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7 Low ELO Mistakes You’re Still Making!

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7 Low ELO Mistakes You’re Still Making!

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Ever notice how top players, even against the best opponents, don't seem to rush their shots?
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Ever notice how top players, even against the best opponents, don’t seem to rush their shots? Well, here’s the secret: the best players are incredibly good at analyzing threat levels in just a millisecond. Picture this: you’re at home, and you place your hand on a stove top. Immediately, your body recognizes the threat, and you pull your hand away to prevent a burn. You don’t even have to think about it.

Understanding Pro Player Decision Making

Now, you put your hand under a faucet; the water is still hot, but your brain recognizes it’s not an immediate threat, and you’re able to leave your hand there for a few seconds before pulling away. This is the first of seven mistakes that low ELO players are constantly making that prevents them from climbing in ranked.

Instant Threat Analysis

This process is the exact same thing that happens when a pro player sees an enemy on their screen. In just an instant, their brain begins to analyze threat levels. If the target is aiming directly at them, immediately you’ll see them flick to land the shot. It only takes them a millisecond to know that if they don’t shoot right now, they’re going to lose the gunfight. Often times, however, their opponent won’t be prepared for a gunfight. This is when you’ll see them be patient with their shots.

Aim Training and Patience

Many people praise aim training methods, such as the Miyagi method, for teaching players to be patient with their aim. But the reality is, these aim methods miss out on some very important nuances that need to be applied in all of your matches. Sometimes your target is aiming at you, and you need to rush your shots. However, if they’re not an immediate threat, maybe they’re fighting your teammate or have utility out, you can afford to take an extra second to line up that shot to make sure you land the kill.

Strategic Engagement

Imagine you’ve just taken down an enemy. The adrenaline is just pumping. Your instinct might be to swing wide for more action, but here’s the catch: because of your last kill, everyone is looking at you. The enemy team is now likely focused on your position. In high-level play, what you’ll often see instead is a tactic known as ping-ponging. After a player scores a kill, instead of swinging for more, they wait, allowing a teammate to take the next engagement. You might hear teammates call out, “I’ve got next,” signaling they’re ready to take the next contact.

Disrupting Enemy Expectations

Now, why does this work? After a kill, the enemy is alert to your position. By switching who takes the next contact, you disrupt their expectations and force them to adjust their aim and strategy. They don’t want to just ignore you because you could peak again at any moment. In fact, as we mentioned before, they’re expecting you to wide swing. So, when you don’t, they’re just caught sitting in a really uncomfortable place, not wanting to take their attention off of you but still having to worry about other threats.

Strategic Team Play and Individual Mastery

This moment of adjustment can be the split second your teammate needs to secure another kill. This strategic restraint and teamwork can be the difference between a single kill and winning the entire round. Now, keep in mind, if you’re looking to climb, by far the most important thing for you to master is the fundamentals. This goes far beyond things like crosshair placement and counter-strafing too. It also includes things you probably don’t even realize that you’re doing wrong, like peeling, spacing with teammates, or even just where you choose to stand. The players who are consistently able to drop 30 in their matches, they’re all masters of these things, and you could be too.

The Art of Baiting in Low ELO

Baiting your teammates might sound like a taboo, but in reality, it’s an essential strategy, especially in lower ELO ranks. Many players shy away from this tactic, fearing criticism from it, but let’s set the record straight here: effective baiting can honestly just be a game-changer. Firstly, in low ELO, you can’t always rely on teammates to trade effectively or close out rounds. In such scenarios, baiting is not just a choice, it’s a necessity.

Turning Baiting into an Advantage

The goal of baiting isn’t to selfishly let teammates die for no reason. It’s about using the attention they command to secure kills, or ideally, the round. When executed well, baiting should be a seamless strategic move. Picture this: your teammate enters A-site on Haven, drawing enemy fire. You’re not idly watching; you’re positioned to immediately trade any enemy engagement.

But there’s another side to baiting, often overlooked too. Sometimes teammates make suboptimal plays, unnecessary noise, or risky moves. In these instances, baiting transforms a potentially losing play into an advantage by following closely and being ready to capitalize on the enemy’s reaction to your teammate. You turn their mistake into an opportunity.

This proactive approach is crucial for climbing ranks, particularly in low ELO, where players frequently fall for baits. Remember, baiting is not about betraying your team; it’s about strategically positioning yourself to make the best out of every situation, whether it’s an ideal setup or just taking advantage of your teammate’s elephant feet. It’s about turning every scenario, good or bad, into a potential win for your team.

Strategic Positioning and Team Dynamics

Thank you for baiting. If you watch them run in and do absolutely nothing, if you follow them up and clutch out the round, most people don’t even call that baiting; they call that trading, which is literally just a more acceptable form of baiting. This brings us to our next mistake, though. Stacking up as a five-man squad every round is a common trap many players fall into. This approach not only makes you predictable but also underutilizes one of the most effective strategies in Valorant: lurking. In lower ELO games, lurking can be incredibly rewarding.

The Art of Lurking

And here’s a simple tip for you: at the start of each offensive round, take a moment to see where your team is heading. Then, unironically, consider moving to the opposite side of the map. This simple decision could significantly increase your win rate. Now, why does this work? In low ELO, players often overlook their flanks or are slow to rotate, making lurk kills surprisingly easy to obtain. By positioning yourself away from your team, you create pressure on multiple fronts, forcing the enemy to split their attention and their resources.

Utilizing Utility and Agent Abilities

Moreover, let’s consider the utility aspect. Valorant’s diverse agent pool, with around 24 agents, offers a multitude of ways to stall or counter a five-man push. Approximately 18 of these agents have abilities like mollies, slows, or stuns that can effectively bottleneck a grouped team in a choke point. When your team blindly commits to a five-man push, you’re essentially walking into a trap laid out by these abilities. Lurking not only gives you the chance for easy picks but also gives your team options in case they immediately get smoked off and stuffed trying to rush at the start of the round.

Split Plays and Map Control

Now, they can freely rotate around the map since you’re already on the other side holding map control. The goal isn’t necessarily to always work alone, though. It’s just to make sure your team isn’t all five-manning. On a map like Split, for example, sending three players mid and two towards A can drastically improve your chances.

This split play dilutes the enemy’s utility effectiveness, as they can no longer focus all their resources on a single point. It forces them to make tough decisions on where to commit their abilities and players. In summary, avoid the temptation of moving as a single unit every round. Embrace lurking and split plays to create openings and catch your opponents off guard. This not only makes your team less predictable but also leverages the strengths of your agents and capitalizes on the common weaknesses in lower ELO gameplay. By doing so, you’ll find your offensive rounds becoming more effective and your overall match performance improving significantly.

Defensive Strategies in Valorant

That you’ll see on the opposite side of the map, a classic example is on Icebox, where playing every angle solo is a recipe for disaster. Defense in Valorant isn’t about solo heroics; it’s about smart positioning, teamwork, and crafting traps with your teammates. One effective strategy is using the buddy system. Instead of trying to cover each choke point individually, pair up or form small groups. This approach allows you to set up powerful crossfires and play off each other’s positions, significantly increasing your defensive effectiveness.

Utilizing the Buddy System

For instance, use your sentinel’s utility to cover one area while two or three players focus on making a play in another. This way, you can concentrate your defense without sacrificing map control. Remember, even though there are numerous abilities in Valorant to stall or disrupt an enemy push, numbers still matter. In a situation where you’re outnumbered, such as a 1v5, no amount of utility can fully compensate for the lack of backup.

Avoiding Isolation

Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid isolated positions where you can easily be overrun. You’ll commonly hear positions like this referred to as “one and done,” meaning you get one kill and then you get traded out. Focus on teamwork and intelligent positioning instead of making solo plays all the time. Utilize the buddy system, craft plays and traps together, and set up crossfires. Your strength lies in coordination and mutual support.

Improving Defensive Rounds

By adopting these strategies, you’re going to find your defensive rounds becoming more robust, improving your overall performance in all matches. Another bad habit that players fall into, particularly in low ELO, is crouch spraying. Crouch spraying is a habit that feels instinctively safe to many players, especially in low ELO. The idea is that by crouching and spraying during a duel, you’re making yourself a smaller, harder-to-hit target.

Reconsidering Crouch Spraying

However, this tactic often backfires, particularly against skilled opponents. The primary issue with crouch spraying is that it makes you a predictable and stationary target. Experienced players typically aim for the head, and when you crouch, you’re making your head a completely stationary target. This is especially true in longer-range engagements where mobility and unpredictability are key.

Embracing Strafe Shooting

While crouch spraying can have its moments, often in close-quarters combat with weapons like the Phantom, it’s generally a bad habit to form, especially in lower ranks. It’s a crutch that limits your movement and makes you an easy target in most situations. The key is to understand that crouch spraying isn’t a necessity; it’s an option to be used sparingly and strategically. A more effective and versatile technique is strafe shooting. This involves moving or strafing side to side while firing in short, controlled bursts. This method keeps you mobile, making it harder for enemies to hit you and still allows for accurate shooting. Learning to counter-strafe, stopping momentarily to shoot accurately before moving again, is crucial.

Mastering Strafe Shooting

Strafe shooting is a fundamental skill that greatly enhances your dueling capability. In lower ELO, where players might not have mastered their aim, strafe shooting can be particularly effective. It allows you to dodge incoming fire while maintaining your own accuracy. As a default strategy, just focus on mastering strafe shooting. It provides a solid foundation for your aim and movement mechanics and is adaptable to a wide range of situations. This will not only make you a harder target but also improve your overall gameplay, positioning you better for climbing ranks and facing more skilled opponents.

Understanding Over-Aggression

Finally, our last mistake is when players throw away number advantages for no good reason. Over-aggression when in the lead is a common pitfall in lower ELO games. It’s a scenario that often unfolds a little bit like this: your team is up 5-3 on Bind. You’re feeling confident and decide to push out of B site, only to be taken down. Suddenly, what was a comfortable 5v3 advantage shifts to a more precarious 4v3 situation. This kind of unnecessary aggression can give the enemy team an opening they shouldn’t have had.

Leveraging Number Advantages

The key in such situations is to leverage your numbers advantage just by playing it cool. Instead of seeking out additional kills, focus on holding angles, playing the clock, and forcing the enemy to come to you. When you’re in the lead, the onus is on the enemy team to make a move. By playing defensively, you reduce their chances of turning the round in their favor.

Psychological Impact of Momentum Shifts

Another important aspect to consider is the psychological impact of momentum shifts during a match. When an enemy team manages to level the playing field from a seemingly hopeless situation, like turning a 5v2 into a 2v2, it significantly boosts their confidence and morale. This momentum swing can be more impactful than the actual numbers game. In low ELO, where games can often be a roller coaster of emotions and momentum swings, it’s crucial to remember this.

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