Game of Throwns - Soloqueue: Why I Hate My #1 Rule.

Hello Reign of Gamers! Sorry for the lack of video last week. I have been spending a lot of time streaming and if you have watched any of my broadcasts you would have seen me go over, in great detail, a few of the topics I was thinking to make the focus of my next video; some of which included: how to win with a snowball comp, how to properly play and ward as support, and why ganking top lane is so important. I decided to not do this because my series is first and foremost about high-level analysis and dissecting things the pros do so you can better understand the game at its highest level, and also improve your own play. I will be making a video this week, scheduled to be released Thursday, which will again focus on strategical analysis. I have still been playing a TON of soloqueue though and wanted to retouch on something about the game that I swear by but also dislike in every way, which is my #1 Rule of Soloqueue.

Dcgreen's #1 Rule of Soloqueue.

1. Do NOT Press Enter

I am not going to bother defacing the literal meaning to this rule because I adequately cover it in the last video I made, but in short it means "to limit any conflict within your team, or between you and another player, refrain from typing anything in game; unless it is to relay valuable in-game information, such as buff/dragon timers or MIA's." Now I absolutely take this rule to heart. When I am playing in soloqueue I will literally never talk, acknowledge, or participate in any active discussions my team is having, unless I think it condones winning the game. There are some positive aspects to this such as preventing myself from distracting or insulting my team; which is something I encounter far too often in soloqueue and is the root of my rules creation. The negative aspect of this is that it completely devalues the actual meaning of League of Legends and also of your soloqueue "rating." These things make soloqueue very frustrating and are also the driving force for much of the angst some players experience when queuing up for a ranked game.

You mean you NEVER talk to your team EVER?

This is one of those things that you have to take with a grain of salt. Sometimes I get queued with 4 positive minded, cooperative, want to win but also want to have fun, jolly group of players. We cit-chat all game and eventually our bonds of friendship, positive attitudes, and vastly superior team-ship garner us a win. The other 99% of the time I play League, within the first 2 minutes (due to invasion or early ganks), the tone of the game takes a negative spin because someone had to insult, mock, or highlight a mistake another player made. Once this happens I literally rip the ENTER key off my keyboard because I know nothing I say will be heard or seen through the massive wall of texts that are coming from my team mates who are now vigorously flexing their epeens around trying to prove to the other how vastly superior they are not only at League but also at getting girls, having a six pac, and their 6 figure a year job. The sad thing is that you can not type ANYTHING to reconcile this situation. Once a player has said "you suck" that's it, you will never repair his image of you even if you get five pentakills back to back, he will still think you suck and claim he is the reason why you got those pentas anyways. The other sad thing about this is, instead of just ignoring the mean player (which is what I do), the victim player will try and defend themselves or get into a counterargument. Now you think it would be self-explanatory that this is detrimental to skill and focus and drastically lowers the chances of winning the game, which is what you queued up for in the first place, but they do it anyways! This is why I try and refrain from typing anything because I do not want to risk adding any fuel to the fire because even positive things can be turned against you. One game I was top as Vlad and I was going even in cs against an Irelia while the rest of my lanes were losing. I kept very quiet and just focused on not feeding Irelia and keeping up in my cs while ignoring everything negative my team was typing towards each other in hopes of being able to carry late game. My team eventually managed to kill the enemy jungler at Dragon and steal it going 1-0 + Dragon. I finally typed "gj guys nice steal :)" and the Graves on my team said "STFU shit Vlad all you have done is sit top and you can't even get more cs than Irelia you suck." Now I wish I could say this was a rare occurrence but it happens fairly frequently. Even when I want to say something positive to my team someone who is having a bad time will find a way to blame me for mistakes they have made all game. This is what causes me to not want to risk any communication at all with my teammates and why I think soloqueue devalues the meaning of League of Legends as a team game because you are literally forced to play by yourself and in your own mindset.

Rating and why it means exactly the opposite of what it should mean.

Why does not being able to communicate with your team also devalue the meaning of your rating? Well, League of Legends is at its core a TEAM game and when you join a game where your teammates are hostile, rude, aggressively insulting, impatient, arrogant, stubborn, and degenerate do you really feel proud to call them your teammate? When you get queued up with JUST ONE of these types of people soloqueue quickly turns from a game of skill, strategy, and tactics into a game of tolerance, patience, and restrain. Once one of your teammates starts arguing you just have to sit and tolerate all the belligerent and negative things being said, be patient that despite your whole team being in a typing war that they can actually gather their wits for one team fight and try to progress the game further, and restrain from typing anything yourself and throwing all hopes of winning the game out the window all while reducing yourself to their level. This brings me to my second part which is why your rating is not actually indicative of your individual skill, but rather of your ability to tolerate and persevere through verbal abuse and idiocracy within the ranked system. My current rating is 1717 while writing this, Last week it was 1625, and 2 weeks ago it was 1784. It goes up and down not because of my skill and not even because I get matched with bad players, but because I get matched with bad ATTITUDES. My rise, fall, and eventual climb back again can only be attributed to the fact that I posses the mental and emotional fortitude to hit the Play button after every win or loss because I know that over time things will eventually even out just based on odds, and when even my skill will hopefully tip things slightly in my favor. This is why, aside from most pro players who carried themselves to 2k while they got 50 rating a game, you only see highly ranked players with hundred sometimes even thousands of ranked games played. In short your rating becomes a symbol of how often you get bad attitudes on your team, how often the other team has bad attitudes on theirs, and how often you win when there is actually even footing (although this is the smallest contributor to your overall rating).

The Game we Hate to Play but the Only Game we Play.

This has nothing to do with League of Legends and everything to do with Soloqueue. If you are like me you don't get any joy playing Normal games. The only time I play Normal is when I have a group of friends I want to play with while having fun and goofing off with no risk. Aside from those instances I am playing to increase my skill and prove my worth. I don't have an actual team which means that soloqueue is the closest thing I have to competitive, high skill League of Legends. Rating is on the line and everyone wants to win to prove that their skill and prowess should be regarded! People don't want to lose but you hope that even when they do they can still enjoy the game while its happening and hopefully reflect on what they did individually and what their team did collaboratively that caused them to lose; not so they can blame everyone but so they can focus and relate to these instances and try and prevent them in the future. Sadly this is not the case and soloqueue is rampant with, not even trolls anymore, but wanna-be celebrities, divas, and primadonas. Soloqueue is like the Jersey Shore and sadly you're Snooki and the rest of your team is the guy that took the shots that YOU PAID FOR and then PUNCHES YOU IN THE FACE and then BLAMES YOU! Everyone thinks they are deserving of their best role, that its the supports fault they got ganked and there wasn't a ward to spot the jungler, or that its the jungler's fault they lost lane due to lack of ganks. Everyone is interested in highlighting the problems of others in the rudest way possible and then not providing any insight/constructive criticism on how to fix, if it was even a warranted complain in the first place. If bot lane loses its their partners fault, if top lane loses its the junglers fault for not camping, if the jungler dies its middles fault for not helping him invade the enemies golems. Everyone who types a statement is right and everyone who types a response is already wrong. Its a terrible experience where people have high expectations of professional level skill and no one is having fun. I remember when you only used to have to be afraid of someone insta-locking Heimerdinger with Smite and completely trolling you. Now everyone gets in the game with a sour attitude and the opinion that everyone needs to hear how awesome they are compared to everyone else. I imagine that everyone playing in soloqueue is in the process of being crucified by the Romans in 31 AD, although they type remarkably well for having nails hammered through their palms. My point is that everyone is uptight and seems to be having a bad time right from champion select. Yes rating is on the line but if you truly belong to the elite echelon of 2k players then you should be able to adapt to the roles available when it is your tune to pick, account for the mistakes you make when you make them, provide only positive and important information to your team, and be a productive and enjoyable member of the League of Legends Community. Only by doing this will you get to the ELO you truly deserve because when you sweep all that other bull shit off the table all that is left to determine your fate is individual player skill! Which is what we all queued up for all along!

So why again do you Hate your #1 Rule?

The reason I hate my #1 rule is because as long as it exists and its benefits are true that means that soloqueue is always going to be an abysmal abomination of children and emotionally insecure, Internet sociopaths. It means that every game I play I am walking on egg shells and that I have to force myself not to communicate with the people in my games to better all of our chances of winning for fear of putting coal into the engine of the Turmoil Train. I do think that there could be hope to remedy this situation but it rests in the hands of Riot implementing extremely harsh rules within the soloqueue system to help keep it clean and keep people's attitudes in check. Personally I think a zero-tolerance policy is not out of the question where players are issued incredibly daunting punishments on first offense with a repeat offense being an account ban. If you need to be told more than once not to be malicious or rude with the sole intent of just being a bastard to other rule-abiding players within the community then its simple, you just don't deserve to be here. Imagine if you played a ranked game, got mad at your team for losing, started blaming everyone in a rude way, even if it was their fault (being rude and giving constructive criticism are different) and then you click "Play" only to see this message:

That is 17 days which is a lot but imagine you got banned from ranked for 7 days and for all 7 of those days every time you tried to queue you saw that gigantic number slowly shrink second by second. You would probably shut your damn mouth the next time you got into a game and just try and have a good time, especially if you knew that if you did it again your account would be banned meaning you would be at lvl 1 again! No runes, no skins, no champions, NOTHING but your epeen in one hand and your mouse in the other. This is truly the kind of policy that I think Riot should take to preserve the quality of games come Season 3. The game has been out for 3 years now and I think people know how things work and they should damn know how to behave like a civil human being, especially when the experience of 9 other players is directly involved.

The Short-Term Conclusion lies within the Community

Until Riot decides to sternly crack the whip on people's attitudes in soloqueue the only hope for the other positive attitude participants of the ranked system is to just do what I do and hope other's follow your example. Keep your cool and refrain from blaming anyone or saying anything mean. Only provide your team with praise and valuable information when you do decide to talk. Refrain from providing criticism even if its positive because people can get offended easily and you also give the other negative members on your team a chance to hone in on one of your weaker players mistakes that may not have been obvious to them at the time. Soloqueu is a very fragile situation and you just need to do everything within your power, which usually means sit back and shut up, to keep it from spiraling out of control, until the community as a whole decides to start enjoying the game for what it is, a TEAM game, and not a runway to steal all the spotlight and showcase their soloqueue skills. Imagine that every game is a small wildfire and you are a firefighter but you are covered in gasoline. Sure you might be able to contain the fire with your firefighter knowledge but you also might spontaneously combust and make things worse so its better to just sit back and focus on driving the truck, or whatever the metaphorical equivalent would be for this obscure analogy. Trust me I know this sounds like the cowardly thing to do but other like-minded people will notice your positive attitude, or just neutral attitude amongst the sea of negative Nancys, and they may message you and ask to duo and then at least you know that you are bringing 2 positive-minded players to your next game.

Thanks for reading and be sure to catch an all new Game of Throwns on Thursday! As always leave feedback and criticism within the comments.

Love, Dcgreen

Twitter: RoGDcgreen

Facebook: RoGDcgreen GameOfThrowns



  • #11 flamboush

    The only reason I registered on the site is having read this article, and I felt that I have something to say in the topic. Until this point I was mostly an observer, I used to read posts, make theit meaning to myself, but I didn't feel I have something to add so far.

    Let's begin with the harsh punishment stuff. I agree with DcGreen on that, and with SmthingStrange too. I'll explain why. DcGreen states that we need harsh punishment to get rid of the players constantly violating the Summoner's Code. SmthingStrange states that harsh punishments won't change the way people behave. Both opinions are true. If you don't change people's attitude, but you make them play less, well... I think it's a start. If the jerks that flame 90% of their games are getting constantly banned for days, there will be less of them playing at any given time (correct me on that, I'm not a mathematician).

    Another thing that occured to me is the feature of giving '+1' to people. The way I imagine this is simple yet fascinating. When you register an account, you tick a little box next to the statement 'I have read and agreed to the Terms of Service and the Summoner's Code.' Yeah, damn sure you did, otherwise you can't play. But who enforces these? Nobody, because when we're talking about a community of this size, you simply can't put that many employees on the task. What I have in mind is that when you encounter a player, who didn't violate the Summoner's Code, you could give him/her a +1, which means you got a vote for being nice. This is where the reporting system is faulty. Instead of reporting, it should be called something like giving '-1', then the game would ask: how so? And you have to justify it. You would have the option of not voting, of course. Now, if you have accumulated at least a number of votes (subject to implementation), the game would calculate the percentage, and if you had at least say 80% '+1's of your total accumulated votes, you would get a nice badge saying 'This summoner abides by the laws of the Summoner's Code.'

    But I go further. could be divided into 2 layers: one for everyone and one for exclusively those who have the aforementioned badge. Players who don't have the badge couldn't enter games where you need that badge.

     EDIT: There is a saying in my country: The goat's stomach is filled and the cabbage is left, too. In other words, the jerks could play with the jerks, and nice people with nice people, Riot would have the same amount of paying players, everyone would be happy. Please point me to the loopholes of my arguments, if you can find any!

    So far this is what I had in mind, sorry for my mistakes:)

    Last edited by flamboush: 7/12/2012 3:37:46 AM
  • #9 FluffyBunny398

    lol... I totally agree. Often I'll just mute everyone before the game starts and communicate with just pings... much easier to focus.

  • #7 MerryLane

    In my opinion, the "real" chat should be limited to the matchmaking and when the game is over.

    During the game itself, you should only be able to use a few commands (for instance, F1 = GG, F2 = GO DRAKE, F3 = Rush Nashor, F4 ...) to prevent any risks of making your team snowball its rudeness ...
    I mean, you don't really need that many things to get yourself understood in this game, both pings are already awesome to signalise MIA or at the opposite asking your team to go offensive. Adding a few scripted lines that would replace almost every possible needed conversation to the minimal, should be the way to go.

    Also, I really wondered why LoL didn't allow yet to use some official voicechat that wouldn't require inviting someone on a TS server, or adding a stranger on skype. Not that I would use it (I prefer remaining focused on the game), but the possibility of having a "straight" vocal discussion between support/carry or "short" calls between the jungler and the laners to improve coordination would be really nice.
    I'd love being a jungler, click a little button on the interface to contact the AD and the support to call them when I come and gank, warn them of my plan and ask them to follow a behavior, then once the gank is over, shutting down this conversation, call the ap carry to give him ennemies' blue, then get a call from the solotop coz he'd need me to hold his lane while he backs.
    That could be implemented "relatively" easily, with a few easy rules such as "I have mic, I don't have mic" appearing grey or green. And the possibility of accepting or refusing the calls in game because a 5 men strangers talking all at the same time is confusing.

    Last edited by MerryLane: 7/11/2012 8:57:54 AM
  • #6 SmthingStrange

    Hi Dcgreen,

    First, thanks for the article, I strongly believe you're right even though I can't really help myself to type "gj guys" or "nicely done" in the chat, whatever my other teamates have said previously. There is no game, lost or won, that I don't finish with typing "gg wp" to everyone (when I have the time to type, that is to say). It's not that I think it works really good to improve relationship between players when harsh words have already been spited out but it's just the way I am.

    I deeply think though that your conclusion of way harder punishments against players is the direct opposite of what should be done. This might be a very european centered way to figure things out but I think the conclusion you brought is very harsh : you have failed (to be a good teammate and to behave properly) then you shall be punished harsly. This is no the way I see things for various reasons :

    - first, you have no right to, in my opinion : people have the right to fail. They have the right to be angry and telling you about it. I'm not saying that I agree with that attitude (in fact I strongly disagree) but that's not the reason I should forbid them to do so. You might argue that the summoner code says otherwise and you would be right. I just happen to disagree with the summoner code on that one. People should not flame but when they do, their teammates should not over react over it. I vastly prefer a game where people insult each other that a game where every little step out of the summoner code bans them for 7 days. After all, you can always mute them if they insult you, it's not a big effort to put them to silence, is it?

    - second, I highly doubt it would make a difference. People are people, they won't change their attitude because of harsh punishment. As a long time student of psychology and neurology (as a passion, not a job to be precise), I strongly believe it has very little impact on one's behavior. They swear and yell at you because the game is stressful, because they want to win, make kills, prove they're better than the other team. Since you won't change this environement (which is also the reason we play LOL), you won't change the attitude.

    - third, let's be realistic : who judges their teammates but the guys who flamed you during the game? The tribunal (a mechanic I firmly stand against), is ruled by LOL players, the same that tell you to STFU, go die of cancer, and offer to fuck your mum. Do you really want your account to be banned because two or three twelve year old angry boy reported you? Do you want the same people to judge you? To make mistakes in this judgement? To condamn you just because it's fun? Should your system be implemented into the game, this would happen. Supposedly, only a riot employee can ban your account. But they would be so flooded with ban request they would have to let the players judge the cases, they wouldn't have the manpower to manage all the requests the receive. In the end either accounts wouldn't be banned or it would be the same player that flame all day that would judge the cases.

    What to do then? My first thought is that reporting someone is way too easy : For instance, I've played several games, lost most of them, where some of my teammates threatened to report me, even though I had a positive attitude. I don't know if they did it, I don't know who did it if it happened and I don't know why. This is in fact the most cowardly way to do things : there is not backslash for someone who reported a teammate for no good reason and the guy that was reported injustly has no way to defend himself.

    Should people who report had to send a message to the guy/girl they report, it should much more effective : this would get rid of the impunity of the player who reports, making it much more meaningful. We could get rid of 50% of the reports that are either false or come from angry player that lost and want to blame someone, even if there is nothing to report. This could insure that their could be no more player judging players but only riot employees judging players.

    Then, we should allow people who got reported to defend themselves, to explain why they acted this way. For the most part, it wouldn't change much, but everyone deserves that right. There is no proper judgement without the culprit to be able to defend him/herself. The tribunal as it is today is an unfair, unjust tool which is badly conceived, mostly because of that fact.

    Also, judging people is no small task and it should not be left to people just because they're level 30 at a game. I am well aware what manpower it would require from Riot to have it done only by rioters, but to me it seems mandatory they do so. LOL is a vastly profitable industry, I guess they could spare a few jobs for "game masters" as they exist in World of Warcraft where only people from the company can actually judge an abuse case.

    And, why is there no tool to protect players? A simple button such as the report button at the end of the game that says "this player did well"? It would, in my opinion, push people to behave nicely since there is a reward in doing so. They could collect "good attitude" points that could turn a ban request in their favor. Exemple : this guy always behave nicely but was a dick during this specific game, maybe he bad day and we should not punish him for that game alone. That would sound reasonable to me.

    Lastly, I would say this : we have to tolerate a little. A few bad words are not that a big offense in my eyes. Some people paly this game to win, other to just enjoy the game, to experiment builds. You can't expect everyone to see things as you do. After all, it's just a game. Judging people is not. It's much more harder, it brings much more pain, much more consequences. I understand you feel bad as I sometimes felt bad when a teammate yelled at me for no reasons or for the wrong reasons but what it dealt to me has nothing to compare with being judged by others.

    Thanks for thereading, sorry if I made grammar and spelling mistakes.

  • #8 DonYagamoth

    Everyone has the right to have his own opinion. But as soon as they enter the territory of "harassment" instead of "giving an opinion" there should be a stop to this. I realize there is no clear line, so let me give you my opinion on a few points you made:

     First: I do believe they have the right to be angry, but I disagree on them having the right to tell you (in inappropriate ways, as in: Flaming).
    "People should not flame but when they do, their teammates should not over react over it. "
     That's a very basic problem I have with "not overreacting". Personally I do not overreact towards the outside. I straight up never flame - when I have nothing good to say, I shut up. But, simple flames already get to me on the inside, it's impossible for me to simply shrug such things off - even after a lot of "practice" (being partially autistic and not exactly self-secure doesn't help). I strongly believe, that "overreacting" is nothing you can control. The only thing you can control is your action towards "the outside".

    Second: You are right, people won't change that easily. However, keep in mind that a huge part of the "flaming" comes from re-action. Many wouldn't even start flaming and verbally harassing, if they didn't have an external reason for it. Even "being heated up" in a previous game is reason enough for many to start harassing other players.

    Thirst: You will never get banned if you didn't harass other players. "Zero Tolerance" would not mean that you could get permanently banned for writing "you suck" once. It would mean, that you will get maybe a day off.

    I really like the idea of the button for "This player did well" and the option of defending oneself.  

     In the end, don't confuse the "loud minority" with the rest. Even if this "minority" is probably a higher percentage than in other communities, it's still a smaller percentage. Also it doesn't help if it's generally accepted, that you verbally harass other players. 

    Last edited by DonYagamoth: 7/11/2012 10:08:46 AM
  • #4 Waaargh

    Sometimes language and/or lack of capacity to listen is a great barrier. Like when I joined a slugfest the other day with all champs being melee and ranged AD carries, and people kept going 1 v 2 or running off attacking without having the team along.


    The counter argument to your post is how others (including writers on this site) speak for communicating with the team. And how they experience it actually working too. Time for a short story: About a week ago I was the support and we were behind with kills and gold. Still the game did not felt lost as it was the little things that caused the other team to win fights. However due to some planning - and team mates who were interested in listening - we used a few strategies and won the game. In this case it was the simply matter of NOT splitting up, ie. going 5 man together and after getting a lucky inhibitor mid we focused on a sidelane.

    So, I basically believe more in communicating with the team and hoping for the best in people. In reality I have started to rage more, and I am ashamed of myself almost every time, because I come to overreact and genuinely get mad at people on my team.

  • #5 dcgreen

    In all honesty my "drive to win" is so overwhelming that a lot of time in "comeback" situations like this I will try and type to my team to steer them to actually following up the comeback with a win. Sometimes it works and sometimes it blows up in my face like in the example I gave in the article. The main issues is I shouldn't be afraid to type something to my team for fear of how they receive it. That is why I think some strict rules need to be implemented so that the people that queue to win can play to win and the people who want to be assholes can just rot in hell, so to speak.

  • #3 funnyfish

    i dont know how its on solo q, as im only lvl 26, but its sooo true what you say. i gave it up to talk to others a long time ago and try always to make the best from that what happens ingame. if a flame war starts i simply farm and try to get some kills, even if my team dont like it. then teamfights happen i do my best, sometimes its enough to change their mind and they stop blame each other and play even as a team, because they hardly want to get the kill or ks each other.

  • #2 DonYagamoth

    Probably the most in-depth article I've read about this topic so far - I like it. And I really like the idea of Zero-Tolerance, at least for ranked queue. The 'only' other problem this would bring would be those annoying "REPORT! 9x!!" yellers, that have no clue that "playing bad" or "having a bad game" is not against the rules.

     The attitude of people is one of the reasons I took a break (the other being having to work a lot currently..). I'm on ~1950 Elo on two accounts (decayed by now to around 1880) and these things happen so often..

    I have a nice advantage of knowing a fair amount of psychological tricks (usually coupled with ingame plays) to lead my team out of such situations in some cases. But even if it works, it's so incredibly frustrating anyway having to resort to such methods on one hand, and on the other hand knowing that I most likely will have to deal with such things in the next game again.

    My new approach is now, to deactivate the ALL-Chat (RIOT gave us that awesome option) and simply ignore anyone who shows a negative attitude. The only thing I regret doing that, is not being able to write "gg" to all at the end.

    Last edited by DonYagamoth: 7/11/2012 3:06:13 AM
  • #1 TerenasIII

    He used the word damn, REPORT HIM.
    Seriously though, I agree with the most part, we've seen Riot's new "epic pwnage" of such violators on the forums (thank you Mr. Pendragon), which honestly I think was done very well in most times, showing that the community does care (and parts of it love some blood).
    They surely will come up with something coming season 3, considering theyre done with stealth, xin zhao and karma's remake :D 

  • #10 Olymp1c

    Actually, I go by, he used the words report him, report him. People can make their own decisions on who to report, you don't need to harrass them in game. Even if you're the only one to report him from your game, if he truly needs to be banned, he would be reported in other games as well. Don't worry about forming a mob so much.

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