AFK’ing (Mentally) from the AFK

It was going to be a tough lane bot. Myself, on Fiddlesticks, and my friend, on Kog, against a Caitlyn supported by Janna. Caitlyn is easily the most poke heavy ADC in the early game, and Janna was just going to make her hit that much harder.

The lane started out exactly how I envisioned. Cait and Janna poked away while my friend and I tried desperately to keep up his CS. Our saving grace was that Janna insisted on coming in for some hard poke and I was able to fear her long enough for us to put down some decent damage. This didn’t exactly save the lane, but it made it so that we could exist in it. The Cait poke continued, relentlessly, until finally they were able to snipe me under tower. It was a death that should not have happened, but I was hoping that they would mismanage the tower agro and I could get a fear off that would lead to an easy kill.

The enemy pair returned to lane full of confidence, but my Kog and I weren’t there. The other team’s jungler had decided to steal our blue and we had swept up to help our jungler. The enemy Skarner tried to make a run for it, but simply ended up running in circles after a healthy dosage of my Fiddle fear.

We returned to lane, and Cait continued her barrage against us. They even managed to pick up a kill on Kog at the end of a nice play where her and Janna escaped with only 50 health between them. It seemed like this would continue, but there is one thing that our opponents underestimated – a 2.5 second fear. As Cait prepared a peacemaker for my Kog, I calmly walked up and feared her. My Kog unloaded with his full combo and I hit my exhaust and silence to make sure that escape was not an option. It seemed like the Janna might make it, but a quick crowstorm into the bush ended that hope. You can imagine how happy my friend and I were. We had taken a tough early lane and transitioned it into a winning late lane, just like you’re supposed to. Just when it seemed like everything was finally going our way, our Ziggs decides to stop playing.

I don’t know what the final straw was. He had been complaining about basically everything to that point. Maybe the jungler took some of his CS in the mid. Maybe he didn’t get quite as many blue buffs as he thought he was entitled to. Maybe his lack of kills, which was surely the rest of our team’s fault, was finally too much for him. Whatever it was, just as we were finally turning this game around, he was gone.

This scenario is usually the deathblow for your team. Even if you stand a fighting chance, many people will simply stop playing and let the inevitable come. Our team chose not to. The spirited defense we put up actually lasted for another 30 minutes and left us with a significantly higher number of kills than the enemy team. To be fair, they helped us out by refusing to group and letting us pick them off. A lot of the credit must be given to our guys for never giving up. Our Wukong was so intent on trying to make things happen that he didn’t even notice that our Ziggs was gone until 10 minutes after he had vanished. I guess that should also say something about the Zigg’s play.

We have all gone through this. Someone fails to load, loses their connection, or flips out and intentionally quits. I’d like to give you some strategies to overcome the AFK, but even when you have a good strategy they rarely work because a) numbers really do matter in LoL and b) usually a good portion of your team will, subconsciously or intentionally, give up. This makes putting together any kind of resistance strategy difficult, and you will likely just end up even more frustrated when your team fails to take appropriate action.

What I will suggest you do is take pride in the game you play. Remember, you are not expected to win a 4 v 5. Heck, even picking up kills in this scenario becomes difficult. So when you get a kill it is a pretty significant accomplishment. You learn the art of the pickoff. You really appreciate the need to ward every corner of your side of the map in order to know exactly when their is an opportunity to strike, and you get a great opportunity to learn how to juke to your character’s maximum potential.  You can even try out a slightly different build, or max something new that you might not have otherwise maxed. Basically, you can give yourself something to work on or take away from the game. If you don’t, you will just be wasting that time.

By the time my game was over, I’m not even sure that I remembered to report Ziggs. It helped that I was playing a normal game and not a ranked game, but when it comes down to it, AFK’s are something you will never really have control over. What I did have control over was the work that I did. I warded hard, I pealed hard for my ADC, and I incorporated some heavier AP items into my build  that I would not normally have picked up. I played a good game, and actually managed to relax and have some fun instead of dwelling on it.

Even when there is LP on the line, I have adopted the same strategy. In a 4 v 5, there is no pressure. How many times can you say that in a ranked game? No one expects anything of you, so why not do something amazing instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. AFK’ers may take away your chance to win, but they do not take away your chance to have some fun and become a better player. If they AFK because they are unhappy, I challenge you to ignore the unhappiness that they are trying to leave you with. If you play smart and play to learn something from the experience, you will be infinitely better off than the AFK’er who will be locked in their cycle of poor play and results.

AFK’s, and the losses they cause, are something that you cannot avoid. You could give up, or even AFK yourself, but that solves nothing. Set yourself goals that you can accomplish, and try to hit those goals before the game ends. A good game is more than just a win. It is the feeling that you have played your part well and accomplished something that you can take with you into your next match. AFK’ers can take away a lot, but they cannot take away a game well played.

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7 thoughts on “AFK’ing (Mentally) from the AFK

    • That’s fair. Sometimes the best way to move on is to actually move on, and gaming time is precious! I had to get creative because I only seem to get teams that want to want surrender when I feel like we still have a shot.

  1. Hey great post!
    I dont think i have ever been able to so closely follow league play from reading text haha! You make some great valid points here definitely worth mentioning. I think it is these type of hidden mentalities that people often overlook. It becomes easy in those cases to concern yourself with more of a negative view then positive. The game is meant for enjoyment and its great that some people have found sincere ways to have fun even when the odds are considerably against a victory.

  2. Pingback: AFK’ing (Mentally) from the AFK | The People's Guild

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