Ranked vs. Normal.
‘Tis a civil war within LoL’s community that’s considerably silent but deadly, and it’s got me in a bit of a tiff. Mostly because a certain sector of ranked players feel a sense of entitlement that’s completely obnoxious at best, but what else is new? Not like this is unheard of, but it’s still never not annoying.
Back in season 1, the good old days of yore and glory, everybody who played 10 games got a champion and a skin. That was kind of nice, though generous and I wouldn’t scoff at the idea this treatment would be overboard in today’s League environment. But when season 2 ended, only ranked players got any sort of compensation for playing. That irked me and I, perhaps stupidly, tried to start a discussion on reddit asking whether or not it was fair. I’ve never been downvoted so fast in my life – the consensus was “stop whining, you don’t deserve shit if you don’t play ranked, qq moar,” and so on.
Thanks for the input.
Then season 3 came and went, and once again normal players were overlooked when it came to rewards. Seriously?
Some might say it’s hypocritical of me to complain about ranked players’ entitlement but in the same breath try to reason that I, as a normal player, am entitled to some sort of reward as well. I can understand the assumed contradiction, but the short of it is that ranked vs normal is a very poor deciding factor for dedication and contribution to the community, and quite frankly I do feel shafted. I’ll try to explain why.
How do we define commitment to community?
Let’s count brownie points. I’ve been playing League for about 3 years now, and I feel I’ve put just as much time and dedication into it as probably a good chunk of ranked players in bronze do. I’ve also spent a good amount of my money to buy skins and support Riot (as if they need it). I’ve converted many friends into League players, and was once a regular on the forums and reddit. Hell, I gave out 30 PAX-Sivir codes on reddit for free, when I could’ve easily made bank if I held on to them. Not patting myself on the back, here – but I feel that I definitely was a positive force in the community at some point.
Despite this all, though, I am still a MOBA’s version of a dirty casual who contributes nothing to LoL’s growth, if you ask ranked players. And any mention of “hey, I might be important too!” starts an internet hissy-fit that could put Justin Beiber to shame.
I am accepting of ranked players getting preferred treatment these days (though begrudgingly), but I still feel it’s nonsense that my decision to play one mode rather than another, for my own reasons, is enough grounds to deserve no acknowledgment from Riot or the community.
Normal players get literally zero rewards end of season these days. None. Ziltch. Meanwhile ranked players are showered with banners, skins, and icons. I am as much a part of this game as a bronze 1 player. I’m not asking for more, but I think we deserve something. And for those who say “but what about scrubs who log in, play 5 games, and never walk in again?” Riot is more than capable of flagging accounts that are active to whatever parameters they might decide to set. 10 games a week. 50 games a month. A certain amount of wins, no bans, no reports, whatever it is they decide is necessary to separate toxic or inactive players from the dedicated ones regardless of preferred game mode.
Is that really unreasonable? I don’t think so.
Why not just play ranked?
That’s a fair question. And I really wish “I don’t want to” was a fair enough answer, but it’s not. Most players agree that ranked can be miserable. I don’t play games to be miserable. I don’t like the extra pressure, the shitty attitudes, and I don’t feel I have the time to dedicate to keep up with it. That doesn’t make me less of a player than those who do and are happy to expect (or demand) recognition for putting up with the extra pressure, shitty attitudes, and time sink. And why is that any less than someone who logs in once a week to play ranked and stay at whatever tier they’re in vs someone like me who would play almost every day for fun, just normals? This is what I fail to understand.
My choice to play in a way that I enjoy is mine. Some people enjoy ranked. Some people don’t. But being a normal player doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) automatically be the deciding factor on contribution, or skill, or whatever. And playing ranked doesn’t automatically make someone better or more dedicated. Plenty of normal players are more involved in the community, play more games, and are better than lots of people who decide to go ranked.
This definitely is more of a rant than I meant for it to be, but I suppose it is more of an opinion piece and I really can’t express my displeasure in a way that isn’t a little ranty. In the end.