I love League of Legends. It’s an addicting game that provides excitement, personal improvement and social interaction. But lately, it’s getting me a little down. Have people transformed into everything that we have been taught to not become? Are people bullies?
I play LOL as a way to unwind after a busy day at the office – so I can’t speak for those who play it on a professional level – but the toxicity takes away the fun aspect for me. The swearing and pure immaturity that comes from some allies and enemies I am matched with, is simply unnecessary. It’s not just in LOL that I’ve noticed players being more hostile towards each other. I recently had back to back Heroes of the Storm matches where my team was too busy insulting each other to get objectives. I shouldn’t have to report people or turn off all chat, because respect is common sense.
The question I ask myself is: do I fire back with the same enthusiasm? I reply to e-hecklers on a case-by-case basis, depending on my tolerance level or I mute them. I don’t, however, engage with people who are clearly never going to stop. Of course, a little trash talk comes along with the game but that’s where it should end.
Source: Deviant Art
Whether you’re flaming someone during a game or commenting on Social Media – it can be a dangerous spiral, which brings me to my next point: Reddit Threads.
I don’t understand why so many individuals feel the need to go out of their way to write something hateful and it’s a shame if they’re proud to call that free speech. At the end of the day, nothing can cater to every audience. Players go through slumps, they make bad decisions and believe it or not, changes can be made without the approval of the entire community. Actually, it seems that even the teams performing well are receiving hate. Honestly, I expected more from the internet.
Stating an opinion isn’t wrong as long as you have a compelling argument or strong basis for your decision. Individuality is a fantastic thing and we are all critics in one way or another. But there are really terrible things that faceless people on the internet feel compelled to write about every day and I’ve noticed a huge increase in toxicity in Esports. There are two different types of criticism — thoughtful critiques and trolling.
I believe a thoughtful critique happens when someone analyzes your game play and takes the time to point out specific areas they feel you can improve on.
A troll is someone who is just trying to get under your skin and personally, I think they need to put that energy into something productive. It’s much easier to bash other people’s talents than to do work on developing your own.
So what can we do about it if criticism is inescapable? Probably not much as an individual but positivity is more contagious than negativity if we pursue it collectively. Wishful thinking, but I am hopeful. Let’s reclaim this online Esports community; it’s up to us to be the Positive Poppy and not the Negative Nocturne. Aim for the honor crests not the 10 game chat bans.
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Cover Photo by: Dwight Casin