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Tilt Proof - Part I

TILT PROOF – Part 1, Know what you are dealing with.

This first part aims at giving some education on the topic of TILT, starting by explaining what TILT is, followed by common triggers and reactions, all extrapolated by the study of Minerva wu et al.2021.

Major companies have created esports sections because gamers playing video games has become a popular spectator sport. In 2013 there are 532.1 million esports audiences worldwide (DemandeSage). However, those players experience something that has been labelled has TILT which cause them to lose the enjoyment of playing specific videogames with the ultimate results of quitting and therefore leaving this esports audience.

To counter this phenomenon is important to understand what TILT is and how to handle it. TILT has been defined in multiple ways (see table 1, Minerva wu et al.2021). Fundamentally most of the definitions provided by the players refers to what Minerva et al. referred as negative emotional reaction.

Table 1 – Definitions of TILT

Players are triggered by their teammates (36%) which include bad, trolling, not communicative teammates; others (22%) which include other people flaming or badmouthing, toxic players, and players using particular tactics like camping. Interestingly opponents were reported only in 2% of the answers from the players under the study above mentioned, meaning that most the tilt came from teammates or non-competitive players mostly; self (19%) including own frustration or disappointment with their performance (self-tilt); and losing (14%).

Knowing what TILT is and what triggers it is essential to create a strategy to react effectively. From the same article, the players who took part answered TILT by quitting the game (32%) before or after the end of the game as a way to self-regulate their emotional status; positive (25%) implying that the tilt allowed them to increase their cognitive capabilities and answer in a efficient way through the game utilising breathing technique, self-learning and cognitive behavioural tricks like smiling; negative (22%) by screaming, get mad, flame or smashing objects; neutral (18%) just accepting what was happening, like in a mindfulness modality.

Therefore, we can see that every player has a strategy to deal with TILT either by avoiding the problem by quitting, utilising some strategy (positive and negative) but still with the intent of increasing their performance or being neutral and letting it happen. Those players were also asked if they thought that they could change how easily they get tilted and the results were: yes (67%), maybe (21%) and no (12%). This displays that depending on every single individual, the perception of change might be different depending on their past experience and the tool they have to dealt with TILTING.

In summary, tilting has been defined by players in different ways; trigger and reaction are also very individual and therefore the coping strategies needed to be tailored depending on the individual experience.

Quick Reference list

eSports Statistics for 2023 (Trends, Facts & Insights)

Understanding Tilt in Esports: A Study on Young League of Legends Players


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