What Comes Next: I’m a Real Player!

Well, I’ve officially decided to continue the blog – I had a lot of fun writing it and it comes easily to me (not the playing, just the writing) so why not? As long as people are interested, I’ll keep writing.

It’s certainly been an eventful few days.

Going semi-viral has brought its own new set of challenges, but so has just simply playing with my boyfriend.

I always knew my boyfriend was ranked, but I never knew what exactly his rank was until now. He’s platinum 3 (or rather, he was platinum 3 last season, and is so far unranked this season, which he says is an important distinction). This is great for him! I am very happy. However, this means that when we play PvP games together, we get matched with much higher ranked players than I am used to playing against.

He keeps saying he wants to get a smurf account (which if you don’t know – I didn’t until recently – is an account that you can buy which has already been leveled up for you to level 30 by someone else, but is unranked), but I am aggressively opposed to that idea.

I don’t think that smurf accounts are right in any case – it’s not fair for the other lower level players that account would be matched with in games.

But also, in this case, it’s kind of a pride thing. I’m like, NO, I WILL play against 5 gold-platinum players and WIN GODDAMNIT, even though I know that makes no logical sense at all. (Also, not what has been happening thus far…obviously.) I don’t want him to feel like he has to “lower himself” to my level to play with me. I want it to be fun for him, and I also want to get to play with him on his real account because I’m proud of him!

And honestly, I thought that the matchmaking system would be a bit more balanced and that I could keep up if I was playing Soraka or Sona, at least. It hurts a little that I’m still not good enough for that. (It also sort of shines a light on how useless the grading system is, because while I’ve achieved S’s on both those champions, that was playing against mostly other unranked players, so it’s not the same.)

So yeah basically I have lost 75% of my games this week, and the ones I did win were because of him/others, not me.

It also doesn’t help that I’ve been trying a lot of new things this week, which I’ll get into. Or that a lot of the people who have been adding me as friends are also ranked, which I’ll also get into.

That said though, my boyfriend has been very supportive, as I noted in my last post. And he’s not just supportive towards me; he’s supportive towards the whole team. He knows when to give advice and when to stay quiet, and when someone could use some encouragement or just a friendly person to talk to. It’s really nice to play with someone who sets an example like that for the whole community.

One thing that he mentioned was that it is hard to teach me while playing PvP because I have a hard time just randomly following orders. Part of this is because I simply don’t understand what is being asked of me, period – this has always been an issue for me in games, but I figured that if I was communicating with someone who was literally sitting across from me, it would no longer be an issue. Apparently not.

But the other reason is because I need to understand why I’m supposed to do something in order to actually learn. Our games have basically gone like this:

“Don’t go that way.”

“Why?”

“Put a ward here.”

“Why?”

“Stop hitting the minions.”

“Why?”

*10 minutes later*

qacR5wB.gif
This is probs gonna show up in every post from now on ngl

“Why aren’t you hitting the minions?”

“Because you just told me not to.”

“Ok, but now you should.”

“But why?”

And when you’re playing a PvP game, there is no time for ‘why’. So I think what we are going to have to do is try to teach me new concepts exclusively in bot games and the practice tool. And I will have to just play PvP games on my own. I’m sure we’ll still do some PvP games here and there, but in all likelihood I will continue to do terribly.

MY GAMES DEFINITELY AREN’T MEETING MY GOAL ANYMORE, THAT’S FOR DAMN SURE.

I’d like to create a new set of goals to track, but I’m not quite sure what those should be just yet.

We’ve mostly played the classic Summoner’s Rift mode, which is all I’ve played so far (except that one time I played Twisted Treeline but I like to pretend that never happened) but this week he introduced me to ARAMs (All Random All Mid). I have to say, I like them a lot. They just feel like less pressure, because it’s random, so if you or your team suck, it’s not TOTALLY your fault I guess? Plus, they’re shorter, but you can still get mastery experience and chests from them.

I also decided that I wanted to learn how to ADC. A few weeks ago I ended up as ADC in a blind pick game I was invited to, and I did much better than I thought. This gave me hope that maybe I could learn the role, because it’s one I actually enjoy. I like and do well with ranged champions so in that aspect it’s perfect for me. In basically every other aspect though, not so much. Last hitting minions is such a big part of it, and while I excel at this in late game (probably because they just instantly die), I really struggle with it in early game. And as noted, I’m still uncomfortable being aggressive.

I was gifted some RP by Riot staff members (I don’t know who, but if you are reading this please know how much I appreciate it!), so I decided to splurge on a few new champions to perhaps speed up the learning process. First I bought Jinx, who has been a favourite of mine since I started playing, even though I rarely got to play with her thanks to her cost. And then I bought Nami, a support I’ve wanted for a while.

Source

And then I bought Xayah! The internet seems to really want my boyfriend and I to play Xayah and Rakan, and since I wanted to learn how to ADC anyway, I bought Xayah instead of Rakan. I thought that I could get good enough at her to at least not spend the ENTIRE game dead by today, so that we could do a video together. Unfortunately, that was a little ambitious. Other than bot games, I lost every game with her except one, and that one was over an hour long and I died 12 times. There was one teamfight where, according to my boyfriend, I carried my team, but the rest of the time I was just the actual worst.

So we won’t be recording that video for a while. But it’s still in the plans, just so you know!

The extra RP certainly helped me do some extra things I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, but that wasn’t the strangest part of all the attention. The strangest part was how many people wanted to add me as a friend on League and actually play with me! I have only played with a handful so far, but everyone was really nice and wanted to keep playing with me even after I bombed. Which happened in almost every game, because like I said, most of the people who have added me are ranked. And that’s just so confusing to me. Nice, but confusing!

(Second strangest part – a Hungarian e-sports website covered the blog!)

It kind of feels like a lot of pressure at times, though. I was aware of the spectate feature before because my boyfriend had told me about it, but I thought it was something that you had to give people permission to do, not something that anyone could do at any time as long as they were friends with you. To me that feels kind of invasive and something that you should be able to turn off if you so choose. Privacy controls online are really important, and more and more social media websites are recognizing that and giving users more options to customize their experiences. League isn’t social media, as my boyfriend pointed out, but the friending and chat feature kind of does make it a form of social media, albeit on a limited scale.

So, I know that I can’t do anything about it other than share my opinion, but spectating does make me uncomfortable so I would prefer that people not do that (or ask my permission first). Or if you do, don’t let me know, because what I don’t know can’t hurt me. I just feel very self-conscious because I am still learning and especially right now, the majority of games aren’t going well. (By the way if you have done this, please don’t feel like I’m calling you out – I totally understand that spectating is a normal and generally accepted part of League culture, it’s just not something I personally am comfortable with right now. Although I’m very flattered that you would want to watch me for whatever reason.)

All of that said though, I don’t regret adding so many people, and interacting with others has made me feel like a ‘real’ player now. And that’s really nice.

So thank you, everyone (well, most people) for embracing me with open arms πŸ™‚

Death snacks of the week: Cupcakes, Doritos and Ruffles BBQ (I’ve been a hungry girl. Do not take this the wrong way.)


P.S. A Japanese website also featured the blog, and just for fun my boyfriend and I were trying to translate some of the comments. None of them made sense, except this one: “There is no choice but to see the woman as Bjergsen.” Fuck. (Also, I showed my friend who knows nothing about League and she also agreed, so I guess it’s official now.)

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14 thoughts on “What Comes Next: I’m a Real Player!

  1. Fantastic read, as always. Also, “smurf” accounts are not actually limited to “bought” accounts. Smurf account can also be your own, unranked account you level up yourself (in a totally legit way). However, if you use a smurf account, your skill level is still way about the level of other players you are matched against, potentially ruining their game experience.

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  2. Hey! With regards to smurfing, I guess it depends? The game will actually manage to figure out that your boyfriend is an experienced player, and match you guys with other smurfs so it’s not nearly so bad for other actual beginner players. And as long as he doesn’t go like 100% and absolutely slaughters the other team, it’s not so bad for him to play on a ‘lower elo’ account because it will definitely be better for you in the long run as you figure out how to play!

    ARAMs are also great for a less stressful PVP mode, as well as the weekend-ly “Random game modes”. I’m glad you’re finally able to play with him!

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  3. “It also sort of shines a light on how useless the grading system is, because while I’ve achieved S’s on both those champions, that was playing against mostly other unranked players, so it’s not the same.”
    I wouldn’t see it that way, though. If you would get the grades without the direct connection to players of your level of skill, lower skill players in Bronze, Silver or even Gold would never get good grades, which would be disillusioning.
    Besides that I was stoked to see two new posts, yay! Love your blog, keep up the awesome shtuff :3

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    1. I guess that’s true – I think I just meant more that achieving that kind of performance playing against higher ranked players is way more difficult than I imagined

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  4. There’s actually not much point in using a smurf account. Your boyfriend won’t be able to “hide” his skill for long. The league system is pretty darn good. I also have an alt account that I made for fun and I leveled it myself for a bit. I’m around mid-high plat as well, and after like 3 games of playing at lvl 1/2, the game already matched me with other players that were also around platinum on their real accounts.

    So basically, if your boyfriend gets a smurf, after at most a week there won’t be much difference to his actual account unless you guys start losing on purpose… which wouldn’t be fair to your team.

    Also, don’t get too frustrated about not being able to hang with Platinum players… Only around 10% of the playerbase are platinum, so obvioulsy you won’t be able to crack into that after just a few months of playing. That being said, generally, the stronger your opponents, the faster you’ll learn. But obviously, losing a lot isn’t that fun. Just make sure that you also play games on your own a lot so you can play with players that are around your skill level.

    Perhaps you could “share” league time by you playing and your boyfriend watching and giving you tipps? This could still be a lot of fun and could help you learn a lot in a short time. That way you could still share that moment together but without you getting thrown around by much more experienced players.

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    1. Yeah that is a good idea, I’m thinking we might do this for our next video πŸ™‚ would definitely be way more fun for me…

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  5. Since you’re recording your in-game conversations anyway you could also go over the why parts and your boyfriend can explain it in a less focused situation. You still get to include all the ‘but why’s you can and he can properly explain afterwards.
    Alternatively, if you want to learn as much and as fast as you can, you could watch the in-game replay and he could explain things you could’ve done better / did well.

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  6. It took a while but I finally finished reading your blog! πŸ˜€ ( well, most of it anyway ) I’m also female but my main is adc ( I’m currently learning Lux and sometimes, I play Soraka since she’s the only support I know how to play ). I haven’t reached Level 30 yet though ( but I’m getting there ) because I’m actually still a student and currently having my trial exams before my actual exams, which is next month.

    Honestly, I also played League because my boyfriend introduced it to me. I was very reluctant at first because I played Dota 2 before and my gameplay was really bad πŸ˜‚ and also because I was more into First-Person-Shooter games. But eventually, I grew to like League, but I don’t get to play very often and most of the time when I play, there’s always an intentional feeder on my team ( which kinda sucks because the enemy team gets fed quickly and we barely have the chance to do anything ).

    My boyfriend plays with me using his smurf account because, according to him, he wants to be the same level as me and go through the same experiences I do ( even if it means trying to get to Level 30 again in his main account ) whilst also teaching me in-game. He doesn’t try to ‘take the spotlight’ unlike some smurf players and usually plays as my support ( although his specialty is mid ) so that he can keep track on what I’m doing if I make any careless mistakes, so I suppose your boyfriend getting a smurf account isn’t all that bad, honestly. There was one time that we actually played against a smurf player though, and he didn’t hold back at all ( his team was relying solely on him, which made it worse ) so it kinda made my game that day really bad, especially when he types “ggez” in the in-game chat, and that really triggered me haha.

    But I’ve been wondering whether I could still add you on League after my exams are over even though I’m not a high level player or ranked player..

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    1. Of course, go ahead and add me! Thanks for reading all that haha. I love playing with other people who are still learning and helping each other. That said though I also quite like playing with my boyfriend because I get to see things that I otherwise wouldn’t in my own games. Smurf players ‘taking the spotlight’ is definitely a problem and happens in the majority of games my boyfriend and I play where we get matched with lower-ranked players. Not that he does it on purpose, that’s just how he naturally plays. Sometimes he’ll hold back on purpose to allow me to play more, which is nice but that just feels condescending.

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      1. Great! However I can only add you in mid-November when I’m done with exams and school haha. But I might not play together with you as often either mostly because of the different timezone ( since my country is 12 hours ahead of Canada ) 😦

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      2. Haha you’re so disciplined! Congratulations, you’ll go far. No worries about that, we’ll play when we can! πŸ™‚

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