So, this post is dedicated specifically towards the explanation of what exactly "Solo Queue" is. The reason is because of just how little people think of what they are doing the second they hit that matchmaking button and why it is frustrating to try and climb, as well as the sense of entitlement for a higher position that every player has.

First off, What is Solo Queue?

Solo queue is a single player or a pair of players who get placed into matchmaking for ranked. But what does that matchmaking mean? This matchmaking grabs 9 other people (or 8) of your skill level (same matchmaking rating) and places them into "balanced teams." Now wait, that means that you are asking to be placed with 4 other people of your same skill level, with a positive attitude, well rested, not playing their first match of the day, and playing their best role/champion.

How asinine does that sound?

Too good to be true, that's what it sounds like, and you are probably nodding your head like "what kind of madness/ELO Heaven is this?!". Well, it will almost never be the case. That's the first step to understanding Solo Queue, no matter what, you are almost always going to have at least one person having something wrong with them. Whether that be that they sat down to play after they had a bad day (on tilt), or a long day at work (tired), playing their first match of the day (rusty/tired), super toxic (sometimes on tilt), toxic because of a losing spree/match before (on tilt), or just a troll who doesn't want to take things seriously (on tilt or just normally a troll).

So wait, how can you improve in Solo Queue if you are always going to be bogged down by terrible teammates every time you play?

Here's the thing, you can have up to 5 players on your team (including you) fall into one of these categories, but you can also have the enemy team that falls into these categories, and that helps you win. But regardless, it's a bad thing to deal with, so how do you fight against it period?

1. Muting

People forget that you can simply click once and you can see absolutely nothing the toxic player is spewing at you anymore.

2. You Still Have Other Teammates

One guy raging? Well you can have up to 3 other calm teammates, so why not just work with them and carry the rager? And who knows, he might even just follow you guys around to teamfights and actually do something. It's a rough scenario, but you can still turn it into a win.

3. Trolls

The absolute worst, the best thing you can do is just wait for the game to end and get everyone to report him/her.

4. How You Are Feeling

This is probably the most important thing that players must understand. Playing at your worst is necessary, because you can get the feel of how high of a level you can play at when you are at your worst; HOWEVER, spamming games when tired is the worst possible thing you can do. Understand that if you want to win in ranked, you have to be playing at your best for the best chance of winning.

So at this point you might be saying, all right, I understand Solo Queue now, thanks, but how do I move up and win more?

Let me ask you this, what are the only consistent things in Solo Queue?
1. 10 Champions, 5 on each team
2. 2 Teams of 5 teammates
3. 3 Bans (Might Get Changed Eventually)
4. You

Now how many things out of that list can you change? Bingo, only one thing, and that is You.

What comprises of you (or should) as a player?
1. Base Mechanics: Farming, Movement, Knowledge of Champion Abilities, Auto Attacking, Itemization, Laning
2. Medium-Level Mechanics: Trading, Dodging, Objective Taking, Shotcalling, Maining a Role, Teamfighting, Laning, Backing (Not Even Joking), Champion Picks/Counters, Guessing Wins by Team Picks
3. Advanced Mechanics: Trading (Abilities into AA's and such, as well as positioning to avoid trades), Teamfight Positioning and Focus, Sieging, Itemization, Laning, Champion Picks/Counters, Dodging Solo Queue Matches/Guessing Wins by Team Picks, Shotcalling, Timing Objectives, Timing Enemy Summoner Spells/Enemy Abilities/Enemy Ults, Roaming, Decision Making, etc.

(I'm probably missing a load of things, just because this is off of the top of my head, but people can fill that in)

This is just a laundry list of things that you have to focus on, and it just gets more complicated as you climb the ladder towards Challenger (like I'm currently trying to do). So if you really want to step your game up, then you have to focus on improving to get better.

1. Analyze Every Game You Play
Consider every death a mistake. Guess what you could have done to change that from a death to getting away, and then guess if those alternate scenarios would have still led to your death, and whether or not you shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Consider every loss a game you could have won, you did something wrong, no matter how many trolls you had on your team. Never blame your teammates, only blame yourself, because you can actually change yourself to be better. Best attitude you can have for Solo Queue.

2. Watch Streams
Analyze the things they do, try and guess what their actions will lead to, and also see if they could have done something else for their deaths, get yourself into a groove with this, you'll find yourself making better decisions.

3. Play
You can't improve if you aren't playing, don't be scared of ranked. If you drop from a spot and you deserved to be there, you can climb back up.

4. Research Your Champion
Look for guides, look at tips and tricks, find stuff out that you've never known about your champ, do everything you can to know the ins and outs of your champs. You'll play better doing this.

5. Research and Practice Mechanics
This is the best thing you can do early on in your ranked career, this works up to around platinum and then you just need to focus on consistency

Here's a list of some sources for this:

I'm sorry you had to deal with such a loooooooong boring dragged out blog like this, but I hope you enjoyed it and took something out if it. If you've got any questions just pm me or comment. Happy climbing :D!