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State of the League

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Those of you who follow my blog will have noticed that I have spent some time away. I have been spending time considering all the things in my life, and I have chosen to leave the League of Legends.

Of course, the inevitable question is "Why?".

Let me be clear. League of Legends is an incredible game, far more balanced than most of the haters will say, and so awesome a game that I would group it with the likes of the original DOOM and Deus Ex games. It is innately replayable, and what may seem to be mere repetition rarely (if ever) seems boring. I have spent a considerable amount of time, energy, and money on this exceptional game. I enjoy the lore as well; champion design has, overall, been top-notch and should be envied by other game creators. My girlfriend, who does not play, even enjoys reading and hearing me read her the champions' lore and learning about them.

So why am I leaving?

League of Legends is a team game. When people are unnecessarily cruel to others, whether on the enemy team or their own team, consistently, repeatedly, and without apparent consequence, there is a major problem.

Again, let me be clear. This is not "Boo hoo, I had a bad game and some meanie was being mean to me about it." This is not "ZOMG Y CAN"T PPL TAKE THIS GAME SRSLY!!1!" This is more of: "What the actual fuck? Another troll who gets two deaths, bitches, and rage-quits? This is the fifth one today!" This is more of: "Guys, stop yelling about what items the ADC can and cannot get, just get on with the damn game already!"

That is to say, this is an issue that I have faced repeatedly within the context of League of Legends. It exists not only within the game itself, but on forums (such as this otherwise wonderful Wiki) and blogs (even the soon-to-close League of Confessions tumblr). I can think of no better word to describe the League of Legends community as a whole than "toxic."

This is not a elo problem, either. People claiming to have gold or platinum elo ratings tend to be at least as abusive of people just trying to enjoy the game (games are, in fact, supposed to be fun, right?) as lower-elo or unranked people are. It's also not a normals vs. ranked or PvP vs. Co-op-vs-AI issue, either; the whole of the community is this bad.

That is not to say that there are not wonderful players out there; I have enjoyed a great many games with good people. However, when finding these good (and I don't just mean skilled) players is less like finding water in an ocean and more like finding a ruby in a coal mine, there is a major problem that needs to be dealt with.

There are those who will claim that this is merely an excuse to leave League of Legends and go join some similar game such as DotA2. Well, from what I've heard, those communities aren't any better. Unless I get a really good reason to try another game like this, I won't be.

To be realistic, it is likely that I will eventually return. I sincerely doubt that even if I wait three years, the community will not have improved in the slightest. At the very least, though, I need to go on a hiatus from the League.

I will not hold it against any of you if the fact that I won't be posting about League of Legends anymore brings you to stop following this blog.

Farewell, dear friends and hated foes.

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