No matter what I decided to talk about this week, the end result would be a desire to rant about the random garbage that’s happened in my solo queue games this week. So rather than yelling about something specific this week, it’s time to tell some fun stories from placements and ranked so far in season 8.
Believe it or not, I’m not here to complain about anything this week. My ranked experience this year has actually been pretty good so far. Sure, I’ve lost games, but things have ultimately been pretty chill this season. But that doesn’t mean I’m devoid of stories or important lessons!
If you played ranked back in season 3 or 4, you may remember how frequently your allies would DC. This used to, in my experience, be a massive problem in ranked. The likelihood of getting a clean game where nobody DC’d, AFK’d, or trolled was slim to none. This was true for my elo at least: Bronze and Silver. But as the years have gone on, the game has gotten much more stable and therefor, easier to play.
But that didn’t stop one of my players getting DC’d in my placement games. I hate few things in this world as much as I hate the word “tilt” and its use in video games. However, I must say that there are few things in this world more tilting than seeing an ally DC.
In one of my early placements, we were winning a game, just smashing the enemy team. Part of that was thanks to our absolutely ferocious Yorick, who could smash through almost anyone with ease. But about halfway through the game, our Yorick vanished. “A Summoner has disconnected,” played over the in game sound and my heart began to sink.
I thought back to all the games I’ve lost because of this exact issue happening to me. We smash, one of our players DCs, and we simply can’t close it out in a 4v5. I was sad and frustrated, but I was determined to try. Much to my surprise, my entire team was with me. We kept speaking tactically and kept making better moves than our opponents. We didn’t let the loss of Yorick shake us and we pushed forward.
A few minutes later, Yorick reconnected and we were back in full force again. But to some extent, the return of Yorick doesn’t really matter. What matters here is that we didn’t tilt because something bad happened, we pushed through and made the best of our situation. When Yorick came back, we finished the game easily. But if he never returned, my team seemed confident that we could still win a hard fought victory.
So that’s the lesson from me this week. Nothing is ever worth tilting over in solo queue.
Now on to far more entertaining stories.
I’ve been playing ranked solo queue for the better part of five years now. In that time all kinds of strange and unbelievable things have happened during those games. Whether it was a miracle play, winning a completely unwinnable game, or an 0/9/0 Vayne insisting they were a Challenger smurf, I was pretty sure I had seen almost everything that I could in solo queue. Then I played a game where a couple ended their relationship, in my game, over all chat.
At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. So, let’s get to some context first. Just after 15 minutes, in one of those games that seems completely unlosable, with the enemy team admitting in all chat that one member was blocking their early surrender vote, my team’s Gnar started to complain. The complaints came after the Gnar’s third straight death to Urgot in top lane. It seems that while the rest of the game was standing in mid fighting over the enemy inhibitor tower, the two top laners were still locked in their eternal struggle and Gnar was losing, badly.
This fact seemed almost entirely irrelevant, until the Gnar started to direct their complaints directly at our team’s Jarvan IV, who was, apparently, the Gnar’s duo partner. “Why won’t you gank for me?” the Gnar said. Then things got bad. “Because you’re a terrible player. You’re down 40 CS, we’re winning and all you do is cry about ganks. Maybe if you learned to lane I wouldn’t have to carry you in everything,” was J4’s reply.
In stunned silence, the whole game proceeded to watch almost 15 full minutes of All Chat screaming between two people who said they were duo’d. Insults were exchanged, both about in-game play and life outside of the game. Things got personal, and then, they got weird:
“Are we done then. Is this it?” asked Gnar.
“I’m certainly not going to fucking dinner with you tomorrow, that’s for sure,” said J4.
“Fine, I guess we’re done then. It’s over,” said Gnar.
Then they muted each other. And after 15 minutes of throwing our game, our team stopped typing for one team fight and won the game immediately.
I’ve thought about that game a lot over the last several days. I went back and found them to see if it could have all just been an act. The two had duo’d together for most of their games over the last two weeks and haven’t since. At first glance, this story almost looks tragic. But when you think about it, this doesn’t exactly seem like it was the most stable of romances, and hey, at least they got some LP?
I don’t play much ranked at all. I mostly just duo with a friend until I hit gold and then stop, which is what every person who wants to stay sane should do. I also don’t really have any wild stories about toxic people or blow ups, but I do have a story about the time I tilted my duo off of the planet.
So back before I became a Soraka one-trick, I played Janna (which is arguably worse)! I would support my buddy, Richard, as he played marksman. Games normally went OK, Richard would constantly remind me to Exhaust and help me out when it comes to macro play.
There was one time specifically, we were playing Janna and Lucian. Our top laner was a Tyndamere and our mid laner was a Caitlyn. Both of them were destroying their lanes to smithereens, and I’m talking like, they were pushed up to the enemy’s base turrets by 20 minutes. We were getting shit-stomped bot lane. Our jungler was rightfully focusing on the fed lanes and we were the bait.
In an attempt to catch up, Richard went over to do Gromp. I went to help him by giving him a sweet Janna shield and some autos. Unfortunately, ya girl was not paying attention and I last hit the Gromp and killed it. What followed was, and I’m not joking, six full minutes of silence over voice call while I apologized to my friend. He just had no response until I got caught out and died, to which he let out a long sigh.
He was probably extremely frustrated but not actually mad at me. Anyway, we won that game because while the enemy team continued to try to pick on our lane, our allies pushed all the way to their nexus. Now we bring up the “Gromp Incident” like once a week as a joke.