Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson is a current League of Legends (L.OL.) professional player playing for the Golden Guardians academy team.
League of Legends is an online game created in 2009 by Riot Games that requires skill and strategic playing.
“Some things have changed for the better and other things for the worse. I had the opportunity to get a full ride to Maryville University because of League and I also currently play professionally,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson has been chasing his dream of playing the game professionally for quite some time and has worked his way up to the top, being as high as the 9th best player in all of North America.
For the past four years, Wilkinson has been ranked as one of the top five hundred players in all of North America, earning him a scholarship and a place on a professional team. With over one hundred million monthly players on League of Legends, it really shows just how much of an accomplishment top five hundred really is.
When asked Wilkinson what the best way for people who are serious about the game and have a dream of getting to his level he told me, “I think the best way to get into competitive is to focus on your solo queue rank first and get really high elo.”
Elo is a way of measuring players skill in games beyond the set ranking system. It means that you play people in a much higher than the rank you are in because of your skill level.
Climbing through the ranked ladder by yourself, establishing your name, and becoming a high-ranked player is just the beginning though. Working your solo queue rank, which in simpler terms is raising your rank where you play by yourself, not getting into games with your friends, and having little communication with your teammates can be grueling sometimes.
“It is very stressful and takes a lot of time and effort,” Wilkinson said on that same topic.
So how would you even get started on improving if you’re just a new player to the game who wants to start raising your rank? I asked Wilkinson what one simple tip is that he would say to someone who just starting.
“My main tip would be to turn off the chat and focus on yourself. Nobody says anything useful in chat, so no point in reading it. Also, there are always things you can be doing better so always focus on your own mistakes,” he said.
League of Legends has a chat system where people can not only type in chat to their team but also to the other team which can become distracting. I personally already took this step and have noticed an improvement in my focus and my overall play. Blaming others is also another big issue in the game that could really affect people’s ranks and how focused they can stay mentally.
So how can we close up all of this and tie it back to you, the reader, someone who maybe isn’t a top 500 player but someone who just wants a fun distraction to make some new friends with.
I asked Wilkinson if it’s beneficial to play League of Legends, and he responded, “Yeah for sure, League is especially fun if you play with friends or ignore the mean people in the game. The game itself is really fun.”
With everything going on in the world right now with COVID-19 issues and geopolitics, it is good to have a distraction, be with friends, and connect with the people around you when you otherwise couldn’t.
Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct a few spelling mistakes.