Playing my League of Legends Placement Matches

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon at the shop and I decided to settle down and play some League of Legends. I don't normally play on the clock as there is too much stuff to do, but in winding down my 80-hour work week I needed some time to relax and burn off some steam, and there was only one customer in the shop. I won my first normal game and felt pretty good, so I decided to jump into my ranked games for the first time ever.

My gameplan was simple - solo-queue Sona until I get my 10 games in. I ran a poll recently on our LAN Mob League of Legends Facebook group and was met with some lofty expectations. Congrats to Kindrid Skylar for being the only person to guess correctly where I would be placed!

Vote early, vote often!
Game 1 - Loss - 1/6/7 (1.33 KDA)

I felt we had a good laning phase bottom, but the other lanes got rolled, which is one of those situations that's sort of out of our control. The enemy jungler and top were fed early and ended in a 19/4/4 Master Yi and a 12/1/0 Riven.

Game 2 - Loss - 0/3/1 (0.33 KDA)

This was totally winnable but I just played awful. Some customers rolled into the shop as I was about to ding level 6, and they were regulars enough to seat themselves, but in my distraction I completely forgot to take my ultimate at level 6, and didn't grab my "E" until level 8. We forfeited at 20 and this could have been a "W", and stats show we were climbing ahead at the 9 minute mark, but I feel like it was one of my worst matches personally in a while. Also unfortunate as the way I understand the ranking system, early games in your placements can make a big impact on MMR ceiling and potential difficulty of later matches. So dropping this one feels like it's going to set me back some. This is the risk you take when trying to multi-task!

Game 3 - Loss - 3/3/1 (1.33 KDA)

Better play on my part, but our carry Jinx was absolutely toxic and had the jungler rage-quitting at 10 minutes. The remaining four players forfeited at 20 - SIGH. Off to an 0-3 start - Bronze V here I come!

Game 4 - Win - 4/3/19 (7.67 KDA)

That's more like it! Jarvan/Graves/Annie/Lucian/Sona comp for a S- score.

Game 5 - Loss - 2/9/15 (1.89 KDA)

I'm terrible at this game. Got caught out way too much, took on some 1v1s I had no chance of winning. Absolute garbage.

Game 6 - Win - 10/4/31 (10.25 KDA)

I'm amazing at this game! Poppy/Hecarim/Cassiopeia/Vayne/Sona comp. A plat & gold were both on my team this game, and I ended with a full build with Frozen Heart, and scored my first S+ for the Mastery 7 Sona.

Game 7 - Win 5/13/25 (2.31 KDA)

Such an ugly, insane, satisfying 55 minute match! Ekko/Lee Sin/Lux/Jhin/Sona comp. We fed bot lane early and the enemy Ezreal got off to huge start, but we pulled it together late game by running a full base turtle, snagging a Lux Baron steal followed immediately by a Lee Sin Elder Dragon steal, and a bunch of insane late-game team fights (likely the enemy team was on full tilt by this point) to overcome a 12k gold deficit. This was one of those games that reinforces the "never give up" way of thinking. Roughly half of my death count was getting picked off trying to initiate or ward ahead, and I made the adjustment late game to play more behind my team which really helped turn down my level of suckness. Gold graph below to illustrate the comeback.

To hell and back again.


You can dodge once with just a 1-minute penalty, followed by a 60-minute penalty with 2+ dodges. There is also an LP penalty for ranked, but this doesn't count as a loss for your 10 placements and I believe is not factored in at all really towards your placement, or if it is very minimally.

Game 8 - Win - 2/5/13 (3 KDA)

Awww yeh. Rumble/Graves/Zed/Ezreal/Sona comp and we were at enemy Nexus at 27 minutes. Still getting picked off a lot mid-game wandering the jungle but again made the adjustment to play more cautiously and it worked out. It's a weird balance between the need for deep jungle vision and the likelihood I'm going to get picked off and melted into Sona mush.

Game 9 - Loss - 1/7/5 (.86 KDA)

Enemy Riven was super fed and finished 21/4/3 in a 36 minute game. We were able to turn some team fights but failed on most every objective, spending way too much time in our base defending.

Game 10 - Win - 2/2/12 (7 KDA)

I had another platinum (!) on team and we were at the Nexus at 36 minutes. LAN Mob's own hype god Kindrid sat and coached me through the match which was great, because after playing League all day my eyes were dead and I was missing SO MUCH. Our unranked Jayce did work finishing 15/4/7 and we crushed the map objectives.

Narrowly escaping the Bronze Hell....FOR NOW!!

Whew that was a lot of work. I started around 2 pm in the afternoon, and in between helping customers managed to fit all 10 games in by around 1 am for a 5-5 record. I was using after some matches to gauge what kind of players I was going against, finding a lot of Silvers and Golds (the Game 9 loss specifically was against 3 golds and 2 silvers).

I've read your placement is lower than your MMR in order to quickly gain levels post-placement, so I'm going to use the last week of Season 6 to get some matches in until the LP gains start to diminish. I'll likely just continue to solo-queue with this account, but I do have a level 10 smurf account I started with my brothers some years back that I plan to get ranked by next season for multi-queuing.

I was able to avoid a lot of the horror stories I hear from many players - no outright/obvious trolling, and only one rage quit disconnect in Game 3.  I had a lot of boneheaded plays and see a ton of room for improvement in my play (Game 2 specifically I feel could have been won if I had played better, and Game 5 was also a dumpster fire for me), but I had some nice plays and nice games too including the S+ in Game 6, and Game 7 was the hardest fought of the series and a very satisfying victory.

I still consider my League game a work in progress, but there are a few things I do differently in solo-queue from what I've seen around the shop, so here are my three rules for solo-queue:

  1. I'm a one-trick pony. I've dabbled in other supports including Thresh, Annie, Braum, and Janna, but likely 80%+ of my game time has been with Sona. This means I'm pretty awful at most every other role, but I know the support role pretty well. This is made ok by the fact that supports are in short supply, giving me short queue times and almost guaranteed role. As a support I believe Sona just fits well with so many teams, and is less reliant on your teammates to make plays off you, but more of a versatile support than can do a lot of things offensively and defensively. Apparently she's currently God-tier support, although I played her years back when she was average to below-average, but the fact that she's performing well in the current patch/meta definitely helped me with my wins. Anyhow there is a common belief that mastery of anything in life takes 10,000 hours, and while Sona is a relatively low-skill champion, she's the one champion that I have the most raw hours in and best mastery over. I do feel like playing other champions helps keep your game sharp, but it's possible to spread yourself too thin with too many champions.
  2. I keep "all chat" off. I really don't care what's being discussed, and I don't want to open up any avenue for my opponents to say something that may tilt me or alter my game play in any way, because that's only helping my opponents. It's just another distraction when focus is super important. All that matters is the "W", and what five strangers who you'll probably never play against again have to say just doesn't matter towards getting that "W". I have a hard enough time pressing the buttons that I need to without introducing a whole other level of psychological warfare. Riot gives out some nice ear plugs that anybody can use and I'm happy to plug them in.
  3. I rarely chat with my team, and when I do I keep it positive. It's crazy seeing how toxic and self-destructive some teams are. The war is out there *points in the distance*, but some teams can't stop arguing among themselves. I sometimes see teammates dying from standing still while they're cussing out teammates via keyboard, and I shake my head. For me, outside of pinging the map or communicating things like out of mana (ctrl+click is an awesome feature!), I keep quiet. If random teammates are getting into it I just stay out of the conversation because they're total strangers and I'd likely just make it worse. When the toxicity is aimed at me I try to turn it around in a humorous way. I've silenced more than one toxic ADC by offering free hugs.
It was nice to get these matches out of the way after so many years of wondering how I'd rank. In all ten matches I never felt grossly outranked, and most of the losses gave me some takeaways of things I was doing wrong or could do better. The matches really felt similar to many Normal matches I've done before. If you haven't tried ranked yet I'd encourage you to give it a go before Season 6 ends (next Friday November 11th!).

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