League of Legends

[Facetious] Left without All Chat, Toxic Players turn to High Art Forms for Emotional Release

Lewis Hamilton, 19, can be seen outside on his parent's front lawn most days of the week, working away on a large easel–a gift request for his 19th birthday, and a sudden departure from his usual asks for video games and subway gift cards.

"We're happy for him," Lewis's mother says. "Spending all that time on the Leagues of Legend was never healthy. It is almost like having our son back."

His parents know very little about how Lewis's calm state and his new hobby tie together.

"I, I call this one torment. You know?" Lewis prompts the interviewer to come close, and gestures to his newest work. It is a portrait of himself, wherein he is shrieking at the viewer. "The, uh, reds, how they kinda swirl up into my third eye? That represents the anguish I feel when my team fails to listen to me, despite me having the vision we need to win. And you can see like–so I put this hoard of gold behind me, because I was the king, the destined one to carry and win, but over time my horrible teammates eroded the game state. So you have me, me as this Ozymandias character? And the message, is this could happen to you too."

As Lewis slaves away on adding blue and gold accents to the piece (to represent his descent back into lower ranks), one can reportedly see the frustration leave his body.

He's not the only one. League players around the world have found a sudden, valuable interest in the arts after the departure of all chat.

Larry Kingman, 33, took a break from his interpretive dance routine to explain the phenomenon:

"You have a bad game, right? Team doesn't listen to calls. You lose a Baron fight, forty minutes of accruing a small advantage gone. You hop between these opulent challenger streams and your own terrible game condition, wondering where it all went wrong–that's a maddening question, so you take out your frustrations on all chat. Just type away insults, plead to get certain people punished for their transgressions, and afterward (if you played your cards right and used strong enough words) you'd be just calm enough to continue playing. But now? It's all up to other forms of creative self expression."

Larry dove into a routine: it started happy and spriggish, his feet flying about the dancing mat as his arms lifted up the sky in hopeful flourishes. Soon, however, you see the emotional stumbles of a bird with clipped wings: the dance here, simply titled Semiotics to a Rank 4, tells the story of how one man's inadequacy in off-roles caused him to lose his first promo series in a full month.

Art, dance, music, writing: the choices are plentiful to the angry League player hoping to exhaust their respective pits of existential dread. The emergent art genre, called Toxicism, is considered by the 'art scene' to be the next "evolution in meta, a reintroduction of 'Art as Release' into modern society.

"Picasso, Dali, Hemingway, Kahlo," Lewis explains, "they were all bereft of all chat. I get it now. All art everywhere is generated by people who were denied catharsis by society. They had to turn to these surreal visuals, these pathos-ridden masterpieces in order to escape the insults and all-caps outrage festering in their soul."

The first exposition showing off these works, League Made me this Way, is due to open later this week. Lewis will be presenting the never-before-seen Cat Allergies, which is a massive mural depicting, in fine painted detail, how much he dislikes the character Yuumi from the game.

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