If you play League of Legends as often as I do, you'll start to pick up on telltale signs that your game is about to go terribly wrong. These are the five signs to look out for in advance.
#5 – There's a fight over a character in the pre-match lobby
There is no greater deathblow to a team than two internet-dudes slap-fighting over who gets to play which champion. I've played this game for around a month now, and I learned this shit pretty quick. It doesn't even matter what character is being fought over – just that it's happening.
League of Legends' community has a well-deserved reputation for being about as friendly as a starving bear in the middle of mating season. Now, imagine setting someone like that off before the game even starts. The few times I've seen this happen, players pretty quickly resorted to Klingon blood feud levels of anger. I've seen guys go from zero to full-on Michael Douglas in Falling Down in 4 seconds flat. It's pretty impressive in a disturbing way.
The funny thing is, if someone is playing a character that you want to play, you know right off the bat. You know it so soon, in fact, that you can just go find another game without any sort of penalty. But why do that when you have a perfectly good reason to rage over the internet?
My point is, players in LoL always seem to opt for the nuclear option at the drop of a hat. In this particular case, it means intentionally letting the other team kill you, making them more powerful, costing your team the game. If this happens to you, get out before it's too late. Or, just troll the crap out of the rager – that's a pretty fun game in itself.
#4 – Every player on your team has a ping of 500 or more.
Fighting over characters is one thing, but absurdly high pings is entirely another. Have you ever seen two prize fighters slug it out? They're quick, brutal, and completely merciless towards each other. Now imagine one of those guys has the shit-your-pants, puking every 20 minutes flu. Having a high ping is sort of like that, except that same guy can't use his arms, and weighs 50 pounds less than the other guy. Also, he's blind drunk.
That's actually what playing with a high ping feels like. Everyone is able to react and move quickly, except you, because you're currently suffering from the side-effects of DXM, after guzzling down an entire bottle of Nyquil. You're just that guy in every action movie who thinks he's gotten the drop on the hero, only to have his gun jam, and subsequently get beaten to death with his own arms, while his adversary spouts some cool one-liners.
Basically, playing LoL on a team with a high ping is about as frustrating as teaching your own mom how to use the internet. You can't really get mad at them, because it's not their fault. But, dammit, you can't wait until it's over.
#3 – One of your teammates is raging at minions.
Look, I'm not saying this has happened. I'm just saying that with over 6 billion people in the world there exists a man whose rage is not bound by the confines of logic. And you know that dude plays League of Legends. At least, if I were that man, I would sure as hell open a League of Legends account, because those namby-pamby LoL ragers are far too limp-wristed to mash on the keyboard as hard and furiously as I. I would want to make sure I'm claiming my birth-right by being the angry at a video game, I'm literally shitting my pants from all the blood vessels bursting in my brain. I want to walk away from every match with at least a minor aneurism.
But sometimes a match just goes swimmingly, and there's nothing to rage at. Yeah, right! That's when a dude like King Rage of Angerland has to shine the most – it's times like these that separates the hardcore ragin' pros from the casual ragin' scrubs – it's time to rage at the only possible thing to rage at: minions.
If you were to find yourself on a team with the One True Rager, and he's unleashing a full-on blast of heart-attack fuel at your team's minions, it's probably best just to up and quit. There's just no need to play LoL at this point. Maybe you can come back in a few days, after you've spent 16+ hours in the shower, scrubbing the boils that formed from all the splash-back anger that you were witness to. Maybe not. It's up to you at this point, because you've now officially seen it all. Just… do whatever, man.
Try not to be that guy, though. Be the Yin to his Yang. Offer sloppy french kisses to the first person who tower dives, or is ganked. I'm sure it'll be well received.
#2 – Your team is playing “League o' Drinking”.
Think about it. It makes sense. How else can you explain some of the awful, awful playstyles found in League of Legends? I'm thinking it goes something like this:
Take a shot every time
-Garen shouts “DEMACIAAA”.
-There is a half-naked lady on screen.
-Karthas kills someone across the map with his ultimate.
-A team member tower dives.
-The thought of Annie (Editor's Note: No, he's not talking about our resident Features Editor) gives you a boner.
-A team member calls you a “fucking nub”.
-Someone says “my team sucks” in all-chat.
-You get angry.
-A teammate gets angry.
I hope you bought a lot of vodka, comrade, because you're gonna need it.
I'm pretty sure that if an LoL drinking game caught on, there'd be rioting from all the angry drunks. People would be shouting incomprehensible shit like “OMFG YOU NUBS DIDN'T CALL MIAS!” whilst flipping over cars and looting Wal-Marts.
Anyhow, if everyone on your team is doing this, you're either with them, or against them. Why not just join them? It'll be the start to a great night where you end up raging drunk, peeing on your neighbor's cat.
#1 – “lol sorry, my 9 year-old son is playing”
Everyone who's reading this article has heard this excuse. If you haven't, you're not playing LoL.
This is, unquestionably, the lamest excuse in the grand history of lame excuses. It even beats out the lame excuse the Germans used before invading Poland in 1939. Which was, as every historian worth his salt knows, sausage envy (seriously, compare the size of a polish sausage to the sized of bratwurst – there's no question).
Anyhow, everyone who has ever claimed that their innocent, little boy is playing a match of LoL is so full of shit, they're practically bursting.
First off: no. Your son isn't playing. When I was 9 I wouldn't be able to comprehend League of Legends enough to even get the damned thing started. How could I possibly understand what “laning” is, or what each champion's abilities actually do? I couldn't. Fact is, most adults don't understand that shit. Why do you think people get so pissed off at their teammates in this game?
Secondly: why would you let your child near a hive of scum and villainy of the likes of League of Legends? I once had a previously cordial person threaten to “cut [my] face off” in the middle of a match. Sorry but, if you want to win, you'll focus on the game at-hand, and save the face-cutting for after the match.
Lastly: just admit that you're bad. There's no kid playing League of Legends. You're playing League of Legends, and you're probably the kind of person who doesn't pay attention, and doesn't work well in a team. You can get away with that in nearly any FPS, but this sort of game demands a Japanese-like sense of collectivism. You have to be able to join into an ad-hoc hive-mind in the first few minutes before the match, or watch everything you've ever known and loved fall to the other team's hive-mind. If you can't do that, LoL probably isn't the game for you.
So, if you run into this guy, just know that the game is a loss. Might as well make it interesting, and give the League o' Drinkin a shot.