One of the definitions of the word “addict” is “a person with an uncontrolled compulsion to continue engaging in an activity despite suffering negative personal or professional consequences”.
But this sentence also describes half of the League of Legends community. So if you’re already recognizing signs of addiction in yourself AND want to stop it, you’ve come to the right place.
Take it from a fellow LoL addict – League of Legends is a more sneaky addiction than people think so. It took me around 10 years to realize that I’m actually just addicted to playing this game and I was sacrificing my real life for more games and more LP.
Before admitting the truth to myself, I used to take breaks from League of Legends but they were never permanent. I kept coming to the game even after months and months of not playing it.
For example, my friend would message me asking how I’m doing. Soon the conversation turns to the good old times when we outplayed everyone in League. Next, we’d download LoL to play just a few games and have fun. And then we’re grinding to Challenger for 12 hours on end.
If you’re in this vicious cycle of uninstalling League of Legends only to download it again and continue playing despite feeling pretty negative about it while all of your real-life responsibilities are neglected, even your health, I’m seriously hoping you’d take the steps below.
These steps are my personal journey to breaking free from a League of Legends addiction that has lasted for a very long time. So use them to help yourself as well, my friend.
And if you want to know why League of Legends is so addicting to us, read my post here.
Step 1: Acknowledge and Accept the Problem
Acknowledging and accepting that you have a League of Legends addiction is the critical first step toward breaking free.
You must be honest with yourself about the impact LoL has on your life, relationships, and overall mental and physical health. By doing so, you’re taking ownership of your situation and are ready to make a real change.
I know it can be painful, but think hard about the effects your addiction to LoL has on various areas of your life. You must recognize the negative side of it and the consequences that follow it. Only then you can fully understand the problem and feel the need to change.
Are you neglecting your responsibilities at work or school? Are your relationships suffering due to excessive grinding ranked games? Are you having physical or mental health issues as a result of ignoring your body’s needs?
If you come to terms that your gaming habits have become more of a problem than an enjoyment, by extension you’d want to change that.
But be mindful here, accepting that you’re a League of Legends addict does not mean self-condemnation. You shouldn’t blame yourself too harshly and destroy any hope you had for changing your life.
Remember, League of Legends (and every other video game) uses clear and precise factors to trigger addiction in all of us. Some of these are the ranked system, the rewards system, the opening of loot boxes, the collecting of skins, and so on.
So just accept that you’re in this situation so the real work can start.
Step 2: Set Clear Goals and Intentions
The best way to break free from any addiction is to start small and set clear goals. This will give you a sense of direction, and motivation, but also a roadmap of what you need to do. These goals should be specific, measurable, and most importantly – achievable.
First, start by defining your ultimate goal – a happy life without League of Legends. What would that life look like? Describe it vividly in your mind or on a piece of paper.
Then break down your main goal into smaller, manageable steps. For example, instead of quitting League altogether, set specific hours for playing it each day or week. Put some boundaries and promise yourself that you won’t play in the morning if your schedule says you can play in the evening. And try to not break these boundaries.
Once you can trust yourself to have some control around League of Legends (be wary here, this is not being “clean” from the addiction and believing so can suck you right in at any moment), you can set even bigger goals, like uninstalling LoL and filling those hours with another video game that you don’t have a big emotional connection with.
If you keep setting goals like these and actually completing them, you’ll rebuild your trust in yourself and you’ll be ready to quit League for good.
Here’s what I did as a frame of reference.
After setting my ultimate goal, my first small step was to adopt a new hobby. I figured if I’m doing something else, I’d have less time to play League. This worked well and I ended up only playing LoL at night.
After a few weeks of doing this, I uninstalled the game and download Apex Legends instead. I was never a big FPS player so Apex didn’t engage me emotionally like LoL. And although it was fun, it took me a few more weeks before I decided that spending time with my friends outside was more enjoyable than gaming.
Step 3: Create a Support Network
Perhaps the most helpful thing any addict can have is a supportive group of friends and family members. Surrounding yourself with people who understand you and accept you can encourage you to make that important change in your life.
So reach out to friends and loved ones, or even strangers on the internet who’re working toward being free from League of Legends. Talk about your situation and explain your desires. Share your goals and progress with them too.
If you don’t have such people in real life, I suggest you join an online community. There are forums and subreddits filled with people helping each other overcome their League of Legends addiction. They can give you advice and help you stay on track.
There’s always the option of seeking professional help. And truthfully, a therapist can help you a lot if you’re an addict. But I’d leave that as a final step in case nothing else works.
In my own experience, simply hanging around people that don’t play League of Legends was the most helpful thing I ever did. When you’re engaged in other activities you forget about LoL completely. And over time, it loses its importance.
So friends can help you break free!
Read Also: How to Sell Your League of Legends Account?
Step 4: Establish Boundaries and Limitations
I already explained the importance of setting smaller and achievable goals. But limiting League of Legends to only a few hours a day instead of uninstalling it right away will prevent you from relapsing and downloading it again in the future.
First, define how long you will allow yourself to play LoL. For example, if that’s 3 hours a day and you can fit them between 18:00 PM to 21:00 PM, stick to that schedule. And if you feel the need to play the game earlier than that, don’t allow yourself to do so.
Similarly, if your friends call you to play at 13:00 PM, explain your situation to them. If you know they won’t understand you, lie to them and tell them you have to do something else. It’s important to not break your trust in yourself.
One thing that helps a lot is to have a designated gaming area. So if you have a space in your home where you work or study during the day, don’t use that same space for playing League. It can be distracting when you’re not gaming, so it’s best to do it elsewhere.
Committing to your limit for playing League is more than crucial. Remember, the less you play LoL, the less you want to play it. But if you play the game for 12 hours every day, it’s unavoidable to want to play it the next morning too. So keep that in mind.
Step 5: Find Alternative Activities
Here’s where finding other hobbies, preferably ones that aren’t related to gaming, comes into play.
If you are going to play less League or not at all, you must replace it with other activities. But the key part is to find healthy activities that don’t make you want to play LoL. And the best way to go about it is to ask yourself what you want to do.
Engaging in new hobbies and exploring your interests can help you fill that void inside and even discover new sources of joy and fulfillment.
So what should you do exactly? Well, there are countless outdoor and indoor activities. Perhaps you’d enjoy reading books, learning a musical instrument or painting. And perhaps you’ll like hiking, playing sports, or going to the gym even more. The choice is ultimately yours.
Another key component here is the social aspect of these hobbies. As long as your interacting with people that keep you engaged, you’re moving in the right direction.
That’s why it’s a good idea to join clubs and enter a group of friends that enjoy your new hobby. Being among like-minded individuals helps you achieve a sense of belonging outside of the gaming world.
So experiment with various activities and be open to trying new things. Not every activity will be for you, life’s all about exploration. Don’t be a one-dimensional person.
Step 6: Practice Self-Care
Practicing self-care is crucial for leading a healthy life but especially when trying to break free from a League of Legends addiction. It involves prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and engaging in activities that promote self-nurturing and stress reduction.
So engage in regular exercise, eat nutritious meals, get sufficient sleep, and maintain a healthy balance between work, play, and rest. You should explore relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and even yoga, getting a massage, or sitting in the sauna.
I know some of these activities won’t be for everyone, but you can choose which one you want to do. Remember, taking care of yourself like this will help you cope with cravings and maintain your inner calm.
Another component of self-care is positive self-talk. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, especially during challenging moments. Replace self-criticism with self-encouragement and remind yourself of your progress and the effort you are putting into your recovery. Remind yourself what you’re working toward.
Personally, I’ve found that music influences me greatly. When I listen to up-beat, happy, and uplifting music (alternative indie rock, for example) my mood is improved and I want to do real-life activities instead of playing LoL.
So perhaps it can help you the same way.
Step 7: Remove Triggers and Temptations
Identifying and removing triggers and temptations associated with League of Legends is SUPER IMPORTANT for breaking free from the addiction. You need to minimize your exposure to League-related things to create a supportive environment for your recovery.
For instance, once you uninstall League of Legends for good, also remove the Twitch app from your phone so you aren’t tempted to watch LCS when it comes on. You should do the same with the LoL subreddit and any other community you might be a part of.
Unfollow any social media account that gives you LoL clips to watch and makes you want to play. Replace gaming-related content or media consumption with alternatives that support your progress. Read books, watch movies, and learn new things as a substitute for scrolling.
Additionally, ask your friends to stop inviting you to play LoL with them. This was a big thing for me since my friends were a big reason why I kept coming to League. And it’s way smarter to simply explain to them that you no longer want to play and that they should do you a favor by not asking you to log back in.
And another way of removing potential triggers that can suck you back into League is to spend more time outside. It sounds simple, but if you spend your day away from your PC, you are significantly less likely to relapse and play LoL again.
Step 8: Develop a Routine
Having a structured daily routine can help you regain a sense of control and purpose as well as make you more productive. A schedule helps you manage your time better and gives you a framework of what you can achieve each day.
So if you haven’t done already, create a schedule around your work/study, personal hobbies, socializing, self-care, and rest. Plan your days in advance and outline specific goals you want to accomplish each day.
Having a tight structure like this not only allows you to achieve more but also removes idle time that you’d normally spend on scrolling social media or playing games.
There are many different ways to create a schedule. There are thousands of apps out there as well as techniques that you can follow. So just find the one that works for you and stick to it.
The important thing is that your daily routine should keep you motivated and should definitely not be a burden on you so you’ll want to replace it with League of Legends.
A good approach is to balance your day with hard work and activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Yes, you should work/study, but you should also read a book or spend some quality time with your friends and family. This is key!
For example, you can dedicate your mornings to your work or school. After that, you can exercise and build your body. And at night you can work on your new hobbies. But you can shuffle these around and see what works for you.
Step 9: Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness goes hand in hand with practicing self-care and it’s an important step you need to take. It’s a powerful tool for dealing with stress and especially addiction with League.
Basically, mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, seeing reality without judgment, being aware of what you have in front of you, and feeling thankful for being alive.
It sounds funny, but you live in a space rock that travels through an infinite universe that might be empty. And if you think about it, even you don’t really believe you were put on this world to just play League. You’re here to experience life as much as you can, aren’t you?
Developing a mindset like this undoubtedly makes you more distanced from League of Legends and your addiction. Remind yourself every day what’s really important for you in this life and whether gaming fits that frame.
Doing mindfulness properly will give you a sense of clarity and focus. It can regulate your emotions and restore you back on the right track. So be compassionate but honest with yourself.
And like I said above, be a complex person with rich experiences rather than a one-dimension character that only has LoL in his life.
Step 10: Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you find it extremely challenging to break free from your League of Legends addiction despite your best efforts, seeking professional help should be your next step.
Addiction specialists, therapists, or counselors can offer expert insights, customized strategies, and a safe space to explore the underlying causes of your addiction. This you can identify any psychological or emotional factors that contribute to your addiction.
Professional help can be found in addiction treatment centers, counseling services, or support groups that specialize in gaming addiction. There are websites on the internet that offer online guidance for gaming addicts, so they might be the right choice for you.
I must say that I’ve never had professional help for my League of Legends addiction. I have a great group of friends and a wife that understood my situation. But if you feel like you need that, definitely check it out.
Not all people are the same and not all League players become addicts.
Take my wife for an example. She can play League of Legends for an entire day without stopping. But the next morning she’s perfectly ready for work and won’t even think about the game for a single second.
I’m not like that. Even after a huge break, one match of League of Legends is enough to suck me in. I get consumed by it. I want to play all day and I can’t stop thinking about it.
So if you’re like me, I really recommend you give those 10 steps a chance, especially if you’ve tried and failed before. Take action towards recovery and enjoy your journey. Talking from experience, it’s a very freeing one.
Remember, giving up League of Legends won’t be easy, especially if you’ve been playing it for years and years like me. But it’s doable and can give you a more enjoyable and fulfilling life.