Having returned early this week from my work trip to the Bahamas — the Pool Party Graves who was spying on me never played his hand — I didn't have much time to play League of Legends.
But I did manage to get home in time to score some new champions, with Brand, Thresh and Draven on sale. While I've so far played them only a few times each, I've had a good time with all of them, admittedly in different ways. Thresh in particular seems extremely entertaining, but I suck badly.
I also banned Yasuo in every game where that was an option for me, as it was Yasuo free week. Hilariously, I think I saw less Yasuo this week, when he was free, than I ever have before.
"Kill yourself": the "Well Met!" of the LoL community
I'm not sure if it's my particular brand of humor, but a lot of players I encounter seem to get upset at me.
For example, playing support Brand, I was sharing my lane with an AD carry, playing Ezreal, named "Is That Scream."
So I asked what was on everyone's mind: Is that, in fact, Scream? I know, it takes courage to ask the hard questions, but I feel it's my duty as a reporter.
"Kill yourself," he responded.
Who says that the League of Legends community isn't a welcoming bunch? My boss Kyle Chatterson, playing jungle in that same game, tried to poke fun at the guy, offering to sacrifice himself instead. The verdict is still out on whether it was actually Scream.
Leveling sucks, matchmaking is worse
Throughout my journey, I have tried to preserve the sanctity of the LoL leveling experience. I want to see this journey through the eyes of a player that is new to the game, as I am.
I have played the occasional ARAM or URF, when available. But I have never attempted to powerlevel my account through purchased XP boosts or by playing 3v3.
That era may come to an end. Though I hit level 18, and have been using keystone masteries as a result, I still feel I'm at a significant disadvantage — especially since I seem to be matched routinely against Platinum-level players for some bizarre reason.
I spent 5 hours, 17 minutes and 10 seconds in-game getting from Level 18 to 19. It took 10 games — seven losses, two wins and one remake — to do it.This doesn't include queue time (substantial), dodges (frequent) and drafts (excruciatingly long).
Some of my friends have theorized that my account has been flagged as a smurf, but that makes no sense whatsoever. Several have tried to convince me to just buy the XP boost and power-level in Twisted Treeline. Though I don't want to, my patience is beginning to run thin.
Welcome to the League of Draven
In the midst of all this gloom, Draven was a sunburst of positivity for me.
"Welcome to the League of Draven," he said as I loaded into the game. The League of Draven seemed like a pretty awesome place, because Draven was really confident in his abilities and he had a sweet mustache and haircut.
Little did I know that The League of Draven is only as good as you make it.
I can catch the axes. I have enough mechanical skill to catch them. But rather than a martial arts grandmaster sprinting through a teahouse, flawlessly catching saucers, I'm more like a Three Stooges skit: I'm catching everything, but the result is a swaying, unstable accident waiting to happen.
Still, I will continue to play Draven, because I hope to one day be like Draven.
Finally, the last notable moment this week came from a high-spirited Kled player. He roleplayed the entire game as Kled, which mostly consisted of screaming "SKAAAAAARLL" at regular intervals.
What is this character even about? Why does he have his own theme music (and why doesn't Draven)? How can his mount seemingly generate a beneficial slipstream while moving at relatively low speeds?
No one seemed to be able to tell me what Kled does or why anyone would want to play him. But any character with their own theme music is something I can't shy away from.
You do you, Kled roleplayer. Godspeed.
The road so far
Stats to-date: 35-42 (45.5%) in normal modes
Top champions so far: Soraka (7-5), Braum (6-4), Alistar (4-3)
Favorite new champion of the week: Brand (1-3, some say the world will end in throws)
Champion I will promise to focus on but then probably forsake: Thresh
Throw of the week: Draven (ADC), 2/9/9
Only game I'm proud of this week: Soraka (Support), 0/3/21
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.