The Hunger

No matter how long has passed since I started playing, I have always kept the hunger to win.

I have always tried my best in life to make it the best it can be, and I have always followed my dreams. If I had to go back in time and chat with my 2014 rookie self, I’d tell myself to do the same.

Maybe I could change a few things and prevent mistakes here and there if I went back in time, but I would still stick to the decisions I’ve made and give them my all. In the process, I kept learning new things, and I kept improving. I don’t carry regrets with me.

On the way to 2020, I’ve had some very grim and hard days, but I’ve also had days full of happiness and laughter—like my G2 Esports days in the present. I’m grateful for my teammates, and for the decisions I made to be here.

Alongside Wunder, Caps, Perkz and mikyx, I finally experienced winning a title—more than once: two LEC splits in a row in 2019 and the Mid-Season Invitational. Just thinking about it makes me very happy.

But we haven’t won Worlds, although we came close in 2019. However, by the time Worlds came around, we started feeling burned out.

As it turns out, we still have things to learn.

Playing for so long with few breaks in between—spring split, playoffs, MSI, then the summer split and the playoffs, followed by Worlds—was a great experience, but it took its toll.

Unlike NA, whose summer split ended two weeks before ours in Europe, we almost had no break between the end of the split and our boot camp.

Still, it took that long for us to burn out because we have a lot of fun playing together. Even then, we could feel throughout Worlds that we were more tense than usual, and that we were tired of each other.

That never happened before, but we know better now, and we will apply those lessons to Worlds in 2020.

We can manage our burnout level better by relaxing more during the splits – maybe taking more time off than we did before, too. That would allow us to perform at our peak during Worlds, but we have to make sure to balance it so that it doesn’t hurt our performance throughout the year.

But burnout was not the only reason we didn’t lift the trophy.

In my opinion, we failed by staying in Europe for the bootcamp. We should have gone to Korea. It would have allowed us to learn from the Asian teams and adapt to them faster.

The whole team agrees with that, but it’s in the past. All we can do is learn from it now.

After taking a two-month break after our loss to FunPlus Phoenix, we felt pretty relaxed upon returning to the gaming house.

Rather than dwelling on Worlds, our focus shifted to this season, our next step. Since we have the same roster, I’m pretty excited to see how far we can go this year. We’re hoping to repeat our successes, but take it that one step further.

Of course, the roster isn’t EXACTLY the same. Technically we changed our Mid lane and AD Carry roles!

Both Perkz and Caps are talented enough to make the swap work. They have an extremely high level of mechanics and game knowledge, so it won’t be a problem.

And if they do end up running it down in Spring we can just swap them back in Summer and win Worlds anyway. But they’re doing fine for now.

We’ve had a good start to the LEC split, but we haven’t been as successful in scrims as we were last year. It’s not too bad, because it means we have to keep working to improve things. Right now we seem to make a lot of mistakes in the early game, and then come back later on in the game.

It’s something we will keep working on over the next few weeks. We are also playing quite greedy at the moment, which is definitely something we should change.

That alone won’t guarantee that we will make it to the finals again. The game changed this year, as it has every year since I started playing professionally, so who knows who the better team will be?

We have a lot of time to find that out. For now, let’s win the spring split first.

Now that I’ve started getting a little bit older – compared to some of the players in the league – I’ve started to realize the importance of fighting against complacency. It’s important to keep pushing and improving in any way that you can. I don’t know how long I will keep playing at the top level, but now that I’m here, I have to do everything I can to make sure I stay here.

League of Legends has changed a lot from when I started competing in Season 3, and it keeps changing every year. There is always something new to learn or improve on.

Although I have played for so many years, there are still things I can fail at. No player is perfect, and all I can do is keep pursuing my goal.

And 2020 is another chance for us to win Worlds and hit that goal.

Photo Credit: Riot Games

Adel Chouadria assisted with the creation of this article

Start the discussion

to comment