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My Experience as a New Player with League of Legends

My Experience as a New Player with League of Legends

My Experience as a New Player with League of Legends

Posted by Kyle Fisher

24 Feb, 2022

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At the end of 2020, I took on the insurmountable task of learning League of Legends. About a decade ago I was deep into the world of multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), touting well over a thousand hours in DOTA 2. But something about the style mixed with the “other side sucks” mentality means I never gave League of Legends a chance. While learning a new MOBA while being almost a decade out of practice is daunting, it’s one I wanted to tackle. 

Logging into the Riot client for the first time, I am immediately greeted with a tutorial. League of Legends provides 3 basic tutorials to help begin the  long journey into madness. The tutorial equipped me with the basic tools to understand League of Legends. As with any MOBA, the difficulty comes from the intricacies and interactions with each champion. Learning the tutorial and playing bot matches are just the start of several months’ journey into understanding the game and what makes it so addictive. 

When I first started my League of Legends account, everyone was in the pre-season, ramping down and backup for the launch of patch 12.0. This seemed to me to be the perfect starting point. When  starting a League of Legends account, you are level 1 and in order to play ranked, you have to level that account up to level 30. This is where my first fault of many would begin , not showing its ugly face for hundreds of hours. Little did I know my standard non-ranked games would place me within a matchmaking rating (MMR) that would set me up for LP (Leagues ranked system) later down the road. Having that decade-old MOBA experience, I overconfidently thought, “I can just rush normal games to rank and start really learning one champion then”. This was a mistake. Since the leveling  process from 1 to 30 can span upwards of 100 to 150 hours,  wasting these hours losing games and trying new champions isn’t ideal. But how can you learn champions and find one you like? The answer is simply put: bot matches. Bot matches are a great way to learn what a champion can do without wasting hundreds of hours of your time. Keep in mind that they do little in actually teaching you how to play against actual players. Though I would recommend tackling bot matches and not just diving into the deep end as I did. 

Setting Goals and figuring out what you want

This may sound silly with a video game, but with League of Legends, it’s important to set goals and decide exactly how you want to play the game. Do you want to play casually and stay far away from ranked? Do you want to reach Silver, Gold, platinum, or even higher? These decisions will shape how you progress your account. While you don’t need outrageous goals like hitting Challenger (the highest-ranked in League of Legends), you do need something small to guide you through the journey. Otherwise  you will feel overwhelmed and possibly ruin the account before you can start. 

I mentioned earlier that I made the mistake of trying too many champions and diving into normal games far earlier than I should have. I paired this with the idea that I need to level as fast as possible to reach 30 and get my validating rank. Being a very competitive person, I just wanted to get ranked as quickly as possible and I squandered a lot of excellent learning opportunities. Upon reaching ranked, I had a meek goal of simply hitting silver and moving on from there. I pictured myself climbing and climbing steadily, but what I faced in my placement was far worse than I imagined. 

Have patience, you will improve

I won my first placement match and was immediately given a placeholder rank of bronze. This was perfectly fine, and I thought I would climb out and end up high bronze or low silver. What proceeded were nine  of the most miserable matches in my League career. Because of these 45+ minute slaughter fests, I recieved  the rank of Iron 4. Iron for those who are unfamiliar with League of Legends is an exclusive club thathouses 1.7% of the worst players in League of Legends. Surely, I thought to myself, this was a mistake, and it was my teammates holding me back in my placements. I found one or two champions that spoke with me, stuck top, and began my grind. I started improving, but my rank was not moving. For every 12LP I gained from a win, I lost 11LP on the next. The climb was slow and arduous, to the point of wanting to quit.

However, League of Legends rewards perseverance and personal accountability. League of Legends is a team game, but your personal performance has far more impact than most realize. Players who are good enough to climb the ranks will do so even on the worst teams. During my ranking in  Iron, I fell further and further, admittedly falling all the way to Iron 4. Iron 4 is the lowest possible rank and after checking my MMR I would never earn enough LP per win to climb and I was not good enough to carry the entire team myself. Iron is full of griefers (players who think they shouldn’t be there) and other solo mindset players. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that it’s the  team’s fault and just stay hardstuck in iron forever. This is where I faced my hardest decision so far. Do I give up on League forever or do I start a new account? Starting a new account meant 150 hours of unranked games just to get ranked again. Looking at my performance and my wasted time pre-30, I decided it was best to start a new account. 

My account was in the state it was because I rushed the game and I didn’t properly learn the soft skills required to climb in this competitive MOBA. After assessing my personal accountability and deciding to move to a new account, my next concern was regarding champions and bought content.

The True Free-to-Play Experience

Riot Games has a system that on the surface seems to force players to buy in-game currency to get the champions they want. However, throughout the leveling  process, players are given so much free currency that you can fill your champion roster out without spending a single dollar. This is one of the biggest appeals to League of Legends and what makes the new account process less daunting than it otherwise could have been. 

On my second go-around, I took leveling slow. I watched YouTube videos, I picked 3 champions to main, and I learned the games. This strategic approach has taken me from 10+ loss streaks to only three or four losses within 20 games. I’ve seen more personal growth on this new account than I did rushing to rank on the old one. 

I’ve learned a lot on my journey playing  League of legends and have had far more personal growth than I expected. When I started, I did not expect to be using life skills like personal accountability and goal planning, but here we are. Once I started using those skills, I started having a better time in the game. 

Three months after starting my new account , I am finally approaching level 30 again, getting ready to do my placements and set myself up for future success. If all goes as planned, I’ll hit my goal of Silver by the end of the month and start my climb once again. The hands-off approach of League’s new player experience is daunting but rewarding in a way few games are. If you’re looking for a challenge and have been on the fence for a while, it’s time to give League of Legends a try.

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About Author

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher has been a games media journalist for five years, during which time he has attended conventions such as E3 to extensively cover major events and reveals.When he’s not writing he is playing World of Warcraft, Magic: the gather or the latest AAA or survival horror title. He has spent years creating content that he is proud of in and outside of the video game world. Outside of the video game community Kyle focuses on writing music in a touring band. 2020 brought a new set of challenged with live music, as such he has shifted focus towards live-streaming and home music recording.

 
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