The Dark Side of League of Legends - LoL News
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The Dark Side of League of Legends

Before I summarize the problems League of Legends currently has, I want to make it clear that I am not in any way dissatisfied with the current state of the game.

However, I, personally, do not spend that much time playing the game as much as I watch other players. Especially when it comes to the professional scene. As such, I am more of an observer and esport enthusiast than a player or a gamer. It’s like being a basketball fan, who himself doesn’t play that much of it. Which is quite common. And I think this is something that we could expect in the future when it comes to esports. More people watching and enjoying League as a sport, rather than themselves being the competitors. Because League has become a more competitive game than it ever was. And I think this trend will not stop. Which is not bad per se.

However, there are still many, many gamers that play the game for the sake of fun and personal competitiveness. And most probably, they are the majority. And that majority, currently has problems with the game. So, this post is about summarizing their opinions and discontents with the game.

Current problems with League of Legends

In the past couple of months we have seen many players from the professional scene, streamers, as well as regular players expressing their discontent with the current state of the game. There were streamers that quit League, pro players who openly criticized it, and causual players that were plainly mad at it. This dissatisfaction was mostly based on two things – balance changes and the toxic environment.

The problem with the balance changes started some couple of months ago, but it seems that Riot balance team could not find a way to stop the bleeding. Namely, in the past couple of patches, Riot introduced changes that drastically transformed the state of the game (eg. the jungle and marksman changes). While these changes were initially planned to tune down the impact the junglers and ad carries have in the game, they ended up changing the overall play-style of the respective roles. These two problems, manifested differently in the pro and casual communities.

Professional players’ problems

The problem that professional players have with these kind of changes is that they put their careers at risk. Their reasoning is that if the roles constantly change, they will have to adapt to these changes in their profession. And if some players are not capable of adapting, they will be thrown out of the scene. It’s like asking from a football player to learn new rules every two weeks.

Casual players’ problems

Casual players think that these constant changes put the game into a direction that takes the fun away from it. Skimming through the comments of the post in the biggest community on Reddit on League of Legends, I found one reddit user describing his experience with League with the following words: “It provides me no joy when I win, just a bit of relief. When I lose I become borderline hysterical.”. Now, the fun factor is certainly one of the most important factors when it comes to games. However, there is one more problem, bigger than this, that I think must be addressed. And that is League as an addiction.

League of Legends as an addiction

Only couple of hours ago, a reddit user published a story about how League almost destroyed his life. Because his post was quite detailed, I am passing it here entirely. This post credits go entirely to lehawkman who posted in the the LeagueOfLegends subreddit. You can see the original post if you follow this link. So, here it is:

Hey guys, I recently saw the post about Tyler1 and watched the vod of his stream. If you haven’t he basically freaks out about the last game he was in and during his freak out he said something that made me feel for him. He said something along the lines of he can’t stop playing because he’s addicted and I felt and still sometimes feel that way even to this day.

During summer break of my junior year in high school I was at the movie theater shooting in Colorado. I was pretty depressed at the time. I also had trouble with other personal things in my life and Needless to say I was always looking for an escape from reality. A little while after my friend showed me this game called League of Legends. I bet most of you on this subreddit can remember what it was like playing league for the first time. It was magical. To me it was such a pleasure learning all the champs and just trying to be the best player I could be. It got to the point where when I was at school and all I wanted to was play League.

So I did.

I stopped going and my grades fell so hard I had to do online school. I started playing ranked and the only thing I wanted to was climb. Well the end of my senior year comes around and with the last quarter before graduation I’m missing 3 full high school credits. I can’t believe I was that dumb to not realize that i was in jeopardy of not graduating. The next 2 months all I did was school and play league. Even when the future of my life was on the line I couldn’t stop playing. With the help of my mother and a lot of hard work I was able to graduate high school and still get into college.

Around this time I started getting pretty good at the game. I believe I was in high plat and I started to fantasize about going pro or being a famous streamer. Obviously in plat elo you’re still pretty far away from that goal but my mind kept telling me to try harder.

So now I’m in college, I never go to my classes, I never leave my dorm room, and I start gaining a lot of weight. I’m diamond 5-3 always fluctuating. An anger starts to build inside of me and I didn’t know how to control it. I started to become extremely toxic saying some things that even to this day I regret. Even my close friends were hesitant to play with me, and no matter how much I played I couldn’t get past this wall of diamond 3. Maybe that’s how far my talent could take me and at the time I couldn’t own up to it, I kept playing and I kept flaming until I dropped out of diamond for the first time.

It was close to the end of the season and because of my toxicity I received a two week ban. This is also around the time of the Riot Lyte regime so me getting banned just pissed me off more. But I still couldn’t stop playing. I get back to diamond instead of working on my classes and I ended up failing all of them. 8000 dollars worth of classes wasted for league of legends.

During these years of playing league I also started gaining a lot of weight. Back in high school I played baseball and football and was always active. I gained so much that I became embarrassed to even be out in public. I was afraid that someone I knew would see what I had become. Hell even to this day I haven’t updated my facebook picture. It kept getting worse and I kept lying to myself not realizing the situation I was putting myself in. I tried community college for a while and did the same thing, I tried getting jobs but none would stick. Fast forward 3 years later and the cycle continued on and on.

During the end of last season I got to the point where I was almost out of diamond, I could hardly keep my rank and I believe I ended at d5 0lp. I was so afraid of deranking I stopped playing as much. I started doing other things like workout, go out, I got a job that I really like and I actually make decent money. That fear of me losing my rank ultimately saved me from the game. I believe this season I’m plat 3 with only 100 or some odd games played. I’ve started to lose weight and I’ve started my life back up again. It’s definitely hard though and I still crave to play a lot.

If you read my whole story it really does mean a lot also I feel like there is a lot of grammatical mistakes but I just typed this out on my phone and wanted to vent my feelings. Anyways everyone have a nice day.

Conclusion

To conclude, League definitely has it’s own problems. The most obvious ones are the wrong direction of the balance changes, as well as the level of toxicity in certain regions. However, the fault of the addictive part of the game could not lie, at least not entirely, in the hands of the game.

My personal opinion is that addictiveness is a trait of the subject, not of the object of addiction. We could see emergence of addictiveness in any modern multi-player games, especially MMORPG’s, such as World of Warcraft. That doesn’t make the games bad. Nevertheless, what people could do about that is bring awareness about the addictive aspect of the games. Equipped with such knowledge future, and current gamers could responsibly handle and plan their time and resources so they do not destroy their lives. Of course, this is easier said than done. But bringing awareness to the people can never harm. Even if it helps only one person to break out or prevent oneself from the darkness of addictiveness, it has served it’s purpose.

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