Editorial: What Does it Mean to be a League of Legends Nerd?

In 2009, League of Legends—produced by Riot Games—hit the world and quickly started taking the online gaming community by storm.  Especially as YouTube let's players, Twitch streamers, and other forms of online game entertainment providers stepped into the limelight in the early 2010s; the popularity of League has hardly had time to slow down.  But what exactly is this community (outside of a toxic wasteland)?  What are some things that those nerds who play LoL for 4 hours a day do?  And most, importantly, what has this game done to them to make them so salty 90% of the time?

You have weird sayings you do with your friends during matches

 A popular one to start is always the VideoGameDunkey-derived “PENTA PAPA JOHNS!!!”  Though, as you play with friends, you’ll probably just start to develop weird things you say or do during matches yourself.  My best friend and top-tier support LilFidget, has often been known to say “don’t make my kokoro go brokero ;__;” when someone doesn’t follow up on a kill she basically secures with all her spells for the rest of the team.  Or then there’s me and my friend Alderan, who are insistent on singing the Reese's Puffs theme song whenever someone is about to or is ganking a lane.  It doesn’t make sense.  And it doesn’t have to, because anyone who spends 5+ hours a day playing a toxic-as-hell game basically gets a free pass on the crazy train.  

 

You’re aware that people spam pings to get their way

 This, more than anything else, tilts me.  Or maybe it just salts me like none other—I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is that when the jungler spams Gromp a-million-and-one times, it makes me want to not help him at all.  Likewise, the casual League player will know that these particular spams (from annoying as hell players) tend to come in groups of at least three.  Maybe more if you’re lucky enough to steal a kill from one of these players who has spammed the “danger” ping in attempts to passively aggressively tell you that this is somehow their kill only.  Another instance of this will also occur when this same player gets killed because they decided to initiate a 4 v. 5 while you were back at base buying items.  In that circumstance they’ll spam the “enemies missing” ping, because apparently all other roles are supposed to take teleport just so that they can save your thirsty-ass top/jungler player who tends to be the offending pinger.  Jeez. [Image result for league ping]

You have spent way too much time researching your main

 And you probably won’t openly admit it, either.  But all of us do it; we find a character we like, watch a stupid amount of videos/streams on them, look up builds, try stuff out with the preface “first time playing ____ lol”—or the like.  You also *kind of* get excited when pro-gamers play your main in LoL tournaments too.  Like how Worlds 2016 was basically Jhin and Caitlyn central; my personal ad-carry paradise.  

You salty ( all – the – damn – time)

  You didn’t think I’d forget this one, did you?  One of the very first things I learned when entering the world of League was how toxic the community could be; people tell you to go kill yourself on the reg, have probably attacked your character (or sexuality) in some way, and have also campaigned for everyone on the team to report you just for being trash at your role.  At first, it’s actually terrible—especially for me as a little baby girl who’s no taller than 5’2 and weighs no more than 100 lbs.  However, what I noticed was that, as I started playing this game more and more (and also gave up the habit of auto-muting the whole team every game), I actually started to think others’ rage was hil-ar-i-ous.  League players who develop thick skin will actually start to troll back these threatening-to-afk players, which sometimes results in the best dialogue.  But with everything comes a cost, and the cost of getting to this point in your League career means that you will sometimes (or always) be that salty little person who wants to “ff or afk” themselves.  Especially when your ad-carry takes the kill that you whittled down all the way to a measly 10 hp.  Or when your jungler is Yi, who is a force that can’t be stopped and basically gets a penta just by slamming his head into the keyboard.  Ugh. [Image result for go kill yourself league comic]

 

Honorable Mentions 

You resisted the urge to play Miss Fortune support after watching ROX Tigers rock STK with the MF-Ashe combo during worlds, you’ve been stuck in (or at least heard the myth of) Elo Hell, you usually ban both Yasuo and Zed when you blank out during draft, and also...you super spam your emotes or mastery icon after either getting a kill, when someone on the enemy team misses a skillshot, or while you’re letting minions take down the enemy team’s nexus.

 

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