I've played League for about a year now, and am placed in Ranked Silver Division IV. I've perused this wiki to look up statistics and other information for about as long as I've played the game, but this will be my first blog post. Today, I am discussing mindsets.
What I mean when I say "mindset" is the answer to the following question: Why am I playing this match?
For example, there are a significant number of players out there who play to improve: their goal in the match is to be better at the game when the match is finished. These players tend to imitate (or idolize) professional players by using similiar champions, rune and mastery pages, summoner spells, and item builds. They see others who deviate from the accepted lane position and setup as "trolls". I'll call these players "Competitive Players" because they're, well, competitive.
In additon to the "Competitive" mindset, there are a variety of others. A few of the more common ones include:
-"Troll" Players, whose goal in a match is to confuse and enrage their teammates by doing ineffective things in-game, such as intentionally feeding or building items that grant little benefit to the champion the "troll" is playing. These players are hated and feared by the community at large, but "competitive" players hate them the most, as they reduce their team's chances of winning.
-"Innovator" Players, whose goal in a match is to demonstrate intellectual superiority over their fellow players by doing something new and effective in-game. At best, an "innovator" is a strategic genius who can see synergies overlooked by other players, but, since they (like trolls) disregard established practice, "competitive" players confuse them for "trolls", and heap disdain upon them. The difference between a troll and an innovator is that an innovator attempts to do things that are (perhaps) more effective than standard practice, and not less.
-"Social" Players, whose goal in a match is to facilitate teamwork and make others like them. They can achieve this by destroying enemies to procure the admiration of their teammates, but more often play supporting roles to help others. I would guess (based on this theory) that this type of player is the most uncommon.
-"Fun" Players, whose sole desire in a match is to enjoy themselves. They may adhere strictly to the meta in one game, then troll horrendously in another, all depending on how they are feeling. I would hazard that most of the playerbase begins their LoL career as a "fun" player, then decides they derive more enjoyment from a particular aspect of the game, and specialize into one of the player types above.
While all of these mindsets are valid, acolytes of some mindsets are more enjoyable to have on your team. For example, a support being played by a "social" player may be very helpful, while a "troll" support, who builds six, may not.
All that being said, I feel the "competitive" mindset has taken over LoL in a big way. People emulating professionals is a really effective way to reduce variety in matches and make the game boring. If all players play the same champions, in the same roles, with the same items, skills, summoner spells, masteries, and runes, each individual match loses its wonder and spectacle. After all, I don't specifically remember any of the hundreds of jungle Warwick games I've played, but I sure remember the time I played him mid lane. That's what life is all about- collecting experiences so you can reflect back on them later. To this end, I propose that you, the community of the LoL wiki, try sometime to do something in-game you've never done before. It doesn't have to be a radical change; maybe build an item you've never really thought about, or play a free-week champion, or try that wonky mastery page setup you've been thinking about. The match might be a failure, but at least you have a memory!
P.S. If anyone could tell me how to make little item or champion icons next to things like Warwick I'd really appreciate it!