Rant Time: The Nature of Competitive Mode, or. . .


Why the fuck did you pick a flanker? We have TWO already! We need a Support! We have no tanks! What the hell is your damage? What do you mean you don’t “want to win”!?

Ranked Game Editorial 2

I’ve been seeing it in ranked in League since Season 2, SMITE, and Paladins. Every online competitive game, there is a score of people that frankly claim they “don’t want to win”, or “it’s just a game, bro”, or “Jungle Vlad worked in S2, so it’ll work now”. I asked this question to Chef Lu Bu, one of the coolest people in Atlanta, GA [seriously, go to Battle & Brew. It’s wonderful]. He had no answer. I’ve climbed to the mountaintop, and meditated, trying to come up with an answer. What is the point? When you are playing a mode that’s literally titled “Competitive” or “Ranked”, that’s the Tryhard Mode. That’s the mode where you’re supposed to want to win. Hell, you should want to win in all modes. Having fun is great, I love fun, despite being the “King of No Fun”. That just means I get to have all and nobody else can. But so many times in one of these modes, I see a variety of people:

  • It’s just a game.
  • I don’t want you to win because my last teams were all assholes.
  • Because it’s a game.

Is it “just a game”? Yes, it’s actually a game. But it’s a mode where you’re competing for fucking points, where your goal is to be as good as you can absolutely damn be. But what’s the point of going into that mode just to make it harder for people, by feeding the fuck on purpose!? Watching your jungler run into the enemy jungle, no gear, and die, then running into towers, because you didn’t “do what they said” or “you don’t respect them” or “they wanted to pick Lee Sin but the enemy team banned him/picked him”? These are real things I’ve experienced. I watched as a mid wasn’t being listened to because he was apparently the Challenger Smurf Master Morganna, with 0/5/1, and he began to make it harder. Like he wasn’t already! What makes someone so hateful, so upset at their fellow man that they want nothing more than force people to demote, lose points, or simply to lose over and over? I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. I’m not going to declare that I’m the best. Hell, I’m barely competent. But I understand the basics, the mechanics of the games I play, and I play a role that typically doesn’t get to make the game-winning plays [Support] unless you know, you play Thresh I guess. It’s up to me to save people and help them get kills, but when the ADC has declared at the start of the game they’re going to feed, or not even go to lane, there’s nothing you can do. There is literally nothing you can do outside of being Godlike, and I don’t belong in the SPL or LCS.

Ranked Game Editorial 1

The point of being competitive is to get better. Fair play, honesty, working hard, even in defeat being gracious. Not calling someone a dirty motherfucker that probably gets plowed by their dad, or that you should get AIDS/Cancer, etc. Those people are just as dreadful as the people who cheat, use bots [still very prevalent in Paladins, by the by], feed on purpose, don’t show up to lane, but don’t DC so you can’t at least surrender early. . . The point isn’t to be a prick. If I’m to be awful, that’s fine, I can accept that, work hard and try to climb. There’s no way to stop them from doing it, either. You can’t prevent toxic, or negative people from entering a ranked environment, I don’t think. So what’s the conclusion? Some people are just assholes. If they can’t have what they want, nobody can. Or some people are purposely tanking their ELO for smurfing and you just happen to get caught in the crossfire. All you can do is sigh, report them, do not tell them you are, but just do it. If you tell them they’re getting reported, they won’t care. They’ll probably do worse.

Ranked Game Editorial 3

Are you one of these people? Or are you the one that has to put up with these awful people? Is the solution just “don’t play support lol”? It’s been really bothering me, but I haven’t had a platform to rant about it until I worked here. League has taken steps with being able to queue for a section, but it’s still not enough. You aren’t guaranteed it unless you play Support I guess, and so it just makes them even more upset. What’s the solution, outside of “stop playing ranked”?

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  • Herschel Pilcher III

    this whole article is the reason I’ve never wanted to play in any ‘ranked’ modes. My job is stressful enough dealing with people who work against our success (both passively and actively), so I don’t really want to deal with the same nonsense in something that is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

  • Eric Marsh

    Yeah. People that play a game to ruin the fun of others is, like Herschel, the entire reason why I don’t play those modes in games. It’s why I’ll rarely enter and participate in WoW’s PvP Arenas or Battlegrounds (though the BGs are far less annoying in that regard).

    Toxic scenes like that are just high-octane masturbatory outlets for the ego, only sometimes you don’t finish and realize you’ve been wasting hours upon hours of your life in a virtual circlejerk.