I first started playing League of Legends around the time the champion Yasuo was released. It was the first time I had ever attempted to play a MOBA(Massive Online Battle Arena). Before downloading the game I asked people online if it was a fun game and whether or not I should try it out. A lot of people would say the same thing: “League takes a dedicated amount of time.” I always thought people were over exaggerating when they said that but reflecting back on my years playing the game, yeah it’s simple to get into but it takes years to master.
League of Legends is the worlds most popular game. You see the game at the top of the Twitch streams rankings. There are coliseums full of people just wanting to watch competitive players go at it. Even universities have dedicated teams for the Esport. So what had all of these people hooked? I am not sure about the rest of the League community but for me its the competitive rush and the toxic community. Let me explain.
League of Legends is very similar to a fighting game. In fact that may be a reason why developer Riot Games is developing a fighting game of its own. Like a fighting game every character has a unique play style. This alone gives the game a wide variety of outcomes and plays. Keep in mind there are over 100 characters in the game. It takes repetitive tries but eventually you find the rhythm to the game. You start moving a certain way as you learn the match ups and discover the game within the game. It’s fun when you and your team mates are completely in sync without even having to chat with them. It’s the most painful and frustrating experience when there is no team coordination.
The lack of team work is where the toxicity stems. As one of your team mates starts losing frustration sets in. Some players have the mental fortitude to remain cool and calm. Others start to point fingers. Small condescending remarks start stabbing you in the gut. Sure you may have made a simple mistake but the team will let you know right away as soon as things go south. Let me be clear, some of you reading may be thinking am over exaggerating, no, League players know that insults range from small to over the top and creative. This only further causes a player to lose control of their senses inevitable causing the enemy team to get ahead.
See as previously noted, League takes a lot of time to get good at. With each game lasting about an hour, teams become emotionally invested in the win and their ranks. Each time a character loses the enemy team is further empowered meaning any one loss from a team mate could screw over the entire team. Not only will your teammates let you know your screwing up, so will the enemy team.
I remember a time back in the early years of the Xbox 360 in which game lobbies had teams full of people talking to each other before a round started. The trash talk back then was legendary. Now imagine that but throughout an entire match. While some people are happy thats gone, I personally missed having communications with team mates. Now a days everyone is in private parties so you don’t get any form of collaboration via voice chatting.
Which brings up the point that League wouldn’t be nearly as fun if you couldn’t communicate with your teammates including even the pain and misery that comes with it. Riot Games has recently implemented the ability to mute the chat before a game. While I have had frustrating games caused by my own team mates I can’t bring myself to mute the chat. I know am participating in the toxicity but when an enemy Fizz is ganking lanes and talking trash it just feels to good to beat them and talk trash back. Without this feature I feel I wouldn’t even put in as much effort in playing the game.
Those who haven’t played League before are probably wide eyed thinking this can not be the standard experience in League of Legends and while I would also love to believe that even Riot Games has posted a video and website showcasing the kinds of players you’re more likely to be. It’s a part of the game and while it’s devastating to the soul at times League can also be immensely satisfying. Just make sure to stay away from Bronze rank. A simple sentence can break a player to the point of them just giving up and throwing the game on purpose just to see you suffer.