Realization is the first step towards improvement.
I am continuously amazed at the diversity of comments made about the current meta, and the different point of views that individual players offer when commenting on a particular topic.
“But what creates this diversity?” – I asked myself.
Obviously by now there are tons of websites dedicated to theory crafting, item building, gameplay strategies, etc. and they’re roughly the same content, with minor variations. Now more than ever, any type of player can read a guide, watch a video or stream, and presume to know everything about gameplay, the champ in question, the current meta, etc.
“What goes on at different elo levels then?”
An experiment was conducted, where I watched different level elo games (possible thanks to the rise in streaming) for a whole week. I set to analyze the decision making at each level, the all-chat, the commentators (streamers), the team compositions, and the overall game play.
Here are the general results of my observations
High elo (>1900)
This was by far the easiest elo to watch due to all the high level players streaming. At this level the current meta is adhered to but means little, instead I watched things go down like a Jax + Nunu jungle duo, all AD lanes, and the like. The gameplay is competitive but fun, with all-chat rarely turned off. Players are more open to changes at this elo, and a player being reported is rarely seen (although I would think it’s because they know they’re on stream so players flame less). All players buy wards for their team, and their placing is impeccable. The player’s teamwork and knowledge of their champion is amazing, the streams I watched had no way of communicating other than chat, yet the team fights were seamless and the engaging impeccable.
Mid elo (1200-1800)
There should probably be another tier in between, but for all intents and purposes we’ll keep it this way. These streams were painful to watch due to a broad mix of player base. You had 3 types of players typically (these are not all the players, just the ones that were seen the most): 1) the know it all that tried to tell everyone on his/her team what they were doing wrong, how to do it right, and citing websites were they read the information. 2) Players who were just quiet and played. 3) The player who talked a lot of smack pregame and in-game proceeded to go 0-12 in lane, and flamed the rest of his/her teammates for not helping. Meta breaking WAS NOT encouraged at this elo, and rather the meta something of a dogma; all-chat was consistently being turned off, and the gameplay was hyper-competitive to the point of it being rage inducing. At this level I also noticed people tended to surrender a lot faster, and for insignificant reasons. Teamplay was shoddy at best with terrible engages and even worse team fight follow ups, but I did see some players with dominating command of certain champions.
Low elo (<1200)
Huge difference at all levels. The disparity of the games was amazing, with the snowball factor of LOL more prevalent in this elo than any other. Wards? Not needed. Teamwork? Non-existent. Animosity? Prevalent to the extremes. The skill level of the players seems to vary from one end of the spectrum to the other, but in reality what happens is that because you are playing somebody who is in fact worse than you, you might think that you are the greatest player ever once you go 15-0 in these elo games. Insults are hurled without rhyme or reason, at both the opposing team and their own teammates. Also the highest incidence of reporting was seen at this level.
Out of all the elo levels analyzed, Medium elo seems to be the most difficult to crawl out of. Most players at this level seem to think themselves better than they actually are, but fail to help their team win. Instead they stick to their guns, get exasperated, and blame others rather than themselves. This elo also tends to stick to the meta religiously and generally does not accept variations in it. I would compare what happens in this elo to this: I shoot hoops from time to time, I read a book and watch videos on how to be a better basketball player, I am now a great basketball player.
Keep in mind that these observations are generalized and by no means describe every single player in LOL. And if you don’t agree with the description of your particular elo, remember that this article is in no way personal and not a direct attack upon your person.