I think its time to talk about online video games and their ranking system. One of the most popular online video games is League of Legends, a MOBA where, in their classic game mode 2 teams of 5 players fight to destroy each other’s Nexus to end the game. Personally, I think the greatest part about League of Legends is queuing up with 4 other friends and playing a casual game to kill some time. However, League of Legends has one of the biggest competitive scenes in gaming history alongside similar titles like DOTA2, a much more complex and strategy dependent game. With that being said, I think a lot of people take the competitive scene too seriously. I am not saying I don’t agree with LoL fans supporting professional players, I am saying I don’t agree with how seriously non-professional LoL players take their ranked status.
Ranked League of Legends 5v5s are no different than standard 5v5s other than the fact that how successful you are in your games dictates what “rank” you are. The ranks are as follows from lowest to highest: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Challenger. Like most other MOBAs that offer ranked, players can be demoted and drop a ranked tier from losing consistently. With 7 different ranks, players are encouraged to try the ranked system which rewards them with certain items such as ward skins or character skins for achieving a certain rank. Personally, I think this is a good system even if it may just me a ploy set by Riot Games to entice players to keep playing their game. The problem spurs from the attitude average players have when they decide to tackle LoL’s ranked system.
Once a player achieves a higher rank something strange happens. Players seem to attach their ranking to their personal self worth. I think this is extremely unhealthy and shouldn’t be something an online video game brings forth in its players. From personal experience playing with some of my close friends I have witnessed this happen on numerous occasions. People who initially played casual games now only exclusively play ranked games and from their ranked games they may achieve the rank of Platinum for example. By reaching this rank most players go into a “turtle” state where they don’t play any ranked games with the hope of preserving their rank in fear of a demotion. What bothers me most is that players are willing to stop playing a game they enjoy just to protect a status in a video game based off fiction. As previously mentioned I do not think this is a healthy mindset that any player in any competitive game should possess. Games are meant to be fun, they aren’t meant to deter you from playing.
Overall, players need to rethink and remember why they first started playing games such as League of Legends. Unless you plan on going professional, your ranked status should be nothing more than a grain of salt.