So it’s 2010. You’re probably sat in front of the computer, like usual, but this time you’re playing something new. League of Legends, which just went into what would be called “Season one”.
You’re still just trying to be good at video games, with no thoughts on what you want to do with your life. Esports is not a word that you have heard yet, even though Warcraft, DOTA, and Counter-Strike all have their own esports scenes.
Little do you know that things are about to explode for you. Not only will you get to be a part of the League of Legends esports community, but they will regard you as one of their favourites…eventually.
There is a lot I wish I could tell you, but it would not be wise to spoil it too much. You will experience all of the highs and the lows in your own time. These experiences will change how you think, how you act, and the person you will become.
Still, here are a few things I’d like you to know that you will find important later on:
As much as you don’t care about it, you should probably open a Twitter account. Everything is all about “presence” now, and how much influence you have or how many people will click on a link that you post. It’s almost like a separate competition in itself for some people: “How can I get more followers than everyone else?”
While you’re at it, maybe try streaming some of your games for people to watch. Right now it’s only HotShotGG, Wickd, and TheOddOne doing most of the streaming. Turns out that thing gets pretty big too.
The first League of Legends “world” Championship gets a LOT of viewers. There’s no need for specifics about the tournament, but it’s very exciting. You’ll enjoy it, mostly.
It’s only the second official competitive event for League of Legends actually, but don’t worry, there will be many more to come. More players, more competitions, more fans…it just keep growing.
Time for “parent advice”. You know, the kind of advice that you hear as a kid. The kind of advice that goes in one ear and out the other. The kind of advice that I know I wouldn’t care about until after it was important…but I’ll tell you anyway.
Firstly, you must enjoy what you are doing. There will be times when you feel like you are not enjoying yourself, and it’s important that those moments don’t bring you down completely. Be focused, be smart, and continue putting in the effort. The enjoyment will come back. It never leaves forever.
When you play on a team, the best player in the team will have a louder voice than yours. Perhaps it shouldn’t be like that, but you will pick up some bad habits because of it. Don’t worry, you will learn from these habits.
Although it doesn’t seem like it now, League of Legends and esports is a career. Eventually, this goes from having fun with friends to going to work with your colleagues. The sooner you realize that, the better. Friendship and camaraderie are important, but so is work ethic and professionalism.
Being professional doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process. It should be fun to learn and grow as a team. There will be losses that bring you down and moments of great pressure, but it’s all a learning experience. I’m not saying be less ambitious – I’m just as ambitious as you are – but there are some defeats that really don’t matter in the long run.
Some of your future teammates are a lot more mature on that front. They will actually frustrate you with their ability to “move on” from defeats! But eventually, like most things, you will realize they were right.
The faster you can move on from the frustration and learn from the process, the better it will be. When you get to that point, try to assert yourself a little more, too. There will come a time where you are one of the most experienced players in the team, and yet still feel like a rookie. Be assertive, and stay professional in the way you share ideas.
My girlfriend is teaching me that, and I’m not quite there yet, but I’m thinking about it a lot.
She is going to help you with quite a few things, come to think of it.
You will make a lot of incredible memories over the next few years. Travelling, meeting new people, trying new things…and perhaps a few too many hungover taxis to the airport. But you don’t need my advice for that, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Most importantly: A game called “Fortnite” will come out at some point. You must play this game as much as possible. You will become a millionaire if you do!
That’s a joke by the way. Not that I need to tell you. You couldn’t quit League of Legends for another game. It means too much to you.
I have already told you too much. So I will leave it at this:
You should definitely read what YellOwStaR just wrote to you on the League of Legends client.
Paul “sOAZ” Boyer
Image Credit: Dreamhack & Riot Games