What to say and not to say to your teammates

Actual screenshot from more than five years ago

 

The last few months have overall been good to rating. I’ve been working hard and hit a wall, and it’s because I’ve been cranky due to real life events (and playing League--need to calm down!).

Not every single game has been bad, though, and there’s only one thing that’s been consistent in the games I win, and that is basically morale. Lack of rage, criticism, and whining, the belief that you will/can or won’t/can’t win, being polite and helpful, the whole bit.

Criticism rarely works. A rare example where it worked (and even then I perhaps shouldn’t have) is when after a safe first ten minutes, I finally got a kill with my Nami support. This Nami was driving me crazy but I could tell he was trying hard, and I hate criticizing supports the most because they get the most crap.

What he was doing was he kept spamming Q’s in a predictable fashion and at random, and most of the times it landed I couldn’t do anything about it due to being further back, us having no vision, or having too many minions against us. I also don’t like Nami’s that only go for kills as it’s too predictable--I like Nami’s that are tricky or know how to be defensive and turn initiations around. Since he seemed mellow, I said, “a suggestion, Nami?”

Him: “?”

Then I said, “use your E first to slow, THEN hit go for the Q; it’s way easier to land.” 2 minutes later, he got me a kill by doing just that, and the lane was ours and later, the game. He thanked me and does that personally from now on.

Most criticism is comprised of either A. something to the equivalent of “you suck” or B. something where you say something that is supposed to be a fact (and often isn’t) and you hold it over them to suggest that you are smart and that person is stupid. Guilty as charged. Unless you’re specific and nice, nothing good will happen. Even then, it usually doesn’t work out.

Here are things that people complain about that does not help, ever, even if the thing said is true:

“His match history sucks.” you’ve never had a bad streak? What if he got camped, or 3v1’d at top a ton, and that doesn’t usually happen? Do 10 games really represent a person? If he’s so bad and you’re so good, why are you in a game with him rather than so high he can’t be matched with you? Even at Silver, there are some divisions in Bronze you won’t ever get matched against. Those people you can safely say you’ll almost always be better than. Someone a few divisions below you? Not so much.

“They’re duo’d, and they ruined everything.” Weak duo partners can be difficult. But they’ll feel loyal to each other. No matter how bad the partner is, the stronger one almost always will defend them or ignore criticisms. I am partial to this one and really feel screwed by weak sponsored players at times, but complaining, whining, or yelling doesn’t help at all.

“I’d do better if I’d gotten the role I called for.” Your fault for not knowing other roles. Any excuse you give about knowing only a few can also be given by that person. In that case, you’re both flawed. You’d hate it if someone said it to you when you had a bad game, and let’s face it, you know you have.

More stupid things to complain about:

His KDA sucks
His build sucks
His summoner spells suck
He gave first blood
His pick sucks
Our team comp sucks
He did this one bad move / he missed a skillshot or smite
You didn’t ban ______
He lost lane
He fed ______
He didn’t gank my lane / didn’t help against the invade on me

Important fact: people don’t always have a good or bad game. You do. Pros do. No one can be the same all the time. I have seen people with great KDAs do horribly and vice-versa.

What if everyone is bad? What if I was the only one who did well or decently? Well, that happens, but you still shoulnd’t say anything. One of the biggest reasons for not whining on the teams that truly are terrible is that it lets anger and feelings of entitlement creep into your soul, and it makes you more angry at mistakes or bickering in the next game. If you can’t help complain, stop playing, because you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage by playing again after.

Things to actually worry about (i.e., yourself):

Did you really choose a champion that you know how to win with?
Are you raging, whining, and complaining?
Are you making other players perform worse?
Are you making other players not want to try anymore because you’ve convinced that they can’t win, which might be ironic because the reason they feel that way is because they feel you feel that way, and that if you aren’t trying anymore, he shouldn’t have to either?

It’s hard, but you can’t go down that path. It loses you games. If you want someone to do something, ask as nice as you can and say nothing else unless he indicates he wants to listen. Many times they won’t. At that point, even if that person is dragging the team down, it’s better to just be quiet. If someone says to you "you can't be the real Old Man Eyebrows, you died", you say nothing. 

This week's eyebrows:

 

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