With the League of Legends Season 3 Championships becoming the focus of much of the gaming world, it signals the coming of another event; the end of Season 3. A year of seeing a facelift for Summoner's rift and Twisted tree line. A year for the addition of the much needed spectator feature. But also a year for showing off ranked rewards for the previous year. The anticipation of Season 4 does not come without its tensions though. Everyone seeing the eye candy from the awards given for Season 2, are now keeping their eyes focused on the ranked prizes for Season 3.
Ranked prizes were awarded to those who reached certain levels of rank on the ladders. These prizes ranged from custom champion skins, to summoner icons, to the more taunting loading screen banners which outlined champion portraits. The higher the player rose on the ladder, the more robust the rewards became. All of which is for purely aesthetic value; these rewards do not grant a gameplay edge of any kind. For example, one thing a lower level player in the "bronze tier" received was a bronze colored loading screen banner. It was very simple, plain, and relatively dull. On the other hand, a very high ranked player that was apart of the "diamond tier" received a banner that was more elaborate, ornate, and literally diamond incrusted. The latter is generally more desirable to say the least.
In a related note, the League of Legends community is not known for its forgiveness and kindness; quite the opposite. It is something that if survived, will make salty men from boys, and women immune to sexual harassment. The #1 advice from pro's advising readers on how to get better at the game, is to keep calm and not rage, at your own teammates. What makes this community so tough you ask? The strong desire to win in a highly co-dependent team game, and simultaneously not take blame for any mistakes. So what does this have to do with ranked rewards and eye candy.
In a realm of a harsh community competing to all be #1, having visual proof of performance status can win arguments alone. Even if player 'A' was completely at fault for player 'B's death, player 'A' could throw all of his weight on his ranked status and seem right.
Example Chat Log:
*Player B has been slain*
Player A: Nice one noob
Player B: I saved your life
Player A: If you had done "X,y,Z" we would have lived and gotten the kill
Player B: That makes no sense!!
Player A: There's a reason I have a Gold banner and you have a bronze one!
This happens often. Very often. In fact Riot has just released a PSA video showing fancy animated statistics on how teamwork and a friendly environment wins games. The sad thing is that this video is completely necessary and true. Why did they release this video now? Season 3 is ending, and the stakes are getting very high as time is running out to grab some ranked rewards. With the stakes rising, so does the tension.
If League of Legends is your choice of poison, you have 2 paths. One, stay the hell out of ranked mode. Enjoy your life, enjoy your happiness, play for the fun of the game until the dawn of Season 4 arrives. Or Two... Prepare yourself for the most emotionally rugged trip of your life and join the fray to grab yourself a piece OF THE GLORY!
The choice is yours. What will you be when the dawn arrives?