League of Legends is one of the most popular games on the face of the Earth. It is played by over 27 million worldwide and holds tournaments with world championships held in sold out stadiums every year. With a game this big it’s obvious there would be some people who were just plain jerks within the game, but unless you play the game you don’t realize just how many there really are. When Honest Game Trailers did a parody trailer they talked about how big of a negative community it has and gave them the title ‘League of Assholes’ for this very reason. So with such a negative reputation, is there anything Riot Games can do at this point?
I will admit to playing League of Legends and I am going to say that I have a love/hate relationship with that game. When I’m enjoying the game, and everyone is staying nice and positive I love it. When one thing is going wrong and that one person keeps complaining because after a killstreak of 10 you finally die, or they wonder why you are higher level than them despite them recalling and you staying, I absolutely hate the game.
This is especially noticeable if you have ever queued for a Ranked game. No matter what rank you are there is always someone who wants to be a complete jackass. One player on the LoL forums even stated that you are extremely lucky if you can go 5 games without someone being a troll. It seems as if most people who play ranked always tend to complain about these kinds of people, but it seems as if nothing is really ever done about it. This has caused something I like to refer to as the Pro Wrestling Effect. That is when there are lots of people who play or watch it, but it has such a negative reputation among the general public that nobody likes to admit they enjoy it. So what can they do?
Riot Games does have a reputation system where you can thumbs up someone for being friendly, or teamwork while also allowing you to report a player. You can report a player for negative attitudes, trolling, feeding, or vulgar language. However, it feels as if it doesn’t matter unless that person has over 100 reported issues. You can do everything in your power to eliminate those kinds of people, but just like weeds in a garden, as soon as one goes away more pop up.
I believe that there are different causes to this. The first being that it is a free-to-play game that really doesn’t have insane system requirements to run. This allows kids to create accounts and play it online with people all over the world while using a $300 computer there parents picked up from Walmart. Another cause is the rise of eSports and streaming sites like Hitbox and Twitch. We all grew up wanting to play video games for a living and now that has become a reality for many, especially over the past 5 years or so. People go on giant streams like Sodapoppin, Swifty, or Lirik and see just how much money they are making with donations and sponsorships. It also doesn’t help that I can look up right now how much some of the professional League of Legend players over in Asia are making. Last December, Easyhoon signed a contract with Vic Gaming that will earn him $860,000 a year. It’s no wonder why anyone would want to play League of Legends for a living making that much money.
So what can they really do about all of this? Well to be honest I really have no idea. The game has grown to be much bigger than what they probably realized it would ever be. With so many players, it would be difficult to really keep control over everyone and even if they tried introducing a system that would allow normal people to have some control it could very easily be abused. I did read they just set up the Pro Player Panel which will help standardize penalties for their pro players, but that accounts for a fraction of 1% of people currently playing the game. Maybe one day something could be done, but unfortunately it looks like that will never happen and we will also be stuck with people accusing each other of noobs all the time.