How to Deal with Toxic Teammates in League of Legends

Often in life there can be a chorus of voices of doubt and pessimism all around us.

You can't do it.

These voices can even be people you respect and hold in high regard, like a parent, teacher, boss, or co-worker.

This is childish, it will never work.

In their mind they may feel like what they're saying is what you need to hear, and that it's in your best interests.

You should just give up.

Dealing With Toxicity

The player known as Flaming Popcorn

In my free time I've been investing into League of Legends supporting. On Thursday I was playing Janna support solo queue and paired with a Gold Mastery 7 Draven against a Leona/Vayne lane. Our Draven made sure everyone knew his mastery, spamming the emote on the rift and in lane repeatedly. The game started to go downhill after a level 2 jungle gank, when the enemy Warwick came via tri-bush, pausing long enough to clear my vision ward before Leona caught the Draven out of position and all three pounced on him. I blew all my cooldowns trying to save him with no luck. Flaming Popcorn began to type.

Janna Exhaust - 191 seconds
Way too long to use Janna

It's a fair criticism, I could have been quicker, but it still wouldn't have saved him from the 3v2 gank. More importantly my past experience has taught me that this Draven was going to be a problem, and that I should proceed with caution with how I respond. I can get defensive and type back at him, or I can just continue playing my game and let my results prove me right. More often than not I choose the latter and did so in this case. The Draven came back to lane, I set up a nice kill for him, and he seemed to calm down for the moment. A few minutes later the Draven was engaged on again by the Leona, and I was down a cooldown and unable to save him. He immediately started spamming question marks on top of me in lane.

The week leading up to this game I had been playing hot, cruising from Silver IV up to Silver II on the back of my newfound support main Janna, and my confidence was pretty high heading into the game. With this Draven dumping on me the thoughts of doubt started to creep in.

Am I playing poorly? Maybe I'm too tired and should be calling it a night after this?

I didn't have too much time to dwell as our turret was being pushed in on, and Janna is pretty great at holding a turret early game. I took turns shielding the turret, throwing tornados at the enemy champs and minions, and keeping myself out of range of the Leona initiate. I noticed the Draven had respawned but hadn't left the rift for 30 seconds.

Draven you still there?

Another minute of me holding the turret and finally the Draven starts returning to lane. He immediately begins pushing to catch up on CS and I do what I usually do when my ADC is pushing a wave - poking and preparing minions for his last hits. The Draven pings caution on my head.


This triggered me in all sorts of ways. The Draven known as Flaming Popcorn had been flaming me the entire game, blaming me for any bot lane mishaps and taking zero responsibility for his own play. He was rude and obnoxious, and I wanted to type something back but stopped myself. If I want to win then no good can come from arguing with a guy who is clearly ready to explode and make a mess of the game and my rank.

So I went and stood in a bush and held the "S" button and made myself the best Janna ward possible. For whatever reason the Draven had decided he had zero faith in my ability, and I knew that wasn't the reality of what I'm capable of. It wasn't even the ten minute mark of the game and we hadn't had a proper fight yet. I just needed a chance to prove myself and I knew the Draven would back off.

At the 10:30 mark my opportunity came. It was a long sequence and I made a clip of Flaming Popcorn's conversion to the church of SammySammy (skip to 1 minute mark):

Following this play his attitude went from night to day.

Good job Janna
I was having mouse problems earlier and couldn't click right

We went on to win the game at 28 minutes with the Draven finishing 14/4/4 on my 17 assists. Flaming Popcorn left one message in post-game chat.

Honor Janna

You Can't Let the Naysayers Win

I didn't need this Draven's approval for my own well being. If I lived my life clinging to the approval of every Flaming Popcorn that came through I'd be an emotional wreck. That doesn't mean blatantly ignoring all criticism in a conceited way, but I do have to take a moment and consider what's said and be able to some of the time confidently think "Nope, that's wrong and toxic and I'm going to ignore it." If I don't move through the world with that filter on then I'm basically just a leaf blowing in the wind.

Throughout life there are going to be people that doubt you and just don't believe in you. It could be they're just having a bad day and have this gray cloud hanging over their heads, or just their general outlook on life every day is cynical and pessimistic. It could also be they feel like they have your best intentions at heart and know what's best for you, or are trying to protect you from the dangers of the world. If you let the voices of doubt get to you, you'll find yourself caving and giving up.

The truth is it has to come from inside us from a lot of thought and deep introspection. For a moment just ignore all that noise and whirlwind around you and look within. Whatever you're working toward improving in your life - do you believe in the underlying truth and value in that, and do you believe you have what it takes to do it? If you really want to do X thing but you're just unsure of yourself, then you have to work on your self confidence first. This is half the battle because if you don't believe in yourself you've already lost.

Once you have that self confidence that you can say belongs to you and nobody else, the difficulty then becomes persisting, because if you're doing anything difficult in life the voices of doubt from without aren't going to ever let up until you can convince them otherwise. Some are just so stubborn that they'll never be satisfied no matter what you do. In the end it's only the self identity that matters, how YOU feel about YOU. But believe in your abilities and be confident in yourself, and you can accomplish great change.

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