a summoner's guide to League of Legends

opnion

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Elementz out at Curse, Brunch U Retires

Untitled-3

While the NA playoff picture came into focus this weekend, the future of some key NA teams became clouded in uncertainty as Twitter lit up with rumors of an unnamed player retiring following the Spring split. Initial rumors circled around maligned Curse support Elementz, who has recently and publicly been clashing with his teammates – particularly All Star Jungler Saintvicious. A little background – following week 9 Elementz posted this vlog to his YouTube channel commenting about his doubt in Saint’s leadership abilities. Saint naturally retorted in the same venue, stating that Elementz does not take professional gaming as seriously as he ought to, and that his play was an exploitable weakness in Curse’s lineup that other teams had identified and began pressuring. The friction between Saint and Elementz is nothing new, and reaches back as far as season 2, as evidenced by this now-famous video in which Saint alleges that Elementz does not take his job seriously, and unsurprisingly Elementz does not appreciate Saint’s criticism. The trouble between Saint and Elementz was publicly dormant during the first half of the Spring split while Curse enjoyed huge winning streaks and a number 1 spot in the LCS standings. Unsurprisingly, once Curse began to struggle later in the season, dropping game after game in the last 3 weeks until they fell to 2nd place, old wounds were re-opened and the two clashed again.

It was revealed shortly after the NA LCS’ final Spring game that it was in fact not Elementz retiring, but CompLexity’s ADC Brunch U who was leaving. The rumors and speculation about Elementz was not too far off however as just minutes later it was announced via Twitter that Elementz would be stepping down to a bench position for the Spring playoffs and would depart the team and become a free agent once the playoffs concluded. Since, CompLexity has announced that former mid-lane Chuuper (replaced weeks ago by Pr0lly) would step in to fill for Brunch “temporarily”. It’s not clear at this time if CompLexity is planning to sign a new ADC or if they will continue with Chuuper if he excels in the position in the upcoming qualifier tournament. Curse has announced that they are bringing up Rhux from his position on the bench to fill Elementz’s spot. What potential impact could these changes have on the playoff and qualifier tournaments beginning this weekend? Let’s take a closer look at each new player.

chuuper

Chuuper Returns to CompLexity

Chuuper’s return to the team that benched him will see him in another carry role, but in bottom lane instead of mid. A look at his match history reflects a lot of practice in the ADC role and interestingly about half of his recent matches are as Ezreal – a champion that Brunch U did not play very much of in Season 3. It looks like Chuuper has had mixed success with Ezreal, sometimes carrying and sometimes losing with big crooked scores. Chuuper has also put in some work on more popular ADCs such as Vayne and Caitlyn, again with an assortment of results. Of course, performance in solo queue is not indicative of his potential performance at a professional level with his team, but it offers a glimpse into what Chuuper is doing to prepare for his new spot on CompLexity. Because coL has been careful to say that Chuuper’s tenure in the ADC role is temporary, I am lead to believe that he will either carry his team to victory in the qualifier tournament or find himself on the bench again following the tourney. As far as meshing with his team goes, the bottom lane synergy is less of a concern than it might otherwise be, Chuuper has the benefit of having played with the team for a significant amount of time. Look for Chuuper to go the extra mile to distinguish himself in this second chance at the first string team; there will surely be a lot of focus on his play in the coming weeks.

Rhux in at Support for Curse

rhuxRhux is something of a solo queue All Star, known for his success on the solo queue ladder in Season 2 where he hovered around the top 3 spots for almost the entire season. Likewise in Season 3, Rhux has been a mainstay at the top of the Challenger tier, but mostly as a Solo Top. Like Chuuper, a look at Rhux’s recent match history reveals mixed success practicing his new role in solo queue. Unlike Chuuper though, Rhux has been playing mostly champions that his predecessor is known for playing – more than half of his recent games coming as Sona with a few on Blitzcrank and Thresh. While this may mean that the overall strategy for Curse might not change, it will be an excellent litmus test for the validity of Saint’s Elementz criticisms. One of the big points made by Saint during his clash with Elementz was that opponents had recognized the Cop/Elementz team as weak in 2v2 lane scenarios. Early in the season Curse pulled frequent lane swaps to allow Cop to farm safely in a 2v1 lane, but once teams began forcing Curse to 2v2 during the lane phase, the Curse duo began to struggle. If Rhux and Cop have success in upcoming 2v2s it will appear to vindicate Saint and prove that it was the right move to bring Rhux in.

The Intangibles

The question remains: is the individual skill of Rhux the only factor which will decide his success on the team? Consider this: by many accounts, former GGU support – now with Vulcun – Bloodwater is one of the best Supports in North America, and yet when he left GGU and was replaced, GGU began to play much better, clicking together and winning games on a consistent basis. Bloodwater’s move to Vulcun also helped his new team, who began a run which carried them into the playoffs behind excellent shot calling and high level play from the new support. Rhux’s skill then, is only part of the consideration for the future success of his team. Luckily for Curse, Rhux and Saint get along very well, and in fact Rhux has been living in the Curse gaming house since the team moved in before this season’s LCS competition began. It is possible that Elementz’s departure will spell success for Curse simply by eliminating internal arguments and distractions. The relationships among the rest of the team appear to be holding strong – Cop remains passive and quiet, Saint remains close with Jacky and Rhux and Voyboy continues to be one of the nicest guys in eSports. The good news for eSports fans is that we won’t have to wait very long to see the conclusions to these storylines resolve – LCS action resumes in North America this Friday when top teams face off for bragging rights and to stave off a trip to the qualifier tournament which could see some LCS teams drop out of the Summer Split.

edit: Thanks to redditor /u/alexwilder for pointing out some factual inaccuracies about Bloodwater in this article.


If You’ve Ever Said “GG” Before The Nexus Fell…

This is for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVwA4vuXZ3E

 


America’s New Pastime: Our Generation’s Sport

americaheader

Growing up, I was a baseball fan. My father – in his childhood – was a fanatic. My father did it all: Collecting cards, scoring games, playing elaborate statistics games at home on his bedroom floor while the Yankees played on the radio; or playing stickball in the street with his friends. For our fathers’ generation and many before; baseball was life – America’s Game. As I got older and began to understand and appreciate the game, I watched my father’s love of baseball erode before my very eyes. As I grew to enjoy the sport, my dad seemed to lose interest. I asked him once why his childhood passion was no longer a source of happiness for him, and he grew wistful in his response. He recounted that even though he and his friends liked other sports – they were all big football, hockey and basketball fans too – baseball was special because it was the only sport where kids and adults alike could look down on the field and think: “I could do that”. Baseball players were not the enormous superhuman athletes who dominated other sports – they seemed like average guys; some were short or fat, some wore glasses and had names like “Mick” and “Ernie”. Baseball was on every day and night, it was a sport where 30% success is considered all-pro. Baseball was the most accessible sport, the closest thing to ownership that a fan could feel for a game.

Time passed, and in 1998 I watched my Yankees win 114 games. I held my breath with the rest of the country as two superheroes competed to break the holy grail of sports records: the single season home run record. Though it’s 15 years in the past now, more than any other summer I feel like I can remember every day of 1998, watching news reports and catching front page headlines to see if McGwire or Sosa had pulled ahead.

10 years later as I watched these heroes stand accused of cheating on the floor of Congress,  I understood why my father lost his love of baseball. Baseball was no longer the pastoral, blue-collar game he grew up watching and feeling a part of. Today’s players were now like those from other sports – gigantic finely tuned super athletes. Gone were the Babe Ruths and the Joe DiMaggios who reminded starry eyed kids of themselves, replaced instead with the likes of Alex Rodriguez and  Barry Bonds: guys with multi-million dollar contracts and crates of steroids. Baseball was no longer a game for average men and boys, and that fact killed the love of the game my father and his generation previously held on to.

baseball_steroids

Mark McGwire testifies before Congress about his alleged steroid use.

When Season 3 of League of Legends began this winter, I was struck by the synergy of the ranked ladder system for average players who wanted a tangible measurement of their improvement relative to top-level professional competition. Suddenly I found myself queuing for ranked matches on weekdays and tuning in to pro games on the weekends – two things which I’d never really done before. I saw guys just like me playing my favorite game at the highest level and found myself thinking: “I could do that”. Just like the kids in the street playing stickball and dreaming of being Ted Williams, professional League seemed accessible to me, I felt a greater connection to the game than I do with say, football. With League of Legends attracting record numbers of viewers, even mainstream media outlets are wondering: is this America’s new sport? MLG Dallas saw 2.6 million unique viewers, not a record high for e-sports, but what’s impressive is the “engagement time” – the average viewing time for MLG Dallas was around 150 minutes, much higher than the Super Bowl averages.

In some ways, the inter-connectivity provided by the web and the forward thinking team at Riot have created an environment in which a competitive spectator game can be enjoyed by fans all over the world in new, unprecedented ways. While traditional sports struggle to move into the 21st century weighed down by massive T.V. contracts and blackout restrictions, League and games like it enjoy a much more open experience for fans. Games are streamed all over the world for free. Replays are available on demand the moment the game begins – for free, and most importantly, Riot and other major games manufacturers encourage fans and sites (like allMIA) to cover their pro leagues. When we post match highlights, we’re able to bring you links directly to key moments in the broadcast in a way that a Hockey or Football blog simply can’t, due to NFL and NHL restrictions.

Our pros stream every day, connecting with the fanbase in a way that major sports just can’t. The game we play is the same game our pros play, and the dream that one day we’ll work our way up to the “challenger” tier, and qualify for a pro team is real and tangible, and it drives us ever closer to the game we love. As major American sports continue to alienate themselves from fans with bloated contracts, blackout restrictions, endorsements and lawsuits, companies like Riot offer a more attractive alternative. Consider this: 10 years ago, would you have ever pictured a scenario where you watched other people play video games with the enthusiasm that you watch “real sports”? I know I didn’t. Imagine where we might be in 10 years from now. We’re witnessing history, and even better – we can be a part of it. The NA and EU LCS first-half seasons wrap up in a few short weeks, will you tune in to see the future of competitive sports? Leave us a comment or tweet to us @ill_monstro_g – tell us what you think about the growth of e-sports and where we’re going as a community.


It Ain’t GG Till It’s GG.

ggbanner

Shh. Don’t speak. First watch this video.

That was CLG.EU (now Evil Geniuses) playing Moscow 5 (now Gambit Gaming) at Dreamhack 2012 this past summer. The kill spread may not seem like much to us average players, but take a look at the gold lead the Russian team has on CLG.EU – over 24,000 gold. Thats 7 and 1/2 Bloodthirsters. That’s 850AD (with max stacks). GG. Except… not. CLG sticks together, makes a play and takes the nexus for the win, down 24,000 gold.

GG.

It’s funny that these two little letters have so many different meanings and applications to gamers,  yet usually we can tell exactly what they mean given context. Of course “good game” is meant to be a sportsmanlike affirmation of a friendly competition – the equivalent of a Baseball team shaking hands with their opponents after a game. Despite its intended meaning, GG has come to mean so much more to the summoners of League of Legends. Over time, it has morphed into shorthand for “the game is over” as a frustrated imperative.  Players say “gg” after a bad team fight, following first blood or sometimes as early as champion select when – for example – a summoner doesn’t get the role they want to play.

“gg i cant play support”

“gg mid feeding”

“gg no jungle help”

“gg support KS”

These are all uttered by summoners around the Rift every day and has become a continually growing problem in League of Legends. “GG” said to teammates before a nexus is destroyed signals that a summoner has given up and will not play as effectively – or worse – when attached to a slew of insults (“gg top is noob, uninstall kthx”) demoralizes a teammate who is already (presumably) behind and in need of help, not insults.

Sometimes, a summoner will spout “gg my team sux” in [ALL] chat which is perhaps the most destructive abuse of the term. If signaling to the team that a summoner has given up is bad, imagine what happens when the enemy team sees that their opponent has given up.

To me, abusing “gg” is one of the most destructive habits exhibited by League of Legends summoners. Some summoners argue that the game they’re playing is hopeless, but saying “gg” prematurely accomplishes absolutely nothing except upsetting others, which should never be your goal. If you find yourself wanting to hurt another player, if you want to make someone else feel bad because they aren’t good at the game, or because they make mistakes; you are the reason you lose games. A player who is making mistakes can be taught to make smarter plays. A summoner with a mean streak who is so competitive that they berate their team at the slightest misshap can’t be taught to behave like a human being and will always reduce their team’s chances of success.

If you think of yourself as super competitive – and use that as an excuse to play angry – consider that truly competitive players always want to give themselves the best chance to win the game; this means never doing anything that reduces their chances of winning. You may feel that there is nothing you can do to improve your chances to win… but you can always make it worse. Don’t. Every game you play has something to teach you. Look for the lesson – even when your team throws – and you might just learn how to play from behind.

Post-Rant

If you want to learn how to win a game that seems lost, take a look at our article covering game 3 of the IEM Hanover 2013 Grand Final (VOD). CJ Entus Blaze’s play in game 3 shows how a team should play when losing the early game if they want to make a comeback. While the rando-pubstars you’re matched up with in Silver III solo-queue may not exactly be Korean mega-stars, every game you’re losing is a chance to practice the kinds of plays and strategies which help turn around losing games. Don’t give up. Don’t blame your team. Don’t say GG until it’s really GG.


Dorkly Points Out a Problem With Gaming

Really, this article is a reflection of a prevalent issue facing all communities from really enclosed ones like the League of Legends community to much broader communities like Reddit or television viewers. At times, fans forget that just because a sentiment or idea is popular or high profile doesn’t mean that other people don’t have contrasting ideas. Moreover, for those who claim gamers are “fickle”, the reality is that we’re all unique and have different tastes and opinions. While the term “hivemind” is often leveled at gaming or online communities, in reality the popular opinion of a group isn’t always as consistent as we’d like to believe.

What do you think about the Dorkly article? Leave a comment and let us know!


Changes Coming to Champ Select? Lyte Says So

Just quick post to let you know that RiotLyte is having a discussion about “fixing” champion select right now over on the official LoL forums.

The player behavior and experience teams at Riot are tackling some of the biggest problems in not just League of Legends but indeed all of online gaming and beyond. When a company employs people who ask questions like this one:

1) Real-Life Context | This scenario really illustrates how context outside the game can influence behavior inside the game. Traditionally, game studios don’t design or solve for context. Or can they?

You know that they are pushing the boundaries of what it means to play games socially and anonymously. As a community, we’ve got to do our part to support Riot’s attempts at manipulating player behavior as it directly benefits the entire player-base  Fewer games lost because of toxicity, less frustration and anger over a recreational activity – these are the net benefits which we all reap when Riot innovates in the social interactivity space. Check back with allMIA later for a closer look at RiotLyte and the plan to fix champion select.


Z.A.C. A Jungler? PBE Evidence Suggests Yes

Way back in December of 2012, Riot game designer Ezreal was asked if we would see a Yordle jungler released in 2013. His response in this official League of Legends forums post is as follows:

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, yes.”

Seeing as how this is just about as specific and concrete as game developers ever get, Yordle fans and jungle mains world wide felt their hearts swell in size, anticipating a new addition to their champion pool. Now a quarter of the way into 2013 (already!) some of the puzzle pieces surrounding new Zaun-affliated champion “Z.A.C.” suggest this just might be the champion Ezreal was talking about.

In a recent news post from Reign of Gaming it was revealed via datamining the PBE that upcoming champion “Z.A.C.”‘s reccomended starting items are a Hunter’s Machete and 5 health potions. While these kinds of things are tentative (such is the nature of the PBE) it seems like strong evidence to suggest that Riot intends the new champion to primarily function as a jungler. So how do we know it could be specifically a Yordle jungler? Take a look at these promotional images, also hosted over at Reign of Gaming. With cupcakes and candies scattered about, it seems like even more evidence pointing to a brand new Yordle jungler.

Of course this leaves one logical question… who is Lissandra going to be?


Average Leaguers: PeGaZuZ is Making The Climb

avleaguers

A gigantic thank you to the team over at Average Leaguers, a League of Legends community Facebook group that features funny and informative content from – well – Average Leaguers: Bronze, Silver or Gold ranked, it doesn’t matter. Average Leaguers seeks to bring content developed by individuals in the LoL community to the masses, and yesterday they became the first LoL web resource to link allMIA.

After reading through Average Leaguers’ newsfeed and having a few laughs, I was struck with an idea for a new feature named after our new Facebook friends. The Average Leaguers Spotlight here on allMIA will focus on one individual in the community who is trying to make an impact with their blog, stream or media content.

PEGAZUZ SPREADS HIS WINGS

Today, while watching the IEM Quarterfinals, a Twitch.TV user named PeGaZuZ dropped in and said he would give away some skins if he got over 50 viewers on his new stream. On a whim, I dropped in because Blaze and Anexis had just wrapped their first game up. What I found on Peg’s (as I came to affectionately call him) stream was a very interesting phenomenon that I’d like to take a second to share.

PeGaZuZ is a Silver V (just like me!) ranked summoner on the Europe Nordic&East server who has a goal to reach platinum by the end of the season. He invites his viewers to give him feedback and criticism to help him improve and reach his goal; as I’ve created allMIA for many of the same reasons – to share what I’ve learned and to keep a record of the things I need to improve upon as a player myself – the channel really struck a chord with me, so I stuck around.

pegstream

PeGaZuZ was very pleased with the sudden influx of viewers his stream got after his IEM advertisement but was immediately met with some initial criticism: once he gave away the skins, wouldn’t everyone leave? Peg tried to give his viewers an incentive to stay on the channel by taking music requests and by frequently interacting with his audience via Twitch’s chat function. From here the conversation turned into a very constructive one with Peg’s new audience suggesting things he might do to improve his channel and keep some of these new viewers. As a new streamer, PeGaZuZ does not have a microphone or webcam set up yet (he will set them up next week), which many players pointed out was key to the success of his stream, since it personalizes the stream, makes it memorable and gives viewers a reason to return (for sparkling personality!)

The most rewarding part of this experience – for me – was the random slice of life from the community that I got a chance to experience. Unlike a pro player’s stream which is filled to the brim with spam and summoners who are begging to play with the streamer, the small audience gathered for Peg’s stream had a conversation about the game, got to know one another and learned from each other. It was a great example of how individual summoners can produce and contribute valuable and high quality content that betters the League of Legends community as a whole.

I’m now following PeGaZuZ’s Twitch channel, and anticipate future broadcasts, just to check in and see how he’s doing. It’s great getting advice from the professional gamers out there, but amateur channels like Peg’s are valuable because they’re like real-sports-stories unfolding before our eyes as the “Average Leaguer” streaming improves their skills and the content of his/her stream. I look forward to seeing Peg set up a mic and camera, and eventually reach his lofty Elo goal.

If you have a favorite amateur streamer, or know somebody who is making the League of Legends community a little brighter in their own way, leave us a comment and we might feature them in a future Average Leaguers spotlight.


Humility OP: Carrying With Attitude

humilitybanner

Every time a frustrated summoner laments their solo queue experiences in a public forum such as r/leagueoflegends or the official Riot forums, one of the top comments invariably pertains to the behavior of the afflicted player. “Stay positive!” “Don’t rage” and “Communicate with pings” are always among the top suggestions from fellow summoners. Yet despite this pervasive sentiment, many players cannot stymie their bad habits, and continue to toil in their imagined “ELO Hell”.

So what new addition to the dialog can I make which might help those players who can’t seem to stop “raging”? The afformentioned advice to stay positive and focused is applicable, but that’s not enough for some players. I believe it’s the mindset you must have behind your behavior which makes advice like “stay positive” more universally applicable.

WINNING IN CHAMPION SELECT

This is one of the most prominent problems with solo queue, especially in lower divisions, and since it’s the first thing you do every game, let’s talk about it first. Everyone has heard this advice: “play carries in solo queue because you can’t trust other players to win for you”. This is the feeling of what is apparently the majority of solo queue players, which often leads to a scenario where nobody wants to play a supportive role. The outcome of this situation is normally competition – sometimes very unhealthy competition – for roles, an unhealthy argument which begins the game in the worst way. So how do you avoid the pitfalls of champ select? The simple answer is you cannot. The most important thread running through every piece of advice for solo queue is that you must control everything you have the power to control (same as the “play carries” advice), and this extends to your team’s behavior. You can’t pick your team in solo queue, and you can’t guarantee that everyone will be as smart, talented or respectful as you. What you can control is how respectful you are to others. You’ll find that by being as cordial and respectful as possible, you can turn toxic trolls into productive teammates on occasion – and when you can’t, would being rude back have done the trick? No, so being respectful is at least worth your time and effort in that it might just work.

aptrynd

We’ve all been stuck in champion selects like this. Can’t dodge? Be flexible. Fill the open roles, support if you have to. All the skill in the world can’t win a game if your team is demoralized and infighting.

Pick Order > “Call” Order

Sorry, it’s true. Mechanically true. Once somebody locks in Kog’Maw, what are you going to do? Convince him to support your Vayne? That kind of mindset will lose games, because if you’re stubborn enough to make defiant picks and not care about the outcome, your teammates will probably behave the same way.  Of course, it’s customary in the community to state which role you’d like to play (it’s smart to say so kindly, e.g. “Jungle/Support Pref” or “Mid/Top please”) but if first pick wants to play your role, and picks it before you have the chance, you’ve reached your first important choice of the game. How do you respond? If you’re not willing to fill another role, you’ve begun your game at odds with your team, and you’re going to lose.

Consider the following: what are your goals? To improve your skills? To win games? To climb into “gold” or “platinum” ELO? Just to have fun? The truth is all of these goals are reached by taking a common approach: try to control the game with your attitude. Being kind to your team (especially when they don’t deserve it) isn’t about being nice to them, it’s about making sure you have the best possible chance to achieve your goals. Remember your goals are to win and climb the ladder. Once your teammate has locked in the role you want you may feel like your chances of winning have diminished, but they only get even worse when you “rage” at your teammates or refuse to cooperate.

What about when another member of your team is the one whose role was taken by a higher pick? They’re raging away and poisoning your team because they don’t want to get “stuck supporting” or they “can’t ADC”. Guess whose responsibility it is to solve this problem? It’s yours, because you can’t count on others to solve your team’s problems. If you don’t do it, who will? Offer to switch your preferred role for the discontented player. Often the angry player won’t even take you up on the offer, but will immediately be a little less upset when they see some members of their team are willing to cooperate. This is your opportunity to show your team you are cool under pressure and can lead them to victory with good advice and cooperation. “If you don’t want to support, take mid from me, I can play Lulu” you’ll say. Is that player going to be as good of a solo mid as you would have been? You don’t know. What you do know is that if they had been “forced” to do something they didn’t want and had an attitude about it, your team would lose. This is a mindset thing: winning is more dependent on cooperation than individual skill. If you don’t actually believe this, you’ll never be able to make the healthy team-oriented choices that lead to wins.

WHY IS ATTITUDE SO IMPORTANT?

A team’s attitude is one of the most important factors among those that contribute to success; this is reflected in Riot-implemented systems such as the tribunal, the honor initiative and the quick in-game tips (“Did you know players who swear at their teammates lose 13% more games?”). I think most summoners who are genuinely trying to get better at League of Legends understand this concept, but find themselves frustrated by and reacting to teammates who do “rage” or “troll”. One common sentiment I’ve heard expressed by frustrated summoners is is “if I don’t say (x), that player is going to think what he is doing is OK” or “I don’t want that player to think they’re good.” This leads me to the shift in the mindset you have to have in order to successfully play with humility.

Be “Selfishly Humble”

Drawing a line between what you feel and what you communicate to your fellow summoners is important for your success in solo queue. Yes, the ADC who is feeding bottom lane is doing something wrong. Yes, the FOTM in mid lane is building incorrectly. Yes, your jungler is screaming and cursing in all-chat about how bad you are; and while you may feel as though these obstacles have made your game unwinnable – sometimes these obstacles make you feel like you don’t even want to win – you still have influence over the outcome of the game. You are 1/5th of your team. You know that the most productive response to somebody who is criticizing your build is not “STFU” or some derivation thereof, but sometimes the player in question is so wrong, or so toxic to you that you want to throw good sense to the wind and flame back. Humbly accepting the criticism of someone who you know is wrong, or who is rude in their critique can seem impossible for some summoners. So why should you be humble?

Who cares if some “scrub” in solo queue insta-locks and builds incorrectly? If a fellow summoner is hostile to you, or does not want to take advice, there’s nothing you can do except try to mitigate the stress their bad play puts on a team, and being mean or crude only puts more stress which in turn lowers the likelihood you’ll win your game. When you respond to a build criticism or a flame after a botched play (“WTF! Don’t tower dive, noob!”) you have a few options, let’s consider each of them and the impact they might have on your team and the game.

1) Ignore the troll

This is a pretty common approach which in practice delivers mixed (and therefore generally negative) results. A loud, discontented player generally only escalates their aggression when they don’t feel they’ve been heard. If you give no credence to their words, often that player will complain loudly to the rest of the team, or worse to the enemy team in all chat (“[ALL] omg this Ahri!”). Why is this bad? A few reasons. First – the more time your teammates spend flaming you in chat, the less focus and attention they have on the game. Second – if the enemy team gets the sense that you are disorganized or not on the same page, they will exploit that weakness. Expect extra ganks top lane if it becomes apparent that your top lane is not content with the play of your jungler. Finally – one poisoned player often “infects” other players on their team with negativity. A few rude comments from one player can quickly frustrate others and turn your whole team against one another. Very often I see players who struggle with team behavior claiming that they have to carry every game with their skill, that they have to play ADC or mid because they can’t trust solo queue players to carry for them; this same attitude applies to behavior: you cannot count on your teammates to control unruly players. Remember, you’re 1/5th of your team. If you’re not going to control the trolls, what are the odds someone else will?

troll

2) Rage back

Has this ever worked for you? Ever? Have you ever once swore at another player, or told someone to “STFU” and gotten desirable results?

3) Control the Troll (hint: choose this one)

Most often when someone is “raging” at their team in solo queue, it’s because they are feeling frustration that you can probably identify with. Sometimes, decent players will express this frustration in controlled bursts at first (e.g. “Xin we need u to build damage”). This is the best time to address the problem before it gets out of control. You shouldn’t spend an excess of time explaining your every move, but a simple acknowledgement of the criticism is usually enough to placate a frustrated player. Taking the previous example, responding with acknowledgement (“I’m working on it”/”Buying a brutalizer next”) or a brief explanation of your plan (“Yep, need a few wards first”/”Want to finish Warmog’s, BoTRK is next”) is usually enough to communicate the following to the angry summoner: you’ve heard them and you’re not another solo queue jerk who thinks he knows everything. Remember, you’re not the only good summoner who deals with toxic trolls on a daily basis. Everyone expects to run into unfriendly and rude summoners, appearing to be one of the “good guys” is an easy way to mitigate the damage done by unruly teammates.

Even though you may not always agree with the critiques of your team, even though you may not think they’re worth listening to, simply acknowledging them and trying to be kind will often curb most of the problems presented by these “troll players”.

BE THE PLAYER YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH

Untitled-5

I think like.. Gandhi said that, or something.

Everyone wants to be on a team with a total man-mode monster who carries with a  20/0/10 score, but you can’t guarantee you’ll play that well every game. What you can control – every game – is your attitude and your treatment of fellow summoners. Nobody wants someone on their team who spends the whole game cursing at their jungler, nobody wants a teammate who keeps talking about how “everyone at this ELO is a noob” and that they were “diamond in season 2”. Don’t be that guy. Model the kind of behavior you want from  your team in your own conduct, and sometimes your team will rise to the occasion. Time respawns, (“next dragon: 16:12”) thank teammates, (“good gank, Lee”) place wards, and be supportive when things go wrong (“nice try, ping me next time”).

Your own positive mindset will not win you 100% of your games. Being positive will not make every troll change their ways. Sometimes it will seem like you are the only one who cares about winning, and maybe you are. In that case, it’s even more important you’re focused on increasing your team’s chances of winning. If you feel like you can’t be calm enough to be respectful and kind to your team, you should take a break! Skip the next game and watch a stream, see what the pros are doing while you cool down; go take a walk, get a snack. When you come back, get ready because it’s going to be your positive attitude which will carry you to victory.