I was watching the recent video that Riot did with Cop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQHfiy2Xx2Y), and it got me thinking about how a lot of players had to have deal with hate throughout their careers. You think the hate would just stay specific to the game, such as things like; "hope this guy gets benched, this guy sucks all he does is feed, this guy is holding back his team, he just gets carried every game" things like that, right? Nope! They even go further, they comment on your physical appearance, your attitude and just about anything they can say about you when they really don't know a thing about you.
Now, the very first thing most people want to say in retaliation to the "hate" is to just deal with it. Yup, that's it! Just "deal with it" is the advice given to us by the community about the hateful messages they say to us. Now, go watch the Cop video again, before he was a pro player he said he was a bit introverted and didn't have very many friends. I'd imagine he isn't used to being shit on by a LARGE amount of people. It really is hard to ignore the things people say about you and to you, and it always will be. With the amount of interaction we do on twitter/reddit/facebook, it's hard to ignore if everywhere you go people are just tearing you apart. This had led to countless pro's retiring because they can't handle the stress that comes along with being a pro. People also try to compare us to sport pro's/celebrities, I'd imagine they get even more hate than us but the difference I see between myself and them, is that the majority of them make 10x more money than us and don't interact on social media as much as we do. It's much easier to ignore people telling you to kill yourself with your net worth is millions compared to someone who doesn't even have six digits.
The real thing that gets me though is, why are we taught that we should not care about the people that tell us we're shit/the racist/derogatory hate/being told we should kill ourselves instead of teaching people they shouldn't say that? I'm perfectly fine with people critiquing play; such as saying X needs to work on mechanics/champ pool/map awareness/what ever. However there are a lot of personal attacks that aren't necessary and I think those are the one that get to pros the most.
I have a lot of respect for pro players that have been around for a while but haven't really had a ton of success, it's likely they've received a lot of hate/negativity and for them to persevere through that on top of inner team turmoil, takes a lot to do and is definitely something that isn't easy to do. When you're winning, you don't nearly receive as much negativity and even if you do, you can look at your record/score and push away what others say since you're winning. Losing however is an entirely different story.
Now, don't get me wrong. There are always two sides to a story, and luckily I think the good side can outweigh the bad in this situation. For every negative comment a pro player gets, it's likely they get an equal amount of good comments, it's just negativity sticks more than positivity does. However, we still get to live a more luxurious life style than most our age and have fans all around the world that adore us. I've gotten gifts from fans from all over the place, NYC/Korea/Singapore/Germany/Poland/SoCal/NorCal/Texas/everywhere I've traveled. It really is a great feeling for people to look up to you, they tell you how you motivated them out of their depression or how you gave them the courage to do something they never would have. You get so many stories from strangers telling you about their life and how you changed it for the better by doing nothing more than being who you are. A lot of the things in my room are from fans and I can remember where I've received every single one, some more than others granted but they are special to me. So, to the people who go out of their way to tell us; nice things, or to give us things, or to tell us stories about how much we mean to them, I really want to say thank you and I'm pretty sure I can speak for most players when I say we appreciate you guys.
I guess all I'm trying to say is that even though there are negative aspects to being a pro player and interacting with the community, I hope other pros try their best to look at the positives and focus on those. It's okay to feel weak at times as long as you can bounce back or find someone on your team that can support you when you're down. Just remember, it's very likely that you have more fans that like you than people who hate you. Hopefully the community will do their best as well, to limit their comments about us to solely just the game and keep hateful things out.
I wish I was better at writing so that I would be able to express myself better, and I may have missed some points, but I hope this gets people thinking about the topic at least.