Getting Good At Wild Rift 5: Bronze-Tier Gaming
I finally did it! Over the past few weeks of playing Wild Rift, I felt some improvements after getting help from the BJD guys and decided to finally jump into ranked matchmaking. I went 5-5 in my calibration games, using Braum, and ended up in Bronze III with one match to promotion. Not bad considering how my estimated rank was Iron I - at least I know I'm not the worst of the worst! Here are some of my thoughts during the calibration process.
Looking for a match took quite a long time, especially at night. I know it's a case of not enough players, but when a queue goes above 2 minutes, something is wrong here (this happens in unranked as well, but not as often). There aren't enough people playing this game, which means there aren't enough people at my level to match against. Considering how quick matches feel, waiting to find a match feels disproportionately long. But for what it's worth, when I do get a game, it does feel equally skilled, so that's a plus side. I haven't encountered any smurfs yet (or at least none that I can recognize immediately).
However, there were a couple of matches where I faced off against an almost full bot team, which was a free win, and there were games where I had bots on my team as well (luckily the enemy had more bots so we won). This is a big no-no for the game. It immediately sucks the fun out of the game and ruins it for people who are looking for a PVP experience. I'm not sure how these issues can be solved right now, but if it keeps up, I feel it will drive away new players. On the contrary, looking for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang games are almost instantaneous at all the ranks I played at, and I never encountered any bots in my games. Wild Rift definitely needs a lot more players in order to thrive. With so many people in the world who enjoy mobile games, especially in today's stay at home climate, it can't be too hard right?
Networth <> Performance
One of the main factors that makes a Champion playable as a support is their ability to scale without items, which is why I love playing Braum (and the support role - who likes farming anyway?). Sure, more items means I get tankier and can stay in fights longer, but not having any items doesn't stop me from positively contributing to team fights. Throwing out my Glacial Fissure to start a fight or save an ally is good enough only requires levels, and so is jumping in with Stand Behind Me to block incoming attacks using Unbreakable. I only need to be there, and in a good position to help sway the tide of battle because honestly, unless we're stomping, I'm not expected to solo-carry the game or make pickoffs around the map. I'm there to make sure my cores can do their job with the farm they've secured. I've won and lost games where I've had a lot of farm on the hero - positioning and spell casting played the biggest difference in my matches.
Resilience is key. Not just in Wild Rift, but games like Dota 2 as well. Being behind 0-8 is not the end of the world. It just means some lanes are struggling, and you still have the mid and late game to come back. However, the significance of an early lead shouldn't be underestimated as well. Knowing you're ahead can also make your team more confident, and play better. But it can also cause overconfidence and stupid plays. Balance is key here, but don't give up - there's always a way back. Keep in mind that your enemies are as skilled as your team, and both sides are as likely to make mistakes, it's just up to one side to recognize and capitalize on them.
My final few calibration matches:
Now that I've got a rank, it's time for me to keep playing to get better at the game. If I'm somewhat decent, I see myself ending up at Gold - or at least I'll make it a mission to. I believe that it will be attainable. Not sure if I'll use Braum all the way, but I'm definitely going to stick to the support role (I'm kinda itching to play some Blitzcrank!).
I love how Wild Rift doesn't have so many notifications to get rid of in the main menu. Don't get me wrong - there are still many 'dots' to clear, but it's nowhere near what MLBB, PUBG Mobile or Free Fire have. It doesn't take long for me to get rid of those dots, which I find pleasing. But this lack of objectives/goals for players might be an issue if the majority of mobile gamers look forward to them. I know I'm all for this cleaner user interface, and I hope it stays this way.
Wild Rift is a super fun game that translates the MOBA experience well to mobile devices, but like other games in the genre, the learning curve is steep and the skill ceiling is very high. If you're out there on the same journey as me, feel free to drop some tips or words of encouragement in the comments. All the best, and see you guys in the Rift!
I stream Wild Rift live occasionally on my Facebook Gaming page – do follow me if you want to catch me live. Stay tuned to eGG Network for all the latest esports coverage, and don’t forget to check out Soupykambing’s journey in getting good at Free Fire!