League, the lifestyle

Aha, guess how many hours I've spent playing League of Legends? I've spent 2,806 hours playing this game. TWO THOUSAND EIGHT-HUNDRED SIX HOURS PLAYING ONE VIDEO GAME. ONE VIDEO GAME. That's 117 days straight. That's a third of a year. Holy hell. Haha.... ah..... *wonders if I should be legitimately concerned*

And yet I've loved every second of it. The entire journey has become what seems like a lifelong adventure, one where I've learned hard a real lessons and grown as a person.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

When I first started playing the game, I was really bad but I still had fun. I wanted to get good enough to be competitive however I could not rise past the very bottom ranks. After 3 years, I was still stuck there.

I played every day.

I never got better.

It was insanity.

 

The heart-stopping thrill of a good teamfight

The heart-stopping thrill of a good teamfight

The summer after my first year of graduate school, I decided to do crack the code. How could I not improve even if I practiced every single day? I wanted to beat this game. I NEEDED TO GET TO GOLD. That summer, I changed everything about my playstyle and how I viewed the game. I finally climbed out of bronze, past silver, and into the highly coveted gold.

I thought I finally figured it out. 

But the learning curve didn't stop there. After three more years, I'm still in gold. And I won't stop until I get to diamond.

Artist's rendition of Teemo.

Artist's rendition of Teemo.

After six years of playing League of Legends, it's become a lifestyle. 

It's also where I learned how to be a leader.

It's where I've learned to coordinate with a team of random people.

It's where I've learned to capitalize on windows of opportunity.

And, most importantly, it's become the virtual world where I practice, develop, and learn how to win with a group of people I've never met.

That summer I got to gold, I learned SO many things that not only made me more successful at League, but can be applied to nearly anything else.

 

Here are the valuable lessons I've learned playing the video game, League of Legends

  1. Being competitive doesn't mean you stop being nice. The highest level players are actually some of the nicest and chillest player's I've met. They don't care too much about winning or losing, they just want to have fun. They're very nice to their teammates and never get upset at their mistakes. In fact, they're nothing but encouraging and full of smiles. I used to think being competitive meant being cut-throat, but I've come to think that it means being the best teammate you can possibly be.
  2. Being a teammate means taking responsibility. When your jungler dies at the enemy blue 2 minutes into the game, don't rage. In fact, be sorry that you weren't there to support their endeavors. Blame yourself for letting your jungler die, even if you think their decision is dangerous. Also apologize for your mistakes. Everyone makes them, and it sets a good culture for the rest of the game.
  3. Being a leader means being encouraging. It's amazing how far a quick "great job!" will go after a teammate takes first blood or defeats a gank.
  4. Being a teammate means learning everyone else's roles. You should have a good idea of what everyone's job is on the team because it gives you a good sense of their needs. ADCs need farm, junglers need information about the map, supports need XP. It makes it much easier to support your teammates if you have a good understanding of what they need.
  5. Ignore all the negative people. Seriously, just mute them but say "good job" when they succeed anyways.
  6. Information is everything. Knowledge is power, especially when it concerns the enemy team. No matter what role you play, it's crucial to share all the information you know at all times. Ping when you see someone visiting top lane. Ping when you put a ward in the jungle. Ping when a player disappears. Know who is the most skilled players and the least skilled players. Map out areas of the enemy team's weaknesses and cover your own team's weaknesses. Play towards your most skilled player. Deny theirs.
  7. Being a teammate means staying positive. Even if the outcome looks grim, things can always swing back. Never give up and always encourage team morale. For whatever reason, teammates always play better if they feel there is a chance and perform terribly when they think the game is lost.
  8. Being a teammate means being flexible. In champion select, be willing to trade positions or champions. In game, if mid needs help, then do all you can to help them out, even if you're ADC. No matter what role you're playing, do anything you can to help out everyone else.
  9. Being a leader means being honest. Be honest about your capabilities. If you're bad at support, then let your team know ahead of time. That way they can help you out where you need it.
  10. Never stop learning. Ask teammates what you could have done differently. Take others' advice. Do research. Be willing to learn change.
  11. And most importantly.... be fun to play with! Even though League of Legends is very competitive, it's still just a game. Games are meant to be fun! Make jokes! Talk about something casual, maybe something funny you saw in the news. Link funny articles in champion select. My favorite line to say after I do something stupid is "BRB, uninstalling." It always gets some good laughs.