I found this screenshot from exactly two months ago, of a game of League of Legends Simon, Ed, and I were playing: (Click to enlarge) Yes, that is Simon randomly saying “my support … u r da bomb!” Simon’s outburst of randomness was so confusing to Ed that he proceeded to forget to lock in his pick, and we got kicked out of champion select back into our lobby. For his age, Simon is probably the most unexpectedly joyful and youthful person I know.
I’ve heard of people who used to be Bronze IV last season who went 8-2 in placement matches and ended up … in Bronze V. On the other hand, I have a secondary account that I use to duo queue with friends, which was in low silver last season. I purposely lost all my placement matches and went 0-10, but for whatever ridiculous reason, it placed me in Bronze II. (Click to enlarge) Do placement matches even matter? How am I going to live the Bronze V dream life if the game won’t even let me drop that low, even if I go 0-10?
A lot of League of Legends players will complain about how the troll or AFK is always on their team. If you’re not already aware, that’s a psychological phenomenon where you’re more inclined to remember something bad happening to you, than happening to someone else. If you lose a game when your team has someone AFK, it’s the AFK’s fault; if you win a game when the enemy has someone AFK, it’s because you’re skilled. If you actually think really hard about it, as long as you’re not the one going AFK, it’s more likely for an AFK player to be on the enemy team than your team, because there are four public slots open on your team for an AFK player to potentially fill, while the enemy team has five open slots. Apparently, the game was making up for all the 4v5s that I was having during ranked a few years ago (which was a contributing factor in the culmination of me quitting taking League of Legends seriously) … by giving me a 5v0. (Click to enlarge) Yes, that is correct. Literally all five members of the enemy team were AFK. The enemy Shaco came back about half a minute before we ended the game, but he obviously couldn’t do anything while he was level 1. Laughing at the absurdity that had just happened, we queued up again. In the next game, I guess the enemy team might as well have just all been AFK, because apparently, matchmaking doesn’t work too well. (Click to enlarge) Quinn OP. Particularly OP against AP Ezreals who are gold league in ranked.
Since after season 2, I’ve had an abusive relationship with League of Legends. A lot of things about the game annoyed me – I was infuriated that such a popular game would have so many problems with it – but I still had to play and keep up with it because it was the world’s biggest game, and I was a content producer and advisor. Around seasons 4 and 5, I waned down my LoL gameplay to almost none, and mostly just kept up with it from an eSports perspective. I figured that there was no reason to play a “game” when all it does is frustrate me, and I can gather all my research by watching others, without actually playing myself. With preseason 6 rolling around, something I noticed a lot of people saying was how short the games were becoming. Most professional players said that their solo queue games used to be around 35 minutes on average, but now they were about 20. If a game ends in 20 minutes, it obviously means that it’s saturated with action (or else one team wouldn’t be able to reach the Nexus in that time). I’m all about high-action gameplay, so I decided to give League of Legends another chance in preseason 6. After going into a game, I noticed that there was a new Doran’s Ring alternative that was added to the shop – The Dark Seal. It gives +100 mana, +15 AP, and +25% healing from potions. It also had a passive effect – Dread / Do or Die – which grants +6 AP per kill, +3 AP per assist, and -12 AP per death (flooring at +0 AP and maxing at +30 AP). If you watched my stream back in 2012-13 when I regularly streamed, you know that I am an extremely aggressive player who loves beating down my laning opponent and making them feel weak and vulnerable. Even though I outwardly say that last-hitting minions is almost always the most important thing to do in lane, I will still forego farming in order to harass my laning opponent in order to assert my dominance in lane. After I saw the Dark Seal, I realized that this ring was pretty much custom-designed for me. It gives me a larger mana pool so I can use more abilities. It gives a decent chunk of ability power. It gives me a little bit more sustain in exchange for not having the +60 HP from Doran’s Ring. But most importantly, it rewards my hyperaggressive playstyle. If I manage to get a kill in lane, which happens very often, I start stacking up ability power. One important thing I tell people I coach is to not stay in lane for too long, even if you have full health and mana, because your laning opponent might have already bought items, and now has a power spike over you. If you manage to send your laning opponent back to base through a kill, you’re going to start scaling up in power without having to return to base. Not only did you gain +6 AP from the kill, but you also got experience from the kill, and you’re soaking experience from the minion wave while your opponent is not. This almost lets you completely keep up with their item buys, without having to go back to base yourself. During mid-game, I’m known to make majestically large errors that throw the game and bring my team into a downward spiral (and when I used to play ranked 5v5s, our jungler almost always stayed very close to me and acted as my pseudo-support to make sure I wouldn’t do this). This generally happens as a result of overconfidence – I smash my lane so hard that I forget that I’m still not strong enough to win in 1v3 fights. The fact that this is a stacking item, and I lose stacks on death, is always in the back of my mind. I have a constant reminder in my inventory to carefully calculate my movements and decisions before making them. Although this isn’t going to make me any less confident in my play, it’s there to make sure that, if there’s a fuzzy line as to whether or not I will win an engage, I will choose not to engage at all (and not risk throwing my lead). And finally, this item scales well into the mid-game, and is worth keeping in an inventory slot during the earlier late game. Without its passive, the Dark Seal provides 466.25 gold’s worth of stats for 400 gold. However, if you manage to hold on to max stacks, its gold worth skyrockets to 1,118.75 gold – that’s 280% gold efficiency. So, the results of my Dark Seal games so far? They’ve mostly gone pretty well. You may already know that I used to be a diamond-level player in season 2, so yes, this isn’t exactly too impressive (and if anything, it’s expected), seeing as my account is currently in low gold rank. But, the point here is, a champion like Zyra, who is extremely vulnerable to death (especially when every champion and their mom has a gap closer nowadays), can still work extremely well with the Dark Seal, simply because of how good of an item it is for an aggressive playstyle. I’m an extremely calculated player, and I’ll constantly be running a ton of numbers through my head during the entire game. There have been times when the Dark Seal has given me so much of a damage bonus that I miscalculate my damage, throw out my abilities to apply Rylai’s and Flash away, only to realize that I could’ve just held my ground and gotten a 1v4 quadra kill. Now, as we can see by my defeat, what the Dark Seal doesn’t do is make you invulnerable to Warwick’s Infinite Duress, comboed with Jarvan IV’s Demacian Standard, Dragon Strike, and Cataclysm. … That was a rough game. (This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or anyone officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)
Not long ago, I applauded Blizzard for making grouping changes to their Heroes of the Storm ranked system.Before the patch, players would be able to group as a premade party of any size between 1 and 4, then queue up for Hero League. I indicated that this was bad, because a large part about MOBAs is playing with strangers, adapting to their playstyle, and working together. By eliminating the need to get along with other people, a critical aspect of MOBAs was not being taken into account for many people’s Hero League ratings. After the patch, Hero League became restricted to only solo and duo queue. If people wanted to play as a group of three or four, they would have to play Quick Match; if they wanted to play as a group of five, they could play Team League. This restored the importance of teamwork and once again made it a universal element for achieving a high Hero League rank. Recently, League of Legends decided that this was not, in fact, what they wanted to do. As Heroes of the Storm took a step forward, League of Legends took a step backward and changed their system to what Blizzard already realized was not the right thing to do. Source: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site/2016-season-update/ranked-improvements.html So now, if you see that someone is diamond in ranked, you have no clue if they’re truly a diamond-level player, or if they just happen to have a lot of challenger- and master-level friends who carried them up the ranked ladder in five-man premade groups. Luckily, I’ve become deeply involved in other games, so these changes to League of Legends won’t even be relevant to me… (This post isn’t endorsed by Riot Games and doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of Riot Games or anyone officially involved in producing or managing League of Legends. League of Legends and Riot Games are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc. League of Legends © Riot Games, Inc.)
I’m pretty sure that, in return for everything bad I’ve said about League of Legends and how much better Heroes of the Storm is, Riot has basically applied some sort of curse onto me so every game of League of Legends I play becomes the newest worst experience of my life. Out of my last five ranked games:
- 3 have had at least one person disconnect or ragequit
- 2 have had two people disconnect or ragequit
- 2 have had allies who have typed out very elaborate death threats (more detailed than the standard “go kill yourself” that you see every game)