Across all forms of professional and competitive sports, the rules of engagement are governed by strict codes of etiquette, with each rule designed to minimize disruption and ensure good sportsmanship on all sides.
The same is equally true in the world of eSports, which regularly convenes top video gaming tournaments with prize money equal to anything you would find at Wimbledon, UEFA, or Formula One.
Whether you are looking to play Dota II at a global championship or are starting out with competitive MMO fixtures, you need to know your etiquette. Here are the essential rules to abide by to be a good sport, have fun, and get ahead.
Banter, without rudeness
This one is probably the most important to remember. Banter and joking around with teammates and opponents is fine. Rudeness and cruelty are not. If you cannot understand the difference between the two, just mute yourself.
Breaking the community guidelines of any eSports game by being nasty to another player can and will result in a lifetime ban, so keep it civil. The insider eSports news at Win.gg provides regular updates from the eSports communities with the worst reputations for this kind of behavior (namely Dota II and League) and the consequences for those that indulge in it.
Never, ever cheat
This one might seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Cheating in eSports is about more than simply finding a hack or code that will give you a competitive advantage. As this geekinsider.com guide explains, cheating takes many, often surprising forms and has serious consequences for any gamer thought to be engaging in it. Play honestly and keep it clean at all times.
Give newbies a fighting chance
There is nothing more annoying than the gamer who gets his kicks from giving new players a hard time. It does not make you look cool if you keep on killing new players before they have a chance to find their bearings. Give them some space and pick on somebody your own size, as anything else is just poor sportsmanship.
Don’t spam the chat
It is a very common tactic for trolls to spam MMO group chats with loud noises or repetitive messages, especially if chatting with the opposing team is possible (as it is in League of Legends). Even if you think you have something important to say, do not spam the chat. Think about what you wish to share before you bombard the chat, as many games automatically ban users that the algorithm thinks is spamming the chat function. According to pcgamer.com, millions of accounts get banned for reasons like this every year.
Be a good loser
Finally, do not forget the importance of being a good loser. No one likes a sore loser, much less a sore winner. Whatever the outcome, accept it graciously and do not surrender to bitterness, pettiness, or smugness. You would not appreciate it if you were treated poorly by the victor, so do not stoop to such behavior. This will keep your gaming sessions fun and lighthearted, as they should be.
By following these incredibly simple, commonsense steps, you can embody the perfect eSports etiquette and make more friends and alliances along the way.