My Life Before eSports

By Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels of Evil Geniuses

Hey everyone,

Instead of writing about another league related topic, I decided to look at myself for this blog. I’ll focus on Mitch rather than Krepo.

Well let’s go back all the way to the start. I never really experienced a big trauma in my childhood or won a battle against the odds to define who I am, so no Eminem story here. No, I grew up in a family that was rather well off due to extremely hard working parents. My mother had literally nothing growing up but worked her way up to prevent me from going through the same experience. She’s an amazing woman and all I can fault her for is perhaps spoiling me too much in an attempt to excuse her busy life. I was very fortunate in my upbringing apart from being alienated from my father during my later teens (only to be replaced by an even better step-dad).

While my parents did their best at teaching me respect and courtesy, in hindsight I still grew up extremely spoiled. They were so busy all the time they ended up overcompensating by giving me pretty much everything I wanted. Growing up I did well in school without putting in too much effort, if any at all. I always thought I was smart, but lazy. I had an incredibly off-putting and self-excusing attitude. Attending university for engineering quickly changed my mind about that. When you’re surrounded by peers that all were the top of their class you suddenly feel rather average. Since then, I have immense respect for people with good study methods & solid time management. People that I’d prior refer to as “tryhards”, but we’ll get to that point later.

Looking at myself now, I’d like to believe I’m outgoing, social, somewhat confident & hopefully funny (can be debated). However, that wasn’t always the case. Part of the reasons why I was one of those smartass kids is because I wasn’t socially adept. I was extremely shy & uncomfortable in new or unexpectable situations. I was always the last one in line, falling in love with girls was a one-way street, and occasionally I’d get bullied, or so I thought. No my teens weren’t ideal, and while i’m telling you a sob story here, I think a lot of it was my own fault.

Being in the environment where I am now and generally just growing up in life has taught me that you have to seize the opportunities, not wait for them to happen. If you’re not confident, then act confident, it’ll come eventually. Don’t be afraid of failure, it’ll only teach you valuable lessons in life. I used to always blame other people for being mean to me, life for hating me, girls for taking the “cool” guys, but not the “nice guys”. In the end, I was a whiny smartass, had no confidence, and had a rather poor sense of fashion. You can’t expect good things if you don’t put in some effort.

I’m extremely grateful though, of having had a big bunch of friends that grabbed me along and taught me the ropes. This bunch of extremely social and seemingly confident kids didn’t mind having me around even though I was rather silent and shy. While growing up I picked up a few things from them and just generally grew more confident. Going out with them and playing or watching football was and still is one of my favourite ways of spending time. I’m always so happy when I get to go back home to see my friends. Spending time with them at my favourite pub is one of the reasons I keep going back home for. For awhile it all got better, but I still lacked an identity.

And that’s one question I want everyone to ask themselves, without sounding too philosophical. Who are you? What drives you? What’s your motivation? I struggled a lot in college in an education I forced myself into, telling myself I was smart enough to do it. My heart just wasn’t in it, but I felt I had to do it, as if it was expected of me. I ended up wasting of my parent’s money doing so, as they paid my tuition. Fortunately in Belgium, that’s not as a big deal as in the USA because I breezed through high-school I had a hard time actually studying.

I got extremely lucky that I found a way out in e-sports, and couldn’t be happier doing so. I absolutely love what I do like traveling the world and meeting amazing people. League of legends is the first thing in my life that actually defines me, drives me to work hard and put in effort. It’s an immense load off your shoulders when you finally find something that defines you, gives you an identity. I want to thank my teammates, all the people that I’ve worked with, all the fans for giving me this chance, and of course my girlfriend for supporting me. It’s an incredibly liberating feeling to feel desired. People are interested in what I think or say. It has greatly helped me build up my confidence and at the same time identify where I went wrong/what I did wrong growing up.

My life got better, things always get better if you believe they will. That’s the main reason I wanted to write this blog. If you’re one of those teenagers that feels alone, unlucky, sad or you can just relate with part of my story, then know it gets better. However, it requires some effort, look at what you can change. Stand up straight, mind your clothes, hygeine, present yourself well, speak loud and clearly. Listen to advice, but don’t mindlessly swallow it, be critical, but respectful of both yourself and others. There are assholes in the world, but there’s even more nice people. I really like who I am today, but I’m still actively trying to improve myself. However, if you’re a fan of mine, know that’s it not always been that way, and use that as motivation for yourself. I don’t want to lecture people as I was rather lucky with getting to where I am now. I hope you can take some lessons from this little blog. Always look to improve, regardless of what you’re pursuing.