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.