Toxicity has always been something widely understood as expected and normal in League solo queue. Even if you're down for trash talk, nobody likes it when people give up, grief the game, go afk, etc. In this post, I'd like to share a different perspective on toxicity and how it can be played around.
Understanding the mental game
I probably don't need to tell you that flaming your teammates will cause you to lose more, but let's break this concept down further. In a given game, almost every action you do will either increase or decrease your chance of winning. This includes not only gameplay, but also what you type and the pings you make.
For example, if your entire team is autofilled and you have a 30% chance of winning, complaining about it drops it to 29.5%.
Obviously there's no way to actually quantify how much small actions like this contribute to your odds, but over time these things add up. If we can accept that this is true, the next step is to understand how to play around it.
It's never a good feeling getting flamed by one of your teammates, but it's important to treat it as an inherent part of the game. Just like how it sucks to be camped as a laner or have 3 losing lanes as a jungler, becoming the team's punching bag is bound to happen occasionally.
There are many ways that players will react to getting flamed. Will they type back? start inting? mute and ignore it? apologize? I want to make it clear that there isn't really a correct way to respond to being flamed, but it's important to recognize that how you respond will either increase or decrease your odds of winning.
Why I prefer toxicity aimed at me
So if you've followed everything I've said so far, you might have already realized that being the one getting blamed for everything actually gives you more agency over the outcome of the game. If one of your teammates is the one getting flamed, you have no control over their response and the consequences. If you're the target, you have complete control and can respond in such a way where you'll have the highest chance of winning the game.
While I don't think that you should actively try to be the one that gets flamed, I've found that framing the situation in the more positive light of having additional agency makes it a lot less mentally taxing. Whenever 3 teammates are spam pinging me for making a mistake, I'll see it as an opportunity to express how much better my mental is and not let it decrease our chances of winning the game.
Anyways, these are just some random non-Ivern thoughts that I have about solo queue. It's interesting because it's not that I like League of Legends in spite of the toxicity, but I like the game including these little mental battles. I can derive some level of pride from knowing that most people would've snapped from the mental pressure or lost confidence in themselves, but since I didn't I was able to win the game.
tl;dr having good mental is an elo inflated strategy.