A long time ago when I first started playing “League of Legends,” I was just a lowly Level 1 Summoner like everyone else. I was just fresh from transitioning over from “Defense of the Ancients.” LoL was new to me, and yet there were familiar elements because of my Dota experience.
I still recall leveling up my account, getting excited at the prospect of reaching the max level in the game (30) and being able to play matches with the “good” people. And of course, LoL offered ranked play, which was a means for players to attempt building up their Elo to reflect their skill level.
So that moment when I hit Level 30 was quite a big deal to me. I finally could enter ranked games! Oh gosh, how exciting! There will be great feats of individual talent, intricate strategies and tactics … or so I thought.
The awe of of ranked play lost its luster after a bit when I realized that some ranked games, to be frank, were not much better than normal games at times.
But how could this be possible? How could ranked matches ever suffer from mediocrity, poor manners and everything else you don’t want from the LoL community?
Casual ranked players WATER DOWN the mode with their less-than-ideal attitudes.
What is a casual ranked player? They are the individuals who choose to queue up for ranked games because they can.
They are the ones who do the funky item builds when raw efficiency is needed against competent opponents. They are the ones who buy a new champion and choose not to practice with them first.
In short, these players don’t take ranked mode very seriously, and yet they somehow show up in your ranked queue. They amass large game counts for their ranked stats, but their overall Elo is probably nothing impressive if you consider how much they have played this season.
And you are probably wondering … why do I have so much beef with the casual ranked player?
Well, it’s simple – I want to win.
Obviously, everyone should want to win. Who wants to lose when they queue up, especially when it is a ranked game? But that’s where the casual player goes wrong. In my book, being too casual in a ranked game can spell defeat in a lot of situations.
Think about it.
You queue up for a ranked game. You are in champ select. You call out your preferred roles and all that jazz. But then, you get that one guy or gal who gives off an indifferent vibe.
Sure, one could argue that the person could just be an aloof dude/dudette in real life, and quite frankly there is nothing with being on the lax side … WHEN IT’S NOT RANKED.
So why is this such a problem? Why am I even ranting about this whole thing?
BECAUSE BEING CASUAL IN A MODE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERIOUS DEFEATS THE WHOLE PURPOSE.
I can’t count how many times I have lost a given ranked match because that one player (because that is all it takes) who is not on the same page in terms of competitive spirit.
What I mean is, let’s say your team is facing the opposing side who are all try-hards, meaning your opponents want to beat the crap out of you and take your lunch money.
THEY WILL DEFEAT YOU, UNLESS YOU STOP THEM (of course).
Super. That’s fine and dandy. Bring it on. But wait … what happens if you have someone who isn’t as driven to win as the rest of your teammates? I will tell you what happens – YOU WILL PROBABLY LOSE BECAUSE OF THEM.
And I wish I could exaggerate, but I can’t. The casual attitude that some players bring with them in ranked matches can and will result in your team’s downfall.
When both sides are trying to come out victorious, you need every single ally to pull their weight. If you have any ally who lacks the edge to be a winner, this can be the difference maker in a close game.
If you are not trying your hardest in a ranked match, then you are being a liability for your team. Plain and simple.
For instance. I came across this in my team’s chat during a ranked match last night.
“In all honesty, I should treat ranked as normal games … That’s what I only play, anyways.”
What the heck? Really? This is the epitome of what is wrong with the whole ranked experience. It is not like something practically could be done to weed out these players. No real system could be implemented to prevent these people from joining a ranked queue.
And guess what – we lost this game. I can also throw out there that this player who said that comment played like it was a normal game by acting carelessly without a sense of urgency. I am still feeling the frustration from this defeat.
Technically speaking, I believe every ranked match should be jam-packed full of try-hards for a respective Elo bracket. It should be commonplace in ranked matches, but it is unfortunately a rare occurrence that baffles me to no end.
In a normal game, sure, go right ahead and drop your guard a bit. Try something wacky and all that good stuff. However, one needs to shift gears for a a ranked match. Being serious is what you should strive for when Elo is on the line.
And look – I don’t expect everyone in ranked matches to be perfect. I never claim to be a pro-caliber player, but I try.
We all make mistakes. We all have bad games. We all are in this together. When I queue up for ranked matches, I intend to give it my best to go for the “W.” I expect my allies to do the same.
This is honestly what I want from more players who joined ranked games – genuine effort. I want allies who act like they give a darn about the outcome.
Communication, cooperation and everything else in between for the sake of teamwork should be the standard and not the exceptions.
I always hope for teammates with the right mindset. Sure, individual skill is certainly important as well, but having the motivation to play your heart out is extremely vital for victory.
It is common sense, really.
If you feel like putting on your try-hard cap, queue up for a ranked game. If you want to dink around (as we all like to from time to time) and play a match that ultimately is just for fun, queue up for a normal.