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The following blog is set for One Fall! Introducing first, he is the Hylian Champion! Winner of the Seven-Year Slam, making the Hylian Ring safer, one Powerbomb of Courage at a time!

AboveUp!





Started gaming on an Atari 2600, grew into the gamer I am now with Nintendo, playing on an NES and SNES. Became more aware of the wider scope of gaming through the Playstation and Xbox. Now I'm loving the PC gaming life.

My favorite games include A Link to the Past, Terranigma, Guilty Gear X2, Viewtiful Joe, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and DotA 2.

Huge comic book reader, and currently keeping up with Saga and Hawkeye.

My favorites are The Sandman Vol 4, Batman - Court of Owls, and V for Vendetta.

Lover of wrestling, although not so much of the infamous Attitude Era. Much of more a CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler kinda guy.

Life-long reader of books of the fictional and non-fictional variety. Love Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Wendig and Haruki Murakami.

My biggest dream is that one day Quintet returns and makes a current generation Terranigma.

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AboveUp
11:28 AM on 12.03.2013

The first time I saw someone unironically say "Don't worry, I'm pro!" in an online game was in my very first game of League of Legends. I had no idea what was going on for most of the match and didn't know a carry from a support, or the difference between laning, roaming or jungling. What I did know, was that I hated Master Yi. Or at least, the kid playing him. As much as he kept saying he was a pro, told us not to worry, and even despite the fact that he did seal the victory for us, I wanted him to fail. I wanted him to fuck up, admit to his faults, uninstall the game.

Anything, but repeat how "pro" he was.

For the entire 40 minutes that the game took, I was waiting for that one key moment where he'd fuck up. It became an intense obsession that ended almost instantly the second the match was over.


Just look at this guy. What an asshole.


Not long after that match, I uninstalled League of Lesbians and decided that I'd never touch games of that type again. The constant cries of "being pro" and the endless blaming of other team members was not something I enjoyed. It seemed like the more pro someone was, the more everything was everyone else's faults. I just couldn't get behind that attitude, so I decided to leave the game and the poisonous playerbase that swarmed it behind me.

A few months later a friend sent me a DotA 2 beta key. After some protest I installed the game and tried it out.

The first few games weren't too bad. Sure, I lost more games than I won. But nobody ever claimed they were pro, the players didn't seem to blame one another anywhere near as much as they did in League of Lesbians. I was actually having fun, learning the basics of the game and figuring out just how much I actually sucked at it. Maybe if everyone in matchmaking spoke English, the experience would've been as bad as my League one, but luckily it was a nearly full Russian speaking world out there.


cyka


While playing, friends would spectate my games and send me messages over Steam, laughing at how horrible the players in my tier were while feeding me advice for whatever hero I was playing at the time. It didn't take long for me to rise out of my shitty matchmaking tier and get to a more competitive one.

By the time I started seeing more skilled players, insults started flying around chat more often. Interestingly enough, nobody bragged about their inherent skill, instead they'd focus on what went wrong and called names endlessly. As much as I hated it, it was still miles better than League ever was. Plus it got mixed with cross-team trashtalk. I'd reached a matchmaking level where everyone was as into the game as I was, and everyone wanted to improve. That's why it was made abundantly clear when you fucked up; Everyone assumes you intend to not make the same mistakes twice.

One game I played did involve someone calling his or herself pro though. Instead of telling us to relax and assuring us that nothing we could do would fuck it all up because he's so great, he pretty much bossed us around constantly. This would've been really annoying and demeaning if it wasn't for the fact that his demands were all logical and made complete sense, so we'd all follow his lead. Instead of trivializing the team, he taught us all how to play our heroes better, and got us to achieve victory together by using teamwork and strategy, even if everything came from his mind, the execution was all ours.

Then I lost my gaming setup. In fact, I lost pretty much everything I owned. That's a story for another time, so I won't get into it too much.



By the time I started building up again, I met a friend who kept playing Battlefield 3 on his laptop. He told me he was playing the game professionally at some point in his life and I believed him. Not because of his skill level, which absolutely backs up his word, but because of his attitude towards the game. He simply loves playing it, and is always looking to improve out of appreciation of it. Plus he tends to get banned from servers repeatedly for "using aimbots" when he really isn't, which he thought was hilarious.

I hadn't realized it, but in my time playing DotA 2, I'd heard people call themselves pro a lot less than while playing League. Despite that, the people I came across while playing had a much more serious attitude, matching that of the actual pro players. And by serious attitude I mean they seriously appreciate the game and want to have fun with it. I watched a bunch of pro streams during their off hours in solo queue, and the one thing I noticed was how much they'd just troll team members and do stupid things just for fun. Instead of sticking to the same-old and yelling at anyone who didn't, they'd play for fun and do stupid things on the side. Even looking at the actual pro players of League of Legends, I'm seeing that same general attitude, even if there's a lot less deviation from the usual there.


I swear that this screenshot is funny for reasons nobody but people who play the game obsessively can understand. Literally everything about it is wrong. Everything.


After a month or so, I invited that friend to DotA 2. He was incredibly reluctant at first. Bad experiences with League of Legends made him stay away from the entire MOBA side of gaming. I told him to watch me play one game and then decide if he wanted to get involved. By the time the first team fight started, he was sold. When he started playing, I told him matchmaking at first is going to be nowhere near as fun as it was on my level, but he didn't seem to mind. Lower matchmaking meant more chances to experiment with weird things to really understand the basics.

Fast forward to now, almost an entire year later. I met up with him and he's coming across pro players in matchmaking. He's pretty much top tier, while still just playing for fun. If he wanted to, he could go pro. Although I don't think he'll do that again. He once told me how much he dislikes the pro gaming lifestyle because it's too obsessive and unhealthy. Requires way too much play, taking out too much time for his preferred lifestyle.


I was around 14 in 1999, damnit.


In the meantime I'm trying to get by in League of Legends on my shitty dualcore laptop. It's one of the few active online games that my shitty laptop will play. I only recently got to ranked play because I don't play all too often, and I win nearly everything because I'm used to playing a game at a much, much higher level of matchmaking, I'm also polite to my team and know how to guide even the most unwilling players to make the right moves. Manipulative? Maybe. But it's better than being stuck with a group of players yelling at each other for 40 minutes at a time. The kindest thing anyone has ever said to me was to uninstall the game because "i suk", right before making the entire enemy team ragequit in 1v5 teamfight that I won despite my team not paying attention to my signaling. My team bragged about how pro they were after that.

I just don't understand the logic of being abusive and poisonous towards the nine people you'll be spending the next hour or so with.


Remember the part where I said I'm a really nice guy who doesn't make fun of people online? Neither do I!


Sure, my laptop can run Awesomenauts as well, but after hitting top rank before playing enough to even really settle with a character... I got bored of it. I love the multiplayer, and the game is a lot of fun to play, but despite that I still love to have some feeling for progression in it. Prestige doesn't count. Progression doesn't always have to be spelled out with numbers or unlocks, sometimes it's really just something that happens within yourself and your attitude as a player.

That's what I really liked about Dota 2. Sure, there's no real progression there besides what matchmaking tier you're in, and even that's mostly invisible. You can only tell based on how well the people around you are playing the game. Usually when you jump up a tier, you notice the difference quickly. There tend to be huge gaps in matchmaking tiers in that game, and it takes a while to adjust since a lot of old strategies no longer work as you work your way up. Entire characters just drop off as their primary reason for existing is to punish the mistakes especially made by less experienced players.

League of Legends on the other hand forces you to sit through 30 levels of unranked play before you can even get to ranked play. While I understand the idea, the way they do it ends up cushioning the egos of "pro" players the same way most shooters do these days: unlocks. Every time you level up, you get to put a point in your masteries list. You also free up a rune slot. Both of these translate over to better stats in-game.

Unlike DotA 2, where if you make an account right this moment and pick a character you'll have the exact same stats as when a pro does. League instead gives you a character with weaker stats, less health, longer ability cooldowns... It's not a gigantic difference, but it's enough to make a new player feel like they suck because of that instead of their lack of skill. That, and the fact they still have to unlock the characters.



This makes it easier for most people to start playing the game and gives them incentive to keep playing if they're not able to set their own goals, sure. It also stops the experience from becoming overwhelming early on. Yet at the same time, this makes it more difficult to compare your own play to that of a higher skilled player and realize how much you suck in comparison because even if they're playing the same characters, they'll always have different stats than what is available to you. It makes it easier for a new player to call themselves a pro gamer even if they don't understand most of the basics while holding onto a lot of stupid excuses.

I feel this is why so many people consider themselves pro in online games like Call of Duty as well. With the unlock systems in games these days, it's a lot easier to find things to blame instead of realizing your not as great as you want to believe you are. At the same time, it's also easier to keep yourself in the lead simply by having more unlocked than most. Even if it only makes a minor difference, a well-balanced game hinges on minor differences.


Incoming crotch-Hyakuretsukyaku.


Fighting game communities seem to suffer a lot less of the aggressive problems around in shooters or MOBAs, but that might be because the genre has been so close to dying out it's not even funny. Most of the people around in the fighting game scene probably know how important it is for the people within it to keep their shit together. Besides, a round in a fighting game doesn't take all that long to set up or play, so shutting up and just playing is a lot easier done than in a 5v5 50-minute game.

Not that it's really no better in hugely popular fighting games over XBL or PSN. People tend to be terrible idiots on those services, especially with the shiny new games. All my negative ratings on my Xbox Live profile come from using Chun Li in Street Fighter IV, and I've been called a hacker and cheater constantly just because I know how to counter with Xianghua in Soul Calibur.


Or sacrifice your Corgi Damsel, if that's what you're more into. I don't know.


One thing that is noticeable with most games known to be unforgivably competitive: once you get to a certain point in it, the playerbase tends to become a lot better towards each other. Even if you've never been into multiplayer games and tend to go for solo experiences, you'll still see it happening around games that take ages to really master. Just look at how fans of games like Dark Souls and even Spelunky connect. It takes a lot of patience, practice, and dedication to tackle those games. So it's no surprise that the people who experienced those games have a deep appreciation towards the games and can easily connect with others who have gone through that same struggle.



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