking Mid Lane
- Understanding Ganking Bot Lane
- Understanding Counter Jungling
- Understanding The Jungler's Mirror
- State of the Jungle Article Series Continuation

I have wrote many of those articles already, they just need to be edited and posted. However, I have not had the time. Please look forward to these articles in the impending future!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ChaiPod's CHAIPOD Tips for Arranged 5s


These are ChaiPod's CHAIPOD Tips for Arranged 5s. 

This is an article aimed to help amateur teams, and maybe their jungling leaders, to successfully build a team to play with. While most of my posts are aimed at jungling, this one focuses more on the team orientation of arranged 5s play. I have been playing in League of Legends arranged 5s teams for two years and I previously played in many top Guild Wars teams. While the games are different, many of the tips for playing in a team are the same and can be applied to many team games. Playing in arranged 5s is a completely different setting than from what most players are used to and brings a new experience to the table that is both rewarding and challenging. While many of us do not aim to be the next LCS team, we still want to play on a semi-competitive level in amateur tournaments. Similar to popular U18 or beer leagues of sports, amateur teams form the serious fan base of any competitive game. 

Check out the tips by clicking below! 

Patch 3.8 Jungle Implications

Patch 3.8

This article goes through some of the changes for the recent version 3.8 patch and their implications on the current jungle meta. The recent patch has brought many changes to specific champions and, most importantly, changes to camps and jungle items that have serious implications to jungling. This is perhaps one of the biggest non-season patches for jungle changes I have ever seen; respectively, this article will be just as big. 

Check my thoughts on the changes after the jump!

Friday, May 31, 2013

State of the Jungle - Article 5

State of the Jungle: Article 5 - Fjelord Patch V3.06

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. IT is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.

Check out what the All-Star Shanghai 2013 International Tournament has brought to the jungle!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All-Star Weekend and Update

The Shang Hai All-Stars Weekend confirmed, once again, Asian teams dominance on the international scene. However, what was most surprising was NA's triumph over EU. I initially predicted that NA would come last; however, my predictions proved wrong. While the EU team, arguably, had less practice than the NA team, results cannot be disputed. Hopefully, the NA LCS All-Star's team practice regime and experience on the international scene influences NA teams to advance to the same levels of Asian teams. Moreover, Riot's production and the games played were of extremely high quality that even surprised me. I commend Riot's amazing commitment to eSports that has been set at an unprecedented level.

While many things didn't surprise me, what surprised me was Madlife's amazing Thresh play. Asian teams are stronger than Western teams; however, Madlife's play was truly inspirational. Without a doubt, Madlife is  the best League of Legends player in the world. Take a look at the plays Madlife managed to accomplish, truly insane. I was equally impressed with Shy's top lane play.

It seems, that EU teams are still playing the older style where teams coordinate a time and group up for objectives to acquire a global advantage; control of lanes and minions dominate this style. NA teams are now doing the older Korean meta of lane swaps and early grouping that was popularized during the break-out era  culminating at TSM v. Azubu Blaze. The NA meta is dominated by early game control of camps, towers, and objectives through grouping and lane swaps with champ select. The Korean meta now consists of early game pushing, tower control, and a ton of team fighting which utilizes their superior communication, training regime, and coordination. Koreans tend to group a lot and immediately move towards any small skirmishes. When Koreans kill a tower, they never go back to the lane and farm; instead top laners would roam to gank and push lanes to apply more pressure and create skirmishes. The Chinese meta, is completely influenced by the emergence of Team OMG who have been dominating the previous Chinese scene of Team World Elite and Invictus Gaming. The Chinese meta consists of generally passive lane swapping and farming in the early stages to ensure players make it to mid-game where a highly aggressive team composition looks for picks where champions thrive in quick engagements to catch and burst a single target as a team, over walls and terrain. As such, champions like Hecarim, Thresh, Zac, and Graves are highly fought over for. The composition, named the 'freight train' composition was designed by Team OMG and implemented by the Chinese international team. As the name 'freight train' implies, the composition is designed to swiftly eliminate picks by the team with the force of a train and force easy objectives in 4 v 5 situations.

With the first All-Stars weekend over I look forward to further international tournaments, probably the next World Championships. I am interested to know if NA teams have learned from this international experience and will implement serious training regimes to keep up with the Asian scene.

As for a personal update. I will be heading to the Eastern Hemisphere for Summer traveling. I hope I will have time to post more for this Blog; however, I may not be able to. I will also not be playing League of Legends for upwards of a month which I worry for the deterioration of my Jungling decision making. Furthermore, my team has folded due to my long-term vacation. Hopefully, I will be able to work with some of my old teammates or a new team in the near future.

Until next time, ChaiPod out!

Itemization in the Jungle Guide

With the introduction of item sets in the new patch, many players are looking to create item sets for their junglers! This post focuses theoretical and practical concepts for itemization for junglers.While it focuses on meta building for junglers in an initiating role, which is the most common role for junglers, it touches on building for champions in general. Ultimately, building in any role is dependent on the champion you play; however, there are certain concepts to follow which can be applied to mostly all junglers.

Learn more about understanding itemization in the jungle after the jump!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Basics of Jungling Guide

Everyone has to start somewhere. From low levels to low elo, everyone learning to jungle should understand the basics of jungling.

This article is aimed to inform new players who are attempting to learn how to jungle about the basics on starting in the jungle and starting effectively in the jungle. I will go over common champions played, runes, masteries, summoners, using smite, and jungle routes.

Learn the basics of jungling following the jump.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

State of the Jungle - Article 4

State of the Jungle: Article 4 - General Patch V3.04

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.

Check out what GambitGaming's DiamondProx has brought to the jungle meta after the jump! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Response to Amateur Tournaments

The introduction of Riot's Season 3 LCS tournament system has allowed professional players to play in a structured format similar to contemporary professional sports. However, Riot successfully created a monopoly on all League of Legends tournaments by contracting current 'professional' players. This article goes through my thoughts on amateur tournaments and a mainstreaming of developer managed systems. 

Check out my thoughts by clicking more, below!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Response to Player Shifts

With the popular League of Legend's professional Team - Team Solomid - replacing their long time AD carry player Shan "Chaox" Huang, there has been a lot of discussion and debate in regards to this huge player shift in a professional team. With teammates and close members of the team giving their responses, find my thoughts and experiences on the issue at hand after the jump.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Welcome to the Platinum Club

I remember the first post I wrote very clearly, even to this date. It was one of absolute frustration and hatred towards myself and this game. However, I did not give up because I held myself to a higher standard and I believed that I deserved this recognition. Today, I hit a long time goal of Platinum Tier in League of Legends solo queue. Although I do not attach much worth to this division as, time and time again, solo queue has proven itself to be a place where skill is made up and ELO does not matter, I find it rewarding to know that I have achieved a certain rank after the two years I have been playing this game. 

Oh, and I just happen to beat popular streamer Destiny during my promotion series too. 

With the introduction of Season 3 and the new 'tier / division system,' I struggled to hit platinum as I consistently fell from Gold I to Gold II only to quickly climb back to Gold I. Perhaps this has something to do with how I always go on winning streaks or losing streaks depending if I play in a good mood or on tilt. However, there is something I want to say about this new tier system implemented by Riot. This new system was the worst thing to happen to determining solo queue ranks. 

I am not arguing that the new system does not make ladder less fun, in fact I believe that it makes laddering more challenging and interactive instead of it being a straight zero to one hundred grind. However, for determining actual ranking amongst players in a game it is a terrible system. Riot attempted to learn from Starcraft II's laddering system when creating their new system but they failed to understand one thing - Starcraft II is not a team game. Albeit, there are team game modes on Starcraft II but they are not as popular or relevant as the solo ladder; some would even call it completely irrelevant. 

So what is the difference between the current system and the previous one? Well, for starters it does not average games appropriately. In the previous system, when one won a game in solo queue they would go up one games worth of rating, except during placements; when one lost a game in solo queue they would go down one games worth of rating. Although there was an existence of 'troll' players, these players would only be able to take one games worth of rating away from you. Furthermore, if one does not consider themselves to be a 'troll' player then there is always a higher chance of the enemy team getting more 'troll' players than your team. 

In the current system, certain games are attributed to be worth more rating than other games. when you are about to drop or rise a tier, these games are fundamentally worth more than other games. Losing these games, makes you lose five to ten games worth of rating. Moreover, players cannot drop divisions so someone who has lost 100 games at Platinum 5, could still be considered a Platinum player. As I said before, the new system is an absolute abomination of a creation when you consider it's main job is to determine a rating for a team game. Players who were 'trolled' in the previous system could still determine their true rating as it would average out in the end; however, in the current system it creates a situation where your rank can be enormously influenced by chance in the short-run. 

Don't get me wrong. I think this system is a great system - just not for League of Legends. In Starcraft II, where the system originated from, the solo ladder was not a team game and there is a zero probably for chance to determine a game. A player loses because he lost under the set parameters of a game, nothing out of the players control influenced the loss; however, in League of Legends the existence of 'trolls' can be a factor that influences a loss.  

Although I have said that the current system is absolutely terrible for determining actual rating efficiently, I still do not believe it is impossible to rise purely because of the existence of 'trolls' and this system. A player who deserves to rise, will rise. Period. There is no ELO hell. It is simply a myth that players create to reason their poor rating and play. Players who deserve to rise will simply take longer than before to rise. 

I beg anyone who thinks they are in 'ELO hell' to simply watch the video above and to truly consider why you have been losing (Warning: This video is rage inducing, I almost got a rage-coma) . There has always been a take I had on Solo Queue, albeit I am not the best Solo Queue player, which may help anyone who is considering to play this cesspool of a game mode. Remember, you can only control what you do, nothing more nothing less, so always focus on how to better your play. You may not be able to win this game, but if you did well and you fix the mistakes you made on this game you will be able to help and win future games. That is the key to solo queue: focus on your own mistakes and the long-run. People who believe in 'ELO hell' are suffering from a common cognitive bias called the Dunning-Kruger effect, where they believe they are actually superior to everyone around them. They fail to realize their own mistakes and remedy them, as such they will never become better players and truly deserve to rise in rating. 

So now we come to the final question that everyone wants the answer to. What do you do in Solo Queue to win? How do you influence the game to ensure that your team has a higher chance to win? What is the difference between you and me when we are both playing this game and why do you win when I lose?

Besides focusing on my own mistakes and never making them in future games, I tend to try to pick roles that put me into a the shoes of a decision maker. Assuming you deserve to rise and you are actually a better player, you should be able to make the proper decisions for your team. You can't control how much CS your top laner has by 10 minutes, but you can control when he will go into a team fight (after you initiate). Carrying does not mean to put up a huge score and have a ton of gold; there are many players who lose with huge scores. Carrying means to make the proper decisions for your team so that you only force favourable plays that you will win for sure. If you have ever started a fight and thought "we might not win this" or "why did I initiate here," you deserve to lose that game. Carrying means telling everyone to sit outside baron put while you pink ward baron and catch someone checking it. Carrying means making the right dragon calls so your team does not get killed while doing an early dragon. Carrying means initiating the fight on that twelve kill Vayne because she mis-stepped for half a second and you caught her for it.

After this long read, I commend you for actually reading this and thank you. I realize I may sound pretentious as I am only a platinum player; however, Solo Queue is not a place of skill, nor is rating a determinant of skill especially in this current system. I hope the next time I write another article about success in solo queue it will be when I join the diamond club. Although as my favourite pro player, TheOddOne, has proven, diamond is not something to be proud about. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Patch 3.04 Jungle Implications: Runic Bulwark and Locket of the Iron Solari Analysis

This article goes through the changes in patch 3.04 with emphasis on the implications it has on jungling. There is specific emphasis on the comparison on the changes of Runic Bulwark and Locket of the Iron Solari. Will the changes in the 3.04 patch de-throne the jungle core items of Runic Bulwark and Locket of the Iron Solari? Should you still be building these items? Will we see different item choices in the LCS? Find out after the jump.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ganking: Part 1 - Top Lane Guide

Welcome to a three part series on understanding ganking. One of the most frequently asked questions from beginner junglers is how and when should I be ganking? Although experience is the ultimate factor for a player to gage how and when a gank should be attempted, this article series will attempt to highlight some norms and conditions to ganking the top lane. The other two parts of this series will cover the other two lanes.

This article is dedicated to my previous top laner and current ADC from my team - HoopsScoops, who taught me the importance of influencing top lane instead of just leaving them on an island.

Learn the intricacies of ganking top lane after the jump!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Response to Meta Shifts

First the League of Black Cleavers, then the League of Warmogs, now the League of Blade. What will Riot do next? The League of Banners of Command? There has been a lot of recent outcry from the community, high ELO and low ELO, that the buff of items which dictates the style of play is bad for the game. That forcing players to build certain items because it is good is inherently poor game design. This article goes through my thoughts and opinion on 'meta shifts,'

Warning: Incoming wall of text.

Check out my response to meta shifts after the jump!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Season 3 Patch 3.03 Jungle Implications

Patch 3.03

This article goes through some of the changes for the recent version 3.03 patch and their implications on the current jungle meta. The recent patch has attempted to touch the 'holy-trinity' of the Hybrid junglers. Furthermore, the change in the item Blade of the Ruined King brings some implications to the jungle.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Anti-Bullying Day & Small Update

Pink Taric says bullying is truly outrageous

This is a short update post.

Today is anti-bullying day (last wednesday in the month of February), so make sure you wear pink on summoners rift! Pink Taric is the best Taric skin! On a more serious note, eSports has always suffered from the social stigma of being a "geeky" interest which aligns itself with aspects of bullying in schools. As many of my readers are more likely to stand on their victim side of bullying, I just want to remind you to keep strong, report bullies, and stand up for those who are being bullied.

As for what this blog holds, I am proud to declare that yesterday I have hit an all-time record on view counts a day. I hit a grant total of 14,278 views in one day thanks to traffic from Reddit and the League of Legends forums! Thank you for everyone who took their time to read my State of the Jungle series as it is extremely encouraging for me.

As for my post on ganking the three lanes which I mentioned almost a month ago, I am still working on part 1. This article is turning out to be extremely long, and detailed. I keep finding more things to add and extending the time it takes for completion. Regardless, I look forward to the release of this article series.

Monday, February 25, 2013

State of the Jungle - Article 3

State of the Jungle: Article 3 - General Patch V3.02.0.30

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.

Check out what the LCS has brought to the jungling meta after the jump!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lee Sin Compilation & Small Update

Short post on one of my favourite Lee Sin Compilation's of all time. I am a pretty avid Lee Sin player myself; however, some of these clips are, quite frankly, insane. Enjoy.

Courtesy of Nathanielbee.

Also, a short update on what I am currently working on. I am currently trying to complete an in-depth 'understanding' three part series on ganking the three lanes. Look for the upcoming posts!

Friday, February 1, 2013

eSports, Social Stigma, and the Spirit of Competition

"I have League of Legends practice in 10 minutes, sorry I can't play with you guys."   
"I still can't believe you practice with your team of online friends, it's like you consider this a sport."  

This is a conversation I had with a friend recently and it relates to the source of a topic that really grinds my gears. This is an opinion piece or rant, for a lack of a better word, so do not expect to find the typical League of Legends educational theory-crafting that make up the majority of my posts.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

State of the Jungle - Article 2

State of the Jungle: Article 2 - Thresh Patch V1.0.0.154

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.

Check out the League of Giant Belts after the jump!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Premeditated Ordering Guide

What makes one Jungler more successful than another one? Do Junglers arbitrarily roam the map and gank lanes they think they can kill?

Eventually, players who have gained more experience in the game begin to understand that not doing something does not necessarily mean you are not at fault. If you want to be a successful Jungler, making the most of your time on the map means being able to achieve certain goals. A method I have personally used in Solo Queue, which may seem very intuitive, has helped me to become a more efficient and successful jungler.

Welcome to another part of my "understanding" series on premeditated ordering.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

IEM Katowice In-Depth Analysis

IEM Season VII - Global Challenge Katowice 

As my first tournament analysis, I will try to inform players of IEM Katowice and its main issues, implications, highlights, and aspects of the tournament. In addition, I will try to point out certain implications it has to jungling and what players should and can learn from the best players on the global stage. Check it all out after the jump!

Mandatory spoiler alert for those who have not watched IEM Katowice; be warned!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

State of the Jungle - Article 1

State of the Jungle: Article 1 - Vi Patch V1.0.0.153

State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.

Check out what the Season 3 changes have brought to jungling after the jump!

Preseason Balance Update 2 Patch Jungle Implications

Patch V.

This article goes through some of the Preseason Balance Update 2 patch notes and their implications towards the jungle and jungle champions. Although there has been many fixes, changes, nerfs, and buffs, I will be going through major changes with implications towards the jungle only. Albeit, I am glad to say that AD assassins, with the rise of Black Cleaver, have now all been nerfed. I did enjoy all the free ELO I got from snowballing AD assassins though.

Check it out, after the jump!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Support Junglers Guide

The Unseen Hero 

They are the unspoken of the rift
Lost in their team's success
The carries they lift;
Always arrives to their distress

They give up their own wealth
So that other's may be blessed
Sacrificing their own health;
The team for what is best 

Always the first to lead;
The last to give way
Protecting those who are fed
Let them be on your team, pray

Welcome the unseen hero
To the recognition you deserve
Although they may see you as a zero
Defeat you will always serve

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Season 3 Nocturne Jungle Guide

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts during the Christmas and New Years season. However, I have managed to create my first guide. The experience has proven to be much more exhausting and difficult than I have first imagined. I have worked in the past three weeks on testing and writing my Season 3 Nocturne guide. Although I still feel like Nocturne is a strong jungler, I do not feel that he was as strong as I first predicted. Furthermore, support junglers still hold a serious majority in the Season 3 jungle meta. Regardless, I still hold onto my previous opinion that he is one of the strongest carry junglers out there at the moment.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and wish you all a successful Season 3 in the New Year!

Please enjoy my guide over at  Solomid Guides.