I had a friend imply I was bad at League of Legends a few weeks ago. They’d just reached 1800 elo and thought they were really good, total pro-gamer status, and in the mood to put someone else down to celebrate their victory.
I haven’t had a good game since.
Almost two years ago, I had a magazine editor contact me to write for her magazine. It was flattering – she said I was truly gifted and my articles were awesome. She accepted two of my pitches. I began to write them, I poured my heart into one of them.
She tore my article to shreds. After rewrite and rewrite – a process that took about a month and countless hours – she told me I wasn’t going to work out and withdrew the articles. My style just didn’t fit her magazine, she explained, even though she’d approached me in the first place saying not only that it did, but also encouraging me to write.
I haven’t written about video games since and until now, when I finally decided to say “screw it!” and start this blog. As you can see so far, I am not really an open book and still can’t wrap my head about writing more and more. And better.
When I was younger, failure really empowered me. I was a tall kid and tall kids can’t typically do gymnastics, but when I was told I couldn’t do the rings or twirl on the bars, I’d try over a thousand times until I finally could. I had something to prove and so I proved it even though I didn’t feel a bit of attraction for gymnastics back them. Ironically, I started playing basketball and I love this game, but ended up being just mediocre. Only got into the NBA during the 2K drafts, ha!
And when my friends said I couldn’t play Counter-Strike seriously because I missed the head start (since I only started playing it several years after its launch back in the days), I 1v1′d on that game until my eyes bled. Until I could do that perfect headshot from around a corner. Until I could carry my weight.
But as I got older, the more people said I couldn’t, the more it’s damaged me and made me unsure. I used to play League of Legends at a pretty high level. My CS was great, my calls were good, and I rarely missed skillshots like Ahri’s charm or Kog’s ultimate.
Now I’m lucky if I land a single charm all game.
I don’t know what to do about it. I want to succeed. I talk to myself and tell myself to snap out of it as I play poorly, but nothing comes of it. I don’t want to be like this – I mean, I’d love to get back into the game and to play at a high level. I’d love to write again, too. But I crumble under pressure nowadays. Insults from strangers or anonymous figures in the dark don’t matter, but insults from people I respect or personally know do.
When someone I care about says I can’t, I can’t.
And no matter how much someone else says I can, that one person lingers in my head.
How do you get over a psychological break like that? How do you stop one person’s actions from ruining the rest of everyone’s positive energy? How do you not hear them every time you screw up?
I don’t know.
Will I ever be able to prevent other people influence the way I play my games?
I don’t know.