Surrendering is OK

Surrendering can help you climb the ladder more than an undeserved win...

Every once in a while I will be in a game where victory is just not going to happen.  Maybe someone fed, maybe they’re grouping better, maybe they’re just better players, but whatever it is, I am going to lose.  I will start a surrender vote expecting my teammates feel the same way and to my surprise, not only does my team not want to surrender, but now I’ve gone and upset them.  I’ve committed a cardinal League of Legends sin.

League players, for some reason, consider surrendering a terrible option.  Some have even asked for it to be removed from the game so that players stop giving up.  I do not know why surrendering has this negative stigma but the attitude must change.

The first thing that has to change is the idea that surrendering is “giving up.”  A player gives up when he doesn’t want to try any more.  This could be due to a poor attitude, or a weak mental game, or just a bruised ego.  Players who give up may be actively toxic, they may AFK, rage, or feed, but they can also just shut down, they stop communicating with teammates or they stop playing to win.  Essentially, players who give up can still be in a game but they’re no longer pushing themselves.  Even if they refuse to surrender, these players have already decided that it’s a loss.  The only reason they stay in the game is because they’re simply hoping for a win

Surrendering, on the other hand, should mean a lot more. 

Sometimes I consider a surrender just the Good Manners thing to do.  If you’ve played Starcraft competitively then you know that a timely surrender is an important part of the game’s etiquette.  Dragging a game out when a player is really far behind is very rude.  When my team gets destroyed early due to better play by the opponents, I may decide to surrender because the opponents played very well and they’ve earned their win.  I don’t think any of my teammates have ever felt this way.

The toxicity of my teammates also comes into play when deciding to surrender.  If we’ve fallen behind but we’re still trying to win then we should stick it out.  We should communicate and decide on a course of action that will bring the game back around.  The game is actually a lot of fun when the team decides to work together and pulls out a win.  This doesn’t really happen. Often times we just keep playing and we try to do the same things over and over and we just keep falling further and further behind.  This causes tensions to run high and the team implodes.  In these situations it’s better to surrender and save yourself a lot of grief.  Move on and play another, better game, and hope for better teammates.  A win is still totally possible, sure.  Maybe your team performs a good play and turns the game around.  Or maybe the opponents throw and you manage to get yourself some undeserved LP.  While possible, you should not hope or depend on these scenarios for a win because you will end up holding yourself back.

If you find that you are often in a situation where you have to play from behind then consider that you might need to work on your early game.  Some champions are just weak early and it’s OK to be a little behind but you should still work and improve your early game so that you are never in too deep of a hole.  If you have fallen too far behind then you should want to surrender.  This isn’t giving up, mind you, because if your team doesn’t want to surrender then you will play it out.  But, you should be aware that your performance has harmed the team and that it is now their decision to carry you or not.  I’ve played with players who are just bad at the early game but have great game knowledge and have often times fixed their performance in the late game (once gold doesn’t really matter).  It’s great to be able to play the late game well but improving where you are weak is a clear and better way of winning games.  Being mindful of your place on the team in these situations will help you improve a lot more than dragging a game out and hoping for a throw. 

If you’re losing early then it’s obvious that you need to work on your early game.  Unfortunately, the only way to improve your early game is to play the early game more.  If you don’t have a friend you can practice your laning against then you need to be mature enough to surrender a game once it’s past a certain point and play again.  Play with a conscious effort to improve.   

Now, what if you consistently win and it’s your teammates that aren’t playing well?  Can you lead and carry your teammates to victory?  Will your champions eventually out scale the opponents’?  You need to decide if the game is worth your time.  It’s a tough pill to swallow but sometimes it’s better to move and not tilt yourself by playing with teammates you don’t like.  Be proud of yourself and your performance but move on.  If you’re as good as you think you are then you will keep climbing the ladder.

A surrender doesn’t mean you’re bad.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of your improvement.  Be aware and conscious of your play.  A surrender can help you climb the ladder a lot more than an undeserved win.  It’s all about your attitude.  Never give up but be strategic with your surrender vote.