'Hearthstone': Becoming The Avatar Of Tilt

Inner Rage

“I’m done with Hearthstone," I tell myself for the seventh time today. Since queuing up for a few quick games this morning, I’ve fallen from rank seven to rank nine. I blame it on the cards not showing up when I need them and my opponents getting lucky. “My skill has nothing to do with it,” I make sure to remind myself. I’m better than those Pirate Warrior players who manage to find a perfect curve every game. N’zoth’s First Mate on turn one followed by Bloodsail Raider every single game is just unnatural.

After throwing my tablet against the wall and booting up my PC, I head to the collection screen to try and improve my deck situation. I’ve created a perfect Midrange Hunter; Alleycat into Crackling Razormaw just can’t be beat. I’ve got Hungry Crabs for those pesky Murloc Paladins running around and I’ve teched in a couple of Golakka Crawlers that have a taste for Pirate flesh. I’m ready to earn those points back and finally reach Legend, the rank I was destined to reach.

As I queue up for game one, I watch the match spinner quickly turn, hoping that just once it lands on “fiscally responsible mime” instead of “worthy opponent.” I see Malfurion pop up and an evil grimace moves across my face. “You bringing Jades to a dog fight,” I whisper, pretending I had the confidence to actually stream my games in front of people. The game starts out with a back and forth: I play Captain’s Parrot, he plays Wild Growth , I follow it up with a Kindly Grandmother and he drops Wrath. “He’s playing right into my trap,” I tell my non-existent audience.

Suddenly, he’s built up a board of Jade Golems with two Innervates and Mark Of The Lotus and he goes face. My hero portrait explodes and I lose another game. At this point, I’m foaming with rage, telling myself that I would’ve won if my stupid Nesting Roc hadn’t been sitting at the bottom of my deck. Blizzard is it out to get me; they know that if I got the right cards I’d win all my games and get invited to one of those giant Hearthstone tournaments in China.

After finally dropping to rank 10 -- where I can’t lose any more stars -- I realize I need to stop. I have become the avatar of tilt, needing to play another game that I’m convinced I’ll lose. Sometimes, you end up in this negative space and the only way out is to stop playing. Tilt is a serious sickness for gamers, one that can end up destroying your SR in Overwatch , LP in League of Legends or your belongings in real life.

“I’m done with Hearthstone, after this game,” I whisper as I press that play button one more time.

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