Chasing the Adrenaline

There’s a unique high that you get when you compete on stage in front of a crowd.

That adrenaline rush you get from playing on stage, there’s no feeling like it in the world.

When I made the switch to competitive Dota 2, I adopted the dream most competitive players have – attending The International and lifting the Aegis of Champions.

But for me, I’m also constantly chasing another goal, the goal of achieving glory in front of a live crowd.

I was steps away from achieving that goal at The Kuala Lumpur Major and now I’m more determined than ever to make that goal a reality.

My switch from Heroes of Newerth to Dota 2 came at a steep price. I gave up being one of the top players in the world in my field to play a game that I had little experience in.

As soon as I started playing, I immediately started to compare myself to better players. I knew I was not as strategically good as other professional players and that realization was haunting.

I didn’t kid myself into thinking I was the best player in Dota 2 but, instead of doubting myself, I focused on gaining more experience and overcoming any lingering doubts I might have about my skill level. It’s important to me to focus on the future and to keep moving forwards – being a part of Alliance has really helped me to do that.

Joining Alliance has helped me to orientate myself towards growing together as a team whilst also developing my individual skills. The motivation I get from my teammates helps propel me forward and encourages my own individual growth.

Everyone on the teams knows that we haven’t reached our full potential yet and that only motivates us to get better. As a game, Dota 2 forces you to not only think about how successful you are individually but it also how successfully your teammates are performing around you.

Heroes of Newerth was different – the emphasis was on the individual and how well you performed in relation to everyone else; the game was less about strategy and more about individual performance. By contrast, you have to be more careful and play more around your team in Dota 2 and that’s where I accept that I have struggled.

I’m not great at making decisions that will benefit the team as a whole and because of that, I’m focusing on improving this aspect of my game. A lot of my growth so far has come from better team communication; I’ve worked hard at responding to team fights and learning how to better communicate with my teammates about what I need.

As I grow, our team gets better and that, with time, can only lead to success.

Everything you do comes down to how you approach the game. Your mindset is integral to your success and the team’s success but keeping a clear and confident mindset is hard when you play against players who are from different regions who have different play-styles.

A problem we have as a team, but for me especially, is poor decision making in high-stress situations. It’s hard not to fall into this trap of getting stressed because I know that my lack of experience puts me at a disadvantage. Hopefully, this will get better in time and we know that showed signs of this growth at the Kuala Lumpur Major.

We were satisfied with qualifying for the Major – we didn’t consider our placing at Kuala Lumpur to be a disappointment since, after all, it was our first Major.

Looking back, I know that there were moments where we were outplayed and other times where we just made silly mistakes, but I look at our experience at the KL Major as a milestone in our development. I know we have the potential to do better moving forward.

Already, I want to get back on the stage and play. It would have been nice to do that at the Kuala Lumpur Major but now I have my sights set on the next tournament.

I’m going to keep practicing and getting better and, as long as I keep growing and getting more experience, I’ll always feel like I’m moving forward, towards my goal of once again playing on that coveted main stage in front of the roaring crowds.

Image Credit: Julmust & Alliance

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