Before beginning this article, I took a look back at its predecessor and noticed something: I used to be so happy. I used to wish the best for people. I used to be care free and non-judgemental.
Then I played League of Legends for a year.
I am sincere when I tell you that I cannot believe I am still playing League of Legends on the daily. On top of that, I am still really, really bad at this damned game. It’s funny though, in a way. I actually don’t really mind being bad. I am making strides to improve my game every day, but as of now I am stuck where I am stuck.
If there were any positive aspect I could derive from my lack of skill it would be that I get to interact with the most interesting people. Yes, I’m talking about the wonderful men and women (woman?) of “Elo hell” (now “LP hell”, I believe).
My favorite part of the “hell” experience, as I mentioned in a previous article, is that it’s essentially the virtual Shawshank. Every person who has come into that low level of gameplay has not arrived by their own accord. Instead, they believe that the only reason they were placed within that world is due to their teammates’ lack of skill. The comedy lies within the fact that in probably 95% of the cases, those haters are either on the same level or worse than the teammates they blame.
The Internet has recently attributed this to the Dunning-Kruger Effect. That cute Wikipedia link I just posted described the DKE as the following:
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.
In layman’s terms, people who are bad would rather point the fault onto others than accept that they are bad. The most perfect example of this can be found in the following YouYube video that was posted onto /r/leagueoflegends around a month ago. Watch this and try not to get angry.
Now, while almost every moment of that video is certified cringe-worthy, I do want to say that Gullin15 handled the ensuing shit-storm like a champ. Amidst an overabundance of haters and trolls he remained cool, calm and unfazed by the antagonisms. Does that absolve him of his egregious behavior in the above video? No. Has he returned to his DKE ways post blow-over? No idea. But in that instance he did take the insurmountable wave of hate like a champ. All press is good press, amirite?
Let’s get back onto topic. What I’m trying to convey here is that a decently large percentile of LoL‘s daily playerbase is playing in a haze. It’s a haze that says “I’m not losing because of me.” and while the topic has been more or less discussed to death I feel like I can throw one more swift kick into that poor horse.
You see, when I originally started writing a follow-up to the first Most Annoying League Players article (I wrote that over a year ago? Jesus.) I was going to have the Dunning-Kruger Army exist within its own special category. It was only after an analysis of what I find annoying about these poor souls who invest their time into this game with me that I realized that every other genre of person either was a direct descendant or distant cousin of the DKE. Hence, I decided to rework the article to showcase the different species of what I consider to be the most annoying League of Legends players.
So please, join with me as I go on a nigh-endless rant about all of the new types of people whom I find annoying in the game of League of Legends.
All aboard the hate train!
This is probably the most distant relative to the other members of the Dunning-Kruger genus. This category is filled with all of those players who don’t necessarily give junglers the props they deserve. I find that at my level of Leaguing, not everyone treats the jungler as a player, but more of a facilitator for their own individual needs. These people are constantly placing their wants ahead of their teammates, and they sometimes go as far as to proclaim annoyance when the junglers deviate from “the plan”.
Let’s start with leashing. For those staggering few who don’t know what “leashing” is (why have you even read this much of the article?) leashing is a meta-defined tactic that will ease the harsh starting levels of your neighborhood jungler. Before season 3, a leash was simply attacking the large creep so it would aggro (want to attack) you, allowing your jungler to get some damage in before tanking the rest. As of preseason, I feel that leashing has evolved into everyone getting together for a fun-filled jamboree of group-wrecking the buff du jour, allowing the jungler a faster clear time and the ability to save his smite.
I’m going to skip over those poor, vapid creatures that don’t participate in the leashing process at all; just know that I hate you. Instead, I will move forward and point out those mids and ADCs that are stuck in their old ways. Some still consider a “leash” to be a simple long distance slap on the wrist of the Golem/Lizard, at which point you can happily jaunt back to lane to begin your grudge-match. While there isn’t anything outside the meta that claims this is wrong, I must advocate that it’s just not cricket.
To put it into terms that a selfish person may better contemplate, you aren’t helping yourself at all by throwing in the bare minimum for your jungler. Yes, you will get back to lane a bit quicker, soak up some additional XP and grab those all-important 3 CS, but you are basically sacrificing your jungler’s early game as cost.
Faster clear time equals faster ganks. Faster ganks equal more ganks and more ganks equal more opportunities in your specific lane. While I understand that this scenario is reliant on your jungler fitting within the approved definition of “competent”, could it hurt to give the guy the benefit of the doubt?
Next I want to quickly touch on the concept of managing expectations. All too often do I see public outcries bemoaning the “lack of jungler”. People are always quick to make note when a jungler isn’t ganking enough, or isn’t at their lane with perfect timing. This negativity normally comes immediately after the enemy jungler has made himself known in a lane, most commonly in the form of the death of said teammate. To these grumpy Gusses, never content with the jungler’s performance, I must say the following: Chill the fuck out.
The quick explanation would be that the jungler has a lot of shit going on and, while I’m sure he cares about you, he is also watching over two entirely separate lanes. Give the guy a break already. If I were to delve a bit more in depth, I would have to bring up that perhaps instead of worrying about where your jungler “should have been” you should instead meditate on where you were. Were you too far pushed? Were there proper wards? Was there a different path you could have used to escape? In essence, focus on what you were doing wrong instead of focusing on what someone else did not do right. This point has been touched upon by dozens of players better than myself so I’m just gonna let it go.
Lastly, my current pet peeve of anti-junglers is the general lack of buff etiquette. The most antagonizing experience is when you have pinged mid to come grab blue and they dawdle about in lane, oblivious to the fact that you are tanking damage to help them out. What is possibly more annoying, is when that mid would have the audacity to let out one of their “WTF??” when you finish the beast off and continue about your day.
Listen, friend, giving you the blue buff is not my #1 priority. I have shit to do and time is money. If you want the blue buff, you know when it spawns. Meet me over there and I’ll pass it along.
I’m just looking for some timely cooperation, is all. Every second those little blue rocks aren’t floating around you or I is another second that it can be taken from underneath us. Take note that the jungler does not simply exist to bequeath the buff unto you. It is nothing more than a team-centric favor. Yes, the entire team benefits from an AP caster obtaining blue buff but don’t assume it’s your right. If you are going to be so indignant about claiming the thing at least have the decency to be punctual.
Mr. “Worth It”
This guy. This guy right here has got to be my current least-favorite person. He is the shining poster boy of the Dunning-Kruger effect and in 99% of the cases he is the least enjoyable teammate anyone could ever experience.
For those who aren’t savvy with the lingo, let me dream up a little scenario for you. Let’s say you are the AD Carry for your team. You have been joined in the bottom lane by what you have surmised to be “not the best” support you’ve ever seen. Perhaps he doesn’t ward often, perhaps you two just aren’t synergized well. Whatever the case, at some point you find that your support is going a bit too HAM for your tastes. He thought he was catching the enemy support out of position and decided to engage, hard.
To the little surprise of those who have been paying attention, the enemy jungler has reared his ugly head at the exact time of this overzealous engagement. As your support miraculously realizes that he is in over his head and attempts to escape, your team’s jungler also happens to appear out of luck-magic. With some proper focus and perhaps a decent amount of luck, you are able to end the engagement in the positive, maybe they lost two and you only lost that support who should have never been there in the first place.
Within seconds our support types those ignorant words into the all-chat.
You mother fucker. No it wasn’t. Just because it happened to turn out for the better in this one instance does not make it worth doing. Beyond that, the comment of “worth it” means that this guy has the audacity of taking some credit for the entire situation, and none of that credit being negative.
To clarify, this is not a support-centric rant. This douche can arise in any role and at any time during the game. That is what makes it so frustrating. The concept of “worth it” is one of self-proclaimed positive reinforcement for what should be considered a negative action. Certainly a portion of these comments arrive in jest, but even then it does not allow you to fully learn from your mistakes.
If you’re out of position, starting a bad team fight or improperly contesting an objective and by some otherworldly happenstance your talented teammates were able to turn the tides for the better it has nothing to do with you. You should thank them and eat some crow, because depending on how far along things were you could have just lost them the game.
Cousins to Mr. Worth it include Mr. “I don’t even care anymore”, a person who has performed so poorly thus far that instead of learning from his mistakes, he doubles his efforts towards the idiotic and attempts Hail Mary-esque plays that were doomed before they even popped into his mind. Another close relative would be Mr. “It’s just a normal”, an elitist prick who justifies his poor performance by citing the fact that the game being played is not ranked and thus meaningless. This logic is blatantly flawed since one assumes that you are playing a normal game to practice for said ranked games and if you are not practicing decent habits or mechanics then you are not learning decent habits or mechanics.
It should be mentioned that in some choice scenarios a life-sacrifice could be deemed “worth it”. Perhaps you stole a game-winning Baron buff or your meat-shield distraction allowed your teammates to focus down the only enemy that was actually doing damage. In general however, my current M.O. is that dying is bad and that little-to-nothing is worth my precious 300g.
One of the most beautiful things about League is that it has evolved beyond a simple game that one plays. I, and hundreds of thousands like me, find legitimate enjoyment in spectating other individuals playing this game. These games range from the always-entertaining weekly LCS to the simple live-stream of your favorite top-tier player. Without a doubt watching the professionals play will not only present you with entertainment, but it will also allow you insight into how they perform the way that they do. One of the best ways to get better at League of Legends is to view and comprehend how the professionals play.
Alas, to every yin there must be a yang. While learning the ways of the pro gamer can gift you with insight, it does not bequeath upon you immediate skill. Furthermore, there are some techniques and tactics that work incredibly well during professional matches that have no place in the cesspool of SoloQ.
The first perpetrators that come to mind are the champ swappers. It is well known that during professional tournaments teams will quickly choose highly contested champions and then swap with one of their teammates later down the line. Of course, the world of the Solo queue has deemed this as a visionary tactic and you will frequently see your team’s first pick spout into the pre-game lobby “Who want swap? Swap with me? I pick for swap. swap swap swap”.
Dude, I get it. You want to pick Mid but you also don’t want to be counter picked. You want to grab up that fabled Blitzcrank but you have no intention of playing support. Hell, everyone may even agree that the champ swapping is a good idea. But you’re all wrong. It isn’t.
In the wonderful world of the YOLO Queue you are missing two key components to proper champ swapping. The first is knowledge. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen someone pick up Ashe hoping to trade for whoeverthefuck (Let’s say Trundle, I like Trundle). Only moments later Mr. Firstpick comes to the horrid realization that the guy who wanted Ashe doesn’t even own Trundle, or any of Firstpick’s other favorite champions. Firstpick is then not only in a scramble to find a replacement, he’s mad about it. IT WAS YOUR IDEA YOU SCHMUCK. Mr. Firstpick eventually gets stuck with some champ he isn’t familiar/comfortable with and everyone starts the game off for the worse.
You don’t know these people, man. They are strangers. They are probably weirdos. You have no reason to even pretend that you can contemplate what their champion pool looks like. Your swap buddy could have spent his entire game-life saving up for the four 6300 champs he currently owns. Hell, he could have spent all of his virtual money on just attack speed runes. You have no idea. I fully support both believing in and assisting your fellow teammates before, during, and after the game. But in no way do I suggest that you ever, not even for a moment, rely on them.
This lack of knowledge directly stems from the second component of a decent champ swap: communication. If there is one thing above all else that these kids are bad at, it is communication. Let’s say that by some spout of luck you have entered a game with four individuals that speak English. Congrats on that milestone. Now you have to hope that you can get any cohesive phrasing beyond “top or jung pls” out of the poor bastards. And it is in this situation that you want to start a long-term dialogue?
Don’t get me wrong, such lunacy occurs by the hour on League. People talk to people. Bonds are formed. The world grows a teeny bit smaller. But all too often people assume this miraculous transaction will occur without a hitch. For me, I think the safer play is to skip the headache and do your own thing.
Another tired emulation of the professional community comes in the form of the level 1 invade. Now, thankfully someone a while back released this in depth look at the success rate of solo queue of first level invades and found them desperately unsuccessful (props to reddit user satanstyle). Since then, my personal experience of clamoring for invades has dropped significantly. Sadly the issue still rears its head on occasion.
Foremost, I think it is entirely naive to expect a group for strangers fresh off the fountain to have to communicative and cohesive cooperation required for such a tactic. You don’t even know if these dudes are going to leash for you and you’re already charging towards enemy blue, guns a’blazin’? It simply isn’t logical. I can’t even remember the last pro game that started with an all-out invade. Perhaps it’s a dying fad now that everyone is on the up’n’up. I say “good riddance.”
Finally, and possibly my least favorite emulation comes in the all-too-prominent Flavor of the Monthers. I mean, I get it. You saw some dude win nine out of ten games as AP Tryn, so you better ride the win-train all the way to LP Town.
I think what really bothers me about FoTM is the narrow-mindedness behind it. Someone told you Xin was the best jungler? Instalock. The community agrees AP Yi is the go-to mid? Lock it down, son.
90% of these proclamations may be due to fact, but I think a good 10% is a hearty handful of self-fulfilling prophecy. Somebody said so-and-so was too good to be true, so when you lost or won (depending on which side you are on) you are quick to agree. It wasn’t that you got outplayed. It wasn’t that your opponent wasn’t as good or perhaps unlucky. It’s simply that “Kayle is so OP right now.”
It’s rather sheepish, really. Instead of trying to learn a champion on your own, you just want someone to tell you what to play. These guys aren’t looking to experience the game they are playing. They just want to skip straight to the wins.
The Game Changers
Of course, I should mention the other side of this coin. For every person locking down the champ o’ the day you’ll have another adorable fool instalocking Lux and trying to convince everyone he’s ADC.
I admit forthright, I have been this guy many a time. After all, the next AP Tryn is out there somewhere, right? With well over 100 characters at the players’ disposal, along with the constant revamping of items, who’s to say what works and what doesn’t any more?
The quick answer to that question is “not you”. While its more forgivable to test the waters in normals (it’s just a normal anyway, amirite? Oh god I’m one of them), it is beyond my comprehension why some people at my playing level think they are ready to usher in the next big thing to ranked SoloQ.
Listen, I’m all for innovation. Sometimes you want to try different things. Sometimes you wonder what the harsh stubble of another man’s face feels like against your bare chest…
…I’m getting off topic.
Here’s my revelation for all of those living in the world of ~1100 with me. You aren’t good at this game. I’m bad. You’re bad. We all get that, right? Now, knowing that you are lacking in the categories of mechanics, teamwork, champion knowledge, and whatever else, why do you think that you can change the game with AD Ahri? You couldn’t even handle AP Ahri.
This is a hard one to write about because, as I said, I happen to be this asshole. I know you think jungle Heimer is the best thing to ever happen to the game. I just have to regurgitate what you’ve heard a thousand times, because it’s true. No matter how good you think jungle Heimer is, there are a dozen champions that can do what he does only much, much better. It’s just the sad state of the game.
Now, while I seem to be advocating the point of those Flavor enthusiasts mentioned earlier, I would like to draw the line where I am separate. I want you to play jungle Heimer. I love it. Just keep that nonsense out of ranked matches, man.
The simple reasoning is that if you are playing ranked matches, it is assumed that you want to win and improve your score. If this assumption is correct, you have to know that by choosing some nonsensical character and playing them outside of their comfort zone you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. In a virtual world where every single element of gameplay is pitted against you, why add to the trouble?
Now, for the delicious cream filling of this metacritical Oreo we have, coincidentally enough, the critics. It is almost a rule that in every League game where you underperform you will encounter some very, very angry people. As soon as you slip up, there are four strangers ready to tell you with an unyielding tidal wave of ragechat what you have done wrong.
For the most part this is presented through a handful of set idioms such as “This Vayne”, “report bot for feeding” and the ever-charming three minute “gg”. People just need to complain sometimes, man. And if you are in the wrong you’re just going to have to deal with it.
Where I feel these haters step over the line is when they dwell on something. Perhaps you gave up first blood rather foolishly. Despite that, you have returned to lane in force, catching up on CS and making all the right moves. You may as well be invisible to Mid, who is so frustrated from your earlier transgression that he was too focused on how much you suck to notice the jungle ganking him. Seconds after the encounter, you read this familiar phrase: “What is top building?”
Why the fuck do you care, man? It’s around ten minutes into the game and I have boots and a ruby crystal, all possible signs point to that I’m building something. How’s about we allow the match to evolve a little bit before we get into the who-should-have-what?
This, of course, is a bit of the ol’ Dunning-Kruger. Instead of taking some time out of his respawn to consider what he did incorrectly he would rather focus on what you are currently doing incorrectly, even if you may have not done anything wrong. After all, someone at some point informed Mr. Mid of how one should properly build your character. The fact that you would deviate from his preset path is simply outrageous.
You naughty boy.
Here is what really gets me about the hate-critics: They don’t try to help in any way. They only critique. Instead of offering some form of friendly advice in the vein of “hey man you should build xx first against that guy” the conversation ends at “that build…” (The ellipsis are incredibly important in this context.)
Basically, Mid is angry and he needs to find some form of outlet for his anger. Since you have previously slipped up, you already have the scapegoat sign draped around your neck. At that point it is only a matter of reverse engineering something to blame you for before Mr. Mid can once again feel better about himself.
It would be more frustrating if it weren’t so sad.
The Caste Advocates
These guys are my favorite, hands down. The manifestation of the ole’ DKE that runs within their brains should honestly be studied in the name of science. When I speak of Caste Advocates I am referring to those who are so obsessed with the League ranking system that it is all that defines them.
Let’s paint the picture. I’m Bronze II. I’m not super stressed about it. I actually really kind of enjoy Bronze. Interestingly enough, it is only now that I’m being paired with the Silver IV/V’s that I am truly getting a sense of what “elo hell” really was meant to be.
These people in the early Silvers, man. Jesus. They hate each other. And they are so quick to judge. They are so expedient to look a person up on Lolking and exclaim their superiority if they are even a single rank above someone else. It is probably the most infuriating type of individual I have ever come across.
To be clear, the logic of “I am Silver. You are bronze. I am one thousand times better than you.” Is flawed on so many levels I can hardly begin to express my feelings on the subject.
OH ALRIGHT I’LL TRY.
First thing, how little does one need to have going for them in life that they are fixated on a ranking in a video game? I mean, I get it if you’re in challenger tier. You’ve earned something. Grats to you. But boasting about Silver over Bronze? Are you really that super proud of being slightly less shitty than I am at League of Legends? I could also go into the whole “dude, go outside” argument but I feel that one may hit a bit too close to home for some of us (myself included).
The more important factor to consider is that yes, you are a Silver player. However, you are a Silver player that is being paired with Bronze players. Riot Games has legitimately crafted an entire analytic system that has defined your skill to be comparable to mine. Like it or not, Mr. Silver, we belong together. It is not that I am a Bronze player who is paired with Silvers, you are a sSilver player who is paired with Bronzeseseses. Or, as the darling Jakie Earle Hailey once said:
So that has to be the longest rant I have ever written on my “favorite” subject, League of Legends. Thanks for sticking through the whole thing.
In closing, I just want to say that while I may get annoyed by the player behavior, I have had hundreds (okay, dozens) of genuinely pleasurable experiences with my fellow Summoners. We have all had great games. It’s probably one of the few reasons we make a point of logging in every day. What we all really need to do is take a step back, take note of the negative and then focus on the positive. Together, I’d like to think that we can transform this community until we are all having nothing but GGs.
Brendan is still trying to find a locale where he can wear his Have You Seen My Tibbers? t-Shirt without being looked at like he’s a brazen pedophile. Soon.