Regardless of which esport you love, there’s some common traits in all the non-elite players. If you’re content being the feeder that you are, that’s totally fine; without people like you, I would have actually needed to grind to reach the top level. If you want to surpass your peers, I’d have a look below and consider these 5 factors shared by gamers who suck.
1. Low attention to detail
When I say low, I basically mean none. From a young age, athletes learn that small details make a good player – consider shooting in basketball. Not only does alignment matter (your default B-A-L-L garbage they teach you in P.E.), but timing, palm surface, leg-arm strength balance, rotation, where you’re looking, and a whole bunch of other things all need to be taken into consideration to be an elite shooter.
In a classic MOBA, a 30 second segment in laning could easily feature up to 50 individual mistakes: they range from mouse placement, skill usage, mechanics, pacing, minion manipulation – the list goes on. In shooters, the details are more oriented around positioning of both aim and body. Either way, you need to identify each one if you want to be a serious gamer.
2. No warm-up
I’ve only ever warmed up for video games for a 3 month period in my entire life, while on Complexity. Getting your body physically ready by practicing against bots or in a warm-up game can make your in-game performance drastically improve. If you go in cold, you’re destined to suck. Thankfully, most other players are also completely negligent.
3. Skipping homework
When was the last time you watched your own replay from start to finish? You might think your plays are as smooth or accurate as the pros you’re used to seeing, but in reality you probably move like middle schoolers at the first dance of the year (or a computer-science frosh event).
When you are actually re-watching your games, flaws become clear. Think about if you’ve ever sung into a voice recording app – sounds funky doesn’t it? But that’s how you actually sound. Similarly, your perception of your play is heavily distorted by your emotion, a super slow-processing brain, and too much adrenaline.
4. You think teammates matter
Forget about blaming teammates, you shouldn’t even be worrying about them as people. For all intents and purposes, they’re bots with poorly configured RNG. They are simply variables that make your games more exciting and dynamic (until you play on a constant team). Don’t bother evaluating them, and focus solely on your improvement and to what extent you increase your team’s chances of winning. Trust me, it’s not worth the mental exhaustion to care about them.
5. You’re a goldfish, but worse
I’m sorry that your attention span is basically 3 seconds. Not only do you lose track of things during the game, but afterwards you are already bored of what you were playing and want to switch things up. Guess what, if you suck at sniping, don’t pick up the AWP or Widowmaker. MOBA players also need to learn to actually gain champion mastery before jumping to ship to whatever hero just dumped on them last game.
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The sad truth about all of these things is that fixing them doesn’t necessarily make gaming more fun. Warming-up is tedious. Self-critique is painful and frustrating. Discipline is poorly practiced without a whip.
If you can manage to abide by the positive side of each of these principles though, I could possibly be covering your esports careers in a couple of months!