No matter what you do, it is important to have fun.
I learned that from a young age, you don’t have to be surrounded by friends to have fun. I lived in a small village, and there weren’t a lot of people around, so video games became my outlet for fun.
For the longest time, I played League of Legends completely on my own. I wasn’t that interested in making friends or finding duo partners, but just about winning games and having fun.
The game has always come naturally to me. By 14 years old I was already rank 1 on the EUNE server, and that was without even really trying to improve. No replay analysis or anything like that. Obviously, rank 1 on EUNE isn’t the same as getting it on EU West, but it was a good start!
I was playing on EU West from time-to-time. On that server, I spent more time trying my best to maintain Master tier and avoid the drop to Diamond. It took a lot longer than EUNE, but eventually, I did hit rank 1 on EU West too.
Improvement just came naturally to me, honestly. That’s not to say that I didn’t start working on it at all, but year-on-year I was just getting much better at the game.
The idea of being a professional player was not foreign to me. When I first realized I was good at League of Legends, it became something of a target. Who wouldn’t want to play video games full-time for a living?
My parents weren’t so interested in the idea, but they did let me pursue it, assuming that I kept up at school and stayed healthy.
Whatever doubts they had about my idea of going pro were washed away when they took me to my first LAN in Slovakia. They saw how big it all was and started letting me play as much as I wanted to from home.
Not only that but whenever there was a LAN event to attend, they took me there with my PC if I needed it.
Beyond my parents, my friends and my beautiful girlfriend are also all very supportive of this career path. It’s a lot easier to focus and improve when you have support all around you. I’m very grateful for all of them.
It’s not up to me to make sure that their support isn’t wasted. I don’t want to let them down, and if anything, I want to repay their faith.
The start of my career was based solely around the Czech scene – I spent two years there. That is how I came to know Patrik, Denyk, and Humanoid. I have a very vivid memory of Denyk and Humanoid getting denied from a tournament because they signed in late or something – even though there were literally there and ready to play.
It was a bit of a wild west back then!
Mysterious Monkeys signed me up in 2018, right before I turned 16, and that expanded me to other players and scenes.
I got a little bit of recognition because of how young I was. Some considered me one of the best in the German scene, and by the time I moved into the Spanish league at 16 years old, more people were taking notice.
I set my sights on the EU LCS.
Of course, that didn’t happen instantly – I wasn’t even old enough to play there anyway. So I ended up heading back to Germany to join up with BIG. I didn’t know it then, but that season would prove to be a turning point for me.
Specifically, the 2019 EU Masters Summer tournament was the one that changed everything.
It’s funny because we almost didn’t make it there at all. We came very close to losing to AD HOC in the Losers Bracket finals. Despite turning that series around, it still only landed us in the play-in stage of the tournament.
Scrims were going badly, and I wasn’t particularly optimistic of our chances…but sometimes things just work out.
Everything became so simple after qualifying for the main tournament. It just felt easy, like I was in my flow, and so was the rest of my team.
We had a clean win over LDLC – who were a strong team – before meeting mousesports in the semi-finals. They had no answer for my Ekko bot-lane, and all of a sudden, we’re in the final.
And that presented its own problem. As I mentioned before, I really didn’t think this tournament would go well for us. For that reason, I agreed to go to a wedding on the day of the final. Not just any wedding either, but someone very important to me.
Unfortunately, I had to go back on my word and play in the final. That alone added a bit of pressure, but in the end, we got the job done and took the win over GIANTS.
It capped off a mostly fun experience in multiple national leagues. Of course, there were ups and downs, but it got me to where I am now.
By contrast, although it’s early, I’m very much enjoying my experience in the LEC with MAD Lions.
Certain national league teams can offer you the full-time opportunity, but many of them are certainly not what I would consider “professional”. It can lead to a lot of stress and cause rifts between players.
It’s not like that in MAD Lions. The house is MUCH better than what I have experienced on certain teams in the past. The structure is there for everyone to succeed.
It helps to reduce the stress levels of everyone involved. Obviously, there is pressure for us to succeed, but it’s kept focused on in-game performance and developing as a team.
Most importantly, it means that the fun is back, and here to stay.
Editors Note: This article was produced before the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent temporary suspension of the LEC.
Image Credit – Riot Games, BIG Clan, Carzzy
Adel Chouadria assisted with the creation of this article