new meta, more toxicity?

July 3, 2018

In recent patches (8.12) Riot has significantly nerfed ADCs in multiple aspects from base stats to itemization to typical game length, leading to the increasing diversification of team compositions (primarily the "bottom" role) that favors champions that are stronger in early to mid games such as brand, vlad, and yasuo. Players seem to feel more free and legitimate to try out new champions at bottom. While appreciating Riot's effort to innovate, I (a support main) have experienced increased presence of toxicity in recent games. For example, I had a rengar bottom against kaisa and fidd. The rengar player kept jumping from bush to kaisa and fidd, attempting to kill either one of them, each time getting feared away by fidd and dying or losing 1/3 hp. After several deaths, the player appeared rather tilted for the whole rest of the game. He or she would just ult and rush to any player on the enemy team and die, blaming the rest of the team for not following. The endgame kda was 4/18/4.

 

There are more examples but the pattern is consistent that more make-or-break, high-risk-high-reward champions, especially assassins and fighters, are played at bottom. And usually these players have very high and sometimes unrealistic expectations for their teammates who may not know what's on their minds. If they don't get what they want, they are easily tilted, at least compared to ADCs that I supported in the past. Well, not all ADCs. In my record, dravens are way more often angry at me especially if I accidentally take a kill or they die and lose stacks. Academically, this personal observation corresponds with Shores et al.'s findings that bruisers are more toxic in ranked games (2014). But note that their dataset is collected about players in mainland China several years ago. I'm curious whether Riot has looked into the impact of meta changes from the toxicity lens.

 

Anyways, the new meta is exciting and I would love to watch more wild team compositions in professional scenes. (Honestly the old ADC meta has existed for too long and is boring.) But I will take a break from League since the increased toxicity that I have experienced in the past few days has drained all my passion.

 

References:

Shores, K. B., He, Y., Swanenburg, K. L., Kraut, R., & Riedl, J. (2014, February). The identification of deviance and its impact on retention in a multiplayer game. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 1356-1365). ACM.

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