Tilt – What it is and how to avoid it?
You know it has happened to you at some point. You were peacefully farming mid lane, not suspecting that the enemy jungler is near. All of a sudden, he appears and burns your flash. You think you are safe, but little do you know he is coming again to kill you. You become frustrated and your emotions take over the game. The reason for this is tilt. Tilt was actually first used in poker. It is a mental state in which your emotions take over you and you are not able to perform at your best. You make stupid mistakes, which make you even more frustrated to the point where you just cannot control them anymore. I mentioned tilt was used in poker, but as competitive multiplayer games evolved, it has became a staple term to most of them.
What is the reason you go on tilt?
Your brain detects any physical or psychical event as a threat. It is either losing LP, not getting the desired rating or just straight off playing bad, your brain makes no difference. It triggers an emotional reaction in a part of the brain called the Amygdala. It then tells your body how to react. The Amygdala is the part of your brain that tells your body how to react to a certain threat, either with fear or anger. The problem starts when the Amygdala is unaware on how to react to a threat (for example, it does not know how to react when you lose LP), which leads to the problems mentioned above.
What are the threats that cause tilt?
We know many types of threats in League. A major threat might be, not getting to your desired division till the end of the season, losing LP or losing a match you perform really well in. But these are not the only types of threats. There are also smaller threats in game, that can add up to make you tilt even in the middle of the game. Examples of these are: The enemy jungler steals your buffs, you get camped in lane, you fail a gank and get your teammates killed. These are all smaller threats, but a small threat leads to another small threat and it just adds up to the tilt.
What are the consequences of tilt and how do I know if I am tilting?
The consequences are obvious. You are frustrated, you feel depressed, you feel emotional etc. A question I get a lot is how do I know if I am on tilt? You have to analyze your play style. Would you play like that if the enemy jungler doesn’t gank you 3 times? Would you try to chase down the Singed if you won lane versus him? You ask yourself these questions, and if you answer no you are probably on tilt
Do all League players tilt?
In my opinion, every player in a competitive multiplayer game tilts, it just depends on how much it affects their play. I have a friend who claims he never tilts, and it is true he does it rarely, but when he has that Fiora vs Teemo matchup, anyone could notice his tilt. It largely depends on what kind of person you are and how you can control the tilt. We even have professional players that are known to go on tilt after certain events. Let´s say getting first blooded (Huni is an example of a pro that goes on tilt very easily), even whole teams (a good example is Team Liquid), while there are players who stay really calm even if they get ganked 5 times (Dyrus is an example of a player who rarely gets tilted).
How do I avoid tilt?
If you ask any high elo player on how to avoid tilt, they will advise you to just stop playing after 2 defeats and continue the next day, or take a break from the game your team should have won but lost. But there is much more about it than just a break. Again, when someone asks me, how do I avoid/reduce tilt, I tell them that a healthy lifestyle is an important aspect. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and get enough sleep. This are the three elements that will help you reduce tilt by a large margin. If your body isn’t healthy or if you don’t get enough sleep, these will become threats that will increase your tilt even more. Having a healthy diet and 8 hours of sleep can prevent those those added threats. Now let’s get back to the breaks. The length of the break depends on how tilted you are. During the break, go read a book or watch an episode of anime/tv show, maybe even a movie. But try to stay away from anything related to the game. It might bring back negative memories of the tilt and will get you back into the same mindset. If you have a big losing streak (10+ games) I recommend you take a longer break (from a week to even a month). Another thing a lot of people don´t mention is playing with friends. It largely depends on what friends you are playing with. If the friends flame you for mistakes you make, make fun of you and blame you for defeats, then they can also be additional threats. On the opposite, if friends comfort you, help you if you struggle and don’t blame you for mistakes, they can help you ease of a bit of tilt, eliminate one of the above mentioned threats. If all of the above doesn’t help, you should ask yourself if a game is worth the frustration. Games are meant to be fun and if you are having a bad time, you should just stop playing it. It has happened to me multiple times. I took both small and large breaks(the largest break lasting for 3 months) and it helped a lot. When I came back I was motivated and I played even better than before (but that is the topic for another article).
I hope you can take something from this article to help you avoid tilt in ranked or even normal games. League is an amazing game and you should enjoy it the most you can. If you don´t enjoy playing ranked, play normals and have as much fun as you can.
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