Picture of the Red Bull Solo Q trophy.
© Timo Verdeil / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Solo Q winners reveal how to win 1v1 in League of Legends

Red Bull Solo Q finalists spill the beans on how to win without team-mates on the Rift.
By Pieter van Hulst
5 min readPublished on
League of Legends is normally a team game, played 5-on-5 with different roles to maximise gold income. Red Bull Solo Q is one of the few tournaments where players face off in one-vs-one battles in the top lane, with a different set of win conditions. If you ever wanted to win a game against one of your friends (or people that trash talked you after a ranked game) then this is the guide for you.
Red Bull Solo Q is played on the top lane on Summoner’s Rift. Picking is done through blind pick, which means that you don’t know what champion your opponent picks. There are three ways of winning a game: you kill your opponent, you reach 100 creep score or you get tower first blood.
Over the past few months, people from all over the world had the chance to qualify themselves for the Red Bull Solo Q championship, set to take place later this year in Germany. We had the chance to talk to two of the qualified players to see what kind of tactics they've used to reach the top.
Bedirhan ‘reptilezero’ Turan won the Red Bull Solo Q Europe West qualifier on May 9 2020. He played 85 percent of his games as Lucian, because “Lucian covers many disadvantages that a lot of other champions have.” Christopher ‘Deus San’ Muhl, meanwhile, won the second Europe West qualifier – he likes to mix things up because “especially in BO3 [Best of three] and BO5 it's not always good to pick the same champion over and over again.”
Because of the tournament setting, players have a lot less to worry about. There are no jungle ganks, weird rotations or objectives to control. However, this means that the other aspects of the game (like minion wave control) are heavily emphasised. Knowing when to all-in and play conservatively or when to back are all aspects of laning that you have to excel at in order to become a winner in Red Bull Solo Q.

1. Base timing

A good back can win a game. The 100 CS win condition means that in order to stay in the game, missing valuable creeps is a no-go. reptilezero says: “The best time to base is when you have pushed your wave to the enemy turret and have enough gold for an item that you want to buy.” If you’re behind or the enemy has the upper hand you can try to hang on until the enemy bases.

2. The turret

Destroying the enemy turret is a win condition that is never really achieved. For both reptilezero and Deus San, the turret first blood wasn’t even on their mind when they were playing in the qualifiers. Deus San adds: “The games simply don’t last that long.” However, hitting the turret is still valuable since turret plating can give you a serious gold advantage. So when do you hit the turret? Deus San and reptilezero see things differently. Deus San will only hit the turret when the enemy is at base “and you are sure that you will be able to get a plate, then you can hit the turret.” reptilezero, however, says that he will hit the turret every time he isn’t able to hit the enemy.

3. Minion wave management

Minion wave management is the art of controlling a minion wave. If you’re able to get the minion wave in the right spot, you can deny your opponent CS and experience. This means that you automatically gain an advantage by simply killing the right creeps at the right time. An important aspect of wave management is freezing a wave, so that it never hits your turret. You can do this by making sure there’s an even amount of friendly and enemy minions fighting each other. reptilezero says that he will only ever freeze a wave when the enemy is scared to push it in. Deus San says any time he can set up a freeze, he'll do it.

4. Farming

Both Deus San and reptilezero think that farming is the key win condition in Red Bull Solo Q. reptilezero says: “I try to farm as much as possible and try to avoid trading with the enemy. Most of the time I still have more farm. After the first base, I will have a gold advantage which automatically leads to better items and better trades.” Getting a creep score advantage means that you’re automatically pressuring your opponent in making bad decisions. They either have to suddenly outfarm you or squeeze in a dirty all-in to go for the kill.

5. All-inning

Unfortunately, you can’t always get a favourable match-up. Sometimes the enemy counters you or you have a single bad trade in the early game. There are times that you can’t stay back and farm, and that you have to go for the all-in in order to win. Deus San says that all-ining isn’t something you always have to do. Farming is often the safer and better option. However, when the game is almost over “all you can do is all-in and maybe try to kill them”.
Are you excited to see the raw 1vs1 games in action? Think you’ve got what it takes? Sign up to compete in Red Bull Solo Q right now.