Dota is Life

I’ll never be a professional Dota 2 player. Maybe if I went back in time and committed myself to the game. Just maybe. But for now, I’ll stay a regular pleb, struggling to win matches against people in the same skill bracket as me. I don’t have the mechanical skills that professional players have. I don’t have the skills of each hero or costs of each item memorized. I don’t know how much damage each skill does, what its cooldown is or how much mana it costs at each level. Let’s not even talk about farming patterns or last hitting skills.

It’s not the end of the world though. I have fun playing the game. I enjoy all the banter and trash talk that goes on between my friends and me. It’s how we bond. It’s like talking shit over a couple of pints. Except that it’s much cheaper and we can do it over the comfort of our own homes. Sure, sometimes it gets stressful, especially when we’re on a losing streak. But you can’t win every game you play, so I just accept it. I win some, I lose some.

It’s like life. Not everything goes your way. Even if you’ve planned something down to the finest detail. There are elements of randomness that can throw everything away. A lucky rune or Roshan respawn. An accidental feed. Accidentally activating your Black King Bar too early, and not having it ready in time for the next fight. There’s a million things that could go wrong. Just like how there’s a million things that could fall into place for no good reason, and you end up winning off it.

Sometimes one mistake is all you need – to win or to lose. It’s unpredictable. You’re on a team of five people playing against five other people. Human beings do the most random shit, sometimes you can’t even understand their decisions. But it’s just a game, and we all go along with it. You make the most of it. You can play to the best of your ability and adapt to everything else that happens. Sometimes it’s good enough, sometimes it isn’t.

The best planned projects can end up failing, and sometimes last-minute work gets you your client’s approval. Mistakes can turn into opportunities and vice versa. Timing, opportunities, and communication. All essential skills both in-game and in life.

Enemy split pushing you? Try to get a successful gank off and force them to retreat. Enemy five-man pushing you? Split up and take multiple objectives, forcing them to retreat. Game is in a stalemate? Catch them off-guard and force a high ground fight.

Work got you feeling down? Get a new job, ask for a new role, take a break. Feeling broke? Watch your budget, don’t overspend, save more. Don’t have enough time to do something you like? Spend less time on other things so you can make time for it. There’s always a solution to everything – but it’s not always going to be easy. You’re going to have to make sacrifices in life. That’s just how things are.

Sometimes you want to play the mid role, but there’s somebody else on the team who picked mid first. That’s fine, just pick another hero and go to another lane. Learn to adapt, overcome. There’s nothing wrong with playing another role. Sure, you don’t get to hog the limelight, but you’ll get your chance another day. There’s always another day.

It’s just like life. I’ll never be a professional Dota player, but at least I’ll be a professional at something else, and I’ll be making more money than I ever will playing the game (I’ll eat my words if I ever qualify at The International Kappa) – and that’s all that matters.

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