Does "Elo hell" exist? What is it? How can I get out? And of course, there's the infamous "I'd be gold/platinum league if I wasn't stuck in Elo hell and my teammates kept making me lose!" I am here to reveal the truth of what I believe about the concept of "Elo hell".
What IS "Elo hell"? Elo hell is the rumored subject of an Elo range in which the people are trolls, intentional feeders, AFKers, and people of poor internet. These things often cause losses in ranked games, which brings people to the assumption that they will never escape because their teammates make them lose.
Does "Elo hell" exist? Yes and no. If you have ever watched Demetri Martin's stand-up comedy, he has a joke about a mythical creature that doesn't exist is you believe in it, but exists if you don't believe in it. This is similar to "Elo hell". "Elo hell" doesn't exist for what people think it does. They think it is the Elo range where ALL the trolls, feeders, etc. are located. This is not true. If you watch any high Elo streams, you will still see those people up there. I watched a stream of Crumbzz from Team Dignitas, he was at 2600 rating, and people were feeding, trolling, raging, and everything else.
I personally don't believe there is an "Elo hell" but I do understand what people are trying to describe, and yes, it is very frustrating getting more inadequate players than usual. Even to the point where people playing normals are better and more fun to play with than the ones in ranked games.
I don't deserve to be with teammates this bad, I am a good player. Here's where the fault is. These attitudes are what CREATE "Elo hell". Let's pretend that there absolutely 100% exists the place of "Elo hell". If you know for a fact the people are sensitive, and will rage at the slightest comment about virtually anything, do you think blaming those people will help any? If you know someone is likely to get mad and then lose on purpose when you call them terrible because they made a mistake, why provoke it? It's not going to help your case any to be negative. Do you ever play so much better when your whole teammates rag on you for having a bad play, game, or day?
Even if someone is not the type to rage when being called out, it still affects their playing. If the team is furious about bad plays, instead of politely suggesting things to do, then they get paranoid of how they are supposed to play, and they don't know what to do. I've had these moments where I know what the right thing to do is, but I'm worried my team won't do the same, or will disagree with me. This has affected my playstyle because I wanted my teammates to like me, so I played how they wanted me to, instead of the right way. Being overbearing and too focused is just as bad as having a lack of awareness.
How do I get out of "Elo hell"? There are a lot of small steps to getting out. I'll go over the majority of what I can, and some might be left out if I don't think of it.
Step 1: Realize you suck. This sounds aggressive, and condescending, but that is not the intention. This is LITERALLY what you have to do. I always thought "Gosh I'd be gold league EASY if my teammates weren't so terrible." I kept looking for ways to get out of "Elo hell" and I researched, and watched videos. Everything said "you aren't good if you're blaming it on X." If you tell yourself that you aren't as good as you think, it helps significantly. That's when you stop going "Here's why my teammates suck" and then go to "Okay, I can get better at X, Y and Z, and that will improve my gameplay immensely." Focusing on improving yourself decreased your weakpoints, and the opponents can't take advantage of that.
Step 2: Work on your "X, Y, and Z." This one is fairly obvious. Once you realize what your personal weaknesses are, you now know what to improve on. Do customs, normals, pre-mades. Practice with friends. Something big you can do is intentionally pick yourself into bad situations against your weakpoints. Do draft pick normals. If you like one champion in particular and the enemy team has picked a counter, then counterpick yourself. Skill > champions matchups. This also teaches you how to deal with bad matchups, and keeps you playing smarter and on your toes.
Step 3: Stop blaming your teammates. This is similar to step 1. If it's always your teammates fault for losing, then the other team is coincidentally always getting the "good" players. Yes it's random, and yes it does happen where one team gets completely better players, but it is virtually impossible for this to happen 100% of the time. If you actually ARE good, then that's 1 guaranteed player on the team that isn't bad. Therefore, mathematically speaking, the enemy team has a higher chance of getting a worse team since you can't guarantee that any of them are good, but you can guarantee that you are good IF you really are.
Step 4: Solo/Duo queue is Existential, and completely different from pre-mades. Existentialism is the belief that everything is one's own fault. If somebody across the globe gets killed, it is your fault. This is because you COULD have been there, and you could have stopped it somehow, but you weren't. The same is true for Solo/duo queue. The most common belief is "Our jungler is terrible. Your jungler keeps ganking me and I keep dying, but ours has done nothing!" So what you're saying is, you KNOW that their jungle is ganking, but you keep putting yourself in the position to get ganked and killed? That's not the fault of the jungler, that's the fault of you being out of position. As for every other possible play, it's your fault.
If you are middle, and your teammates and bottom die, it's your fault, you could have done something. It may not always have been the right thing to do, and it usually isn't, but the fact is you COULD have. You could have beaten your lane, got fed, and counterganked for a triple kill. You could have placed a ward on every inch of the map so that you have vision of them 100% of the time and know their exact location. As aforementioned, it may not always be the right thing to do, but something could have been done.
The last thing I'm going to tell you about is a various situation. This is going to be the last thing because my fingers are tired and I want to play Xbox.
Step 5: Get REALLY good at 1 role, and even fewer champions.
Be very flexible, and be an average/above average player at every role and champion.
These are two completely different things, but both of them work and don't work. If you are flexible and good at a large variety of roles and champions, you can fit what your team needs, allowing your teammates to play their best roles.
PROS: Lower chance of taking someone's role who is a "Mid or afk/feed" person.
You can play anywhere, and being stuck in a role you're bad at thus causing you to lose can't happen.
You can decrease counterpick chances by picking differently depending on your variant pick positions.
CONS: You may be good at a lot of champions, but you're less likely to be REALLY good at some.
Unable to have the synergy that some players have with their favorite champions.
As for picking very few roles and even fewer champions, this has been my approach.
If you're one of the best players at a specific champion, and can handle any champion thrown in your lane, counterpicking doesn't happen. Example: I like to play Eve middle. Counterpicks to Eve are Ryze, Morde, Diana, and many others. But I play a mean Eve. I practiced and played every possible matchup to the point where I knew what to do and how to play in every situation. This made it very difficult for the payers who focused on counterpicking play against me, because I knew what it would be like and how to cope with it.
Also, if you play one role/champion all the time and win more than half your games, you can't lose elo. If you win 60% of your games as 1 champion, that's obviously more wins than losses. More wins than losses = elo going up. If you're 6/4 with an average of 10 elo a game, that's only 20 elo from that champion. If you're 600/400, your win % is still the same, but you've won 200 more games. At an average of 10 elo, that's 2000 elo just from that champion.
PROS: Can't be counterpicked. Doesn't matter where you are in pick position to choose that champion.
You know that champion more than anything in the world. You slowly memorize everything to the point where you'll know the outcome of a play before you even start to initiate it. You know exactly how much damage to do, you know exactly how to position yourself.
CONS: Higher chance at conflicting with "Mid or feed/afk" players.
Now for one actual final thought: TAKE BREAKS! If you get flustered from a 3 game losing streak, and enter the next champion select with the mentality of "gg, we're gunna lose cause you all suck and bring me down", how is that gunna help? Before anyone has picked or banned, you've made the assumption that they're horrible, and are all going to play as such. Even if they are good, they won't care to win because they'll want you to have a lower elo to suffer with, while they can just carry their games later.
It's basic science, and it sounds nerdy, but true. It's your fight-or-flight response being triggered, and it affects your brain. You're thinking "Ha, yeah my brain is acting similarly using the method of potential life or death threat situations in a video game, nerd." Well, it is. It can't tell the different between being threatened that a shark will bite your face off, or the threat of losing more elo. It's the desire aspect that triggers it. You'd desire to not die, and you desire to have a higher elo, thus causing the same response.
This one method has helped me the most, even if I've won the ranked game, but it was stressful as heck and you're all jittery, take a break. Play some Halo, Call of Duty, go play in the snow. Something to calm your mind and take it away from the stress and jitters. It keeps you from playing by making mistakes trying to avoid the stress that just happened. It keeps you focused on how to play right.
Thank you for reading, and I know it's an incredibly long thread, but I hope you appreciated it.
P.S. This was supposed to be much better, but my cognitive brain is lacking and I have the attention spam of a walnut, so I gained and lost proper thoughts in the middle of writing it.
If you have any questions/comments, feel free to add me in-game, and/or ask them here and I'll try to respond as quick and best as I can. I know I'm no Diamond league player, and my elo isn't the best right now, but I do understand the concepts and it's slowly helping me improve.