Ride the Wave

One thing that is a common feeling amongst players is wanting to always have a good game.  However, the idea that you should be on top every time is a farce and should be ignored.    The dynamic of losing not only keeps the game fresh and interesting, but is necessary in order to enjoy the game.  This mentality is summed up by a quote I found by Thomas Nys that states:

This quote goes to say that simply having an option of not succeeding automatically puts worth into anything you’re doing.  Think of it this way:  how fun would League of Legends be if you could never be killed?  How fun would watching an American football game be if a running back was unable to be tackled?  The ability to fail is what makes anything exciting and worthwhile.

So how does this apply to League of Legends?  Well, in your games you will need to realize that losing is part of “the wave” and should not induce tilt.  For those not familiar with the term “tilt”, which comes from both pinball and poker, it is a way to say making bad decisions out of aggression or anger.  In League of Legends, tilting means you make get caught out of position, underestimate your opponents or don’t take into consideration things such as summoner spells or item builds.

Avoiding tilt is crucial to your improvement in this game and in any game.  If you begin to tilt, you will have bad games repeatedly until you’re either finished playing or done being tilted.  Knowing whether you’re tilted or not is hard to determine, but one easy way to try and avoid it is to look at a loss like a necessary component of success.  If you get angry and emotional on every loss in ranked, you will end up doing worse.  The important part about riding the wave is that over time, you are improving.  Below is a smoothed out and shaded graph of a friend’s rating over time.


Rating Over Time

You can see that it goes up and down pretty wildly over the course of a few months.  However, the prevailing trend is upward.  He continued to play and battle through whatever slumps and triumphs he had until he had gotten to a higher rating.  This is one thing many people lack until it is demonstrated, and that is scope.  Finding the scope and perspective on your play is difficult without seeing the date in front of you, so I have made that part easier.  One segment I would like to highlight in particular is from around the middle of July to the middle of August.

I broke the graph to save space vertically, but he makes a huge peak and is going well on top of his game.  Then there is a big crash over the course of several days, about a week in total.  This is the point where a lot of people would become tilted.  A day or two of bad games isn’t as hard to deal with instead of a week straight.  However, by riding the wave and realizing that your averages are what matters, he was able to power through this slump and get back to where he was.  This cycle of hitting a bad streak, learning, improving and going on a good streak is necessary for progress to happen and happiness to be worthwhile.

When you are out on the fields of justice, remember that you have to lose sometimes in order to appreciate winning.  While nobody likes to lose, take a game that you’ve lost in stride and realize that it has to exist.



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