This past Legends of Runeterra seasonal, a lot of the community feels a type of way about their loss, the competitive scene, and the Ladder grind. And though there are things to say about all of those concerns. I want to take this time to talk about the difference between a "professional" and an amateur LoR player, because it might not be as big a gap as you or someone else had brought you to think it is. Now can the pros showcase their skill 100 times better than the average person? Duh! But it’s because they spend 100 times more time on it than you in most cases.
It’s a very rare occurrence that somebody just comes in, invests very little time and slays everybody with pure talent. So here are 5 expert habits you should be doing if you want to be better at not just Legends of Runeterra, but anything you set your mind to achieving.
1. Gotta Be Open Minded
When it comes to CCGs everyone has their preference and their distaste. Aggro, Control, Midrange, and everything in between. Honestly, that's pretty much any game. But the players who can adapt to the meta, the ones that compete at a consistent competitive level in Card Games, they all keep an open mind. The average player has a preferred playstyle and will not feel comfortable playing the unfamiliar. (Self-included) Sometimes that might work if the current meta fits, but if it doesn’t then this can lead to a massive drop in performance, negative thoughts, and self-doubt.
Some players have that raw talent, and they stand out because of it. But not everyone can be Bobby Fischer and the ones that are do a lot of what we'll be talking about next. However, for the majority of top tier players, they stand out mostly because of the discipline, the ability to adapt, and playing what works. From Yu-Gi-Oh players, to MTG players, to LoR players.
2. Analyze, Analyze, Analyze
The biggest thing that professional gamers do to differentiate themselves is shifting their mindset to an over-analyzing one. And it's not about just looking at numbers and making decisions based on that. It's also about looking at real world information as well. Most of the time, pros are taking an objective look at what is going on in their game in order to learn from it. Where were the misplays? How could they have won a turn faster? What were the missed outs? They don’t just simply play the game, they watch replays.
You have got to watch replays of your games win or lose. You want to constantly seek to understand not just what happened, but why it happened regardless of the result. The more you know about the game the easier it is going to be to make a better decision in future situations and this is one way of learning more.
3. Be Focused And Intentional
Players who are really good, historically, usually also develop a hyper-focused mindset to allow themselves to constantly improve on one thing at a time. Flash Fact: if you try to focus on too many things at a time it will result in a less than optimal learning process. Hence why so many players find it difficult to climb rank and stream at the same time for example.
Expert players are aware of this and always focus on one thing at a time. Having a good foundation of the basics is crucial before moving on to advanced mechanics. Putting all your energy on only one aspect at a time will ensure that you master that faster and will remain ingrained in your mind
4. Think and Talk The Game
There was an FGC member whose name escapes me but he said, "the way to get better is to play less". And what he meant by that is, don't get burned out just going through the motions. Spend time thinking about the game. Talking to peers about the game. The best players in the world are constantly thinking or talking about their respective games, even when they aren’t playing.
Talking with other players about the game will help you develop new ideas and boost your in-game creativity. Just as in real life, everybody has a different opinion and point of view so thinking and talking about the game allows you to gain a new perspective and insight that might lead to discovering some new strategies. If you go through life dismissing what is opposite of what you believe you'll learn nothing about anything ever.
5. Stay On Top Of The Trend
This is right up there with having an open mind. And why I wanted to close as I ended. Aggro, Midrange, control. What's the meta? Well, another dope habit that you should foster and that the pros are doing constantly is keeping an eye on what is trending. You're either watching other players or using certain software and 3rd party websites (Mobanalytics or Runeterra.AR) to measure and track deck efficiencies.
Games have a meta that is always changing. It's a fact that I personally have always ignored. I hated the word and the idea that in order to be the best you had to use the best stuff. This mentality has held me back in Yu-Gi-Oh, it's held me back in MTG, it's even held me back in Destiny! I'm not going to allow it to happen in LoR and that is why I'm telling you: "following the meta is a necessary action that one needs to do in order to be ahead of the competition".
Here's the bottom line. You can be great if you truly want. If you think it, you can achieve it. That doesn't mean you don't have to put in work though. So instead of beating yourself up over how your seasonal run turned out. Be motivated. Be driven. Implement these five practices and see how things change for you. Card games gonna card game. There is only so much you can control. But having the foundation to be able to put yourself in the best possible position is the key to being as successful as you want to be.
Hope this information helped. And if you are a professional player in any game or want to be. Let us know some things that you do that helps you out in the comments.