Pre-Ranked Prep: How to Prepare For the Upcoming Ranked Season

A checklist of things you should do to maximize your chances for growth in s11 before re-entering LoL’s grind for LP.

League of Legends

Well, we finally know when Season 11 in the world of League of Legends will start (January 6-8, 2021), but before you jump the gun and dive straight into the grind to climb the ranked ladder (starting with your placement games of course) you need to look at yourself and say, are you ready? And not the ready as in personally ready to play. No, the ready I refer to here is more akin to the term equipped. Now those of you who know me personally know that my regular sport of choice is Field Hockey (Go Antrim) and I would never step foot onto a Hockey pitch without my hockey stick, shin guards, or protective gloves, and just as in that I wouldn’t go to sport unequipped, should you go into ranked unequipped. Therefore, in this piece, I will go through the knowledge fields that you should equip yourself with before question for LP in another year.

The Dead-Drops

The preseason in LoL is a journey through the wormhole when it comes to the tier-list of League of Legends champions, and by that, it gets shaken up, turned inside out, and sent spinning and that means there will inevitably be champions who go from being S-Tier to D-tier and if you have taken some if not all of the preseason off you may still think these picks are still freelo when in fact they are the opposite. The prime example of this in Season 11 has been Xayah as she has gone from being queen cluck of the marksman tribe to the literal runt of the flock thanks to the item overhauls effect on critical strike items and Essence Reaver. Therefore, it is vital you add the tool to your belt that is knowing what not to pick to ensure what LP you do gain in Season 11 is kept.


New Toys

It is not uncommon for Riot to add or remove items in the preseason with the end result of such changes being completely game-changing, support veterans such as myself will remember the vision items updates of Seasons 3, 4, and 5 which brought in Sightstone and Gold Per 5s/10s then later combining them. Season 11 has continued this trend in an overhaul unlike anything we’ve ever seen before with every champion in the game having their build changed thanks to the new mythic item collective. To put this into context for those of you who took the offseason to do other things; 33% of Season 10 items are gone and replaced with new items, 33% of Season 10 items have been reworked and that remaining 33% is as you remember. The items of LoL are the arrows in your quiver and a good archer knows how they fly just as you should know your items should you want to hit that bullseye of your ranked goals.

Sightstone Icon

The Elevators

As I previously mentioned the off-season tier list shuffle will have winners and losers and this preseason has seen big winners, especially in the ADC and jungle roles as Jhin and Graves have run rampant brandishing their new (quite frankly OP) toy in the form of ‘The Collector.’ Now I’m sure none of you fine people would show up to a job with anything but the best tools at your disposal, so why would go into a ranked game with anything but the best. So, before you go back to ranked would it not make sense to practice the freelo champions of the season first. Just remember to apply the learning process to new setups first before you wield this season's freelo blades (the process of course being; test in practice tool or vs AI, then test vs. players in normal, then take to ranked once your fluid with the build/pick).

Jhin Profile

Finding the Source

For those of you who didn’t/were unable to watch all-stars, you did miss the top players go wild and showcase some of the new champion item combos that Season 11 has presented, and that’s ok. However, I would recommend watching the professionals play because the elite games are not only entertaining but a resource of information that you can use to get better at the game, whether it be learning mechanical outplays counter-matchups, or even new builds. So, if you are unsure what has risen to the top of LoL make sure you access the info before you risk our LP on being uninformed, and for those of you who don’t know, the Dignitas pro team (FakeGod, Dardoch, Soligo, Neo, and Aphromoo) makes the season debut on the 15th of January and I for one cannot wait for the potential new combos and the storyline of whether the veteran support of Aphromoo can take another prodigy ADC in Neo and develop him to the top tier. So, make sure you know what’s the best quality picks right now before you try to be the best player you can be.


So, there we have it 4 things to do so that you are prepped and ready for the new season and its ranked grind. Whether it be removing the dead drops, reading the manual to your new itemization toys, learning to ride the new elevator picks, and yes even scouting what’s best from the pros, these are tools in your belt which you should have if you are dead set on reaching a new peak rank in Season 11. With that, I once again leave you with the thoughts of GL, HF, and GG.

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