Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome to the Diamond Club!

Obsession is nothing but a precursor to success. Those who succeed, brilliant; those who fail, insane. 
Welcome to the Diamond club, North America's best. Home to those insane enough to play solo queue till they hate themselves and home to those who skilled to win enough games to be the top 1% of League of Legends. Where players have beat through the likes of ELO hell and risen to the glory of ELO heaven. You may be reading this post and think that I have had an easy path to diamond, let me assure you that I have had a very rocky path. While I can't speak for every diamond player out there, for me it has been a very long road. When many people see those who are "at the top" they simply see the result but not effort and sacrifice they put in. If you've seen my very first post you'll know that I have not always had such success in solo queue.

Yep. 8,800 hours is 366 days. I was kind of obsessed. 
I am willing to admit something very personal that even many of my close, personal friends are not aware of. I have a very serious history of obsession. I immerse myself obsessively in games almost religiously to a point where it takes priority over everything else in my life. To put it into context I have over a year's worth of game time on Guild Wars, one whole year of game time over 3 years. I have been like this for a very long time such that even on my 21st birthday I thought of nothing but solo queuing to diamond. I think it boils down to the feeling of control games give me that other activities don't. Regardless, my obsession obviously transferred over to League of Legends where it consumed my everyday life. I did not casually play League of Legends to get to diamond, I casually went through life to live League of Legends. Even when I wasn't playing, I was looking at guides, watching streams, watching pro games, analysing games, reading r/leagueoflegends, theory-crafting, etc. I guess the point of this confession is that I want people to know that just because you may have the ability to play in a higher tier, it's something that is earned not given; especially to those who are not gifted at this game. 

I feel like this post wouldn't be complete without my story the past two to three years in League of Legends. I began at the bottom; upon hitting level 30 I went into ranked and started at 1100 ELO. I'm not going to lie and say I have always had the attitude I have today, when I was at 1100 ELO I blamed trolls, bad players, afks, the whole nine yards. My friends can surely attest to my 'solo queue mentality' of the past (sorry, David). Eventually, I became better at the game and made my way through to silver. I think it was that moment where I realized I had the potential to become decent at this game. Upon watching streams of professional players, I realized that I could do very similar things to them and they were not some out-of-reach play style. As such, I slowly progressed my way to gold. When I reached gold, I hit a huge mentality spike. I was suddenly, as labelled by the community, not absolutely terrible at the game. I grew an incredibly large ego at the game and became a serious rager. I still don't understand how I haven't been banned to this date. I would purposely throw games when anyone on the team made a mistake and tell them they didn't deserve to gain any ELO whatsoever. In my mind, I was the greatest and I could win back ELO at any moment. It was at that moment when I had a serious sense of frustration when I failed to hit platinum because of my rage. For a huge period of time, I stopped playing solo queue entirely and focused on playing arranged 5s. My teammate, who is probably one of the nicest guys ever, managed to hit platinum before me. At the end of Season 2, I was the worst kind of rager in solo queue; I was the kind of guy everyone dreads to have on their team. Albeit I raged, I still believed, and believe to this day, I was good and deserved to rise at that time. Finally as Season 3 started, I duo queued with a friends who inevitably carried me to platinum by telling me to plainly "shut the fuck up."However, being obsessed as I was, platinum was not enough. I wanted to join the famous Diamond club and play with my jungle idol since bronze, TheOddOne. As such, I obsessively played solo queue again. It was around my climb to Plat II when I played around 30 games in that division before finally dropping back to Plat III. I couldn't sleep at night because I had reoccurring nightmares of failing to achieve Diamond like I failed to achieve Platinum last season. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate at anything outside of League of Legends, I didn't eat properly, and I hand constant pains in my hand from playing more hours in a day than i'm willing to admit. In hindsight, I think it's safe to say I lost many of those games because of my poor attitude over anything. That was when I looked at my friend who was now in Diamond 1 and thought to myself, why am I not there. What does he do that I don't. I as mechanically strong and strategically stronger player than him. It was also around this time where I got my chat limited for 5 games because of my verbal abuse. Finally, I decided that I would try to be an overly nice person in solo queue even though I firmly believed that it doesn't help solo queue. I would NOT type anything when I see mistakes and I would only type positive comments. I basically became a cheerleader for the team. To my surprise, it worked. I previously believed that no matter what you typed it would not effect the game because the outcome was decided by play. However, you can't deny results and 15 game win streaks to get me to plat I and 10 game win streaks to get me to my Diamond series are results. To be honest, a lot of people told me I have had an attitude problem but I didn't believe it. Rationality has a funny way of losing to anger; passion has a funny way of trumping logic. If anyone I have ever played with were subject to my rage, I am truly sorry and I apologize. 

I ride motorcycles and, while this may be unrelated to League, this really helped pump me up and motivate me when I was doing my series. Just thought i'd share an amazing video!

So, that's my story. From Bronze to Diamond: a rager's story. To be honest, I have played with many diamonds during my Plat 1 Streak (many times pure diamond games) and I honestly don't see a difference in play. I can only say that Diamonds are just more consistent, level headed Platinum players. I hope anyone who sees this post and is trying to ladder takes away two things. One, believe in yourself. You are the only one who is going to help you win. You are the one consistent factor in every game you play. If you don't do well every game, chances are you are the reason why you are stuck in your league. Sure there are odd games here or there, but in the long run (i've played almost 600 games of solo queue) it's just you versus the world, you versus probability, you versus no, you versus can't, you versus afkers, you versus ragers, you versus them. Two, have a positive attitude. Seriously, a positive attitude goes a long way in terms of both in game moral and learning how to play better. Don't ever sit on a high horse and always take personal responsibility even if its something uncontrollable. 

I wasn't even aware Nocturne was my highest performance champion
Hopefully, In season 4 I will be able to retain my Diamond and hit Diamond I. I won't be trying to climb any more in the ladder, outside of some odd entertaining games, as I am actually sick of solo queue in high ELO. I always try to convince people that high ELO is actually ELO hell and low ELO is actually ELO heaven. As such, I will probably be smurfing a bit (silvers beware!) Eventually, I will try to hit the legendary Diamond I and play with TheOddOne. Keep a lookout for future promised posts, updates on World Championships, and a jungle tier list!   

On that note, I'd like to end with a really great sound cloud that really got me in the mood to play League of Legends! Thanks TwoFriends <3 

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