I just finished a game of Dota. It was terrible. I had to play mid so I went with Shadow Fiend and, while I am usually a pretty good Shadow Fiend, I was against a good Pudge who killed me twice in lane and then killed me three more times before the 15 minutes mark. To compound things further a friend of mine (we were playing as a three, 2 for offlane and one mid) picked the hero that another guy on our team wanted so, unlike a rational human being, he lashes out at us and gets angry. He plays Tusk and waddles up to the offlane in order to annoy my two friends. It should be stated that, in 1,300 hours of Dota 2, I have never seen someone do that over hero picks. I’ve seen people get annoyed but never completely flip out like he did.
But anyway. We were as such: Tusk, Legion Commander and Witch Doctor in the offlane, Shadow Fiend mid and Naga Siren solo-safelane. The Naga got decent farm, a Radiance by 25 minutes, but she failed to make use of it to even kill the supports. She ended the game 1-4-0. The whole rest of the team, meanwhile, continued to be picked off by the Pudge who ended the game 27-3-9. Naga, for some reason, was left alone. It was generally a very unpleasant match and my friends and I were quite annoyed but laughed it off because we’d experienced and learned from the toxic players who pipe up when you are learning to play.
I held my nerve for the whole game but it was only at the end, when Naga decided to turn on me by saying “Shadow Fiend… explanation?” that I had to defend myself. I’d already reported the Tusk because he was genuinely being unpleasant to me and my friends but Naga had been silent until then. I didn’t understand her logic. None of us had played well. I know I am not good against Pudge players when I am mid because I focus far too much on farming, especially with Shadow Fiend where every last hit early on makes the next one a little easier. I defended myself fairly angrily because I was (and am) tired but I wanted to talk about this and what it has taught me.
You see, it boiled down to her calling me names. She started with the eternally wonderful “I hope you guys get cancer,” so naturally we’re dealing with morons here. It’s immature and stupid but I slapped back by pointing out the fact that she had been left alone to farm for 30 minutes and still I had a higher gpm than her by a good amount. I then also pointed out that she had one kill and she retorted with “but you had a worse ratio. That’s what counts.”
This is less tips for dealing with toxic players and more me complaining but eventually I challenged her to a 1v1 and she accepted. I didn’t go through with it because the idiot Tusk wanted to join and I just thought better of it. I would like also to point out that playing a 1v1 against someone you don’t like is never a good idea. Revenge is petty and, while the heat of the moment may point you down one road, it’s always better to take a step back. The Tusk trying to join was just the slap in the face I needed. It’s not like you’re doing anything that really matters as well. Ranked or unranked, Dota 2 is still a game and you shouldn’t tie yourself up in knots because the people within it are trying to egg you on.
I would also say that the mute button is a powerful tool. If I know I am playing badly then I, firstly, mute the enemy team to make sure I don’t hear them taunting if they choose to do so. (On that note, saying EZ at the end of the game is such a dick move. If you are flawless with 800 gpm and a kill for every minute of the game then I give you permission to say the game was easy. If you’re not then you can get out. Pro players don’t do it, amateur leagues don’t allow toxicity like that and no other game lets players taunt each other the same way Dota 2 allows its players to do so.) If your team start complaining and it isn’t constructive then you should immediately mute them too.
I would recommend muting all of them as soon as one person pipes up because it’s so easy for people to jump on the bandwagon to complain at people. Only a couple of times have I found that people who were being mean offered some good advice. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that Shadow Shaman who said I should build bracers to stop dying so easily to nukes. Even if you still end up losing then you can at least lose in peace without being harassed.