Thoughts and plans for next year:
For those of you who are close to me, you’ve known that this has been a while coming. Although the end to this year has been disappointing, my decision has been thought out since the start of this split.
I have decided to retire from competing in the OPL full-time. I can no longer justify to myself having competitive league as my sole direction in life anymore. I still love the game and gaming in general, and I will always be a fierce competitor at heart. I believe that I need to pursue something that challenges me more, or that has a better trajectory in the near future for my life.
I’ll go over the main reasons that I came to this decision, although there are very many factors that played into this. Culturally, I come from a hard working and professional background, that has helped me to succeed in various endeavours in my life. The cultures that I have experienced in my esports career have made me question the validity of my life’s direction. I’ve had a feeling of being stagnant, and lacking the freedom to spend my time productively. I’ve too much experienced the feeling of just going through the motions, queueing up in solo queue just for the sake of it, being results focused in scrim blocks, and not improving as a player or person. I’m not blaming anyone else for this, and it’s a failure from me to match my expectations with reality.
With the question of financial incentives being relevant, we all compete in the OPL for the love of the game and competition, and it’s very hard to save up money, especially as I live in New Zealand and flight costs are always a pain. Projecting my career several years ahead, I can’t see OPL as being the best decision for me. I’ll give some background info: I’m turning 24, I’ve completed 3 semesters of my degree at Auckland uni, and of course I live in NZ. If I return to uni by the start of next year, I can pick my course up where I left it 2 years ago, without any hassles of reapplications.
I don’t want to drag this on too long, so I’ll briefly go over my future plans. I’m looking to resume studying Psychology and Business at Auckland uni, and still play league and consider options for staying relevant in the scene remotely. Whether this would be coaching, OCS, commuting for OPL on weekends even, or just subbing, I’m not sure yet. I will definitely be taking a break, and I’m just excited to see where the chips will fall.
I want to give a shout out to a few people that I’ve had the privilege to meet during my time in Sydney:
From sniping you in off-season in 2016 to playing with you this year. You helped to scout me from solo queue and kickstart my career. Thank you for putting up with my strong and often stubborn opinions all year, it’s been a joy to watch you succeed and succeed alongside you. In my eyes you were the indisputable MVP of this split, and it really made me proud watching your growth from split 1 to split 2. Although outside of the game we don’t spend much time together or share common interests, I value the mutual respect we have for each other immensely. Easily the funniest guy I’ve played with too, I can’t wait to see you pop off next year, and continue to grow as a person.
What a year it’s been. The number of deep conversations we’ve had has been way too small, but I know at any time I can talk to you about anything. Your work ethic and outlook on life has been truly inspirational. Whenever I’ve felt demotivated or angry, just seeing you work on the drafts and showing care for all of us has helped keep me on course for this year. I don’t know how you kept your composure through all the moments we’ve had as a team, and from me challenging the way things are run. Keeping one’s ego in check is one of the hardest things to do, so I have great respect for you. One of the few close friends Ive made during my time here.
I have a very different background to almost everyone I’ve met in esports, so meeting you and having a close friend outside of my team was really cool. From playing tennis and table tennis to talking about life, you’re just a really good person that everyone likes. Also thank you for your wise advice and friendship through some turbulent moments of my life. Working and hanging out with you and the Dire Cubs were some of my fondest memories of this year, and time can really fly in esports.
To my friends and family back home, you know how much your unwavering support means to me. I’ll see you guys soon ❤️
One last personal thank you to everyone involved in the OPL, and of course the fans. I don’t regret pursuing the OPL for a second, and I hope to see you and your names in the future.