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How to Set Healthy Goals

"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."

Hello everyone! My name is SSpellPierce. Today, I’m going to go over setting healthy goals when it comes to Legends of Runeterra and climbing on the ranked ladder. When I decided to make the push into competitive Runeterra this past May, I reached Masters, and have kept hitting it until this season.

It’s still a work in progress though! I’ve been distracted by personal matters, World of Warcraft, and LoR Worlds (which was the most exciting production I’ve seen for a card game). Taking a goal slowly is a great way to avoid burnout and give you time to re-evaluate your methods of acquiring said goal.  So let’s jump into it!

Why set a goal? Goals are a great way to provide focus and reflection on why you’re committing yourself to a game, hobby, or profession. For Legends of Runeterra a lot of players who look to get into the competitive side of the game strive to reach Masters by the Seasonal cut-off. In order to reach Masters, players have to climb through the ranks. You gain 20 League Points (LP) with each win, and lose 20 LP with each loss. There are 4 divisions within each rank, meaning a player has to win 20 games to move onto the next one.


Reaching Masters in one season on a fresh account is no easy feat, since you need to win about 120 more games than you lose. This may seem like a daunting task, so how do we break it down? In order to climb you need to have a 50%+ win rate, so you gain LP over the course of your play sessions. Use each of your new ranks as a reflection point for how you got there.

Let’s say you just reached Gold. What were the most common decks you faced, and how did that affect your deck decisions? Did you play the deck you knew the best, or did you experiment? Is there a common mistake you’re making that is costing you games? Taking a moment to go over your play is a great way to find areas that you can improve and increase your consistency in climbing.

For me, my biggest break-through moments were realising that I needed to stick to just one or two decks so I could master them to increase my win-rate. I also realized that I tend to make mistakes when I get excited or panicked. I now remind myself to slow down, even when I think I only have one option. This process helps me reconsider the cards in my hand and how my opponent’s cards may affect the decision in front of me.


Let’s say you have bigger ambitions: great! Let’s say your goal is to reach the biggest competition in Runeterra: The World Championship. Where do we start? First, you need to ask: is this an obtainable goal? It’s important to be honest with yourself.

If you set a goal that is too difficult you could cause excess stress that may turn a hobby into a chore you no longer enjoy. Let’s change this goal into a stretch goal. A stretch goal is a bonus; it’s something to strive for once you’ve reached your main objective. This will align with the previous goal of reaching Masters and give you something to look forward to afterwards.



Now that we’ve re-evaluated getting to the World Championship, we will need to focus on a path to the World Qualifiers. For this past year, players had the option to qualify through reaching the Top 4 in any of the past 5 Seasonals, earning Seasonal points (acquired by winning matches in each Seasonal starting with Empire of the Ascended), or earning Leaderboard Points (acquired by a player’s top 2 leaderboard placement at the cut-off for Seasonals).

Personally, I chose to focus on Seasonal Points as this was the most obtainable goal for me. I didn’t have the time to focus on the leaderboard placements and I didn’t have the time to refine my skill to top 4 a Seasonal (unless I had some fortunate breaks on my opponents’ line-ups). However, I felt that I could be a consistent competitor and with some luck and practice reach multiple 6-3 or 7-2 finishes at Seasonals.


To compete in the Seasonals, one had to reach top 700 in Masters, or win multiple matches in the Last Chance Gauntlet. Another sub-goal to a stretch-goal! By this point we’ve set a lot of goals for ourselves: reaching a 50%+ win rate, reaching Gold, reaching Platinum, reaching Diamond, reaching Masters, reaching a 55-58%+ win rate in order to climb LP in masters, and finally reaching at least rank 700 in Masters. This may seem like a lot of goals, which can start to be overwhelming.

While we have the main goal of reaching masters, and the stretch goal of making the World’s Championship, it’s important to focus on the goal closest in front of you. Once you reach the next step remember to celebrate your accomplishment! One of my favorite things about the Mastering Runeterra Discord is seeing players get excited about their first time reaching a new rank each season. Each rank has its own challenges and different types of players to battle through. Sharing in the accomplishment and hyping up your fellow competitors is a healthy way to promote their achievement and remind yourself of what you’re aiming for. 

 



What if the end of season rolls around and you miss a goal? In my goal for Worlds Qualifier, I was doing well and had 27 seasonal points. At the end of July, I determined I needed to get at least 15-20 points to have a chance at qualifying. To be safe I made my goal to be reaching the top 32 and winning one match for roughly 19 points.

Unfortunately, I tanked my LP trying to push for a top 50 leaderboard finish, which would allow me to make top 32 with a 7-2 Seasonal run. Then I didn’t stop playing when I got close to the 700th position in Masters and again I didn’t stop when I dropped below 700.

I didn’t even qualify for Seasonals… I sat in the dark with my dogs, trying to comprehend what I’d just done. I felt terrible and lost a lot of motivation to even play the game. When you miss a goal, it’s equally important to reflect on what led to that moment. In my example, I pushed myself harder than I should have, and put too much weight into what should have been a stretch goal.

In hindsight, I had a great year and was actually super close to my goal. I felt my line-up was great for that Seasonal, and the preparation I had done would have led to a strong finish. I will never know, and that’s okay! I can’t change the past, but I can make sure my goals in the future are more attainable. Further, I can respect the work that my past self did by not playing towards the end of the season if I start losing LP.

Alternatively, I could have made sure that I qualified through the Last Chance Gauntlet to give myself a back-up plan. It’s hard to find the silver-lining when you’re feeling down. However, focusing on what you can learn gives you a direction to channel your frustration and turns a negative into a positive.

Let’s review: Setting goals is a great way to define the purpose of your competitive ambitions while giving you opportunities to celebrate and reflect on your journey. Stretch goals provide a healthy alternative to goals that are more difficult to achieve.

Breaking your goals into workable chunks allows you to stay invested as you progress towards your main goal. When you miss a goal, consider what led to that outcome. How can you improve your goal setting, and your ability to reach future goals? When you achieve your goals remember to take a moment for yourself and celebrate your hard work. You earned it!

 

Thank you for your time! I’m looking forward to writing more articles for Mastering Runeterra. Now that I have more time this season, I’m going to work towards Masters and occasionally stream the shenanigans at [twitch.tv/sspellpierce]. I love brewing decks and  tinkering with new ideas. My climb may be a little slow, but I’m going to make sure I have fun along the way. My current goal is getting back into Seasonals. What’s yours? I wish you the best of luck in your climb and in setting goals for LoR and life!

Let’s do it again!
SSpellPierce