It is difficult to explain exactly how grateful I am to be in the position I am in.
Playing League of Legends for a living was not a career path that was even available when I was a kid, but now I’m here in the LEC.
I worked very hard to get into this position, but really, there are so many people that have had a positive impact on me.
The first people that deserve some recognition is the fans. Not just the fans of me, but fans of the LEC and League of Legends entirely. They are the main reason that esports exists, and how I can have this job at all.
To those of you watching online, I want to let you know: I love reading the messages in Twitch chat or social media when I have the time. Usually, I find it pretty funny.
I received some painful comments early on in my career, but I’ve grown a lot since then. If someone says something offensive to me now, I laugh about it – especially if it’s creative flame!
It’s like the “macro geniuses” copypasta that is spammed in chat sometimes. It used to make me cringe in the beginning, but now I can’t help but smile when I see it.
It’s important to understand that there are different types of fans.
The supportive kind, obviously, are the best to interact with. I understand that if I play poorly for many games in a row, it can be hard to support me, but a lot of them still do.
The other kind are the ones that will find a way to flame you no matter what you do. They have their opinions, and there’s not much I can do about that except try to be better, so I don’t mind.
The thing about botlane is that if one of the players doesn’t do very well, people are very quick to flame the other one as well. There is some truth to it of course, because we have to work together. If one of us dies at level 1, the other will get flamed aswell.
When the flame does come, I just want to make sure that none of my other teammates are affected by it. Especially Atilla, because we share the lane together.
The worst thing that can happen to a player is the negative comments from fans getting to their heads. When you lose confidence, it can be very difficult to get it back. And in the LEC with matches every week, you don’t get much time to recover.
You have to help your teammates the best you can, but we also have fantastic coaches and management staff that support us through the rough times.
We’re all going through this together; if one of us falls, we all fall.
If someone within the team doesn’t have support, they would wonder: “Am I really in the team? Do people really care about me here?”
A team is one collective, not a bunch of individuals. We’re all competing and living together, and we have the same goal. Our team is a family: we’ve been playing together for such a long time.
This split was the worst we’ve had so far, but we haven’t lost faith in one another.
Our first win against Excel Esports was very important, for us to rise like a phoenix, back into playoff contention.
In our toughest moments, YamatoCannon keeps us in one piece. I’m now trying to do that as well, because it is really helpful for the team.
Mowgli is actually one of the best at helping the team attitude. In previous splits we had a tendency to be more aggressive to each other, but Mowgli is stone-cold.
He never gets angry or frustrated. Of course he is upset and unhappy when we lose, but during scrims and stage matches, no matter what happens, he is always focused on finding solutions.
He does things correctly. The only opinion he cares about is the opinion of his coach and his teammates. Most players try to do this, and some fail.
When I start to fail, and the pressure starts to build on me, my girlfriend is the one who puts me back on the right path.
She always tells me that I’m the best, and that motivates me to live up to her words. I know that I am good, even though some games are a bit off.
We were a couple before I played in the LCS, before the Vitality era, and she has been an incredible support for me. I love her, and I’m glad that we can live together in an apartment, outside practice hours.
It was really tough to live, for almost a full year, with the same guys in one house. It’s draining when things go south; that’s why it’s good to have your own space to chill out.
If you want to have a long career, you need to have your own personal space; this way, you can regain so much energy. No matter how bad it goes, I can turn the page from a day, and approach the next day with a new mindset.
And no matter how difficult it gets, I can always look forward. I truly believe that we can make it to Worlds again, and we need to improve for that to happen.
Image Credit: Riot Games
Adel Chouadria assisted in the creation of this article.