After a losing streak that went on and on, it was sort of inevitable that our team wasn't going to work. While I'm certain that everyone involved has their own explanation for what wrong, and that the truth is probably somewhere between all of our views, I'll say this - it's made me think about team play a fair bit in the game. I believe that the cause of our failure was a lack of strategy; we approached each game with no plan, there was an unwillingness both to give and receive orders and, on the occasions that we did win games, it was due to the other team making costly mistakes. This isn't to say that, as individuals, we played badly - everyone on the team was competent at their role. There just wasn't somebody steering the ship, so to speak, nobody was able to settle on goals and get people to work towards them.
Personally, part of the problem is that I enjoy playing the support role, which means that I only get a satisfying feeling about a game when we play as a team. There's no passive farming role to fall back on, you've got to be aware of what the team is doing and then trying your hardest to make that work. If the team plan is nonexistent, then you're pretty stuffed. If there are no expectations about what the exact role you're playing should be doing, every decision is wrong - you roam, your carry complains that he's vulnerable. You babysit the carry, the other lanes complain about a lack of help. You ward aggressively because you want to go into the jungle to stop the other team farming it, but the team won't go in. You ward up your own jungle to protect it, and they go to farm the lanes. This is why the two people calling for more planning and coordination were the two support players.
I also ran into the issue of "fun". In a team game, playing as a team is the thing I find fun. I love playing games where we are aggressive, where we take the initiative, where we force the other team to react to what we're doing. I would rather play an active game than a passive one, even if we lose. Considering that the passive sort of play leads us to lose tower after tower, giving up map control until finally the other team wins, the strategy of "no plan" was an odd one to cling on to. It's difficult, because when you start playing this game, you can rely on costly mistakes occurring. You don't need to have a plan to win, you just had to focus on your own game so you didn't fail. Victory would fall into your lap. Now we're all out of the newbie pool, now we're wanting to play as an actual team, we struggled to get anywhere in our games. I know that people are going to find the idea of one person being a captain, making calls and having a strategy to win not compatible with their idea of fun, and that's fine - but it's what team games require.
I'm relieved and sad in almost equal measure that the team's finished. Every game we played left me feeling frustrated, even when we won, because of that lack of planning - and the strange amount of resistance to the idea that we should be planning in the first place. I know that I said some things in the final post-game discussion that annoyed people tonight, and I'll have to spend some time mending bridges there. I'm hoping that I can, at some point, try putting together a team of like-minded people and have a proper try at team games.