If there is one thing that every League of Legends player can attest to, whether new or old, pro or noob, adult or tween… it is that the LoL playing community is perhaps the most toxic to exist in all of multiplayer online cyberdom.
The term “toxic” is an adjective that describes players who angrily and viciously disparage other players. These reasons may include frustration toward teammates for not playing well, losing the game, receiving trash talk from opposing players…pretty much anything really. I I have yet to go a single day without at least one of my League of Legends sessions being marred by teenagers cussing at each other. According to a study by the creators themselves in 2012, Riot Games claimed, “80 percent of player chat was extremely negative.” Though these numbers have decreased thanks to the improved Tribunal and Honor systems, toxic behavior is still an everyday part of the game.
As an enthusiastic League of Legends player, I witness this first-hand very often. An otherwise terrific gaming experience tainted by the actions of one or two bad seeds. Thus, I would like to make a plea to the LoL gaming community — Please Stop! —
I realize that this is a rather blunt statement. Though my efforts may be in vain, I feel I must at least give it a try. Allow me to try to appeal to your senses.
Has being toxic to someone or calling them out ever led to any improvement in gameplay? countless studies have proven that positive reinforcement is a much more effective teaching tool than punishment or verbal abuse. I agree that it can be extremely frustrating when your noob teammate is buffet-style feeding the other team. It’s totally justified. However, in this situation, giving them encouragement and useful tips, instead of telling them to “#uninstall,” will only improve your chances of winning. After all, why would that individual try to play better when their teammate is calling him or her out? Toxicity breeds toxicity; hurling insults at a player will often evoke counter insults, and that gets everyone nowhere fast.
Furthermore, even if you’re at the point of no return and will probably lose a match, the only thing that yelling will accomplish is a guaranteed report to Riot about your negative behavior. And yes, these reports do stack up if you are frequently a toxic player. Take the story of pro players Alfonso Rodriguez and Erlend Holm as a cautionary tale. Both of these players were booted from the League Championship Series and Challenger Series for the year for harassing teammates and opponents alike. This demonstrates that Riot Games isn’t afraid to use the banhammer on anyone, professionals included. No point losing AND getting reported, right?
If you won’t accept my logical appeal, I would like to take a more pathos approach and appeal to your humanity. The next time you’re yelling at a noob, please remember that all of us, including yourself, were noobs at some point. Show some compassion. Just because you’re behind a computer doesn’t mean you should abandon all sense of civility (some of you may disagree and say that is EXACTLY what the Internet is for). Just, be a decent person. Everyone has bad games every now and then, and makes mistakes.
At the end of the day, we’re all here for the same reason; to play a fun game online and beat the snot out of each other with spells and giant swords while wearing ridiculous outfits (in-game of course, though to each his/her own). Let’s keep it at that.