The misery of ranked mode

I’ve never really had any aspirations to play ranked mode in League of Legends. When the day is over, I know that I’m a fairly middle-of-the-pack player at best, and don’t necessarily have any aspirations to rise to the Challenger ranks or anything.  I play with a locked camera, which I get a ton of grief for, and my preferred role is that of ADC, specifically either Jinx or Miss Fortune, to which I receive much more grief over the fact that I have allegedly “four champions (in spite of the fact that my “friends” trolled the shit out of me and mystery gifted me like 15 new champions, thus polluting my stacked champion deck with champions I’m less familiar with).”

I never really saw much point for me to play ranked, because I figured it would ultimately end up with me placing where I probably figured I’d belong, somewhere in the middle of the pack.  Additionally, once ranked, I put myself in the crosshairs of the tryhard players who scrutinize their peers’ accounts to check their rankings, so they could use what they find as fodder for harassment.

This is doubly worse for those who end up placing bronze (the lowest) on account of their own talent level, or in most cases, by being tanked by the weight of trolls who deliberately and flagrantly sabotage games, in order to grief others.

And that’s what served as the impetus for me writing this, the trolls of an online video game.

Despite my reluctance in playing ranked, I went ahead and jumped in the pool regardless.  All my regular playing friends were doing it, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t intrigued at the idea of possibly be carried into a gold ranking, and getting the end-of-season reward for gold ranked players, being the Championship Morgana skin.  Sure, it’s akin to an Xbox achievement, meaning it’s ultimately useless and serves little benefit, but like the achievements, I still wanted it.

There was a point in which I also thought I might succeed too, when after my first seven provisional games played out of ten, I had a pretty nice 6-1 record.  I wasn’t sure on whether I needed one more win, or two, but I thought that if I could carve out an 8-2 or 7-3, I stood a good chance at landing in gold, because logically, if I were to inexplicably go 9-1, I just might be put into a diamond ranking, which I’m clearly not, skill-wise.

Naturally, I would ultimately lose all three of my final placement games, and when the dust settled, I was given a Silver II ranking.  Sure, Silver II is not terrible, it’s two notches underneath a Gold V, and is probably higher than what I would have expected from myself based on skill alone, but I have to say that I’m still immensely disappointed in it, based on how it came to be.

Seriously, I felt like the 1996 Washington Redskins, who started their season 7-1, before going on a losing skid so bad, they actually missed the playoffs.

But losing, losing in a video game, I can handle.  Defeat happens in all forms of competition, and I understand the importance of the concept of defeat.  Without defeat, there is no joy in victory; without defeat, victory is completely without meaning.

It’s just how I lost the final three games that chaps my ass, because in all three instances, my team didn’t just get beat, they simply imploded.  Imploded.  From within.  Trolls, flamers, and those who simply weren’t as good as their placement into my games dictated.  All three games had people who deliberately queued up with the intention of tanking, those who took the bait and began flaming the tankers, people who were ill-suited for their roles, or all of the above.

In none of the three games, did I think the other team was necessarily better than my team, but they frankly didn’t have to be.  Those trolling my games did more than enough by deliberately dying, arguing with teammates and simply sucking enough to where the opposing teams may as well been the 1972 Dolphins running roughshod on my hapless teams.

Sure, like most gamers, I get frustrated with games in which I don’t do well, but given the stakes of playing ranked, it was a time in which I actually grew legitimately upset.  Of course, it’s silly to get upset over a video game, but it’s not so much the video game as much as it is the retards playing it.  Seriously, I often wonder what makes people wake up in the morning, swing their feet out of bed, and stop and think “You know, I feel like being a colossal douchebag today.”  I’m not saying I’m a saint by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s never my intention in just about any situation where I want to outright ruin an experience for others, especially those whom I’m supposed to be collaborating with for a common goal.

Sour grapes?  Yes, definitely.  I feel like I wasted a lot of time giving an earnest attempt at a goal, and I started great and had high hopes, only for it to quickly turn into a catastrophic failure.  If it were on my own volition, I wouldn’t even be writing this in the first place, but because it was on account of those hellbent on making life miserable for others, it aggravates me.  They found a vulnerability in me by tampering with a difficult goal.  They got one on me.  They won.  And it sucks.

My foray into ranked was most definitely a negative one, and I’m on the fence on whether or not I want to bother continuing.  At Silver II, I’m close to gold, but it’s going to take a whole bunch more games to play, before I can even attempt to break into gold, and that’s provided I win them.  The stakes of advancing or falling in standings puts a pressure on players to try their best, and not everyone can handle pressure, when things get heated.  And of course, given the nature that the player pool for ranked has as many trolls in it as it does, it’s definitely a game of Russian Roulette on whether your team gets one or more, or not.  To which then, it removes credibility from the ranking system to a degree, if it boils down to a game of “which team has the troll” where all victories become somewhat tainted and hollow.

However, I think the conclusion to all this is pretty obvious: ranked sucks.

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