It was dark at night and in my head I could only think about writing my next article.
While coming back home on the bus, I was framing and polishing ideas in my head about all technical details that I’ve been thinking about during the whole 101 bus route.
When I enter my apartment I find myself with a friend of mine that I know for a long time, and though lastly we’ve having issues, we’ve also seen to be seeing each other more frequently.
As it was already usual, with great excitement she got up from wherever she was waiting and exclaimed “You came! Let’s eat something and later we can play LoL”.
Hearing this, another part of my bran was whispering in a calm and tone of wisdom: “Remember to take note of all the ideas you’ve been thinking so you can later write on Medium before you forget them”.
“Hmm, the ever ending dilemma” I thought.
Should I choose something that in the long term will fulfill me more but it requires certain cognitive effort?
Or should I go for instant gratification and more importantly, also avoid the conflict with her that I want to do more things that just playing LoL?
I’ll take the easy route this time.
I say yes, let’s play and I think to myself “after a few matches I can still write my ideas down”.
Throughout the years, while we played LoL, we met a lot of exciting people. Some strangers added us as friends and invited us to join their teams. We won and lost so a lot of matches and shared countless stories. All while learning more about the game and sometimes playing music.
That night we recalled how on our first year at University a girl with whom we shared Calculus I, gave us our first skin for free and how Vayne became our Main for that very same reason.
It was quite cute to see couples playing LoL together. Sometimes they even changed their names, so they would complement each others’.
Another thing that came to our minds is when we met Tom and that over time he ended up at the same University that we were studying at! After that we became friends not only in the virtual world but also the real one.
-“And what do you have to say about when we started playing with Nico started playing ranked matches and used to drink a glass of wine as a ritual?” She said smiling.
A big laugh burst out of me.
-“Oh yes, the first few matches with Aniki”
When we played with Aniki, we invented our own rituals, just like football players before a big match (after all LoL is also a sport, Right?), we devoured any info and videos we found on the Internet before the match. When the match started we were so afraid of losing but luckily a random stranger started to say to relax and to play as usual.
We’d have just finished our third match. It was still dark outside but a few hours have already been gone.
-“Let’s go to sleep”
Or at least that’s what I understood. She was yawing so much it was hard to tell.
I have to admit that it was quite tempting the idea of going to bed but what about the ideas that I have to write down to continue with the article I’ve been wanting to write?
As usual, I said to myself “Nah, I’ll do it tomorrow”.
Maybe it was all the nostalgia that was unraveled with the memories of that girl giving us that first skin, maybe it was because of Tom or Nico, but for some reason I started imagining what our lives would look like if we continued this lifestyle of replacing the thing that we wanted to do by playing LoL, like we regularly did with her.
We could start and invest more time in the game and climb the ladder. We played a modest amount of time, and we were Platinum V, with a methodical schedule we could certainly be, at least, Diamond V like Nico and Tom.
Moreover, Nico had already told us to join a tournament and now that LoL had University tournaments, maybe we could join the UTN team if we really put our things together.
And we could stream! It’s the dream of many gamers; having their own channel on Twitch or YouTube and make a living out of it.
What about the rest of my life? My friends, the events I’m involved and other things that I want to pursue in life as well? Would they all become secondary goals?
It would be easier to be a cat. They sleep most of the day, and they don’t have existential dilemmas. However, after a while I imagine I’d get bored with resting so much and having the same menu for every meal.
Better not, I don’t want to be a cat. What a gift it’s to be human.
No, I can’t sacrifice the rest of things I want to accomplish for a game. It doesn’t matter how sexy it sounds the idea of becoming a streamer of LoL or be a participant on a tournament.
The fact that I could do it, doesn’t mean that I have to.
Maybe I should stop playing LoL, so I can’t be convinced so easily by her when she tries to persuade me and I start to prioritize other project hat are more fascinating.
-“I want to stop playing LoL” I told her, trying to emanate confidence in what I was saying.
-“Hmm… What?” was her sleepy reply.
She almost fell asleep, so I repeated the sentence, this time with more certainty about the whole idea. I also commented her the reasons I thought we should focus on other things and how this will not fulfill me as a person in the long run.
There was an awkward silence for a few minutes.
When the tension was interrupted, she said she didn’t really like the idea much but that it was the best for the two of us and that we could certainly do many more interesting things together and that it’d be awesome to support each other in their own personal projects as well.
I was so happy of knowing that we finally could give a step forward together.
We though about uninstalling League of Legends. However, we knew that that wasn’t going to be enough. Every time we wanted to play we could just reinstall it. We needed a more drastic alternative.
I introduced to her the idea of “Burning the ships” and the philosophy behind it, and although somewhat reluctant, she accepted to apply it to our case.
Burning the ships
Burn The Ship was born from an idea that originated in 1519. That year, Hernán Cortés set sail to Veracruz, Mexico with his crew. Upon arrival, Cortés’ men became weary and scared, with hopes of turning back home to their old life.
As legend has it, Cortez had the men burn their ships, leaving no option but to press on! Their ability to retreat to their previous way of life was gone; their safety net had been removed.
The burning of those ships represented much more than a separation from old ways. The same fire that set the ships ablaze also allowed Cortés men to complete their mission and be a part of something greater than themselves.
Now it was our time to “burn our boats” so we decided to open a support ticket.
But not without saying thank you to all that made our experience in LoL a more vivid one. Many of them received a free skin for this reason.
It was quite funny to see the confusion in the people that we only played one match, and they received a skin. They would later talk us on Discord asking who were we. When in reality all we were doing was giving something back because of the amount of generosity they carried as a person.
I’d like to know if it is possible to delete my account permanently.
The Riot Games Support staff were incredibly polite. With that being said I found it curious that three different members asked me whether I was sure of what I was asking:
Translation: “When you delete an account, we’ll delete all your information of our data base. The account will cease to exist and you won’t be able to access it again. This is an irreversible process, so I suggest you think it through very well because it will lose all the content and any records of it.”
Translation: “This process can take up to 1 month. After it is deleted, it won’t be able to restore it, so we suggest you to be completely sure about your decision if you want to proceed”.
Translation: “PS: think it twice man, you bought a lot of RP (virtual currency) on the account. Maybe some day you’ll want to use its content. If you change your opinion and decide to only deactivate the account, let me know as soon as possible :)”.
So in our last contact we offered some clarifications.
Thank you for flagging my account for permanent deletion.
And also thanks for making sure I was confident about my decision, so I don’t regret it :)
I’ve had incredible moments inside LoL, with friends and also with complete strangers.
The reason why I delete my account is not because of trolls, AFKs nor because any complaint about the game.
Quite the opposite.
LoL is such a beautiful community that it opaques the rest of things I want to achieve in my life.
Instead of working on my dreams to become true, it is easier and more pleasant in the short term to pick Xayah or Nami and carry (or not) some matches.
However, I know that if I don’t delete my account. Year after year, little by little, I’ll choose LoL over other things and that with them, my dreams will slowly die like when you get hit with Darius’ passive.
That’s why I decide to leave The Summoner’s Rift.
Keep on being an incredible community,
Thank you so much, LoL
And this was the answer:
“Woooow, thank you for the explanation!
You are a strong person and I personally believe you have chosen the right path if you want to pursue your dreams. Hopefully some day you achieve many of them and could take a break for yourself and while enjoying it, return to play another match here and there.
The first time we happened to have some free time again, it felt weird. We grew into playing LoL regularly that we had to start to think about alternatives on how we were going to spend the time that we used to use for playing. As the first suggestion from her, Netflix popped up.
Aaand we are back to the same thing. If we stop playing LoL to start watching Netflix, it would be leaving “entertainment, meeting friends online and chances of growing in-game” for “just entertainment”. It was a downwards move in this stairway of growth that we decided to start climbing.
That’s why we also decided to shut down Netflix.
At the time of writing this article, a month has already passed. LoL has already removed the LoL account without any chance of getting it back. Netflix’s subscription expired and our lives have been simpler and better ever since.
Particularly because I believe we are more aware.
More aware of the decision we take, how we invest our time. With whom do we want to share our existence and what new projects do we want to take on, which one to follow and which one to end.
Such powerful tools of distractions such as LoL or Netflix are not available to us anymore. They used to allowed escaping from all the effort all those things take. In the long run, we are better without them.
The following image is from a Ted Talk with Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator.
Each box represents a week in 90-years-old life.
Having in mind that we have already lived many years already, all the boxes remaining boxes aren’t that many.
In our case, the two of us used many boxes in LoL.
We could have been connecting with other people in much more personal ways, narrating stories along them and getting to know their stories as well.
We all have something that makes us interesting, and it’s great to expose it.
However, what is extraordinary is to discover these things in other people and letting them know how unique they are.
I’d prefer using my boxes with great friends and strange people, organizing events and giving many more talks. Traveling, creating new things and improving existing ones. Laughing, kissing, singing, dancing.
Making things that fulfill me and make me happy. Whether my partner in all this journey, the comfort, likes it or not.
More than a year has passed since I left both Netflix and LoL.
I can honestly say it was a rich experience and that it was more than worth it to do it.
The feeling of saying no to two things that were so entangled in my routine for so long, it’s liberating.
Thanks to it, I know what it is to prioritize the things I want to achieve and say no to those things that doesn’t pick my interest.