There have been quite a few threads on here lately essentially asking the question "how do I defend myself from verbal abuse of my teammates without getting punished for flaming?" It's a valid question and I think it's important to know how to conduct ourselves in a manner that is assertive without leaving us open to reports. Before we get started though I'd like to point out that, logically speaking, you don't need to say anything at all. Chances are you won't ever see the people you are playing with ever again (unless you are in Master league or above) so there is no real need to prove yourself to your teammates, or assert any kind of dominance over them. It doesn't matter if they think you are a pathetic loser because once the match is over, you won't interact with them ever again, so who the hell cares what they think?
That all said, if you still feel the need to defend yourself against people who know nothing about you and will never see you again, there are ways of doing it without incurring the wrath of Riot.
**1. Take a moment to think before replying.** It's very tempting to type the very first thing that pops into your head when someone starts flaming you, but chances are those first thoughts are going to get you into trouble. So, take a moment to breath and consider what you are going to say, if you even need to say anything at all.
**2. State the facts, without blaming others. ** Here's a very common scenario. A jungler decides to invade the enemy jungle when their laners are either in the base or stuck farming under the turret. The jungler gets collapsed on by the enemy team and then blames his teammates for not helping him. How would you respond to this? Would you say something along the lines of:
A. "that's your fault for invading."
B. "I was in base when you invaded."
Which do you think is more likely to cause a flame war? Assigning blame isn't going to solve anything so why play the blame game to begin with? Here's another common scenario. Your adc is 0/5 and does literally no damage. You want to communicate this to your teammates. Do you say:
A. "our adc deals no damage, so useless."
B. "our adc is quite far behind right now, we can't fight yet"
The first comes across as accusing and insulting to the adc, who could be behind through no fault of their own. The second states a simple fact without any blaming involved. Yes you are saying the same thing in both A and B, but the attitude is totally different.
**3. Offer solutions to the problem. ** This is a hard one, especially since some problems have no ideal solution. In the above example we had an adc who is behind, meaning you will probably lose a 5v5 teamfight. So instead of just explaining the problem, offer a solution to the problem. For example:
"Our adc is quite far behind right now, we need to sit back play defensive until they get more items"
Again, no blaming, no accusing, just stating a fact and offering a viable solution to the problem.
**4. Own up to your mistakes.** This can be very hard for some people, but it's important. If you screw up, own up to it, even if it's a simple "my bad" or "woops" that is better than nothing.
**5. Learn when to mute someone.** Some people simply can't be reasoned with, no matter what you say to them. They will always have an argument up their sleeve and will go to the ends of the earth to prove they are right, even if it means losing the match. These are the people you want to identify and mute because if you don't, they will drag you into a pointless flame war.
I think that will do for now. If I have anything else to add, or if anyone else has something to add, I will edit this. Hopefully this will help some of you to be less toxic in the chat.
EDIT: Just wanted to add a couple of things here of what NOT to do -
**1. Don't ask players to report someone.** It doesn't matter what someone said or did to you in-game, asking for a report is against the rules and is likely to get you in trouble. Riot doesn't care about context on this, so you have been warned!
**2. Don't flame back!** There is a big difference between defending yourself and counter-flaming. Defending yourself is fine, counter-flaming isn't. Again, it doesn't matter to Riot what someone said or did to you, if you counter-flame you are just as guilty in Riot's eyes as the person to flamed you to begin with.