How to Overcome Ranked Anxiety in League of Legends

For some players, the thought of playing ranked can be extremely nerve-racking. This guide will go over tips that will help players to start overcoming their ranked anxiety and become more comfortable in a competitive environment.

Ranked anxiety causes players to be afraid of queuing up for ranked games because the consequences of losing are much higher when compared to normal games. The idea of losing and having the words “DEMOTED” or “-14 LP” showing up on your screen is understandably very frightening. Some players may also feel that ranked games are more intimidating due to an increase in competitiveness. As players get more serious in ranked, some individuals end up getting more emotional, which leads to an increase in toxicity and flame; this can also discourage many from jumping into ranked.

This goal of this guide will be to help players to reduce and overcome their ranked anxiety. It will give several tips to help players get into the right mindset and feel comfortable to queue up for ranked matches.

Remember that Ranked and Normals Have the Same Rules

Jumping into a ranked game can feel like you are playing a completely different game! Players are more competitive and the general level of play increases. It can be easy to forget that ranked and normal matches are identical in basically every aspect. The champions and items that are present in normal matches are also present in ranked games. The layout of the lanes, the runes, the objectives, and everything else is also exactly the same.

If you are intimidated by ranked matches, changing your perspective can be very helpful for reducing ranked anxiety. Once you go into a ranked match, remember that the game is exactly the same as a normal game, the only difference is that you gain or lose LP at the end of a match. You can look at normal games as a form of practice, an environment for you to warm up and try new builds or strategies. Ranked can be the environment where you go to after you have warmed up, you can treat it as the place where you implement the new tactics and strategies that you experimented with in normal matches. By changing the way you look at ranked, you can make it feel more comfortable and familiar; this can help to reduce the amount of anxiety and stress you feel.

Focus on the Learning Process

Players often experience ranked anxiety because they are afraid of losing LP and demoting. This is a results-oriented way of thinking that tends to induce ranked anxiety and harm to a player’s mindset. Shifting your focus to the learning process rather than the results can help to make ranked games easier to play. Focusing on the learning process would mean that you look at the way you played and the decisions you made rather than the result of the match. This can be helpful for reducing stress because it tells the player that it is okay and expected for mistakes to happen as long as they learn from it.

Playing to win can be very stressful because some players feel that they need to play perfect the entire game; and sometimes when they lose a match where they played incredibly well, it could be extremely demoralising. But if you were to play with improvement as the main objective in mind, losses where you played well would not hurt as much because you can still be happy and proud about your own individual performance. If you see that you played well and made improvements compared to the previous games, you will have something positive to take away although you may have lost the match. Switching back to playing to win, you only look at the results, therefore losses would have nothing good to take away from and ends up hurting you more while increasing the amount of ranked anxiety you feel.

Stop Checking the Stats of Other Players

Many players like to use external websites to check the stats of their teammates and opponents. Although they can be helpful by giving insights on the habits and weaknesses of your opponents, it can also be extremely toxic and harmful to a player’s mindset and gameplay. For example, if you saw that your lane opponent has one million mastery points and is a one-trick on their champion, you might be intimidated. This can cause you to play more passive than you normally would. It also works the other way around; seeing that your opponent is playing a champion for the first time might cause you to play recklessly and with less intensity than you normally would.

This is where the ranked anxiety starts coming into play, players see that their opponents are on a five-game winning streak and start getting nervous. They end up starting the game already with a disadvantage simply because their mind is telling them that their opponent is a very good player. As for your own team, knowing that one of your teammates is on a losing spree might cause you to put less trust in them. Knowing the stats of other people in the match can induce more stress and cause you to throw your game plan out the window. Going into a game without any knowledge of anyone else will help you to stay calmer and allow you to treat both your team and opponents with respect.

Set a Goal for Every Match

Setting a goal can be helpful for reducing ranked anxiety because it gives you something to focus on. One such way is to formulate a game plan based on the matchup you are facing. If you know that you will be in a favourable matchup, you could set up a plan where you aim to pressure your opponent and get as many small leads as possible through trading and zoning. Having a clear idea of what you want to do will reduce stress by giving you a goal to focus on and achieve. Going into a game without a plan can be overwhelming, and it may also cause you to feel more pressure when things start to go wrong.

If you are unfamiliar with a matchup or do not know how to come up with a game plan, you could also set simple and attainable goals for every match. It could be as simple as focusing on last hitting to increase your farm, or you could also choose to focus on trading better in lane so that you do not always end up low on health after every trade. Setting realistic and attainable goals for every game will help to boost your confidence while making you a better player at the same time. Even in games where you lose, achieving your goal will give you the needed boost to continue playing ranked and test yourself. As you get better and better, you can start making those goals more complicated. Instead of focusing on just farming, you can look to improve your map awareness at the same time. An example of this is to look at the mini-map every time you kill a minion. Your ranked anxiety might reduce or go away completely as you start to hit your goals and see improvements after a couple of matches.

Remember That Losing Is Not the End of the World

As tough as losses may be sometimes, losing is inevitable and is a part of the game. Even pro players have had their fair share of games where they had a heart-breaking loss or played terribly. Sometimes you might go on a big losing spree and feel as if a win is not coming any time soon. The point is that you should not dwell on your losses. Every single match is unique and serves as a fresh start, which is why it is extremely important to go into the next game with a positive and refreshed mindset.

The worst thing that can happen is you either lose LP or demote. Although it may seem like a major setback at times, you can always gain it back. If you learn from your losses and apply what you learnt in the following matches, then it should be easier to get back to where you were; doing so will also make you a better player, which will probably also help you to climb even further. Learning to lose gracefully will help to reduce your ranked anxiety and improve your mentality. It is impossible to win every single match that you play, remembering that will help you to fear losses less. Another way to look at it is to treat losses as a lesson; games where you lose are usually the ones where you get exposed the most. You can use this as an opportunity to find out and strengthen your weakest points.

Look After Yourself Outside of the Game

Sometimes reducing your ranked anxiety requires actions outside of the game. Maybe the temperature of your room is low and your hands and feet feel cold. Wearing a sweater or wrapping yourself up in a blanket may help to make you feel cozier. You could also try having a warm cup of tea or breathing slowly and deeply to calm yourself down. Listening to music can also be beneficial, but try not to listen to music with vocals as it can distract you from the game.

Ranked anxiety could stem from physical symptoms as much as mental symptoms. Making yourself as comfortable as possible before a match can help to reduce any stress or anxiety you may be feeling.


To conclude, ranked anxiety is a feeling that many players have difficulties overcoming. Many factors can contribute to ranked anxiety; it can be anywhere from your physical state to your mental state that is causing you stress. Finding out the cause of your anxiety is key to fixing it for good.

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