You’ve finally arrived home after a long day at work, ready to spend your evening relaxing with a gaming sesh. You fire up the League client, jump straight into a ranked game and happily type GL HF. Yet before you’ve even made it to lane, you hear the ear-shattering words “ENEMY TEAM, DOUBLE KILL”, followed by a flurry of pings. A minute later, your top laner dies chasing Singed (despite them confidently typing “never chase Singed” in champ select).
Now you’re perma-tilted, and your relaxing evening – and the chance of winning this game – has gone out the window.
Everyone, even the most cool-headed player in the world, has experienced tilt at some point. Feeling tilted can take the fun out of the game completely: you’ll find yourself going on loss streak after loss streak and becoming increasingly tempted to press that uninstall button.
But don’t uninstall the client just yet; tilt doesn’t have to hold you hostage. Believe it or not, there are ways to fight against tilt and overcome it.
Today, I’ll be explaining exactly what tilt is, how to tell when you’re tilted, and most importantly, how you can become an untiltable Zen Master and reclaim your relaxing evening.
What Is Tilt
New to the League scene? You’re probably wondering what on earth “tilt” is. However, even if you don’t know what “tilt” means, I can promise you you’ve definitely experienced it.
In brief, tilt is when a player feels frustrated and angry to the point it clouds their judgement, causing them to make irrational decisions and careless plays.
You typically get tilted after experiencing unpleasant in-game situations, such as your teammates feeding, a toxic interaction or a critical misplay. The ultimate “tilt trigger”, though, is losing what appeared to be an easily winnable game.
Of course, the more tilted you become, the more likely you’re going to lose your games, and when you lose, the more tilted you become. It’s a never-ending cycle of despair, and it can feel inescapable, almost as if your soul is trapped in Thresh’s lantern.
While some players are great at knowing if they’re tilted, others barely notice until they’re on a 10 game loss streak and have an overwhelming urge to play Yuumi jungle.
If you want to amass those tilt-proof honours, it’s important you know tilt’s telltale signs; recognising when you’re tilted is the first step to overcoming.
How to Recognise Tilt
After 5 losses in a row, you suddenly decide the champion you’ve mained all season has actually been nerfed to oblivion, and Yasuo mid is where it’s at
Ah, yes. The reason you’re losing games is because your enemies are playing overpowered champions, and Riot has neglected your go-to picks. If you try out a recently buffed champion in ranked, surely you’ll be unstoppable, right?
No. That is the tilt talking.
The reason you’re on a loss streak isn’t because the champions you main aren’t God tier, and trying to play new champions in ranked with no prior practice will just result in more losses.
You take on the role of vigilante, ready to punish all those who make mistakes
Your top laner is building the worst possible item; the support face checks a suspiciously quiet bush and hands over the ACE, your ADC has forgotten they’re not a melee champion – these mistakes deserve your wrath, and your teammates deserve to know, in meticulous detail, what they’ve done wrong and why their stupidity has cost the game.
But do they really? Everyone makes mistakes, including you. When you’re tilted, you start to lose sight of how you’re playing and instead tunnel-vision on your teammates’ mistakes.
While you may feel like your teammates are the sole reason you’re losing the game, they probably feel the same way.
You lose 3 games and start muttering “Just one more game, I’ll win this one…”
Despite being on a loss streak, you tell yourself next game it’ll be different: you’ll get a jungler who values you and camps your lane, then you’ll rack up the kills and carry the team.
But trust me: that’s not going to happen. “Just one more game” is the tilt-loaded phrase which actually translates to “one more loss”. You’re going to be frustrated, you’re going to be tired, and you’ll certainly miss that game-changing skill shot.
You spend more time typing in chat than moving your mouse
Sure, it can be advantageous to communicate useful information to your teammates, like informing them you have TP and can join the next team fight. However, if you find yourself stopping what you’re doing to reply to the enemy’s trash-talking, you’re letting your frustration get the better of you, and you’re not going to be focused on the game.
There have been countless times where I’ve gotten free poke on an enemy due to them standing still in the middle of the lane, distractedly arguing away in chat.
Plus, if you’re bickering in all chat saying “report my ADC” and “supp trolling”, it gives your enemies the upper hand: you’re straight up announcing your teamwork is non-existent, and objectives are theirs for the taking.
The chat box isn’t going to win you the game, but you can definitely lose because of it.
You become trigger-happy with the surrender button and adopt the catchphrase “report team, won’t FF”
When you’re tilted, the smallest error (be it yours or an ally’s) can set you off and make you want to give up. You can’t imagine the possibility of a comeback, and you’d rather dance away in the fountain, alt-tab, and wait for it to be over.
However, in 95% of cases – yes, even if the enemy team have a gold lead of 5k and are up by 10 kills – a comeback is always possible. By surrendering, you’re removing this possibility and pretty much telling the DEFEAT screen it’s a welcome guest.
How to Become Tilt-Proof
Close the client and take a break
Instead of indulging the tilted “just one more game” mentality, close the client and take a break.
When you’re on a loss streak, it can be tempting to continue diving into match after match – you feel as if you have to prove you’re a great player by reclaiming your lost LP immediately.
However, you’ll just keep losing. You’re going to be tilted from the loss streak so you won’t be playing at your best performance. And obviously, you can’t overcome tilt if you’re watching your LP drop lower and lower.
Before you jump into the next match, give yourself a break to clear your head and engage in activities which can help you de-stress. You could go for a quick run, watch a stream, or play a different game (one less competitive) with your friends.
The next time you play, you’ll be a lot calmer, and all those tilt-inducing moments from your past games would’ve slipped from your mind.
Your LP is sure to thank you too, as you’ll be playing at your A-game (and certainly won’t tilt-flash into a wall!).
Ignorance is bliss, muting is bliss
If you’re playing jungle and your bot lane goes 0/8, then starts spouting “jg diff” in chat, reading that can pretty much be a one way ticket to tilt-land.
However, if you’ve muted chat from the start, you’re not going to see their comments. For all you know, your bot lane could be endlessly apologising for feeding, heck, even complimenting your fantastic objective control!
Put simply, ignorance is bliss; there may be a toxic fire happening in the chat, but its flames won’t spread to you and burn you.
Now, that’s not to say communication isn’t important, but if you’re the type of player who finds themselves wasting time hurling insults back at the slightest provocation, you’ll benefit more from being ignorant to the flame war rather than staying in it in hopes of a few useful messages.
Treat a positive outlook like a win condition
Much like mastering last hitting minions and map awareness, mastering a positive outlook is a skill which can strengthen your chances of victory. If you tell yourself a positive outlook is your win condition, it’ll take a lot more than a stolen baron and being told you’re less useful than a minion to tilt you.
I’m not denying it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook. There are times where you’ll probably want to succumb to despair and smash your head against the keyboard. But there are many ways you can twist dire situations into positive ones. For example, if your top lane is being camped and feeding, remind yourself you’ll have greater pressure around drake, and securing a drake can easily snowball into a win.
Also, if you manage to stay positive in the face of disaster, your positivity can boost your team’s morale. The higher the morale, the less likely both you and your teammates are going to tilt and misplay.
Improve, Improve, Improve
One of the main reasons we get so frustrated from a lost game is because we feel powerless: we feel like we couldn’t do anything to change the outcome.
While it’s true you can’t change your teammates’ mistakes, you can change yours. Before you jump back into the rift, take the time to replay your matches and assess your actions and decision-making. What could you have done better?
If you lost a match, there is always something you could have done to improve your chances of winning, even if you didn’t realise this during the game. Perhaps you weren’t checking the map properly and backed at a wrong time, allowing the enemy jungler to take herald for free. Perhaps you mispositioned in a team fight which led to you getting caught out and dying early.
Acknowledging your weaknesses, and then proactively working hard to fix them, will change your feeling of powerlessness into confidence.
When you enter your next game, you won’t be tilted from the get-go because you’ll know you’ve improved and won’t make the same mistakes you did in the past.
Plus, if you have addressed your weaknesses, you’re going to be playing better, and you’ll likely carry your team to victory (a win is sure to help you avoid tilt!).
Remind yourself that demoting is a part of climbing
No one wants to lose their hard-earned LP. It’s frustrating to demote, especially when you know your last few games shouldn’t have been losses.
But remember: you’re bound to have losses. Some days you’ll have win streaks and perhaps climb an entire division, other days you’ll have loss streaks and demote. Just look at pro players’ match history – I guarantee you every pro player has had loss streaks.
Climbing in League is not meant to be an upward climb. In reality, it’s like climbing a mountain; to get to the peak, you’ll have to backtrack and change your course many times.
Focus on the long-term goal, not the short-term loss of LP. The more you remind yourself a lost game is simply a bump, rather than an end to your path to the top, the less you’ll find yourself tilting.
Some Last Words Before You Hit the Find Match Button…
Now, I won’t sugar-coat the truth: it’s impossible to never get tilted. Despite what champion we play, behind the screen, we’re only human.
What matters is how you handle your tilt. You can either succumb to it and watch your losses pile up, or you can challenge it and overcome it by using these handy tips and tricks. Whether it’s by taking a break or muting chat, one of these techniques is sure to help you become tilt-proof, and the more tilt-proof you are, the more victories you’ll see.
Have fun out on the rift, summoner. Let’s hope Lady Luck is smilin’.