For this week’s Exit Pursued by a Volibear, I have decided to grace all of you with one of my oldest and most favorite League of Legends’ solo queue stories. It tells the tale of a Ryan and Austen (that guy who does all the esports for us) who had just started playing ranked in season 3, almost five full years ago.
Austen and I jumped into a solo queue match, only to have our top laner pick Mordekaiser, which would be weird now but was way weirder back then. This was, in all likelihood, the second or third time I had ever seen Mordekaiser. Resigned to my jungle ways, I just jumped in on my champion of choice and we started to play.
All of us, every single member on our team, got smashed over and over again by the enemy. Things were looking really bleak, but we managed to turtle the game out until about the 50 minute mark. The 50 minute fights were tense. Losing someone, anyone, at an inopportune moment could spell total death for you and your team, allowing the enemy to rush your Nexus. We were prepping for such a fight when we noticed that nobody had seen Mordekaiser in a long time.
Frustrated by this teammate that either refused to communicate or was very toxic (it was a long time ago, I’m sorry I don’t remember) all game, everyone looked at their map to see him just standing at Baron. Austen and I started shouting at each other in our headsets about what he was doing and how he had cost us the game. But then, in one of the most memorable League moments ever, he simply typed “Is someone going to help me with this or what?”
We scrolled our cameras over to the Baron to see that it had about 1000 health left. We rushed over and engaged the boss right as Mordekaiser died. We killed it, got the buff, won the fight and pushed down mid to win the game. To this day, I have no idea what the other team was doing and I really do not care. This hero Mord said nothing and then just killed Baron almost all on his own. Without him, there is no way we would have won that game.
Is there a lesson to this story or is it just a fond memory I have from season 3? Well, both I suppose. The memory is self explanatory but the lesson is pretty easy to grasp: sometimes the randomly selfish players may actually help your game instead of ruining it. We have all had moments, especially those who played back then, where a player on our team has said something like, “Whatever, I am farming until 40” after something went bad. It is easy to roll your eyes (and eye rolling is totally warranted), but that player could end up winning you the game.
This isn’t to say that players should be like this. In fact, this kind of behavior from teammates has lost me way more games than it has won. However, it is important to call out the few moments where something like this didn't totally suck.
Memories like these, impactful games, are what makes League of Legends so wonderfully special. I have played thousands of League games over the past five years, but I still remember that one. I remember the game with the invincible Udyr, the one-shot Hecarim and the 1000 stack Veigar as well. While those may all be stories for another week, being able to remember specific, interesting moments out of thousands and thousands is why we play League for years and years.
I don’t make a special League memory every day, but when I do, they stick with me forever.