Top three tips for surviving competitive gaming over the Holidays

Ho ho ho! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The kids are out of school, they’re using their brand new microphones from Fisher Price and they can stay up as late as they want. Wait a minute… This is awful. What a shame!

There’s many good reasons for excitement around Christmas.  But there’s also reasons to be far more afraid than around Halloween. So grab a cup of holiday cheer and let’s make sure you survive the holidays in the world of online competitive gaming.

To best aid you, we will list them in order of utmost importance.

1. Voice options

There’s a myriad of options for communication and audio as developers get better and better at accommodating for a wide array of hardware and the various needs of the customer base. Gone are the archaic ways of keyboard chatting in many games. While still operational, many prefer to use emotes, quick-chat and voice communication as an alternative.

You can use push-to-talk (PTT), voice activation, change your voice if you don’t like how your voice sounds, adjust volumes individually, and all in the game clients themselves. We’ve come a long way since Ventrilo.

You’re going to ignore all of these, turn it off. ALL OF IT.

Remember, the kids are out of school. As soon as you get fragged or feed the enemy jungler, you’re going to hear very creative and explicit things about your relatives. And you’re not going to be able to avoid it by staying up late or playing during school hours later.

Even if you get past the first roadblock of the kids not being punks, you’ll have to pray they have a serviceable microphone. And even if they have decent audio quality that doesn’t make you want to rip your ears off, you’re going to hear their aunt Sally, the dog Max, and their brother Billy yelling at Smash Brothers in the background. Not to mention you can pretend their disconnect is a technical issue rather than their mom demanding they come down for dinner. The possibilities are endless with your imagination. Just do yourself a favor and turn the voice chat off, yours and theirs.

2. Play with premades, or with bots. Nothing in between

Sometimes you just really want to play multiplayer games, and you can as long as you follow rule #1.  Rule #1 is sacred and shall not be broken over the holidays. Santa’s watching, and even if you’re not being naughty, you’re going to make him feel bad for you.

The bad about the holidays is the aforementioned loud, bad-mannered children, but as it’s the holidays, there’s a better chance your buddies are off work too.  If you can round up the gang to play as well.  So grab some egg-nog and candy canes, and enjoy your festive gaming session with buddies, otherwise you’re better off playing by yourself, but not solo queueing.

Either practice your aim or combos on bots, or sit in the Training Room and melt your hands with execution tests until you’re ready to play when things have calmed down again and everyone’s sane. If your friend invites you to duo queue in League of Legends or Dota 2, don’t do it. It’s a trap. There’s still three strangers. And you remember how you punched a hole in your wall last week and threw your mouse? It’s going to be even worse this week. Save yourself the trouble and don’t ruin those new peripherals Santa’s elves crafted for you.

3. Watch your favourite games and bet on Luckbox

Look, scrambled eggs and lettuce aren't going to bring you the joy of making an account on Luckbox. This holiday do what you do best besides playing esports: Watching esports.

Modern day television is for the birds, and when you’re in queue or eating Christmas cookies, time to make it more enjoyable. You can watch live streams, enjoy chat and make predictions at Luckbox.

Hopefully this extensive guide to surviving the holidays keeps you from turning into the Grinch. Have a wonderful holiday, stay safe out there, and remember: Santa is watching.