Why We Game

By Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman of Complexity Gaming

Professional gaming is strange. A small group of young adults train extensively every day, with only one aim in mind; becoming the best in the world. In the pursuit of this goal, everything else is sacrificed. Jobs, educations, families, friends, girlfriends, all cast aside in the pursuit of a dream that, statistically speaking, is impossible to achieve. And the best part? You don’t know if you’ve made the right decision until it’s far too late to change your mind.

My gaming career started at age 16 in a small townhouse in New Jersey. I lived with my four little brothers, my mom, my grandma, my friend Shawn, his mom, and a yellow labrador. My computer was next to my two brothers in our dining room, boxed in between the kitchen, the living room, and constant mayhem.

The first break for me occurred in the Winter of 2010, when my team of American rejects won a questionably legitimate tournament that promised a trip to Dreamhack for the victors. They sent us to Singapore instead, but as we were nearly certain that the whole thing was a scam we didn’t complain. To some that sort of trip might not have been a big deal, but at 18, when no one in the entire family had left the country yet…it meant a lot

Now it’s four years later. My success in HoN left me with a strong case of traveler’s syndrome and an expectation of victory. I can’t believe we lost game three to SNA. For two years, we won that game. We ALWAYS won that game. Every time. As the captain of stayGreen we were not only undefeated at LANs, but also responsible for most of the biggest comebacks in the game’s history. We won games that we should not have, consistently. And we lost our first really big one in DotA 2.

Most people think gamers are after the big score. The joy of winning it all. I really don’t think that’s true; I want to win because defeat is terrifying. Winning brings relief more than anything else. If you succeed for too long you forget how crushing it feels to lose. That gnawing pain in your chest when you have to accept that you’ve failed. For two years I never had to feel that pain. I never forgot it, but it’s so much worse than I remember.

Today I woke up at 10:45AM. I played DotA with my team for 7 hours, then discussed strategy for another hour after that. I forgot to eat until 8PM. As I write this I am about three days from finishing my fourth month of playing DotA 2. I know I suck. The team isn’t very good yet. But we’re going to work really freaking hard so that we don’t have to deal with another agonizing collapse.

In the future I’ll write about DotA, past matches, strategy, upcoming events, etc. I’m still really bummed about the loss and thus I didn’t really have it in me to do anything but just vomit words. Hopefully you enjoyed, thanks for reading.

Follow Kyle on twitter @coL_melonzz