There are several facets to this:
These games are both big and deep enough that, nobody knows everything there is to know; at lower levels, that means that players may not know perfectly their hero combos, or how the camps work on a certain map. As you progress, basics become a given, and more advanced notions and techniques enter the picture. At certain levels, some things become necessary to win games, so they turn into “basics”.
“Competent” means to you a different thing that it does to another person:
- if your skill level is about the same, you may know about the same amount of things, but with limited overlapping (e.g. you play the same hero over and over and are really proficient with it, whereas another player has a more shallow, but wider body of knowledge on heroes)
- if your skill level is different, they may know more things than you do, although it is still not a given that they know everything that you do.
There is a negative bias, so mistakes made by others are spotted more easily than one’s own, and a higher (negative) value/stigma is assigned to such mistakes.
And that is, IF they can spot their mistakes: many of the things you don’t know, you don’t know that you don’t, and won’t realize a mistake as such.
Some go toxic because they see others’ mistakes, but not their own, and that’s where Dunning-Kruger enter the picture - they assume since you don’t know certain things they do, then you must be an inferior player. And they blame it on you if things go badly, or the match is lost.
Take this match, for instance:
Two players went toxic and started blaming the team. Guess which ones they are? right, the two at the bottom. As you can easily see, their death count is nothing short of embarrassing, and their KDA ratios mark them as liabilities; what can’t be seen, in that screenshot, is that Nova is level 15, and yet producing a KDA that is close to 1.
While I don’t play Nova anywhere as much, and certainly can’t call myself a great player in general, my average KDR with it is 7.3, and 3 deaths on average.
I tried to reason with them: the reply was “we have a high death count because we’re trying to win the match, whereas you slackers are just running away” (!).
You have two people who either don’t know that, by dying repeatedly, they’re feeding the opponents, creating a level gap that leads to the game being more difficult for the whole team.
Or, two people who are frustrated by their dying repeatedly, and are blaming others as a pressure release mechanism.
Cherry on top: do you see the Artanis that fared better than both? it’s a bot, taking over from a leaver.
But you can: whenever you spot good players invite them to a party and add them as friends if the impression was right. That will give you:
- better matches
- an XP bonus
- possibly, a chance to affect team composition