My career didn’t start in the best circumstances, but it greatly helped me down the line.
Back when I wasn’t playing in the top divisions of national leagues, I thought I was good enough to get there. But it isn’t about being good enough.
You can say that an eighth place or fifth place team in those leagues is ‘good enough’ to play there, but that isn’t enough when you think about it carefully.
I learned very early to be humble as a player, and to realize that I had to get better, until I was the best player I could be. Only then would teams notice me.
At that time, I used to take competitive League of Legends as a side activity. During vacations, I would get a few hundred Euros per month to play the game and compete.
So, through repetition, I played and developed my own style, not necessarily following the meta.
A player doesn’t get defined by how well they can play a given meta. What they can bring to a team matters more. Every player needs an identity.
For example, Vizicsacsi can play safely on scaling champions, and be a solid rock for his team; Wunder has an immense champion pool and knows a lot of matchups.
I ended up figuring out mine: champions that are really good with two items.
It sounds simple, but from there, I learned how to play the map with them – and I didn’t need a competitive scene for that. Solo queue is good to refine strengths and develop a niche.
I made a difference, and teams were starting to look my way.
Eventually, I reached the Challenger Series, and I realized that I wanted to work properly, make a career out of League.
Playing competitively for two years comes with a lot of stories – some good, some bad.
Reaching the Challenger Series was definitely a positive that emerged from a negative. It was such a weird period: the team used to play in Spain until we had nationality problems.
Despite living in Spain for 18 years, I wasn’t counted as a Spanish player. My parents never thought I would need the nationality, because I had a Dutch passport and was a Spanish resident until 2013.
The league I played in only realized that half-way through, and we were given a choice: either I was out, or the whole team wouldn’t play.
We trusted that the roster was good, so we played in Ragnarök, the Nordic Challenger qualifier. What started as ‘playing for an additional 300 bucks’ ended up with a victory.
Because we didn’t think we would make it, we considered selling the Challenger Qualifier spot. However, when nobody wanted to buy it, we decided to play it and see if we could get an investor to back us up. That’s how Wind and Rain came to be.
Another positive experience was LDLC in 2018 – not as much about results or tournament wins, but about the realizations I had.
We were the best French team at the time, and we had the highest skill ceiling. But I don’t think I was utilized enough because I didn’t believe in my own ability. The coaching staff prioritized the confident players.
There, I realized that I needed to ask for more, be more direct, and to step up individually.
But that wasn’t all: the most important lesson came when I was kicked from LDLC and replaced by someone weaker than me.
Being the best player in a lower division appealed to me at the time. Being best in the scene feels better, and gets you noticed, but you can’t stay there forever.
There are players out there with that mindset now. Just finding a team for the next split is enough for them, but they’ll never make it to the top of their region..
In a way, I can see the same happening in the North American Academy: having a good quality-of-life and being paid well is enough.
That mentality isn’t one a pro who wants to make it to the LEC or LCS wants to have. In that sense, it’s better to be delusional and aim for the top than to be happy with what you have.
If a player gets complacent, they become expendable. Someone else is bound to step in, do just enough to keep the team afloat, and cost less.
These words may sound harsh, but people need to hear them if they want to compete in League of Legends.
The mentality change helped me get into Misfits Premier, then to Misfits Gaming in the LEC. From there, I got into a team that played for the top spot in France, won EU Masters and joined the LEC mid-way into the summer split.
Although we aren’t in the playoffs and it sucks, we showed up with a 2-0 on our final week this year – and we finished one game behind Rogue and Team Vitality. We showed what we were capable of – it wasn’t even close when we won those two games.
Even with the adversity we faced in the LEC, we realized that we were good. In my opinion, when I look at the names on my team, I can’t help but think that this is the best team I have ever played in by far.
I always knew that our skill cap was really high, and that we had the chance to win against anyone. Our scrim results helped me see that my team was damn good.
People can see that we are inconsistent and that we have things to fix, but they can’t deny the roster’s potential. All that is needed is to harvest it, or nurture it and turn Misfits Gaming into a great team.
It’s better to have a team like this, where you might be inting a bit, as long as you end up with a really good team in the end. There is definitely something good here.
I’m happy that they gave us the opportunity to play here. They could have stuck with the main roster as they did, but they believed in their rookies. It was a tough situation, and I don’t think anyone bet on us reaching the playoffs.
However, their show of faith in the players of the main unit – to the point that they gave them one and a half split to perform – reinforced a family feeling. It’s nice to know that your organization gives you that time to develop.
Being given barely enough breathing room to feel pressured, but not too little to the point of being stressed out is great.
I don’t feel that stressed out about losing my spot whenever I have a bad performance, and I can work on developing with pressure to support me.
Image Credit: Riot Games
Adel Chouadria assisted with the creation of this article