Anyone using these boards has occasionally seen the classic thread: "League is dying", and it's usually after a big patch. Some new thing comes out that shakes up the meta, everyone just believes it's the end of League. Everyone thinks that it's the worst change ever and people will quit and League will die. Yet, so many bad patches after, the game is still running and pulling good numbers.
So, let's talk about it. Is League really dying? We don't know, it's a 50-50 at best. And I don't like to place my hat on maybes, I like facts, 100% truths. Truth is, compared to other games, League is indeed losing popularity. 3 years ago, League was by far the most watched game on Twitch, it's not anymore. There's an indication. Quite a lot of my friends that played the game do not play anymore, or play much much less. There's another indication. Yet, both of these facts are not solid proof. Maybe it only happens to me, and Twitch viewership is not something concrete.
So, League dying is still a 50-50, I'll even say it's 60-40, for the sake of the following argument as to why that is. So, why is League supposedly dying, or, even more precisely, if League is gonna die, what will really lead to it?
I read that people blame it on Riot's gameplay decision making. "Oh, the scuttle crab changes are horrible, I quit." "Oh, ADCs are OP, I quit". "Oh, top laners are useless, I quit." People seem to think that the main reason people quit the game is some horrible game play change. And that's where I tend to disagree. It's not that. It's the toxicity.
I started in season 5, because some friends talked me into starting League. I was playing quite a lot of normal games with a lot of premades, even 5 people quite often. Sometimes, even, we'd play custom 5v5s. That's how many friends I could play the game with 3 years ago. Do you know how many real life friends I can play the game with now? 0. Most of them quit, and a handful of them just play once a week, at best. I talked to every single one of them about why they quit. Some of them got a job, which was the reason they couldn't play. Too many hours a day wouldn't allow them to. That'a fine. Most of them, though, quit, or stopped playing as much, because of the toxicity.
People need to understand that the playerbase is huge, and there is only a very small percentage that uses these forums. What is said here doesn't really reflect what the casual player base thinks. Casual players just play 3-4 games a day, just to have fun, relax, and fill up time. That's the truth. Not everyone is competitive, not everyone watch streams or esports. And that's why you see a lot of the player base being in silver; because they don't really care about climbing and all that. And hey, more power to them, sometimes I wish I didn't care and only had fun in the game with all its flaws. Do you know what drives those players away? It's not the game play. It's not because of some scuttler change, or because ADCs are OP. No, because casuals do not know anything about that. Some of them don't even read patch notes. They don't know, they don't care. They just pop in, play some games and leave.
I'm talking about the biggest majority of the player base here, and the thing that drives them away is toxicity. A flamer, a feeder, and inter, a troll, an AFKer will tilt EVERYONE, casual and non-casual. It's a fact that toxicity in the game has increased WAY too much during season 7 and 8, especially season 8, even I have become toxic myself. Most of my friends quit because of it. We would go on a game, somebody would flame, it would create negativity, suck all the fun out of the game. One, two, three, ten, a hundred times, eventually they only put up with it for so long, to the point the quit. They just couldn't have fun in the game anymore, when someone would constantly flame, or someone would troll them. It wasn't because their favorite champion got nerfed, or that they couldn't climb because of the game updates. It was purely because of toxicity. Immature players ruined any fun they had in the game.
This happened to my friends. I think it's safe to assume that it happened to a lot of your friends as well. Therefore, if the game is indeed dying, it's not because of some petty game play change. No, it's because of the huge amounts to toxicity plaguing the game. Because, at the end of the day, having fun in the game is not about if you can claim a scuttle crab; it's about if you can play into a friendly environment, where all players try their best and the better team wins. Gameplay is just secondary and was never a huge problem. Every huge problem was eventually fixed. Toxicity is only increasing, and it's sad that it's the biggest reason why it drives players away.