In my inaugural post I, a casual League of Legends player who had never played a ranked game, laid out my plan to wander into the hellscape that is the North American solo queue scene and document my experience over the course of the 2015 season.
I can happily attest that I have now completed the first step of that journey because on the opening day of the 2015 League of Legends Ranked Season I played my first ever ranked solo queue match.
I was definitely a bit nervous heading into my first ranked game. I often find that the best way to alleviate the jitters is to share my trepidation with someone. So I texted a real life friend who also happens to be one of my LoL friends, summoner name brave77player. Here’s a transcript of that conversation…
Me: I think I’m going to play my first ranked game in a little bit. Can’t imagine how toxic it’s going to be.
brave77player: It’s not. The same shit happens. I’ll play one with you later. I’ve never been the worst player in one.
Me: At the end of the day that’s all one can really ask for.
Shortly thereafter I logged into the game. Here’s how champion select went down.
Based on God knows what math, I was appointed the de facto captain of the team with the responsibility of banning three champions from the eventual champion draft (typically one wants to ban the three most overpowered champions). I banned Katarina and Akali, two champions known to terrorize lower skilled players and capable of completely taking over a game if they get rolling. With first pick on our team I planned on playing top lane with Hecarim, a champion I’d recently bought and won 9 of 10 matches with (albeit in unranked games against possibly dubious competition). With my third ban I wanted to ban a likely opponent I might see in lane. Gnar and Irelia are two champs that have always given me a tough time in the top lane but with time ticking down on my ban I couldn’t find either one among the list of 123 champions. Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t find their icon to click on and ban. I may have started to panic, “is this shit in alphabetical order?” I actually still don’t know the answer to that question and with time ticking down I spotted the icon for Lissandra, a champion that is ban worthy in higher level play but not one that I’ve ever faced myself.
I clicked on Lissandra’s icon just in time. Hopefully the facade that I was a competent player was still standing in the eyes of my four teammates.
I first picked Hecarim like I planned and overall thought we had the better team composition after all the picks were made but I was a little leery of how tanky (i.e. durable) the other team was. The only truly tanky character we had was Alistair and he was really only super tanky for the 7 seconds that his ultimate (his most powerful spell) was activated. If some prolonged team fights broke out we’d probably be at a disadvantage but I wasn’t really sure because a tanky team like the one the opponents had wasn’t something typically seen in the unranked matches I was accustomed to, where each player was trying to be the hero by picking champions that dealt high damage at the sacrifice of tankiness.
Moments later the game began. I purchased supplies at the store and trotted out to the top lane with my ghost centaur Hecarim.
Smash Cut to:
43:42 later I was a devastated bro trying to piece together the shattered pieces of his life.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to post about the specifics of what exactly transpired in this match but right now the cuts are too fresh and too deep.
I texted brave77player in a desperate attempt to assuage my gloom or at least share it with someone else. Here’s a transcript of that conversation…
Me: Just played my first ranked game. I was unequivocally the worst player in the game.
brave77player: Who were you and what happened?
Me: I was Hec top and got turned out by a Shen and everyone was chirping me. And then Shen snowballed the game. So it was all my fault.
brave77player: Haha. Death super early? Like what happened? Shens are best left alone.
Me: Gave up “second blood”, if you will. Came back to lane and Shen had shopped and was stronger and bullied me. Then he reached [level] 6 and started ulting into team fights and we lost all those team fights and I was just stuck up in top lane with my dick in my hand.
brave77player: Haha. So how were they singling you out and were you defending your play?
Me: There was nothing to defend.
If schadenfreude is your thing the grisly details from my match are below. Enjoy 🙂
Later, brave77player asked me if I wanted to duo queue with him. I had to tell him I couldn’t because I was taking a bath. His response…”Put the toaster down!” It was a funny joke and I would have laughed if I could’ve but I wasn’t in a laughing mood. I desperately needed to get away from LoL and convalesce. But the LoL gods had different plans.
I received a text from the person responsible for introducing me to LoL and therefor the mental disrepair I was suffering. Here’s a transcript of that conversation…
Doctrorpheus: Yo wanna play ranked?
Me: I just did and I was absolutely housed. Crying in the corner of my apt at the moment.
Doctrorpheus: Haha what happened?
I declined to play a ranked game with Doctrorpheus or brave77player that night but they eventually convinced me I had to get back on the horse and play some LoL to get out of my funk. We played some low-stakes unranked blind pick games together (my comfort zone) and all was right in the world.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”