Ismail Ali · @refrezhCS

7th Feb 2023 from TwitLonger

My experience as IGL

It was quite chaotic being the IGL for the first time and I never seemed to have the control I wanted to have. It's a very inexperienced team and it didn't suit the style I wanted to have where everyone had some freedom but also some responsibility. When I found out that I had to be more controlling, it also got to a point where I was limiting the team too much and I didn't do a good job of activating the players. I was aware of these issues for some time and in the end I had to be realistic and say I couldn't execute what had to be done in the role of being the IGL. Speaking English for the first time in a team didn't help either, but the same issues would still occur most likely.

If you’ve seen my interviews or spoken to me in person, you probably know that I stutter. I’ve stuttered my entire life, and it has been much, much worse than it is today. I’ve spent many hours working on it with speech therapists and performance/mental coaches, and while it’s gotten much better compared to when I was younger, it was still an issue for me, when I was the IGL.

It’s probably pretty self-explanatory that stuttering gets much worse when you have to speak fast, coordinate and micro manage etc. I did enjoy being an IGL and I do think I have the abilities to become much better over time, but unfortunately my stuttering prevents me from being as good as I want to be. It's not an issue as a player since the amount of talking wouldn't be constant and being the secondary caller has also been a role of mine before with no issues.

Obviously, this is a very personal and sensitive topic for me, and something I’ve been bullied a lot for in the past by both children and adults. But I do feel like it’s important to address these issues rather than keeping them hidden. I’m not ashamed of my stutter (otherwise I wouldn’t do interviews etc), but I recognize that it’s not ideal to be an IGL when you stutter - at least not for me.

I want to thank my teammates and coach for being patient with me and believing in me as their IGL. Now, however, we will use Maze in the IEM Brazil Closed Qualifier on a trial basis, while I’ll be taking on a new role in the team. I have definitely evolved in the role of being the IGL and it has given me new abilities and further developed me as a player.

I’m sure the future is bright with this team, and I can’t wait to see where we’ll go!

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