Tilt and How to Handle it

The term “tilt” was originally termed in higher-stakes gambling and eventually was transferred over to the world of esports. In poker, tilting essentially is the term to describe an altered mental state of confusion and frustration. In poker often results in a less than good game plan that results in less than good results.

Poker players in full tilt often become more aggressive players which in turn, can also result in less than good results. Tilt is usually caused by losing rounds and in turn losing money generally in succession, or at least, the player has been losing a lot more than they’ve been winning. 

Tilt in gaming is a closely related term, which can occur in every and any game that’s played competitively. It is usually triggered by losing a bunch of competitive games one after the next for an extended period of time OR facing a teeam in the competitive platform that is just absolutely steamrolling your team.

That’s when the altered mental state occurs known as tilt sets in. It can either happen to a single player or the entire team. Tilt in gaming affects the player’s state of mind and is known to drive the player to play harder or faster. HOWEVER, this is usually not the result. Tilt may cause the player to feel like they’re playing better, but often, the player is just playing more aggressively, but not necessarily better. In fact, as a result of tilt, the player often plays worse.

Tilt often causes the player to play more aggressive, not necessarily better. Because it causes stress and frustration, it can cause the effects on a player that are generally related to stress. Some of these symptoms are racing thoughts, cognitive disorganization, inability to focus, and poor judgement.

So basically, what all these things translate to in layman’s is that it causes a player to work harder, not smarter. Tilt can cause a player to forget map calls, rotations, counters, routes, and all the technical stuff that goes along with playing a game competitively.

Along with this, tilt can affect your muscle memory and reaction times, the inability to focus can cause you to lose easily winnable onae on ones. It can cause you to give up valuable lives and aggressively push toward an enemy instead of gaining a better point of strategic positioning. 

Another big point is that tilt works in a cycle and can progressively get worse. Consider the following: you’ve been playing for a while, losing games back to back, suddenly you’re tilted. It’s onlya going to get worse from there.

Once you get tilted and you keep losing games, you’ll only continue to get even more tilted and lose even more games. Your emotional state, your mental state will all suffer, leading you to decrease your performance.

How to Avoid Tilt

Basically, considering how bad some of the ranked playlists in games are, there’s probably no real way for someone to avoid tilt altogether. There’s always going to be that one team you go up against that absolutely punishes you, it’s almaost unavoidable, and it’s extremely frustrating.

However, you can’t let that match be the one that pushes you over the edge. You have to take games like that with a grain of salt. You can, of course, use games that you lose badly as a lesson. You can look at that game, and say to yourself “okay… what did we do wrong this game?” 

To really master a game though, you have to understand this and see when these kinds of things are happening. You have to have a brick-like mentality for these things and be smart enough to work against you tilt and not play directly intoa it.

Another way to avoid tilting is to realize when it’s happened. Everyone gets mad at a game; things happen in each match that can cause you to become tilted. If you let a game harm you mental over and over again, you’re just going to end up getting burned out on the game faster, and you might one day just end up quitting the game all together

As a competitive player, of course, you’re allowed to get mad at a game, but you can’t let it truly get to yoau. You have to understand how to curb your tilt and realize that’s getting tilted at the game is only going to cause you to get worse at it. 


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