Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Introducing Myself

It’s nearly 2 am on a Sunday night, and I’ve got school tomorrow. Even though it’s the 10th of June, I don’t start my exams until next week. I’m still up because I’m writing a lab report. I procrastinated all day, and even though it would only have taken me 2 hours tops, I didn’t do it and chose to play some bad pubs, watch some live games between Kaipi vs EG and zRage vs 4FC, and read theories crafted by inexperienced players in the dota2 subreddit.
Right now I’m actually not completely done with the lab, but I decided to start writing this instead because on Sunday nights my thoughts always start flowing and perhaps writing them down will ease my mind. It’s warm as fuck, and I’m attentive because I think I just heard my mom walking outside my room, probably on one of her numerous midnight toilet visits. I’m 16 yet she’s still angry when I’m not in bed on time. I’m listening to Eminem; my favorite artist at the moment, and the song ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ comes on. Heh. Fitting. 

My mom’s put a timer on the Internet. Every school night at 10, a little device turns off the router by blocking its power source. At least not on weekends and holidays, right? Nope. It’s simply 11 then - wooptiedoo, an extra hour. What a simple little mechanism, what a life-changing impact it has on me.

I’m SlashStrike, a 16-year-old DotA player aiming to go competitive. I’ve got the skill. Anyone I play with for a few games tells me I’m good. I’ve started to believe it, and am trying to gain confidence from it, without letting the notion affect my play. I have the attitude still, I know I’m not flawless, and despite many years of experience I continue to learn every day, every game. I know what it takes to go pro, and am willing to sacrifice. Yet I cannot. What team could possibly have any potential if they lose one of their players every evening at 10? How can they find enough time to practice, let stand participate in any tournaments or cups?

I’m a 16-year-old student at the International School of - in -. Classic case of blessed with a sharp mind, praised throughout childhood, afraid to take any risks due to fear of not living up to smart reputation despite being a fucking kid, and ultimately achieving and spending the bare minimum amount of time I can on school. Still, I’m at the top of the class of the boys. There are some girls with better grades than me. Fuck ‘em, they’ve too much time on their hands.

There are millions of dota players. There are only about a hundred professional dota players, those on top. Many of the casuals are around their twenties, not working yet, some not even studying, but many studying with still tons of spare time on their hands. Time – the most invaluable resource. They have lots of it. But they don’t have the potential, dedication, motivation, mentality, positivity, teamwork spirit and general character, to be part of a professional dota team.

I do have those. I’m not being cocky, I simply feel the most important one, motivation, very strongly, and am certain it will allow me to improve anywhere else I might need to. Yet I don’t have the time. I’ve tried many conversations with my mom – it simply doesn’t work, her stance is too firm. But I’m not gonna let these years pass by. I’ve two years of high school left, two easy years that will leave me with plenty of free time. After that, I will go on to study in a possibly prestigious university, and I may not have the time to pursue my dream. I’m not going to let a little device and an outdated mindset prevent me from reaching out when the time is right. Now is the moment, and I’m going to make the jump.

I’m going to move to my father back in -. My parents are divorced. He will not restrict my shot at big money, at making a career out of what I love doing most. The school will be different, albeit from the same international baccalaureate system, the environment will be different, the people will be different. But there is one thing that matters most – I will be able to join and dedicate myself to a team. I will hate myself forever if I don’t take this shot. I will stay up sleeplessly countless nights before going into whatever job I may have, thinking what if. What if I wasn’t too scared to pursue my dream? Where would I have been?

That’s how I rationalize my decision. It’s better to regret doing something, than to regret not doing something. However I am still anxious. I’ve about a month left before I move. What’s going to happen? What’s awaiting me? Will I really be able to go pro? Will I never make it past being a tier 2 team, like 4FC, baguette, TCM, el Pride, and the likes? No offense to them, but I want to go beyond that. I want to be part of the next Na’Vi. I want to be part of the team whose name will be chanted through the halls of whatever grand venue Valve has chosen for The Internationals 4 and beyond when we step up on the podium right after defeating the second place runner-ups, I want to be able to look at the crowd as they gleefully regard my teammates and me, and to see their excitement as the new dota champions of the world have emerged.

I want to prove my mother wrong, to show her the hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m earning through ‘a video game’, and to give her what she didn’t help me to get, because despite anything, she is the one who brought me into this world. 

Now I realize I’m coming off as incredibly entitled and selfish, saying ‘I want’ many times in a row. I understand that it won’t happen overnight – nothing ever came out of thin air but regret. But I’m merely spilling my thoughts here. Maybe I won’t get anywhere, and after a while this will just be the tragic hopeful ignorant rambling of a delusional 16 year old.
But maybe I will succeed. Maybe in a year or two from now, you will see my name on the scoreboard, part of whatever team wins The International 4 or 5. And perhaps someone in my current situation will read this – the new young blood, someone who will be, like I am currently, troubled with doubts and uncertainties. And maybe, just maybe, it will give them the inspiration and confidence they need to go for it, and to pursue their dream. That is my hope.

Don’t hold back, don’t miss your chance – go for it.

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