Before hitting level 30 I liked to think of myself slightly above average in terms of skill level compared to my fellow players. The number of games where I did well and our team won outnumbered the games I did poorly and my team lost (At my peak, I was +22 on my games won/lost). Then I hit 30 and everything changed.
I suddenly found myself getting destroyed nearly every game. At first I chalked to a bad lose streak, everyone has them right? But I continued to lose. Then, I tried to rationalize it by telling myself that the hidden elo was trying to put me at place that better reflects my skill level. But I continued to lose. I began to look at some of the people I played with and my perspective quickly changed. I was playing against people with people who had 800-1500+ normal wins. People who had the gold and silver season 2 summoners icon. Now, despite thinking I am slightly above average (which I am starting to reconsider) I am well aware my skill level does not begin to match people who have played over triple my amount of normal games let alone all the games they may have played on smurfs or ranked.
I'm constantly trying to improve. Trying to get better at last hitting, know when the proper time to split push, when to tower dive, when to engage. I'm not perfect, I don't let my hubris get in the way of telling myself that I'm an idiot and should not have done something and trying to learn from my mistakes. I watch pro games, I experiment with champions build, do research into proper ones, watch streams, read the forum, all in an attempt to improve myself as a player. I'm okay with fighting people higher skilled than me - it forces me push my ability further and play better. However, laning against people who are vastly better skilled than me nearly every game? It's not fun.
I started toying with idea of doing ranked. At least then, my elo would eventually be calculated and no matter how low it went I would finally be playing against people with similar skill level. However, I'm not ready for ranked. I know that. I only have 2 rune pages. I don't know 2-3 champions well enough for each lane (I can't remember the last time I went top, there always seems to be at least two people fighting over the position so I happily take something else) I don't even own 16 champions!
Normal is supposed to be the place where I practice for ranked, right? How can I do that if when I'm laning against what feels Reginald or Amprhomoo? Where am I supposed to get better? I feel like Sisyphus, continually going against impossible odds with no end in sight. The game is starting to not be fun and considering how much I enjoy the game, it worries me.
TLDR: I keep fighting people who are triple my normal wins. How am I supposed to get better when I am fighting people 300-500 elo range above me? The game has lost it's fun factor after a couple of weeks getting stomped and I don't know what to do. I'm looking for advice on how to make the game fun again. Thoughts?
To help reassure you, you almost certainly are above average if you're running into gold players in normal. Gold is something like the top 8% or so of players; you wouldn't be seeing them if you're below average, especially as a new level 30. They're probably a lot better than you, because they're probably queued with friends who are much worse, but you wouldn't be seeing them at all if you were below average. As far as running into them every game, it's probably partly bad luck in lane assignments - if you were laning against their friend who is significantly worse than you, you probably wouldn't notice how good the gold players on the enemy team were aside from them crushing the lane you're not in or outplaying your team in teamfights. That's actually one of the major reasons why a lot of players do develop the sort of hubris you're wisely avoiding and blame their team; they just fault their teammates if they wind up feeding someone who's much better than anyone on their team, never wanting to admit they'd have done the same thing.
Just focus on getting even stronger mechanics and teamfight positioning, and things will become a lot easier as you get more runepages, switch to draft mode, and start being able to do things like counterpick in champ select. You might be able to do normal draft now if you hit the minimum number of champs with the free champion rotation added in.
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