Welcome to the country roads, the bumpy, dirty and secret side of gaming.
We'll be looking at why a barbell strategy is a robust way to approach ladder climbing.
My elo history from the last 2 months. A bumpy a road.
Mother of bumps!
From this we can see the barbell strategy at work. This is how I managed to keep my down side reasonable, and take full advantage of my upside. This shows a lot of volatility and how gaming is not something that has a relatively straight line, but many extremes that bounce back and forth. Beating the system means taking advantage of those positive extremes and mitigating the negative ones as much as possible.
This is how the barbell strategy works. I found champions that I can fall back on, a small set of champions that I can rely on whenever I'm experiencing a down side. Think of this as a solid, very hard to break foundation. Something that doesn't lose or win a lot. This will acts as a buffer and helps mitigate loss.
I also keep up to date with the changing meta as well as trying and experiencing new champions. This is how I take advantage of the up side. That big shot in the graph was not done by my regular champions, but by the ones I experimented with. These experimental champions are what gave me that huge boost.
Experiment in ranked, not normals. Yes, you read the right. This is a domain problem so many league players fall in that trap. Just because you're good with a champion in normals. Does not mean you're good with them in ranked. The two ladders are completely different beasts. On top of this learning in ranked is much more productive. Of course you'll have an initial 1 or two losses. But from those two games you learned more about that champion in solo ranked q. Than you would in x number of games in normals. After those initial losses I found I had a pure understanding of how the champion worked in solo q. Which allowed me to juice a lot of wins out of them. As vVv Anaxamander says below, a smurf account is a great way to learn champions in ranked, it allows you to experiment while not having to worry about the losses.
I realize now, that I fell into a trap. Instead of reducing the amount played with my experimental champions that got me all those wins. I kept on playing them hoping for the good old days to come back. Which is why you see those very big plunges at the end when I got into gold.
It's best to have a few solid champs to fall back on when the going gets tough. But to also have experimental champions that have the potential to generate a lot of wins. But don't fall in the trap of clinging to these experimental champions when you begin loosing with them. Instead fall back on to the solid champions you know how to play which will lessen your losses.
The ideas in this blog where birthed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, like antifragile and "barbell strategy" but the examples and expansions are my own.