I threw my placement matches on a smurf account to the point where I was in Bronze 5. I spent a good amount of time in bronze and eventually crawled out and am now in silver. It is possible! I have over 400 games in bronze and I know something about being successful there. It is quite a bit different than being successful at higher competitive rankings. If you're trying to rank up before the season ends, feel free to ask me some questions. I solo queued the entire way, and at no point was carried/boosted by a higher rated player. Here's a few tips that I've found helped me to be successful.
Disclaimer: This guide is for people who find themselves in Bronze and do NOT deserve to be there, people who have a really solid KDA and frequently win their lane, but still have trouble getting out. If you do not win your lane consistently, your best bet is to play a supportive champ to help better players carry you. I won my lane EVERY game, and it still took me a very long time to get out of bronze.
1. Play a carry: Some people will hate me for offering this advice because its already hard to find players to support in Bronze, but its the truth. If you're a good player your best bet is to play a champ that can snowball and carry the game. This doesn't mean 'play glass cannon', though. Tanky champs can carry. Nasus can carry. Ryze can carry. Even if you're stuck jungling, its better playing a champ who can carry out of the jungle. If you're last picked and made to sup, do it, don't troll, don't complain.
2. Mid>Top>ADC>Jungle>Support: For reasons stated in #1, I have found this to be my preference with regards to choosing a role on the team. Mid is best because its a solo lane, you can get yourself fed, and because you're mid you can go wherever you're needed to carry other lanes as well. Top is similar, but more difficult to carry other lanes even running TP. ADC can obviously carry, but because a bad support can negate your skills, this is not ideal. It is difficult to carry out of the jungle because of the current support jungler meta, but it can be done. If your team is only SLIGHTLY bad, as a jungler you can give every lane the help they need to win, but if your team is awful, you won't be able to make enough of a difference usually. Finally, I agree that supporting takes skill and is an important role, and in some ways a support can 'carry' an ADC who is sort of unskilled, but as support you will find you can not carry a bad team.
3. Don't give up. Don't discourage. Don't rage: As a matter of fact, you might want to make a habit of not saying anything at all. Bronze is full of people who will afk/stop trying if they receive even a small amount of criticism. Even if you are trying to be helpful and productive by politely suggesting builds/items/strategies, some crybabies will rage because they simply can't handle being told what to do. Being spirited and upbeat can keep people in the game even if they are failing so that you can carry them.
4. Set yourself up for an early advantage: I understand that occasionally pro players will intentionally pick into a bad lane matchup, knowing they will get out-farmed for the sake of having a better ~40 minute team comp. This is NOT what you want to do. Whenever possible you want to pick a champ that has an advantageous lane matchup and can take advantage of an early lead to snowball and carry the game. You do not want to set yourself up for a late game team comp because 90% of players in bronze have no clue how to team fight and your advantage may go to waste. Simply win your lane convincingly, then win other lanes.
5. Find a playstyle that suits you and do it: I mentioned MY personal preference for roles and how I found the most success. It is important that you have the ability to know where you are good, and how good you are. If you don't usually win mid but jungling comes naturally to you, then do it. Likewise, don't fall into FOTM champs or strategies, simply do what works for you. Most of the strategies and reasons that pros have for picking certain champs is irrelevant for this level of play.
6. Find the best time of day to play. This will be different for different people in different time zones, but I noticed that for me, the percentage of players who were awful/toxic/trolls decreased considerably at about 6:30pm and stayed that way until about 10:30. When I had a high silver MMR, playing before 6:30 made it feel like I was still in Bronze 3. I'm not 100% sure of the reason why. Also, I've found weekends to be a complete **** show and should be avoided at all costs, no matter what time of day. Yes, this means you may be facing more competent players as well, but the important thing is that it means the game becomes less of a coin flip. Competent players are easier to carry than troll or afkers. Experiment playing at different times.
I've found bronze games to, unfortunately, largely be a coin-flip on which team wins. As I said, when I solo'd a lane I won it every time, but it still took me a long time to crawl from B5 so S5. Recognize that sometimes there is only so much you can do. Its a team game and you can only carry so hard, and sometimes people are just too heavy. Just do your best, recognize that you can't win every game, don't rage or say anything that might give people a reason to report you, just say GG and move on.
I'll continue to check this post to answer any questions people may have.
Play time does seem to make a difference.... I have found the same time, based on PST of 6PM - 10PM to be ideal. Most of the earlier East Coast players are starting to fade off is my guess, so you are getting players that are more fresh and not already mad. Also you tend to get a lot less foreign based players hitting the servers as well.
Not sure if the above is factually based, but I know playing ranked on weekends is just about one of the dumbest ideas you can have if you want to get away from Bronze / Silver.
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