The Rise And Fall

A lot of fans have been wondering why I left Team Vitality to join Rogue in the off-season.

My career didn’t really take off until 2015, and it’s hard for me to say why.

I don’t know if I just wasn’t good enough to take the next step, or if I lacked the bit of luck I needed to make it onto a top-tier team, but throughout it all, I kept working hard.

Last year, I finally achieved my goal of attending a World Championship with Team Vitality.

We were a cocky and confident lineup. I think a big part of that came from the personalities within the team, but also from the fact that our scrim practice was really lacking, and yet we were still winning most of our games.

After we didn’t qualify for the knockout rounds at the 2018 World Championship, however, it was hard to maintain that same mindset since everyone was really depressed.

We came super close, but if anything, that just made it worse. From a player point of view, it’s easier to take being eliminated when you’re 0-6 than if it was within your grasp at 3-3.

You just keep playing it over in your head, over and over: What if I did or said something differently?

There are still so many ‘if’s’ and ‘buts’, and in some cases, regrets. It was pretty hard to deal with it all.

After that group stage, I couldn’t even think about League of Legends for two to three weeks.

I had so many negative emotions that I didn’t watch any Worlds games afterwards, and I just focused on myself. I needed that break.

During the offseason that followed, I looked at my options. Team Vitality and I couldn’t agree on some terms and how things needed to change moving forwards, so when that fell through, Rogue was the offer I was looking forward to the most.

The way they approached me during free agency, the way they explained the project, their long-term plan, their lineup and their connection to the Polish league – all of it looked very professional.

It was the natural next step for me to come here.

Considering our performances so far, I understand why people have been critical of that decision.

Throughout Rogue’s losing streak, we tried to focus on what lies ahead, rather than what has gone wrong so far.

We all wanted to improve, our work ethic was good and everyone held themselves accountable for their work and their performances.

To our credit, I feel that this team is really good when it comes to mindset. Even when we were 0-9, we still maintained a positive mentality – we weren’t drained and no one was blaming anyone else – everyone acted super professional.

I never lost faith in this team.

I’ll probably think about it more after we close out the split; I’ll think about how I can be a better teammate and a better player.

I’m proud of my work ethic, my attitude, the type of teammate I am and how I look at the game, but I know I can still improve.

I’ve been in a similar position as a team before but, importantly, playing with Rogue feels very different from when I was with Mysterious Monkeys in 2017.

Of course, the big difference is that there is no longer the threat of relegation.

Franchising makes things more stable: you can have long-term projects, and you don’t have to start panicking if you are a good player on a losing team.

Back then, after two weeks of poor performances on stage, I knew I didn’t have players around me that I could work with. I wasn’t surprised when we were relegated.

Rogue is completely different: all we’re missing is something small.

Ever since I first reached the LCS, my career has had its fair share of ups and downs.

What I’m experiencing right now seems to fit with the general ebb and flow of my career: it’s not intentional, but it seems that, from season to season, I tend to rise up, then fall down into the darkness, before rising back up to the top, then falling down again and having the cycle start over.

In 2015, I reached second place in the Spring Split with Unicorns of Love before dropping down to the Challenger series in the summer. I worked my way back up and won my first split with G2 Esports in 2016; relegated in 2017, then I returned to the LCS and made it to Worlds in 2018.

Right now, I suppose you would say that I’m experiencing one of my careers’ downward trends.

I just need to make sure that, as a team, we rise up again, whether that be before the end of this split or for the beginning of the next – either way, it felt good to at least get the first win in the bag for Rogue.

I don’t want to wait another year, or miss another World Championship – I’ve missed too many in my career already.

Ultimately, I’ve been playing League of Legends for nine years now – it’s my passion. That passion hasn’t died out over nine years and it isn’t going to die out any time soon.

Image Credit: Riot Games

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