Room for Improvement: Never Get Complacent

Status Quo

Becoming the next paragon of eSports can be a daunting endeavor. The countless hours of training, researching, and competing take a physical and mental toll on all participants, from rookies to veterans to hardened champions. Eventually, that hard work pays off, and the grind becomes less intimidating, less tedious, and more rewarding. Never get complacent.

The more rewarding payoff often leads to a sense of nirvana, and maintaining the status quo in terms of one’s capabilities becomes the new journey to maintain success.

However, maintaining that status quo can itself become tiresome, fatiguing anyone who spends a bulk of their time committed to any given activity. Worse, it becomes easier to write off up-and-comers, that faction of gamers who have the audacity to vie for dominance in the hierarchy of elites, bringing about the subtle deterioration of one’s own skills and causing a deceptive decline in their abilities.

Before one realizes it, their grasp near the top of the ladder starts slipping, and down they fall, back to the depths of ineptitude.

Keep That Guard Up

There’s a difference between being the savant and feeling like it. Being among the elite is a fact, it’s something that can be verified based on one’s rankings and overall stats in any given game. Feeling like an elite is, well, a feeling—one that may or may not be reflected in reality.

Regardless, wherever one is on the ladder, one should always pay attention to their skill level. Keep one’s reflexes sharp, always strive for improvement (Overwatch’s Zenyatta, anybody?), and try not to underestimate opponents. As soon as that underestimation begins, it’s a slippery slope down the rungs, and where once one thought they were unbeatable, they now find it necessary to claw their way back up the ranks. A gamer should never be content with where they are, because to be content is to be complacent. Never get complacent.

Don’t Assume

After achieving that high level of skill, don’t assume that things are just going to start going well. The higher tiers of play require everyone to bring their A-game. Working one’s tail off to compete with the best just to be satisfied with reaching the top is a waste of both talent and time. It will also result in one being the weakest link on a team’s chain. Don’t be that person.

In addition, don’t assume that phoning it in will spur one’s team to pick up the slack. Entering the proving grounds of intense competitive play means everyone needs to put their skills to the test, to push themselves past their limits in a concerted effort to obtain victory and, as always, continue improving. Complacency leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to decline. Never get complacent.

Remember, most eSport titles have a system in place that requires a certain win rate in order to remain in the higher tiers of play. In those cases, not only should one not get complacent to preserve their own skills, but they also cannot afford to get complacent.

Remember the Bottom

Don’t forget what it was like being on the ladder’s lowest rung. The scoffing, the ire, the overall aggravation of seeing how far one still had to climb in order to reach their potential and play with the big dogs. Remember those days of hard work and perseverance when clutching those higher rungs, and use the memory of that frustrating time to motivate one into remaining vigilant against complacency. Beware the up-and-comers, for the one who is hungrier will be the one who succeeds.

The second that hunger wanes is the second that slow decline commences. Stay hungry, stay motivated, stay alert. Implement the tips and tricks of others to not only reach the top, but stay there as long as possible. Commit to the endgame, and remember: Everything in moderation.

Starting from the bottom is a struggle to get to the top. Be afraid of repeating that process once it’s been done once, because falling victim to tedium will end an eSports career as quickly as it will end any other career. Feeling like one has regressed will destroy one’s morale, and the fall from the top is a swift and terrible thing. Don’t force one’s self to repeat work that has already been done. Never get complacent.

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