Emotions: The Driving Force behind Player Performance+

Standard


WARNING:
 This guide has cat pictures sprinkled throughout because cats are awesome. NYA! >^..^< This is an “enhanced” version of the original guide because the formatting got screwed up when Leaguecraft’s website was updated.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Emotion Commotion
  3. Pre-game Emotion Evaluation
  4. Strive for Emotional Stability or Higher before Playing
  5. Your Nemesis Named Negativity
  6. Be Wary of a Negative Ned/Nancy
  7. Be a Positive Pete/Paula
  8. Abide by the Vibe
  9. Self-Composure
  10. Enemy Emotions
  11. Closing Thoughts
  12. Changelog

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1. Introduction

Hello there,

My Summoner name is Nhan Fiction on the North American servers, and I was a gold-caliber player at the end of Season 1 (nothing special, really). First off, I am no psychologist, nor do I claim to be an expert about the human psyche. I wrote this guide to reflect my newfound mental approach for any given game of LoL.

I used to be a frequent rager, the type of player who played numerous LoL games in an angry state whenever things went south. I found myself directing all of my energy and focus toward the negative aspects as opposed to keeping my attention on the game itself. It took me awhile, but I’ve glad to say that this type of angry player has finally been shoved aside in favor of a calmer, more collected player version of myself who is much better at keeping his cool. I have found that playing in a positive, cheerful mood has made a huge difference in how I play and enjoy the game of LoL.

Granted, I will admit that I still have some angry outbursts from time to time (some situations/circumstances in LoL would probably make Mother Teresa rage too if she gamed). I am still human, after all. However, the main key here, and the whole purpose of this guide, is to showcase some very simple strategies that can be utilized to play LoL in a happier state that isn’t as stressed or agitated.

Finally, I realize many concepts detailed throughout this guide basically amount to common sense, plus this guide is not supposed to be scientific or anything. Most of the information stems from my personal beliefs formed after countless games where I just casually observed patterns in the emotion of players.

NOTE: All of the mentioned concepts throughout this guide can be applied to any map or mode of LoL. When there is a mention of words, this applies to typing out words in chat or communicating through a voice chat software like Skype or Ventrilo.
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2. Emotion Commotion

Humans are emotional creatures, and a video game like LoL can act as a convenient outlet for these various emotions to be let loose. Joy, anger, sadness and any type of emotion for that matter can be directed toward the game. Regardless if you’re a guy or gal, every player is sensitive (at least to a degree) to everything that is said or done to them. Then it’s no surprise that playing with certain emotions can drastically affect how your in-game performance.

For instance, when someone plays in a happier state, don’t they tend to play better as opposed to when they are playing sad? I, for one, don’t know anyone who plays better when they are feeling blue. Personally, I play a lot worse when I am angry or flustered. My judgment and in-game actions become less sharp when I am in either of these two particular states. I just can’t concentrate that well when I am not playing in a happy or neutral mood.

I believe this is the case for most players out there. LoL is a game that draws out your raw emotions. The more emotions you invest toward the game, the more powerful the returning effect will be when something in the game stimulates your mood, for better or worse.

EMOTIONS FUEL YOUR ACTIONS!
Let’s consider a few common examples where emotions can be relevant. Emotions will be in BOLD.
- Player X is extremely PRIDEFUL of his/her LoL skills. Every game of LoL is a means for Player X to prove how good he/she is. This PRIDE thus fuels Player X to play very focused. Player X wants to be perceived as an excellent, competent player, so PRIDE compels Player X to take the game very seriously. Player X always strives to make the “best moves” whenever possible.

- Player X’s batch of allies for a game of LoL is full of inferior players. One teammate in particular is just being a troll, which starts to infuriate Player X. ANGER starts to take over Player X, prompting Player X to flame the troll as opposed to focusing on the game itself. Player X starts to make poor, in-game decisions because of this ANGER directed toward this troll. ANGER has made it too difficult for Player X to play properly.

- Player X’s teammates seem completely hopeless. Player X has lost all hope for a given game of LoL. It appears no matter what Player X will do, attaining victory seems impossible. Stricken by DESPAIR, Player X has become too disheartened to continue playing. This prompts Player X to start the surrendering process. Player X just wants the game to end already.

I can go on and on with a million other examples, but the general idea should be pretty obvious – emotions are linked to how well you play a game of LoL. Emotions affect your willpower to play the game of LoL, which means it can attribute to whether you win or lose in the end. People often talk about champion abilities, team compositions and item builds, but what about the emotional aspect of the game itself?

Once you accept that emotions act as the driving force behind your in-game performance, everything starts to make more sense. The trick, therefore, becomes controlling your feelings until you have ideal emotion(s) to act as a catalyst to propel your way toward victory.
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3. Pre-game Emotion Evaluation

Realize that pre-existing emotion(s) are present long before you log into the LoL client. All the stuff that happens to you prior to logging in can and will affect your in-game performance. Now ask yourself – would you rather play in a positive state of mind or a negative state of mind? Most people would obviously say that they would preferably play when they have a positive state of mind, but do most people do?

I believe the answer is “no” in a lot of cases.

Real life is hard, and there are a million different things that can twist your emotions to cause your mood to swing toward the negative side of the spectrum. Though games like LoL are used as outlets for emotions, you have to consider what kind of emotions you are about to feed into the game that is reflected by your in-game performance. So before you contemplate playing a game of LoL, think about how you are feeling and try to evaluate if you are emotionally ready to play. It sounds very silly, but you would be surprised how often people end up playing a game when they clearly are emotionally agitated.

Now consider a random, exaggerated scenario for the average LoL player. Let’s say you are having a really bad day. Your pet ate your homework, your teacher thinks you are a liar and then you get detention in the afternoon for causing a scene in the classroom. Throughout the day, more stupid things start to happen to you, making your life even more miserable. You spend the remaining day feeling very annoyed, even angry about how things are going. You now just want to rush home to play some LoL to get rid of some frustration, but …

STOP RIGHT THERE, ANGRY BEAR!
This is a prime example of how someone can easily ruin a LoL game. You’re angry, we get it, but maybe playing LoL right now is not the best move for yourself or the others who have to put up with your current mood. In cases like this where you are feeling down, playing LoL may in fact make things worst and not better.

Here is what usually happens – you are feeling so distraught that you try to force yourself to play a LoL game, just hoping that it will be the remedy for your super awful day. However, you end up playing the game thinking about all the negative things you experienced throughout the day, which starts to cut your concentration. You start to make poor decisions throughout the game, botch easy game situations and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Eventually, you start to draw ire from your teammates, they start flaming you for your inept play, and this is just insult to injury based on the day you just went through, so all of this makes you play even worse.

As the game goes on a bit more, you probably will not be able to recover at this point. You have reached such a bad emotional state that your teammates want to exile you from the LoL community – you are playing that terribly. When your allies get the chance, they call for the surrender vote because they believe you have cost them the game. They scream out in all chat, “Report this noob!”

You then leave the game feeling like the worst player in the world. And this is just one of the many bad scenarios that could have happened because you chose to play with a negative state of mind. Now compare this to playing …


COOL AS A CUCUMBER!
Let’s spruce things up and go to the other side of the fence. Let’s say you are having a super special awesome day. Your parents just bought you a new car, your best friend in the world has bought you some Riot Points because you are such great pals, you just got your report card with straight A’s on it, and as a bonus, let’s say the mayor wants to award you a medal for your community service. Well anyway, you spend the rest of the day with a spring in your step, as if the world could do you no wrong. You now want to wind down with some games of LoL to make your day perfect.

Because you are feeling so happy, you begin your game of LoL with a bang. You earn early kills for your team, and then things just get even better from there. You are playing with your mind sharper than usual, you are making fewer mistakes and this type of spectacular play rubs off on your allies. Your allies start to rally behind you as you carry your team to an easy victory.

OK, this scenario was a huge stretch, but the idea is still there. When you are playing with a happier state of mind, it acts as a powerful momentum that makes LoL more fun for you. When things are more pleasant and enjoyable, it is easier to relax and just concentrate on the game. Even when bad things happen to you while you are in this joyful state, you are more inclined and resistant to brush it off like it is no big deal. If you are playing this happy, something CRAZY would have to happen during the game to rain on your parade.

So as you can see, the emotional aspect is extremely important to how you begin your game of LoL. Your emotional state sets the initial tone of the game, which can make things easier or more difficult. Positive emotions can be a huge driving force, whereas negative emotions can end up being excess, unwanted baggage that can drag your performance into the gutter.
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4. Strive for Emotional Stability or Higher before Playing

If you find yourself in a chipper state of mind, then go ahead and start your game of LoL! You are emotionally ready to play the game with the right attitude from the get-go.

If you are feeling down in the dumps (or maybe even a little bit weary), then you might want to hold off playing LoL for a bit to let your mood stabilize. What I mean is, you should give yourself some time to let your emotions stir around for a bit. The key here is to bring up your emotional levels to a neutral or higher state.


HOLD YOUR HORSES IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY!

Obviously, elevating your mood to a very happy state would be wonderful, but this may be a bit hard to pull off in a short amount of time. I know it can be difficult to delay your LoL time, especially when you might have some friends hounding you to play with them immediately.

But keep in mind that forcing it will not be good if you are not experiencing the right emotions. As explained earlier, playing with negative emotions can drastically affect your in-game performance by a lot, and this can make your emotional state even worse, and we don’t want this to happen.

If you have friends who want to play right away, try to reason with them that you need some time before you can hop in a game. You wouldn’t want to play with them unless you were emotionally stable, right?


ELEVATE YOUR MOOD!
You should try to do something else that makes you happy.

Maybe you like to listen to music to calm your nerves, possibly something upbeat or humorous to bring a smile to your face.

Perhaps watching some random TV show can do the trick. You could take a short nap. Whatever it is, give yourself adequate time to mellow out. Squeeze out as much of the negativity in your system as you possibly can.

Now, you don’t have be as happy as a clam when you are about to play your game of LoL, so achieving even a neutral state of emotions should more than suffice. Remember that the LoL game itself can easily alter your mood, so you just want some emotional breathing room to work with in case things start to go bad.

Once you’ve achieved your neutral or higher emotional state, proceed to playing your game of LoL as usual.
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5. Your Nemesis Named Negativity


OK, your LoL game is starting. You, at least individually, should be in a happier state of mind to play properly, though the same cannot be said about your fellow teammates. Nonetheless, here comes the most important part – avoid negativity like the plague.

Negativity not only adversely affects you, it can affect everyone on your team. Any sort of negative emotion has the potential of spiraling out of control. And when your team is suffering from negativity, your team will most likely lose.

Think about some of your recent defeats – what led to those losses? Let me guess … you probably came across flaming, put-downs and arguments among your teammates. There was possibly so much time spent fighting one another instead of coming together and battling against the other team like you were supposed to do.

With this in mind, losing shouldn’t be so much of a mystery now. It’s quite easy for your teammates to become your own worst enemies.


CREATING NEGATIVITY!
In LoL, the two easiest ways to create negativity stem from someone on your team playing poorly and the second method is saying the wrong things.

I don’t think I have to go in-depth as to why playing properly in LoL is so significant. LoL is all about individual players pulling their respective weight so their team can collectively win against the other team that’s trying to do the same thing. When someone is messing up too much, this particular player will no doubt draw some criticism and hostility from their fellow teammates.

When someone is playing poorly, they probably will end up playing worse as their confidence becomes shaken. Their emotions start to sink into the abyss, and then the mental meltdown continues. When their teammates (and possibly the opposing team) start to ridicule them, everything bad starts to pile up into a giant mess. This is how people end up rage quitting, for instance.

And guess what – this is negativity in action. This is what you don’t want. Negativity starts to destroy your team from the inside. Be aware that everyone in LoL makes mistakes – it’s part of the game, after all. Some players are bound to have bad games from time to time or be less skilled and experienced in general, which means these particular players are even more vulnerable to negativity.

The trick here is to avoid dwelling on the negative. When you put too much attention toward the negativity, then things are going to get much, much worse.


STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME!
And thus, this brings us to the topic about saying the wrong things.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Don’t get me wrong, playing poorly is a very convenient excuse to flame someone.

But let’s think about this for a second – what does flaming actually accomplish? Sure, you may get your point across in a blunt manner, you can express your discontent toward the person you’re flaming and everyone on your team may very well agree with your harsh comments.

However, DOES IT HELP THE TEAM?

The answer is often “no.” It tends to make things worse. Flaming creates rifts that lead to everyone hating one another. Basically, people can easily get offended or annoyed when someone directs a negative comment toward them. By flaming someone, you can cause further doubt and frustration for that player. Very rarely do I ever see anyone actually play better when they are getting flamed, such as when the player getting flamed wants to prove everyone wrong out of spite.

Essentially, using words in a hostile manner spawns the wrong kind of collective vibe you want your team to feel. With the wrong vibe, your team can play way worse as opposed to everyone being happy with one another. It’s this simple, really.

So what is the easiest way to reduce negativity? Well, set an example and try to be civil with your fellow teammates. Being polite shouldn’t be that hard. For example, even if one teammate messes up, you can always frame your comments in a constructive, unoffensive manner that doesn’t upset them.

When someone gets a bit out of line, try to tell everyone to “settle down” and “don’t be like that.” The faster you defuse an argument bomb waiting to explode, the better. If negativity starts to build up, try your best to get everyone back on the same page again. Any sort of dissonance between your teammates can lead to undesirable tension, which can ultimately mean a DEFEAT screen in the future if your team doesn’t get its act together.
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6. Be Wary of a Negative Ned/Nancy


A Negative Ned/Nancy player is usually poisonous for your team. I believe these type of players are the root of many losses in LoL. Sure, players who play poorly definitely don’t help, but the Negative Ned/Nancy can spend the whole game making others feel worse or uncomfortable.

When in-game situations can already be stressful enough, someone who is directly causing emotional trauma is someone to be cautious around. If these kind of players are not halted in their tracks, they will destroy your team, piece by piece, which makes your team vulnerable to defeat.

For instance, concepts such as the self-fulfilling prophecy are always prevalent in LoL. When you have someone feeding you the notion that your team is going to lose, and then your team starts to believe it, then you will no doubt end up being defeated in the long run as a result. So ideally, you want your team to consist of people with the winning attitude as opposed to those who are creating a detrimental and hostile environment.

SOME COMMON NEGATIVE NED/NANCY PLAYER TYPES!
A Negative Ned/Nancy comes in various player archetypes. Here are some common ones:

THE BLAMER
The blamer is the one who likes to start the flame war by throwing someone under the bus. This just leads to an undesirable conflict among your teammates. The blamer always thinks they are right, and they will often never back down from their statement. Do not expect the blamer to take it back and apologize.

The big thing here is, a blamer usually structures their blaming in a hostile manner. This hostility immediately leads to negativity, which then leads to arguments and this leads to disarray.

Try to be civil with the blamer. Don’t try to fight fire with fire for this case. If you end up arguing with the blamer, then you are going to feed the quarrel. Do simple things like directing the attention away from the blamer’s words (e.g. say that you need help in your lane). Just try to stop the blamer from starting crap when it’s often unnecessary.

THE DANNY/DEBBIE DOWNER
Cue the premature “GG!”

These types of players are the ones who want to throw in the towel early. They are the ones who are quick to lose interest and hope in a game. When things appear bleak (regardless if it truly is or not), this player type can pull your other teammates into their black hole of despair because, “Misery loves company,” after all.

This player type is extremely common in LoL. You should try to cheer these players up before it’s too late. Try to tell them that the LoL game isn’t over yet (even if the odds are actually against your team winning), so reason with them that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps pulling off a successful team fight may lift this player’s spirits before they truly shut down emotionally for good.

The worst thing you can do is to let this player type brood in their pool of sorrow. This player type is very contagious in a way. When this player type starts to lose the willpower to win, then your fellow teammates may perceive the situation as dire as well. Don’t let this player turn the team vibe into dark and gloomy when you want things to be bright and sunny!


THE INDIFFERENT/SILENT ONE
Someone who does not care about your game of LoL can be very destructive for your team. These kind of players can go through the motions, but their heart may not be in it.

A defining trait of an indifferent person is how they do not say much during a game. An indifferent player can speak very little or not at all, which is problematic in itself when communication is often vital for the team-based nature of LoL. In addition, they may react very slowly to in-game situations, which can cause other players to turn on the indifferent one.

I personally get very nervous around an indifferent person when they are not communicating. Whether it’s not responding to a simple question like “Do you want blue?” or not talking with the team in general, it can quite troublesome when you just want this particular player to respond to give the impression that they are on the same page.

Dealing with an indifferent player can be annoying because they can be so “out of it.” Just try to be civil with the indifferent person, which hopefully may get the person to open up more. Just try to get the indifferent one to communicate with your team.


THE POMPOUS ONE
LoL draws out the ego in a lot of players. Some players can be quite good in terms of skill, but they can be conceited about it. This “I’m better than you” attitude can easily make the game environment really uncomfortable. This type of Negative Ned/Nancy just loves to brag about how good they are.

As a result, everything in the LoL world has to revolve around them during a game. If they want a certain neutral camp buff, well they must have it or they will be upset. If they to farm a certain lane, they will shove you aside to make sure those minions are theirs. Simply put, this player type just thinks they are No. 1, and being “the best” entails them to anything they want during a game.

This me-first mentality can be detrimental toward your team’s emotional environment for various reasons. A pompous player tends to do things selfishly as opposed to what’s right for the team. They are often quick to make comments about how good they are or how inferior someone else is, which can lead to allies developing resentment for this pompous player. Furthermore, a pompous player may think everyone else is jealous of their “supposedly” amazing skills or reputation.

These type of players can be real jerks, so how do you deal with this? Well, try to stay out of this player’s way if possible. Someone being pompous wants to shine in the limelight, so try to present them with means to do so. Give them the buffs/kills that they want, for instance. Simple things like playing along with the pompous player’s self-centered comments and attitude may be worthwhile to do (e.g. “Wow, you’re so good!”).

Use the pompous player’s attitude for the greater good. Pompous players may be annoying, but you still need their contribution for your team if you want to win in the end.


THE RAGER
The rager doesn’t have very thick skin or tolerance for anything negative that happens during a game. Something so minor can set the rager off. For instance, someone on your team dies a bit too much for the rager’s liking, and so the rager immediately starts to get upset. You know what I’m talking about – these are usually the players who type in all chat about something that bothers them, about how x teammate is so bad … literally anything can get the rager’s blood boiling!

If you have a rager on your team, try to cool them down. Ragers are hotheads with short fuses. Sometimes, nothing can really stop a rager from raging once their anger erupts like a volcano, and this is the point where you have to make do with this. Just try to get your other teammates to play normally, ignoring the rager as best as you can.

But whatever you do, don’t poke the angry bear! Making the rager even angrier will blow up in your team’s face. If you think the rager was unpleasant before this state, then you are in for a very nasty surprise once the rager REALLY starts to unleash his/her fury.


THE SCAPEGOAT
This is an odd player type to deal with in a game. Essentially, the scapegoat is that one person who keeps dropping the ball. They seem to be completely incompetent, they usually have the most deaths and they often contribute very little that is actually beneficial for your team. On the other hand, the scapegoat may in fact just be the person everyone hates for no real logical reason.
This player type is essentially the one person everyone else on your team likes to blame, especially when your team is losing the match. As the team’s magnet for flaming, the scapegoat’s presence alone can build up a lot of negativity very quickly if your team just wants to insult this player nonstop.

The scapegoat will often falter under this continued harassment, so you need to put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. The person who is a scapegoat has already screwed up enough, so further verbal abuse will no doubt make this player perform even worse.

Try to get everyone on your team to stop harassing the scapegoat. You need to hope the scapegoat can get it together and then resume playing normally. Otherwise, the scapegoat will often shatter your team’s hopes of winning.


THE TROLL
Trolls will be trolls. They just want to ruin a game or play in a less serious manner. Many trolls can draw a lot of ire from their teammates because their “screwing around” can cost your team the game.

Trolls are different from one another. “Don’t feed the troll,” is probably the best advice if you want to deal with a player who wants to mess around in a game. Keep in mind that some trolls can in fact be positive for your team (e.g. the troll does funny things in game to amuse everyone).


THE TRY-HARD
Yup, trying too hard can definitely be a problem. The try-hard player type brings a different type of negativity to the table. Though the try-hard is clearly trying to attain victory for his/her team, their manner of doing so and their attitude can give the wrong impression.

For instance, a try-hard is usually the one who points out to someone “Oh, that item build isn’t optimal!” or, “You need to play in this exact way!” Basically, this player type can alienate themselves from the rest of the team due to their arrogance.

I believe this is a tricky player type to deal with, mainly because this is one player type who definitely wants to win at all costs. I find that just trying to get everyone to do their best is basically the only real way to satisfying a try-hard. Try to avoid committing too many errors yourself, hope your teammates do the same and then maybe, just maybe, the try-hard won’t complain about things.

Nonetheless, be careful about saying the wrong things to the try-hard. The try-hard can easily transform into a rager, for instance, if you set him/her off.
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7. Be a Positive Pete/Paula

The team spirit aspect is often underestimated/under-appreciated in a standard game of LoL. How your team is collectively feeling (the vibe) makes a big difference in their attitude and thus affects how they play the game, especially when the intention is to win that given game in the long run. If your team’s spirit is positive, then everyone on your team will tend to play better. Conversely, if the spirit is on the negative side, players tend to play worse. As a result, keeping team morale high is of utmost importance when you want to earn a victory.

The way to do this is generally very simple – try to keep everyone positive. Use compliments whenever good actions are performed by your teammates. When something bad happens (e.g. a teammate gets ganked and is killed), attempt to brush the negative outcome aside with stuff like, “It’s all good,” or “We got this.” Basically, the focus here is to avoid dwelling on the negative, as the bad stuff will fester and manifest itself among your teammates to hinder their playing ability. Do not allow this negativity to pile up, otherwise be ready to see some poorer play from your teammates.


ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALL!
You always hear, “Your team is only as strong as its weakest link.” Well, it’s true. Just one weak link can be enough to cause an unwanted ripple effect that affects everyone else on your team. When one member on your team starts to show signs of a weakening spirit, this is where positive reinforcement comes in handy. Try to salvage what you can of that player’s spirit, if possible.

There are many simple reasons as to why you should always be ready to lift someone’s spirits up. First off, a damaged spirit can cause a player to consider giving up. The “all hope is lost” mentality is a huge factor in eventually losing a game because it leads to a player wanting to surrender. Having even one player who contemplates throwing in the towel is essentially losing that person for the remaining game.

In LoL, you need everyone to pull their weight, so DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN. Because you see, losing one person like this can cause a domino effect that further destroys your team’s morale. When one person wants to concede, then this can prompt another player to surrender as well, and this can cause another player to give up … and so forth. Your team’s morale is truly tested when you are playing from behind. Comeback victories are only possible when your team has the right attitude to persevere.

Team morale is therefore extremely important in a team game like LoL (well, duh). When team morale is strong, then the teamwork and cohesiveness with your allies can be that much more proficient. And with greater teamwork, attaining victory is that much simpler to pull off. Most importantly, winning with great teamwork is FUN!

So, with this in mind, the strength of your team’s willpower to win = the strength of your team’s morale.
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8. Abide by the Vibe

The team spirit aspect is often underestimated/under-appreciated in a standard game of LoL. How your team is collectively feeling (the vibe) makes a big difference in their attitude and thus affects how they play the game, especially when the intention is to win that given game in the long run. If your team’s spirit is positive, then everyone on your team will tend to play better. Conversely, if the spirit is on the negative side, players tend to play worse. As a result, keeping team morale high is of utmost importance when you want to earn a victory.

The way to do this is generally very simple – try to keep everyone positive. Use compliments whenever good actions are performed by your teammates. When something bad happens (e.g. a teammate gets ganked and is killed), attempt to brush the negative outcome aside with stuff like, “It’s all good,” or “We got this.” Basically, the focus here is to avoid dwelling on the negative, as the bad stuff will fester and manifest itself among your teammates to hinder their playing ability. Do not allow this negativity to pile up, otherwise be ready to see some poorer play from your teammates.


ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALL!
You always hear, “Your team is only as strong as its weakest link.” Well, it’s true. Just one weak link can be enough to cause an unwanted ripple effect that affects everyone else on your team. When one member on your team starts to show signs of a weakening spirit, this is where positive reinforcement comes in handy. Try to salvage what you can of that player’s spirit, if possible.

There are many simple reasons as to why you should always be ready to lift someone’s spirits up. First off, a damaged spirit can cause a player to consider giving up. The “all hope is lost” mentality is a huge factor in eventually losing a game because it leads to a player wanting to surrender. Having even one player who contemplates throwing in the towel is essentially losing that person for the remaining game.

In LoL, you need everyone to pull their weight, so DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN. Because you see, losing one person like this can cause a domino effect that further destroys your team’s morale. When one person wants to concede, then this can prompt another player to surrender as well, and this can cause another player to give up … and so forth. Your team’s morale is truly tested when you are playing from behind. Comeback victories are only possible when your team has the right attitude to persevere.

Team morale is therefore extremely important in a team game like LoL (well, duh). When team morale is strong, then the teamwork and cohesiveness with your allies can be that much more proficient. And with greater teamwork, attaining victory is that much simpler to pull off. Most importantly, winning with great teamwork is FUN!

So, with this in mind, the strength of your team’s willpower to win = the strength of your team’s morale.
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9. Self-Composure

I will be blunt – keeping your cool is hard. If trying to keep your allies from attacking one another is difficult enough, imagine what can go through YOUR OWN emotions during a game. Remember that you are exposed to everything happening as well. You can be flamed, you can be praised, you can make mistakes, you can make excellent moves … Essentially, you are in the same boat as everyone else.

I cannot stress how difficult it is to remain completely calm when a game of LoL can become so stressful, so disheartening. On the other hand, LoL can also bring you great joy when you are having a lot of fun.

LoL truly is an emotional game, so all I can say for this section is to try your best to keep your emotions swinging in the right direction.


PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!
It’s hypocritical when you’re trying to be the team’s guidance counselor if you aren’t abiding by simple principles for playing in an ideal, emotional state.

Some big aspects to keep in mind:

- Stay as calm as possible. Try not to get mad or sad. Anger can make you illogical and less sharp with your in-game actions. Being sad or discouraged will cause you to play worse as well.

- If you find yourself becoming flustered or irritated, try to collect yourself. BREATHE.

- Try to maintain your composure throughout the game. If you lose your cool, then do you honestly expect someone else to pick up the emotional slack? Don’t count on it!

- Be courteous to others. Try to say polite things like ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

- Make it a habit to compliment your teammates when they do something ideal.

- Always attempt to establish good communication among your teammates. For instance, be sure to do standard things like calling MIA or signaling maneuvers with pings.

- If you want to break the ice among your teammates, you can always try to crack a joke. Some humor may be just the ticket.

- If you make a silly mistake (e.g. you accidentally take the blue buff from an ally who needs it more than you), then be sure to apologize and take accountability. If you are genuinely sincere, a lot of players will quickly forgive you and then play on without a distraction. Not apologizing leads to a seed of mistrust, which leads to negativity building up.

- If you find yourself starting an argument on accident, try to back out of it. Apologize before things get out of hand.

- Avoid flaming your teammates. Try to structure constructive feedback in a manner that will not upset someone. One of the worst things you can do is demoralize your own team.

- If someone on your team is being rude or detrimental, try to intervene and put a stop to it IN A CIVIL MANNER.

- If a verbal argument ensues, step up and try to put a stop to it before it ruins your team’s morale.

- If you see the need for it, take charge and lead your team in a non-bossy manner. Lead your team to victory with clear directions that will won’t have everyone questioning your leadership.

- Ignoring a troubling ally may be necessary. Squelching them means you can’t see the nasty things they are typing to you, which cuts off one way for them to cause you negativity (where the other thing is them performing poorly during the game).

- LoL is supposed to be a game that is FUN. Remind your teammates of this if you have to do so. If your team is doing well, FUN will naturally be experienced. Don’t try to force FUN.

- Focus on the positive and try to overlook the negative, as humanly possible anyway.

- If the bond between your teammates is broken, and the game you are playing is basically impossible to win, well don’t be afraid to start the surrendering process. If your team spirit is shattered or too weakened, it’s basically a waste of time trying to play any further. You are just hurting yourselves. It sucks to lose in this manner, but sometimes it’s better to forfeit and play another game as opposed to dealing with prolonged suffering.

POST-GAME CHECK!
After a LoL game, win or lose, quickly evaluate your current state of composure. If you are feeling upset, angry or any kind of negative emotion, then think twice before you play another game of LoL. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes a flustered player does after they finish a LoL game – they try to force another game after a defeat. You may want to redeem yourself, but the effects of losing the last game may possibly linger into your new game. This is how losing streaks usually occur. Elevate your mood back up (which usually entails not playing LoL for a short break) before you attempt another game.

If you’re feeling upbeat and in high spirits, then feel free to play another LoL game if you want. You would should be emotionally ready to play again immediately.
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10. Enemy Emotions


Don’t forget that everything discussed throughout this guide would of course be applicable to the members of the opposing team. You may not see or hear everything that is being said on the other side of the fence, but you know there is probably some drama going on behind the scenes.

The enemy team is subject to the same emotional stuff your own team is dealing with constantly. Is their team in high spirits or are they too occupied with arguing among themselves? If there is any tension for the opposing team, it’s a common sight to see someone complaining in all chat about it.

PUSH THE ENEMY TEAM’S BUTTONS!
There are many ways to cause friction for the enemy team’s emotional vibe, both naturally and by more direct means. Below are some methods:

- Joke with the opposing team in all chat. It can be very confusing for your opponents.

- Crush your enemies. If your team is winning, then the opposing team will most likely have a weakened/destroyed team spirit. This is how you force the other team to surrender.

- Carry out key game objectives (e.g. killing Baron Nashor for the team buff). Securing these objectives are easy ways to swing the momentum in your favor while bringing down the emotional state of your opponents.

- Pick on someone on the other team. Going after a key/weak player on the enemy team is very good strategy. It can start the blame game for the opposing team, which causes strife for your foes.

- Do annoying things to the enemy team to frustrate them (e.g. you steal blue buff from an enemy who was trying to kill the Ancient Golem camp for it).

- Taunt someone on the opposing team. This can be a bit underhanded, but it can get cut their focus and rattle them. There is no need to go overboard in this department, either. Just saying things like “You’re so bad” in a teasing manner can do the trick. NOTE: Use this tactic at your own risk. There are cases where you may just be coming off as flaming, plus the possibility that all the trash-talking may backfire on you (e.g. the enemy team ends up beating you) will just lead to a lot of emotional pain for yourself.

- When someone on the other team is flaming one of their teammates, agree with them in all chat. Don’t go too far. You are just trying to add fuel to the fire. If you are going this route, you are just trying to create an “everyone is against me” situation for the enemy opponent being flamed.
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11. Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, realize that controlling your emotions can be difficult. So many things in LoL can and will upset you, causing you to lose your composure. I know it took me a really long time before I was able to become a calmer player in general. I still have games where I snap and erupt from anger, but I certainly can avoid this undesirable mental state more consistently.

It is a skill to play with and maintain ideal emotions for long periods of time. That’s right – a skill. The best players out there can keep their cool in the face of adversity. They are more resistant to discouragement, and thus they can just concentrate on playing the game properly. Most players, including myself, are sensitive to everything that is said and done to us. Just like how players practice different champions, tactics or item builds, keeping your emotions in check requires you to work at it as well.

I think the biggest thing I can emphasize is, you have to be willing to change your approach to every LoL game. Let your emotions be a catalyst for your performance instead of letting your feelings cloud your judgment and hindering you from playing at your best.

Also don’t forget that emotions are relevant for everyone else in the game that you’re playing with – your allies’ collective vibe should definitely be a point of interest. Strive to get along with your teammates, avoid creating a hostile environment by snuffing out arguments before they get too out of hand and then nabbing victory in the end will be that much more rewarding – it should not have to be an emotional grind.

Finally, remember that LoL is supposed to be a game at the end of the day. Games are supposed to be fun. Games shouldn’t be so stressful that you spend the whole game being upset. If it’s not fun and enjoyable, then what’s the point?

Thank you for reading this guide. You can add my North American Summoner name, Nhan Fiction, if you want to play with me.

More LoL-related content of mine can be found at - http://nhanfiction.com/work/.

You can also follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/Nhan_Fiction.

GO COUGS!
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12. Changelog

- Reserved for changes. >^..^< 

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26 thoughts on “Emotions: The Driving Force behind Player Performance+

  1. Fallen Tyrael

    Nice guide. Just pointing something out though, you have repeated paragraphs in sections 7 and 8. :]

    Good read! Emotions definitely have a big swing on your teams chances at victory. I find myself trying to be the teams “guidance counselor” but sometimes I do find myself turning into the rager if things just continue to go wrong. This helped me reflect on my past games and what I can do better in future ones!

    Like

  2. gaming04

    Very interesting read, indeed. I have only started playing this game for two months and noticed so many mentally ill people playing all the negativity you have noted. Though I hope people will come to read your guide, I doubt anyone will take its content to heart. The in-game community is full of proof.

    Like

  3. ctmurphy46

    That was a fun read. I do sometimes have trouble maintaining composure when I play League. For example, I started a new account to play with a friend who has never played a moba before. In our second game, he makes one mistake and another guy on our team (who of course had some ridiculous name like Tender Rapist) immediately launches into an obscenity-filled tirade before afking at the fountain.

    It’s hard to convince your friend to stay when that sort of stuff happen in game 2 of his career.

    Like

    • The ones who learn to keep the game pleasant and fun to play are the ones who tend to win more in my book. The better the vibe, the easier things become. Too many punks on the internet who have no sense of tact make any online game a dice roll every time. Sometimes, all you can do is just hope the bad attitude/behavior stays at a minimum, but some people want to push the jerk envelope as far as possible.

      Like

  4. This is BEYOND a fun read, this is HANDS DOWN the #1 LOL guide I’ve ever read, and reminds me of a giant post I made on Power, Control, and Leadership.

    Nhan, I’m so impressed. I’d play a game with you any time.

    If I were to add anything to this guide, it’d be more solutions on what to do when encountering negative others.

    P.S. Emotions are the key to success in ANY PART OF LIFE. I study and teach success, it’s my life and my business, and you nailed it.

    Like

  5. Wow this blog is awesome!! Thank you for checking mine out. I’m so glad that you did :) You are very clever and great taste. Cats rule. haha ANyway, I will have to go through this post a few times. There is a lot of good stuff in here! Great job!!

    Like

  6. Stephen Carb

    Never thought of it that much. But it makes sense. Well at least that explains my elo rage moments. Never mind that explains a lot of my problems. I just hope this will make my ranked experience easier to maintain. Loosing streaks cause of emotions running wild like always. Guess I should keep calm and be quiet if I make a mistake. Also raging at other people. Thanks for this. Opened my eyes.

    Like

  7. Dude! Great article. I know deep down I can rage with the worst of them so it’s nice to see some analysis of it. Nice to see another gaming journalist out there too. I appreciate you taking the time to check out my site. Keep up the good work. Happy hunting summoner.

    Like

  8. This is awesome! And the cats are a bonus! I’m not a gamer but I roleplay in a simulated world (new to that) and have really noticed all the mood stuff and behavior weirdness. You have some really great insights here, written in a way that’s enjoyable to read.

    Like

  9. Your post looks great and has tempted me to read it. I am saving it and will be back to read and digest each serving of advice since they look like they can be applied to the world outside the screen too.

    Like

  10. Fizzzzz !!

    Hahaha, love your kitties pictures and the article is awesome, too ;)
    Little minor: I don’t like helping the other team to get a negative morale, cause … I think it is not really fair-play … Anyway, think it will help me greatly to win my games … I tended to be more an “indifferent” before, cause I never read chat, I couldn’t pay attention to it –’ , but it is getting better this times … I would also love to play some games with you, but I guess it will be impossible : I play on the EUW server, too bad :(
    Anyway, thank you really for this article :)

    Like

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