I think I need to be a god in SA to hit POA again?

Hi! Exactly what the title says, but

"I feel background is fairly important for this

I normally don’t bring up tier for this kind of thing, but in this case it matters a lot for my case imo. However, advice from anywhere is appreciated, I’m definitely not in a position to be snooty :sweat_smile:

Last season I was helped most of the way duoque from Hotness to SA Gold with various people (Setbackss on a smurf and KidSafeShark, I owe you guys big time. :slight_smile: ). However, after that I soloqued with mostly wins through a decent chunk of POA before putting down the game again to do other stuff. I’m currently floating between SA Silver and Gold. I never made it past that final game to hit POA again this season.

I improve the most in close games or ones in which I am the noob, I don’t improve much in games where we were going to lose regardless of what I did. I just… don’t get very many close/good games, and those that I do, I tend to lose too. I’m alternately decent or really bad depending which specific role I take with high tier players I party with.

Honestly, even though I improved and climbed a huge amount last season, I still feel like putting down VG for good, more so than when I was hard-stuck in Hotness. I guess these losses often weigh more heavily on me than a salt-fest. I see more of my own mistakes but I don’t get to correct them in a consequential manner, often enough. It’s hard to be able to improve when you literally can’t fountain fast enough, or your team outdrafts themselves, or your team grossly misunderstands their win condition, or your opponents get super fed.

To be clear - no, I’m not going to be salty or complain about matchmaking. Am I unhappy? Yes, but this isn’t the post to bring that crap up. I think the “matchmaking” issue is something else anyway.

So last season I found myself in soloque POA. It was pretty challenging for me, but I could also feel myself improving a lot.Some matches I was definitely the noob, but sometimes I could contribute. I was able to climb fairly well. If I was doing well I could and would be more aggressive with my team (or solo when reasonably safe). If I was behind, I focused on backing up my ally’s plays. Following other shotcallers made a huge difference in a number of games. So while in some games I was legitimately able to carry, I could salvage many others by just being easy to work with. Teamwork ftw!

This season has been a bit different though. There was a noticeable difference in quality of players I found even between this season’s high SA Gold and last season’s low POA. I’m not in an environment where at least half my games forced me to improve just to keep up. I now live in the world of Instalock CP Lorelai Laners. I wish I was kidding.

I am just not skilled enough to hard-carry “bad” matches in SA. I think I can legitimately say that I’m not normally the main reason our team loses. However, a loss is a loss, and if I am going to climb through SA again I need to be good enough to hard carry many matches despite ally mistakes, while minimizing my own. These are basically games where we don’t work as a team, etc… Losing Draft is a separate issue, though making up the difference ingame is not.

Of course, it would be remiss for me to ignore the matches which are “good” - cooperative, non toxic teammates. “Almost” everything works out except for 1-2 details here or there, which end up making us lose in the end. Many of these games I feel are fully within my grasp. They are usually much closer affairs. If anything, these upset me more than toxic matches because I know I could have made the difference but didn’t. Instead of being “good”, I could have been “great”.

Let me give you two examples of “good” matches -


The first example, was arguably decided purely by my snap decision to pick up Spellsword 3rd after a Sorrowblade and BP - there were quite a few fights where the crit would have secured kills, or enabled me to win trades. The energy was useless in retrospect. HOWEVER. I also know that if I was better at riding the edge - engaging when Taka dived 1v3, I would have had a much better shot at winning with some BP stacks under my belt. I didn’t when it was 2v3. We were actually winning early on and then we “as a team” got cocky and I played it too safe. So in this game I really didn’t maximize my damage enough and we ended up losing many fights when the enemy wisened up.



I normally roam in parties. Half my fountains hit the intended target. Which is an improvement for me, but not enough. NORMALLY my fountain doesn’t matter - either my ally was dead meat before I could save him, or we never need the fountain in the teamfight due to flow and whatnot. Admittedly, Baptiste forgot he was supposed to stop Koshka and not Saw. Baron decided that his A was more important than autoattacks, and his B was for maximizing damage and engaging, rather than escaping the Koshka.

However, again, I could have given us a drastically better chance. We were winning the early game, with 10 kills to 1 at one point. Ten our teamfighting fell apart, and I can only fix my own actions. Heck, I even used my Heal on the healthy carry one time in a panic. -_-

(TL;DR?) I guess the overall point is that I feel stuck. When playing with much better player, I’m either mostly flawless or largely useless. So I’m not likely to get a lot of games in there. At the same time, spamming ranked tryhard matches isn’t working either. In many, many matches, I can do most things right and we still lose, by a lot - my role is somewhat irrelevant in these. The feedback cycle of improvement is missing and easily squelched. I want to get past this but… I really don’t like imposing on other people for the most part IRL. :frowning:

Idk if I will get any replies, but anything can help. To an extent I feel my problems stem from not having enough “decent” matches to get used to higher elo mechanics and such. .-.

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So first things first - if I am reading you right you basically seasonally reset or decayed down to SA from POA and you are struggling to get back up?

Worth keeping in mind the only thing that reset was your VST - your MMR stayed right where it was - so if those games feel a bit harder than last time, its because they are.

Secondly - how much are you playing?

I ask because if I want to regain VG I have to play a lot - thats not because it takes that many wins, its because if I am only playing casually (ie a game a week to reset decay) my skill level is not up there enough to get back to VG - I need to spend 3-4 hours a day playing for several days to be at my peak and thats where I need to be to get there.

Finally, to me part of this sounds like confidence, and part that you are perhaps too good a team player - you are letting yourself be drafted into your weaker positions perhaps a bit much.

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I get where you are coming from. This has been a weird season for me too.

The comeback potential in games seems to have shifted making comebacks very possible. So when winning if you don’t push objectives hard enough the enemy will come back.

When losing not all is lost and you need to find your turning point.

Both of these can be very hard to see, identify and grasp.

Perhaps someone can quantify these for us.

*Overextending when pushing turrets can lose you the game.

*Not pushing turrets at all will lose you the game.

*Focusing on enemy jungle only will lose you the game.

*Focusing solely on enemy lane forces you to end the game quickly or the enemy jungler will snowball your face.

*Successful early invades need to be translated into an advantage like a turretpush or snowballed kills->longer jungle invade and then push turrets. Staying in enemy jungle does no damage and enables comebacks because the enemy can level up safely behind turrets and you will only have a gold leaf which becomes a lot less if you die once as a team…

You should actually party with your team :stuck_out_tongue:

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The best advice I can give you is to main one specific role, and 1 specific hero in that role.

You will become so proficient with this role you will be able to carry your teammates. Also keep in mind that when you become good enough to one trick this hero, play for the win conditions, not your teammates. If you can invade jungle and prevent enemy jungle gold as well as frequently being able to gank by taking a bit of gold from lane, go for it. But make sure you CAN carry the game if you do this.

Pick a role that suits your play style and a hero you enjoy playing. Nothing is off meta in this patch (almost nothing) so feel free to play anything you want.

CP Celeste is good if you want a mage
CP Fort is a good dive jungler
WP alpha is a good wp bruiser
Ringo is a good WP laner


I don’t think that’s great advice for solo-q where a lot of winning comes from working well with your team. I play better when my teammates communicate during draft. It’s better to have at least a few heroes for each role, even better is to have a deep hero pool for each role but that takes time (and given idmonfish’s advice it might not be possible to play all heroes at a deep level at all times.)

Basically if you one trick you gimp your team by only being in one role and also don’t allow counter play. For example say the enemy first picks taka (yes yes that’s terrible draft strategy), you wouldn’t want to pick Celeste. Being able to flex to what counters the current meta’s (or whatever the enemy team drafts) helps.

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Actually, I decayed down to Hotness Gold but this season I climbed out of there without much issue .-.

Your comment about VST is important - I tend to find a mix of SA bronze (occasionally Hotness) up to POAs, occasionally as far as POA Gold.

That’s a point I hadn’t considered though, about game time spent. I normally play significantly less. 1 - 2 hours (most days), before becoming too tilted. While the rank is different, the effective peak is the same, I probably need to pick up the pace again and ignore dem salts. I used to play 3-5 hours about a year ago, distractions op! XD

I’ve had streaks where I climbed by trying to push other people into the roaming position, and flexing between jungle and lane. I find Jungle to be a bit more popular, but usually either of those roles is ok for me, provided I haven’t killed my team with a bad pick.

One big thing I’ve been trying to work on is being aggressive with my team early on to translate early wins into a larger snowball, with mixed success. Its better than when I was entirely passive like I lived in EU. :stuck_out_tongue: (I probably can try to turn this into actual objectives though, now)

I spent a reasonably amount of time duoque this season, finding someone who works well with me consistently (or the inverse) is sometimes quite difficult. I avoid trioQ though because usually I would have thrown together people who have never played together and we often find people who are much more… efficient.

Much of my SA climb this season was done by maining Blackfeather (jungle, but also lane). It worked reasonably well, but I started running into lot of counterpicks. Or the enemy would counterpick me and murder my fellow carry faster than I could kill theirs. I was a little too dependent on picking specific heroes, at least mentality wise, so I started trying to branch out. There’s quite a few other heroes I can usually play to a rankable standard.

One thing I definitely need to do though is become better at implementing alternate win conditions. Technically speaking, I actually like playing “anything” (except very specific heroes) and any role - provided teammates aren’t the issue. So in party matches or when ranking with people I trust, I play the fill role. This probably keeps me from being as good in any specific role though, and this sometimes leads to silly things like a slightly higher elo Roam Main trying to carry instead in a party, etc.

I would say that One Tricking worked much better up through Hotness, in SA people do counterpicking a lot “more”. It probably also works better with characters that fit more compositions as a whole. If you have a small hero pool, then one tricking becomes more a matter of necessity at times imo, I think at most I’ve only ever been “good” (for my tier) at roughly 11-12 heroes tops.

Captain = best way to rank up if you are solo q’ing

Subjective, even as a captain I’ve seen some god-awful matches because of teammates’ poor strategic decisions.

objective: If you get good at captain, solo q will help you far better than being a good jung or carry. It doesn’t magically make you good though, you still have to work on it.

I’m not so sure that’s true… You’re better off playing what you’re best at, that’s for sure, but I think objectively, captains have a harder time swaying a match than carries do.

Exhibit A (small-scale anecdotal) timestamp link to relevant quote:

Exhibit B (large-scale meta trends):

Neither of those prove anything definitively, of course, but I think they help support the idea that if you want to rank up faster, your best bet is to be a better-than-average carry rather than a better-than-average roam. Both will get to their natural skill tier eventually, but the carry will probably get their quicker.


I think I’ve obfuscated some of my intent in my earlier posts. Ranking up is intended as a goal, but as a result of focusing on improving my own gameplay. I’ve heard people say before that maining captain for less than ideal teammates forces better reactions in fountains, blocks, and so on. A very common complaint is that it feels easier to climb as a carry than as a captain. So while I am not opposed to playing the captain role (I have in the past), I sometimes need to play a damage role. I won my last 3 ranked games jungling - two of them in triple carry compositions. Sometimes I see indicators that my allies are not trustworthy… XD

I could go into more detail about why captains are harder to play overall especially in soloque, but that’s a different topic. I just mostly wanted to say that my focus is improving my mechanical skills. I think to an extent its that I’m not playing enough, enough of the time.

Overall my focus shift will be away from “synergistic” picks and more towards generally strong picks vs the opposition. Playing more selfishly. (Even as a semi-carry I have a tendency to buy mostly roam items)

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I wholeheartedly disagree. A crappy carry will ruin a team worse than a crappy captain… Captain is the least damaging role… Damage is required to kill stuff…

Team game. You can be a god send carry but without a RB or fountain, you’re toast. No matter what 3v1ing is (usually) suicide. Damage is required to kill stuff, can’t kill stuff if you’re laning with no vision and get jumped huh?

Flares and rb exist…and in 5v5 you have cams for that. Also skillshot heroes can check bushes…

I disagree here, I’ve seen some very good carries and I bet they can 3v1. And you yourself can also place vision and grab an rb.
Not only that it all depends on skill level of you yourself and your opponents.

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Generally speaking, anyone who is good enough to 1v3 won’t be stuck in a low or mid tier. Even winning 1v2 will help you win a majority of games in POA. If you are looking at what is possible, yes, maximum potential and skill is a distinct possibility, but what if the enemy has someone as skilled?

Carries are by nature aggressive, and Roamers are reactive. Roamers have a harder time making plays. This all belongs in a separate discussion though.

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