Playing on EG has definitely helped me grow as a player. I’ve had to swallow my pride to make it work through some of our rougher times but by playing with them it’s helped shape me as a person. Ever since I had joined OG in 2015 I had really wanted to play with Artour, and I also wanted to play with the rest of EG. So when the opportunity came after TI6, it was like a dream come true for me. I had to take more responsibility upon myself by becoming the captain but I thought I would never get a better chance to play with better players and knew I would regret it if I didn’t take the offer.
Because I took on the role as captain I’ve learned a lot about myself and the guys around me. I’ve had to think about what to do to get my colleagues to work in a better way, to work as a team, and make sure we aren’t stopping ourselves from improving. Honestly I may have thought I had to do less than I needed to for TI and that definitely came back to bite us.
After TI I don’t think my team had as much faith in me to lead anymore. Personally I can see why. It’s not unreasonable, we did have some problems there. I feel like I wasn’t the only one who didn’t do everything they could have done but I can see why most of the blame fell on me. I was the captain, I had to take responsibility for what had gone wrong. When it was decided that Fear was going to take over as the captain that was fine for me. Fear is an accomplished leader, and there is still so much I can learn from him about the role. I was also still able to play with the same group of players and I was able to go back to the 4 role where I feel I’m a better player.
However, I have a lot of work to do regarding my role. Back when I played 4 before, I didn’t feel like there was anybody who was better than me. I felt like I could compete with any other 4 position player in the world. Now I know for a fact that I’m inferior to a couple of players and I can’t stand being in that position. I want to be on the same level as GH and JerAx; the fact that I don’t think I am right now just means there is something I can still work on to improve. It motivates me to keep going.
I believe GH is the most mechanically skilled 4 position in the game right now. When you watch him play you can tell he’s on another level, so he is the one a lot of players, myself included, are looking up to and trying to emulate. I also look up to JerAx. I had been competing against him but when I switched to the 5 role he got ahead of me. I’ve been studying those two players a lot, I’ve been learning from watching their replays, and my goal is to surpass both of them.
It can be difficult not to hear yourself mentioned among your position’s best players, and some people ask me if the negative comments we get ever make it harder to try to improve. To be honest, it doesn’t — I’ve always been good at tuning those out. Instead, I focus on the positive things. Every person who comes to our signings and talks to me gives me words of encouragement, really wants to see us do well. Those people really stand out to me. The fact that we have so many fans who really appreciate us and want to see us succeed — they are a big reason for why I continue to fight.
When I think about it, the motivations that drive me today are the same things that spurred me to improve back when I started. I still want to win TI and I still want to become the best player in my role. I’ve persevered through the hard times and I’ve taken on bigger and bigger roles, and all the experiences I’ve gone through will help me towards my goals, along with my team. On the outside it almost feels like nothing has changed. However, the past few years — the challenges and successes alike — have formed in ways I had hoped and in ways unexpected.
We may go through some changes but we will only get stronger. I will only get stronger.