Are you someone who is aspiring to become an esports pro or just a casual player looking to get better? We have something to help you on whichever esports and gaming journey you are on.
Last year, Yahoo Esports SEA spoke to prominent esports pros in Southeast Asia to impart their wisdom and give some helpful tips to both aspiring pros and casual players on how to become better players. Here's what they had to say:
1. Play to learn - Carlo "Kuku" Palad
Many think that esports pros simply play to win. But for Dota 2 pro Carlo "Kuku" Palad, one of the most decorated esports pros from the Philippines, who now leads T1's Dota 2 team after being the captain of Geek Fam last year, there's more to be had from playing other than just simply getting a win.
Most of the time, players win without knowing why they won a particular game in the first place. As a result, they don't improve even after a win. So you must "play to learn" as Kuku says, no matter if you win or lose. Regardless of the result, you can walk away from any game a better player if you learned how you won or lose, what you could have done better, and so on. If you go into every game with a mindset geared towards learning, then you won't be afraid to lose because a lesson learned can still be considered a win.
2. Enjoy the game - Kenny "Xepher" Deo
Most players get caught up in things like getting a good KDA or losing MMR and forget the biggest reason why they even play games in the first place: to have fun. Indonesian Dota 2 pro Kenny "Xepher" Deo, who now plays alongside Kuku in T1 after being teammates with him in Geek Fam, knows that having fun is a key component in getting better in any game.
Players who are obsessed with having a good KDA or keeping their MMR high often end the games they play angry and stressed. Instead of losing your mind over such trivial things, players should instead let loose and have fun. Whenever you're having fun, your mind is more open to new experiences, thus making it easier for you to learn from the games that you play and help you keep getting better at them.
3. Keep your ego in check - Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno
Sometimes your own worst enemy is yourself. While our egos help to motivate us towards our goals, they can also end up being a hindrance for our growth. For esports pros competing in team-based titles, this saying rings louder than ever. No one knows this more than Filipino Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) superstar Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, who had his fair share of inner battles on his way to winning the MLBB M2 World Championship with Bren Esports in January.
Whether you are an aspiring esports pro or a casual player or competing in a team or competing by yourself, always remember to keep your ego in check. We don't always know what's best for our team or for ourselves. Even if we know better, it always pays to listen to the advice or criticisms of our teammates, coaches, and supporters. To get over any hump, whether or not it leads to a trophy or becoming a better player and person, you must get over yourself first.
4. Keep grinding - David Charles "FlapTzy" Canon
Rome wasn't built in a day. Champions aren't made after a single game either. Take it from David Charles "FlapTzy" Canon, who started out just like any other casual MLBB player, then grinding his way to become a widely-recognised streamer, then becoming a professional player, and an MLBB World Champion alongside KarlTzy and Bren Esports in the M2 World Championship.
Reaching such lofty goals was "a matter of heartfelt perseverance," in FlapTzy's own words. No matter if your goal is to become an esports pro, a world champion, or just a better player and person, you need to persevere towards that goal with all your heart. The grind to the top isn't easy and will take a toll on anyone, be it physically or mentally, but keeping your head and heart in the right place and your eyes towards your goal will eventually get you there.
5. Take every loss as a lesson - Mc Nicholson "Mac" Villanueva
Of course, you can't win every game that you play. Losing is a part of every game, but it is something that not all gamers learn to embrace as much as winning. Filipino Dota 2 pro Mc Nicholson "Mac" Villanueva, who now plays with Omega Esports after spending much of last year with Adroit Esports, sees every loss as a lesson and an opportunity to grow both as a player and a person.
Most players would often sulk, complain, or even blame their teammates after losing a game. This does nothing for you or your teammates other than making the loss feel worse than it already is. Instead, look back at your game and identify any mistakes you've made or other areas in your play that need improvement. If you focus on learning and growing from your loss, then you're already that much closer to your next win.
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