The nature of the Internet is an interesting one. We hide behind anonymity, and can say whatever we want because who cares, right? It’s just words. However in a competitive scene, it can become much worse, at least when on the Internet. In fighting game communities, when people are sitting right next to each other, it tends to be mutually supportive, friendly even. Sure, there are heated words, and salt flows when people get absolutely flattened, but everyone is trying to get better as a group. It’s a really wonderful thing to find a group like that. However, the MOBA community is a mostly frightening and terrible thing. The pro scene’s a bit better; I only know that because of my close proximity to the Smite pro community. The online scene is for a lack of a better word, toxic. I don’t really care for it, but it is. In League of Legends, for every one or two friendly but competitive players, there are ten to fifteen assholes that just rant and ramble, pick whoever they want, are willing to disconnect because your team “doesn’t deserve to win”.
One of the parts of my job is to review Gods/Champions of League and Smite. That means I have to play them as they come out. Where’s the downside you say? In League of Legends, how do you pick a character you want that’s brand new? You hope and pray. You either have to have a group of friends to play a custom, or autolock and hope for the best. It’s even worse if it’s not a lane you traditionally play/a highly contested lane like top or mid. If it’s a support? That’s easy. I can get that all day. I spent two days trying to play Kled. Two. Whole. Days. But did I finally? Sure did! You know how I pick a character in Smite? I go to the desired mode, I click them. Most of the time your team is going to be amicable as long as you don’t autolock. You tell someone in League that you’re in need of playing them for work? “Hurr hurr yeah right idiot. It’s not Kotaku so who cares?” That hurt my spirit. I don’t understand this kind of nature though. I truly don’t understand what makes people become so vile, even in normal/non-ranked/casual matches. Now I’m not saying everyone is like this. I’ve met some incredible people in online gaming, but the worst communities in online gaming are probably shooters and MOBAs. But I do have to say, Smite has probably had the most pleasant community I’ve been a part of. There are some bad apples, but I’ve seen way more positivity than negativity. I don’t know where the disconnect is, but I’m genuinely curious.