The 3 Biggest Lessons from Tyler1 Hitting Challenger Playing Jungle

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Tyler1 has defied all expectations by hitting Challenger playing only jungle. Here are the three biggest lessons to take away from his achievement.

They doubted him, but he has done it. One of the most popular League of Legends streamers, Tyler “Tyler1” Steinkamp has reached Challenger playing only jungle in around 1300 games, with a 52% win rate. A long-time ADC main, Tyler1 set off on his journey at the start of Season 10, in order to prove his belief that “jungle is the easiest role in the game.”

More from Blog of Legends

Now, having reached a level in just a few months of playing jungle, Tyler1 appears to have proven himself correct as he has rocketed past many junglers stuck in Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster for years. But did Tyler1 show junglers the key to improving themselves and reveal some other truths about the jungle role? Here are three lessons we can learn from Tyler1’s climb to Challenger.

1. Jungle is the Easiest Role…Kind of

It’s hard to dispute Tyler’s claim that jungle is the easiest of all roles when he reached Challenger in just a few months of playing the role. However, we need to put some context into how he climbed.

Tyler played very high-pressure style of jungle, focusing more on getting off ganks, invading, and fighting around objectives as opposed to sequencing camps, pathing, and tracking the enemy jungler. While he certainly did all of those things (and quite well), it was very rare that you would see him do full clears. Instead, he would prioritize moving to objectives, fights, or ganks. In this way, he puts a lot more of the trust in his teammates to use the advantages he gives them, rather than accelerating his own leads.

If you compare Tyler1’s OP.GG to other Challenger junglers, you’ll notice he tends to have less gold and CS per game than other junglers who prioritize farming and pathing. While this will no doubt please laners who have been screaming “jungle diff,” now having evidence that all junglers need to do to climb is camp for lanes and ignore their own farm, it also puts a burden on junglers to properly synergize with their laners to make sure those leads get put to good use.

So, in conclusion, yes, jungle is the easiest role if you can snowball laners who will use that lead effectively. It’s doing what junglers are supposed to do, putting the early game burden on themselves to accelerate laners and putting the trust in those laners to carry later on. The only problem is that, in a game like League of Legends where players are constantly told to not trust their teammates, this style of play can be quite frustrating when it fails.

2. Find Your Playstyle and Champion Pool

Tyler1 basically ran four champions constantly to climb in this process: Olaf (his most played, which he ended with a 57% win rate), Ivern (his second-most played and his highest KDA champion at 54% win rate), Karthus (55% win rate), and Draven (his comfort champion when off-role, 60% win rate).

While he had a ton of games on champions like Lee Sin, Jarvan, and Kindred, he wasn’t able to find the same consistent success (52% win rate max) compared to his comfort champions. There’s nothing wrong with finding your comfort champions and playing to your own style, but we have to acknowledge that his three most-played junglers are fairly unique compared to most high-elo junglers.

The lesson here is that you should look to find the style of jungler that suits you. Tyler was obviously much more early game focused, which is why Ivern and Olaf were his two most played champions. Olaf has to win the early game as one of the best skirmishers in the game, and Ivern’s unique kit basically forces him to constantly gank for his teammates.

However, the inclusion of Karthus in his top three most-played champions is interesting, since Karthus is a completely different style of jungler (he likes to hard farm and scale up). This goes to show that your playstyle does not have to be so one-dimensional (he was not nearly as good on other early game champions like Lee Sin and Elise) but you need to find champions you’re comfortable playing.

3. Mechanics Aren’t As Important as Game Knowledge

When you look at that champion pool, you can tell that those are not the most mechanically-intensive champs. Olaf basically wants to run at people and hit them with axes, Ivern is a shield bot with one skillshot, and Karthus has a passive that basically allows you to die and still be useful. By contrast, those more mechanically-demanding junglers, like Lee Sin, Kindred, and Elise weren’t as successful for Tyler.

That’s quite surprising, given that Tyler is famous for playing one of the most mechanically-demanding champions in the game, Draven. Yet somehow he was able to climb out of jungle without needing to rely on his superior ADC mechanics to do so.

Everything You Can Get in the Pulsefire Event. dark. Next

This is because, as alluded to above, Tyler has incredible game sense and map awareness. He knows where to be on the map, which lanes are gankable, when to prioritize an objective, and how to play around his fed carries. He can play selflessly when he needs to, he controls his mental to avoid tilt (shocking, I know), and even Tarzaned admitted that Tyler1 reads the map better than he does.

Tyler1 has accomplished something that most people did not believe he could do when he started out and truly proved that he is one of the best players in North American League of Legends. While he may always be marred by his past, this feat is just another reminder to the level of talent he has. Congrats to Tyler1!