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. 

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  • #56 IGNDarkAzriel

    it all changed.. when i discovered the mute button.. 

    anyone tells you anything negative..?? mute..

    they say anything hinting at 'you do that again, im gonna rage'..?? mute.. 

    they say anything bad to your teammate..?? tell them to mute the rager and mute them yourself..


    Last edited by IGNDarkAzriel: 9/1/2013 9:24:51 AM
  • #57 RoakOriginal

    and then you get ban for not communicating with team... :D yeah i liked this solution at start as well...

  • #70 IGNDarkAzriel

    if you think this way, then you are probly one those ppl who will report for anything or youve come across ppl who will report for anything.. 

    either way, you shouldnt care what others think or do.. just use pings.. 

  • #71 RoakOriginal

    yeah pings are only thing i am using most of time... and i dont think i have met more of those people than others... i am just not using ignore button, in case sth important is written, and am not communicating with them... maybe you receive same harrasment as me, but u cant tell, cuz u cant see what they are writing, while i am ignoring them, while observing them... :D

    Last edited by RoakOriginal: 9/4/2013 11:29:39 AM
  • #61 ichigo2979

    Haha I believe I'm in the exact situation that you were, and your experience gives me hope. In gold IV I find that my gameplay is significantly higher in all roles than the majority of my teammates, and slowly but surely I'm climbing (hopefully at least getting a plat border by the end of the season.)

    The thing about ELO HELL is that the circle-jerkers are already out of it, or never experienced it. I define ELO HELL not as a particular bracket but as "horribly evil bad luck": the 4 leavers in a row, teammates trolling during placement series, weak lane picks/ team comps all around that just make it hard to win/carry. It's not "impossible" to carry yourself out, but those unlucky pockets of crap set your MMR back by so much, maybe even weeks of good play just to make it back, then it's chance again to make sure that you get more equal odds to make it up.

     Eventually you make it out, but 5 out of 9 chance that the troll is on their team isn't that great of an odds. 4 out of 9 it's on yours. I call that 4/9 chance elo hell. 

    Last edited by ichigo2979: 9/1/2013 9:47:23 PM
  • #62 Stetto

    Quote from Kelarmz »

    It's almost better to just say nothing at all. I'm pretty sure solo Q could piss off a Zen Buddhist monk, and everyone I've ever known or spoken to who plays solo Q ranked is in the same boat of frustration, regardless of whether they're good or bad at the game.  That frustration shows when you type and often escalates quickly even if you weren't trying to piss anyone off.

    This is so true! When I still played WC3/DotA I didn't care about ragers and simply ignored them, because I didn't see any benefit in acknowledging them. Always told my friends: "Ignore them and focus on the match. They only want your attention. Don't play their rage-game."

    After one year of League of Legends, I was one of the worst ragers ever. (Luckily, this is over now.)

  • #42 Arcane_Azmadi

    You have to be diplomatic. Before you say anything, THINK about it. If necessary, say it aloud and listen to yourself. Is if HELPFUL? Is it likely to upset anyone (this IS important because, no matter how "bad" you think someone is, upsetting them will ALWAYS make things worse)? If it's not a smart thing to say, DON'T SAY IT.

    My last ranked game was a pretty good example of diplomacy. Due to a mix-up in champ select and a non-communicative Nasus top pick, we ended up with no jungler. I could tell our Lee Sin mid was about to succumb to helpless rage, so I quickly negotiated him into the only thing that might give us a chance- convincing him to jungle Smiteless and letting the careless Morgana have mid. It worked. He wasn't spectacular and we had to be VERY cagey about going for objectives, but we got an early lead and snowballed it to victory (not sure how much Lee's Ignite helped, but it couldn't have hurt). With his help (and my Thresh) Caitlyn went 9/1/9 and we crushed them.

  • #41 Nevran

    The problem is that people love to give opinion, and nobody should give their opinion in general. I know it sound extrem but understand me, do I, or my teammate, really want to hear your opinion on the mid pick? On a build? On the state of the game?

    You think "Yes"? Yeah, it is possible if you have something POSITIVE to say, who bring something. Even trying to help is FREAKING annoying sometime when it doesn't bring anything.

    You think "No"? Then stop talking and only use positive reinforcement when good thing are done. Don't even the "Try hard attitude", if game become bad and someone become negative about it, you can try to help him being less negative but don't go "No we can win", ok smart ass, the top laner feel like it is lost because he rage / is negative and he see a moron saying "No we can win", do you really think it is gonna help?

    Every person (You, me, the whole community) don't know the good thing to say at the good time. This is why shutting the hell-up and trying his best is personnally a better thing in my opinion.

    I am not an excellent player at all, but when my mid loose and I am the jungler, I won't open my mouth. I will just adapt to my mid behaviour and try to gank if possible or just using the fact that the jungler try to camp him to help top and dive/finishing a tower.

    I remember a lot of topic and even article being about being selfish. It is 50% true and 50% false I guess, I am the type who adapt for the team because I try to be good on any role with at least one champion and I try to main one or two role so I can try to carry if I am first pick. It is about doing what you feel is the best for the team, sometime it will call for helping someone who is in difficulty/lossing, sometime it will call to go for the lane who won and help them doing a better snowballing.

  • #40 TheFriendlyUncle

    dat vlad first build on LoA

  • #38 Paramvir

    Honestly really disagree with the roles part of your argument. I'm a support main and have gotten to my Elo playing support for the majority of games. I can play mid and top pretty easily, and ADC is either a 10/1 hit or an 0/6 miss type deal, but it's really a simple fact that me getting support would have increased our chances of winning significantly. For me, most of the time, when my support role gets taken, it's pretty much just that they have 2 soraka/Janna/Sona wins in a row on their match history or they say "I don't feel like trying, I'm gonna support."


    Other than that your article was decent. The only point that really matters is that you should only act super nice to your teammates in chat so they have a more positive atmosphere.

  • #37 Cerbereth

    Some of these are some legitimate complaints.

    When someone doesn't ban a strong pick and that champion gets picked up by the enemy team and carries its the team captains fault for not banning it. Obviously its too late to ban him so you don't gain much by bringing it up.

    When someone's build sucks they are pretty much flushing your teams gold down the toilet especially when they are getting the majority of the kills. If you can catch it early its worth recommending items for them to build if you actually know how to build the champion in question.

    Picking a weak champion is pretty much reducing the teams chances of victory. If its bad enough dodging the queue isn't out of the question. Its a personal call.  

  • #48 OldManEyeBrows

    I never said those don't cause lost games and I even admitted a couple of my own peeves. How has complaining about it helped you? Do tell. 

  • #53 Cerbereth

    This only applies to ranked as people are pretty set on playing whatever bizarre thing they are going to play in normal draft. People generally want to win in ranked.

    When someone is in champion select and they are hovering over a weak pick ill suggest they go with a better pick or just say can you pick a tank instead. Suggesting a tank is usually a safe route as its not just you criticizing their pick. It helps that there aren't really any unviable tanks at the moment. People will usually change their minds especially if multiple people also say they should go with a tank. There is always someone who is going to play Heimerdinger no matter what and you really can only try to carry them or dodge the queue and wait 5 minutes. Once the game is started it doesn't really help to harp on who picked what although lane swaps between mid and top are usually a good idea if someone got countered and i've had good luck with them.  Most of the time the top laner isn't dying because he sucks its because he got countered and once I get him mid set up with the jungler ganking for him he does great. The enemy top laner is now off his game as he has to readjust his play and he probably itemized against the wrong type of damage since I am ap and he was fighting an ad. 

    People will also usually take my advice on builds in the middle of the game.  People are open to theory crafting in ranked and if you suggest something that makes sense they will usually try it. You don't even have to tell him he is sucking just feign poverty if your the support or the jungler and ask the top or jungle to build the locket. Locket is pretty good all around so no champion can really go wrong building it and its gold efficient for the team so the team is in a good place if they do build it. It opens your build up to other more niche items like shurelyas if your fighting poke or mikaels if your adc seems to be getting murdered a lot.

    Some people feel their teammates wont communicate when it comes to builds and picks, but I usually don't have problems with that. The main issue is always who gets what role, and I am always flexible when it comes to roles so I can usually keep all parties happy when it comes to that. When you traded top for support to someone they usually feel a little indebted to you and you can manipulate them a little or ask for favors like them building the locket. This only backfired on me one time. This being said I am a bit hypocritical as when someone tries to tell me how to play or tells me I am doing badly I usually threaten to report them for verbal abuse. If someone tells me my pick is weak ill ignore them or cite their win rate or recent use by a Korean team.  That's pretty much the rule of solo queue at work though assume your the only good player on either team and go from there. Thankfully I usually do well so that's pretty rare.

  • #34 Sanear

    Weak duo partners can be difficult. But they’ll feel loyal to each other.

    Em i still remmember premade duo bot (Quinn+Nami). Quinn blamed her for everything - loosing lane (picking her INTO Cait wasnt good idea) not warding (they had wards almost all the time) and dying (but without sacrifice they both would die)

  • #32 LolLolLolJake

    Should have friended the Nami, he/she is a rare breed.

  • #30 zeVoid

     In my opinion, pessimism kills ranked games much faster than flaming; the top laner who types "gg surr 20" after dying two times does his team a greater disservice than he would have by "just" blaming the jungler in allchat.

    I recently got into gold tier on a tryharding spree, which is probably why I feel like many players I meet right now don't try at all. Almost everytime our team falls behind a tiny bit, someone starts loudly contemplating our evil fate with lovely words like "lost" "gg" and "surr" instead of keeping calm and concentrated. In my subjective opinion this has happened a lot more often since I got promoted. My theory would be that the number of ranked games gold players have under their belt is to blame for this defeatist attitude: People are so used to their team (seemingly) losing the game for them that they get a little deja vu everytime they lose first blood, a tower or a baron and immediately assume disaster will take its course from there. In truth, it would only take five minutes of sitting still for the enemy team to start throwing again.

    Additionally, most solo queue players build up some natural tankyness towards flaming over time. This doesn't always turn out for the best though, inhaling the kindergarten air in your everyday LoL game can roughen some people to the point that they start flaming themselves...
    Anyway, if a raging Renekton calls his team noobs they will ignore him. If he confronts them with the many ways the game could go worse from a little disadvantage, they believe him. One pessimist player is often enough to summon the typical natural disasters of team morale, such as lethargy, ARAM syndrome or a heaty little flame war.

    The most ridiculous case I remember was a Lux who demanded "all mid fight now or it's lost" when we were ahead 3 kills and a mid tower, followed by a wipe because I was pushing side lanes at the time.
    I wish people would get their priorities straight, if you'd rather flame all game or give up at the first sign of difficulty instead of playing to win you shouldn't be playing ranked in the first place.

  • #28 BlGFISH

    I usually never say anything in game apart from saying, "gj" or "gg" at the end. 

    But I will never forget the Viegar mid on my team who rushed a Randuins against a triple ap team (top,mid and jungle). I didn't say anything, but after I saw that a part of me died and we lost. This was Gold V.

  • #27 Vuldin

    I just keep everything to myself in Ranked games

  • #26 Benegesserit

    use your E first to slow, THEN hit go for the Q; it’s way easier to land.


    wtf this suggestion had very little to do with what upset you about that Nami

    Using E first doesn't make the kill any less predictable, gain you vision, or get rid of minions, and barely gives you any better positioning

    your example does not help someone covert problem to suggestion..i had to stop reading the article after that...

    don't be a dick is blantantly obvious and the people who want to be a dick all the time aren't going to get talked out of it (that's what punishments are for) but the people having a bad day need suggestions on how to turn their frustrations into morale or suggestions relevant to their grievances

    Last edited by Benegesserit: 8/30/2013 10:15:16 PM
  • #29 OldManEyeBrows

    Well, I'm not going to list all four of complaints against someone...and I did mention the Nami spammed Q's that kept missing and giving them openings. 

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