I remember watching my college friends crowded around one computer, spectating a guy (I didn't know at the time) light-up another player with a map-wide Lux ult. **"ACED!"** The commentator announced. That's the moment I knew this game would be for me.
When he clicked off the victory screen, i saw him splash his Gold V ranked profile. Wow I thought, I wonder how hard it could be? Upon further questioning, I was told it was the top 30% of ranked players.
I scoffed, because as a current World of Warcraft player, I was in the top 1-10% of arena players (WoW's ranked system) so naturally it should convert over to League of Legends, right?
_I've never been so wrong in my life!_
After creating my account and dropping RP on some experience boosts, I was ready to play. 30 levels flew by, and I had become a Lissandra main - I justified it because of my Frost Mage roots in WoW.
Placement games didn't go very well and before I knew it, I was Bronze V. As the majority of you know, that's about as low as you can go in the ranked world.
Frustrated, I started experimenting with other champions, roles and builds. Slowly I started to get better. I made some friends, and eventually climbed up into the Platinum leagues in solo que.
I've been playing League since roughly season 3. It's still a sore spot for me that I was never able to attain the victorious Elise skin from back in the day. But joking aside, it's also given me a chance to grow as a person, with the game itself. In the beginning, when I was learning all the new champions and skills, I had tons of fun. It was intriguing to pick up a new character, read the lore behind them and form a connection. Take Xerath for example. From slave, to betraying his best friend Azir, to the pursuit of absolute power. It feels like i'm playing a character from a comic book and I love it!
All the cinematics and events that Riot has done throughout the years
It's incredible platform for propelling e-sports into the giant it is becoming in the future
But here's the thing.
It's the start of Season 9 and I've played probably 20 or so ranked games. In the vast majority of these games, I've been met with teammates whom have harshly torn apart my jungling choices, called me atrocious names for making small mistakes and have explicitly told me to kill myself/uninstall after having a poor performance. In the rest of the games, they are verbally harassing my teammates which ends in two people swearing at each other and me trying to intervene and calm people down. But we all know how that goes. (for the record, i have /all chat turned off).
Some of you might say, this has been going on since season 1, or that I should use the mute chat and ping buttons that Riot implemented a few seasons ago.
I honestly don't believe it's always been this bad. Only in the past 3-4 seasons have I noticed that every game i'm either getting frustrated reading what people are saying or getting flamed with pings. It's like the behavior has had time to become widespread and now it's kind of ingrained to the players out there.
_I do love the game_, but playing in the current state just drains too much energy and shakes my mental state of mind too much. In order to decide to click the mute button, I first have to read the 3 lines of text of the mid laner telling me that i'm trash and I should just "fucking gank his lane already". Or I have to endure game after game of trying to mediate between the support and ADC because they got double killed in a 2v2 and they both blame each other and are threatening to intentionally feed.
Every time I log in and play, i get off at some point feeling angry and disappointed with the people I got to meet and play with. I never get friend requests anymore, only for someone to add me to party and flame over voice chat. (Yeah, that's a thing i found out).
As I grow older, I realize that my frame of mind is so incredibly important. I really do like competing in LoL, but to be honest the bottom line is it just isn't the same attitudes and players that I experienced at the start. Or maybe they are and I just didn't notice. Makes no difference either way I suppose.
When something ends up being more abusive to you than it's worth, I guess it's time to walk away. I can't argue and mediate internet friends anymore, it's too stressful and draining.
I hope you guys still find it enjoyable and are not suffering like I am, because the game and company are amazing.