Introducing "Player Guide", eSportsRDA's new weekly editorial -- all about players. Everything from mechanics, debates, trending topics, and -- yes guides.
On this weeks Player Guide, I’ll be discussing an age old question. What makes a player great? This is something I get asked daily. Whether it’s from colleagues, friends, people I connect with and even clients. Yes, even clients ask me this, flattered I guess — but I find it overly unsatisfactory that I'm asked that! Shows the insecurities we all have, but for the players, it's a thought dwindling in their head more often than we thought. With players being ridiculed, being turned into memes overnight, it gets to them, but professional players aren't the only ones who feel this way.
It's the holidays. A lot of teams and players are displaced as they finish some of their calendar events for the year. Away from home, from loved ones, with the added pressure on the line many become demoralized and begin to doubt their abilities. We wanted to create a write-up that showcases their greatness, and how you too could be one of the greats. It’s a harrowing example of uncertainty or at least something that has been open for interpretation for too many years. There’s a large misconception about the ideal route a player must take to become great. I’ll use three examples of greatness and we’ll let you decide which one supersedes the other, if they do.
Great: A professional player with a tenured career who has achieved many feats. Winning majors, representing their nation, their brand, their team and their family name honorably.
Great: A professional player with a tenured career who has become a figurehead for eSports, paving the industry in golden standard ethics, mechanical play, and involvement in and out of eSports.
Great: A player who has a passion for gaming, using that passion to drive their competitive spirit that resonates with life outside of gaming. A commitment found in solace through his teachings.
If you chose one over the other, you are wrong. Three of these examples qualify an individual for the title of great. You don’t need to be a world class champion to be a great player, heck you don’t even need to be a professional to be a great player. Now if I lost ya’ there, sorry, so to explain things and hopefully shed a new light to the meaning of greatness, especially in our world of gaming and eSports.
Greatness Lies — Within
Greatness is a body and mind embodiment. An ideology of living pure, living unapologetically happy, hungry for success, wherever or however it comes. A lot of clients who ask me — ponder upon their status as an individual and ask— “what could I do better, to be better?”
Simple advice, but it’s ultimately shrouded by perception clouded by fear and doubt. However, for the sake of discussion, I’ll break down some points and explain my opinion. Related to professionalism in eSports so if you’re wondering if this correlates back to you somehow — it truly does. Have you ever wondered what it takes to make it as a professional player?
Player Development — Live Reputably
Live reputably. If you’re truly seeking a career in eSports as a player, my first advice in player development is to foster a set of principals that do not compromise your ethical code, your moral code, and your personality. Do not shroud your personality in bitterness, do not allow anger and other negative traits to showcase, especially a part of you that aren’t your best and brightest. In a world of controversy in eSports, you don't want to be tomorrows headlines.
For you to truly be happy you have to actually be happy.
Mentally you have to prepare yourself for the good, the bad, the in-between. Don’t stress over loss, it’s part of the inevitable. Learn to deal with the emotion flush through remedial therapy such meditation, and other methods.
Physically, I have always recommended you to go out. Ensure your building healthy relationships through social interactivity. Eat healthy, work your body out in one shape or another. Don’t forget this. It’s a science baby.
Once you do that, chances are you’ll be a happier person. Someone who is social, someone who is healthy, someone who is ready to dive into a challenge without facing the ramifications that someone unprepared would face. It’s a fact that a level headed, caring, passionate, and skilled players will more than likely get a position over someone who simply isn’t prepared or able to work in an environment so indifferent to what teams/organizations want.
It’s 2016. Teams and organizations aren’t simply allowing their players to live carelessly anymore. They’re putting their body and mind to work. They’re hiring psychologists to deal with problems left and right. They’re hiring trainers to train players and get them prepared for a healthier lifestyle.
Now what if you’re not looking to play professionally? Either you don’t want to, never indulged the idea, or simply aren’t fixated in an eSports career. Well, that’s absolutely fine. Being a great player isn’t exclusive to professional players or personalities.
Friends who play with you will envy you. Your enemies will fear you, and you’ll learn a very important life trait that will help you with your other challenges along the way.
Practice Practice And —Practice
Even simpler than you would have assumed.
We discussed the physical and mental aspect of greatness. Let’s talk skill, the bread and butter of what makes a great player stand out. To begin, I’ll start off by saying this, you don’t need to be the best player, but you need to be good enough to play at a level of competitive integrity. In other words, being able to operate within a team, as a team member, not just an individual.
Individual players can carry others, but they won’t play cohesively within a team structure. For a player to truly be great they must be willing to work in an environment that follows the principality of team work. Practice team-building exercises. Practice your communications, learn your flaws, learn other peoples flaws and organically grow from them.
Again, in life you’ll work in environments you aren’t particularly fond of. Patience, motivation to succeed, determination, ability to remain an outlier will put you ahead in life. In a team based game you’ll be the leader, the person who is calm cool and collected. A team that meshes stays together. Which brings me to the next talking point.
Looking At The Greats — And Why They’re Great
(Randomly chosen for traits, no specific regions, no rank order, I love you all equally.)
We’ll start off with one of the greatest minds in my mind. Sean “sgares” Gares. An NA superstar currently playing for Echo Fox. A skilled player who also serves as the in-house strategist within the team structure. The reason I chose him is for his famous ability to lead a team, notorious for leading the compLexity lineup to the semi-finals against Fnatic. An event that stirred up the CS:GO scene, proving that NA as a whole was ready to compete internationally once again.
(Sorry semphis but not sorry, you get your own write-up).
A player who has been criticized time and time again for his individual performance, but when times were rough, he has undoubtedly helped his team rally to push on forward. His strategic leadership molded with his diverse traits helped cultivate success, spawning new players, and helping others grow. Being part of the infamous compLexity lineup that shook the world, their decision to play under the Cloud9 banner was the original "NA Shuffle" that is still effecting the scene today.
Next we’ll continue the list with Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. An EU superstar currently playing for Natus Vincere. A skilled player who serves as the prolific AWPer with a unique playstyle making him distinctively different from the rest. An engaged sharpshooter, deadly unpredictable, and soft-spoken personality that makes him a coveted superstar.
An AWPer is a primary team sniper, a role that carries a burden of weight, a role that has been empirically hard to transition to from rifling which GuardiaN has been done unlike no other.
Let’s head back to NA. Continuing the list is Spencer “Hiko” Martin. An NA superstar currently playing for Team Liquid. A skilled player who serves as a rifler with impressive skills in clutching, lurking, creating opportunities and his experience with strategic calling.
His ability to remain level headed during tense moments, his drive to win a major has notoriously made him the beacon of true NA hope. A true veteran professional in the industry who has seen the good, the bad, and the in-between. A personality within the industry for his ambitious goals, his rich history playing under a number of star-studded lineup and organizations, and his genuine passion for gaming.
Across the pond we go, we’ll talk about Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg. An EU superstar currently playing for Ninjas in Pajamas. A skilled player who serves as a rifler with his again impressive clutching abilities, diverse play style switching between AWPing and rifling on-the-fly.
Outside of the game his character is generally goofy, outgoing, livid. Determined to succeed, he has remained with the Ninjas in Pajamas since their inception, proving that with a proper team you can bounce back. His beard is amazing as well.
Back to The Golden State, last but certainly not least, Stephanie "missharvey" Harvey. We wanted to finish this list strong, and with "missharvey" that's exactly what we get. An NA superstar currently playing for Counter Logic Gaming, a skilled player with a tenured history in eSports. 6 time ESWC champion, she has gone to become a vocal leader and an activist for females in eSports and gaming. Using her example to motivate others to go out and play. Showing them that regardless of the color of their skin, gender, sexual orientation, if you have the skill to play among the best, you can win. Very much a debatable narrative, but people deserve the spotlight, and if we're going to pick a name synonymous with great diverse players, we could picture her.
Now lets find their common ground
- All players are veteran, showing their dedication to the eSport they love.
- All players are proficient in one role or another, however their unique interpretation doesn’t supersede or undermine a team's performance. In other words, it makes the team — a team.
- All players have ethical gold standards. Free of controversy, not abusing or exploiting their fans for temporary gains but instead helping the community by being the best ambassadors eSports has to offer.
- All players have unique personalities that engage a community so dedicated to their lives, bringing all walks of live under one roof to share their passion for gaming and eSports. Representing the diversity that is found in real life culture, in your towns, cities, schools, work-place, etc.
There’s more to write, but I could truly go on on! To summarize things, do well, and you’ll be considered great, by someone out there. Put your best foot forward and remember these things and you’ll be the next great.
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