Talking CS: Building Your Legacy

Today on Talking CS, I’ll be discussing an age old question. Which came first. The chicken or the greatest player? This is something I get asked daily. Whether it’s from a colleague, a friend, people I meet and even clients. Yes, even clients ask me this, people who pay me for expert guidance ask me something so debatably simple, flattered I guess — but I find it overly unsatisfactory that I would have to charge for this. A see a lack of discussions centered around this topic, so I’ll do my best to cover it.

It’s a harrowing example of uncertainty or at least something that has been open for interpretation for too many years. There’s a large misconception about the ideal route a player must take to become great. I’ll use three examples of greatness and we’ll let you decide which one supersedes the other, if they do.

Great: A professional player with a tenured career who has achieved many feats. Winning majors, representing his nation, his brand, his team and his family name honorably.

Great: A professional player with a tenured career who has become a figurehead for eSports, paving the industry in golden standard ethics, mechanical play, and involvement in and out of eSports.

Great: A player who has a passion for gaming, using that passion to drive a competitive spirit that resonates with his life outside of gaming. A commitment found in solace through his teachings.

If you chose one over the other, you are wrong. Three of these examples qualify an individual for the title of great. You don’t need to be a world class champion to be a great player, heck you don’t even need to be a professional to be a great player. Now if I lost ya’ there, sorry, so to explain things and hopefully shed a new light to the meaning of greatness, especially in our world of gaming and eSports.

Greatness Lies — Within

Greatness is a body and mind embodiment. An ideology of living pure, living unapologetically happy, hungry for success, wherever or however it comes. A lot of clients who ask me — ponder upon their status as an individual and ask— “what could I do better, to be better?”

Simple advice, but it’s ultimately shrouded by perception clouded by fear and doubt. However, for the sake of discussion, I’ll break down some points and explain my opinion. Related to professionalism in eSports so if you’re wondering if this correlates back to you somehow — it truly does. Have you ever wondered what it takes to make it as a professional player? Your one stop shop of magical hocus pocus advises that could be an eye opener! (I hope)

Player Development — Live Reputably

Live reputably. If you’re truly seeking a career in eSports as a player my first advise in player development is to foster a set of principals that do not compromise your ethical code, your moral code, and your personality. Do not shroud your personality in bitterness, do not allow anger and other negative traits to showcase, especially a part of you that isn’t your best and brightest out there for the world to see.

For you to truly be happy you have to actually be happy.

Mentally you have to prepare yourself for the good, the bad, the in-between. Don’t stress over loss, it’s part of the inevitable. Learn to deal with the emotion flush through remedial therapy such meditation, and other methods.

Physically, I have always recommended you to go out. Ensure you’re building healthy relationships through social interactivity. Eat healthy, work your body out in one shape or another. Don’t forget this. It’s science baby.

Once you do that, chances are you’ll be a happier person. Someone who is social, someone who is healthy, someone who is ready to dive into a challenge without facing the ramifications that someone unprepared would face. It’s fact that a level headed, caring, passionate, and skilled players will more than likely get a position over someone who simply isn’t prepared or able to work in an environment so indifferent to what teams/organizations want.

It’s 2016. Teams and organizations aren’t simply allowing their players to live carelessly anymore. They’re putting their body and mind to work. They’re hiring psychologists to deal with problems left and right. They’re hiring trainers to train players and get them prepared for a healthier lifestyle.

Now what if you’re not looking to play professionally? Either you don’t want to, never indulged the idea, or simply aren’t fixated in an eSports career. Well, that’s absolutely fine. Being a great player isn’t exclusive to professional players or personalities.

Friends who play with you will envy you. Your enemies will fear you, and you’ll learn a very important life trait that will help you with your other challenges along the way.

Practice Practice And —Practice

Even simpler than you would have assumed.

We discussed the physical and mental aspect of greatness. Let’s talk skill, the bread and butter of what makes a player great. To begin I’ll start off by saying this, you don’t need to be the best player, but you need to be good enough to play at a level of competitive integrity. In other words, being able to operate as a team, not just an individual.

Individual players can carry others, but they won’t play cohesively within a team structure. For a player to truly be great they must be willing to work in an environment that follows the principality of team work. Practice team building exercises. Practice your communications, learn your flaws, learn other peoples flaws and organically grow from them.

Again, in life you’ll work in environments you aren’t particularly fond of. Patience, motivation to succeed, determination, ability to remain an outlier will put you ahead in life. In a team based game you’ll be the leader, the person who is calm cool and collected. A team that meshes stays together. Which brings me to the next talking point.

Looking At The Greats — And Why They’re Great

(Randomly chosen for traits, no specific regions, no rank order, I love you all equally.)

We’ll start off with one of the greatest minds in my mind. Sean “sgares” Gares. An NA superstar currently playing for Echo Fox. A skilled player who also serves as the in-house genius strategist. The reason I chose him is for his famous ability to lead a team, notorious for leading the compLexity lineup to the semi-finals against Fnatic. An event that stirred up the CS:GO scene, proving that NA as a whole was ready to compete internationally once again.

(sorry semphis but not sorry, you get your own write-up).

A player who has been criticized for his individual performance, but when times were rough he has undoubtedly helped his team rally to push on forward. His strategic leadership molded with the other traits of his former teammates helped cultivate the infamous NA Shuffle, which is still felt to this day.

Next we’ll continue the list with Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. An EU superstar currently playing for Natus Vincere. A skilled player who serves as the prolific AWPer with an engaging unique playstyle making him distinctively different from the rest and deadly unpredictable.

An AWPer is a primary team sniper, a role that carries a burden of weight, a role that has been empirically hard to transition to from rifling which GuardiaN has been done unlike no other.

Let’s head back to NA. Continuing the list is Spencer “Hiko” Martin. An NA superstar currently playing for Team Liquid. A skilled player who serves as a rifler with his impressive skills in clutching, lurking, creating opportunities and his experience with strategic calling.

His ability to remain level headed during tense moments, his drive to win a major has notoriously made him the beacon of true NA hope. A true veteran professional in the industry who has seen the good, the bad, and the in-between.

Lastly, we’ll talk about Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg. Finishing the list appropriately. An EU superstar currently playing with Ninjas in Pajamas. A skilled player who serves as a rifler with his again impressive clutching abilities, diverse play style switching between AWPing and rifling on-the-fly.

Outside of the game his character is generally goofy, outgoing, livid. His beard is amazing as well.

Now lets find common ground.

  • All players are veteran, showing their dedication to the eSport they love.
  • All players are proficient in one role or another, however their unique interpretation doesn’t supersede or undermine a teams performance. In other words, it makes the team — a team.
  • All players have ethical gold standards. Free of controversy, not abusing or exploiting their fans for temporary gains but instead helping the community by being the best ambassadors eSports has to offer.
  • All players have unique personalities that engage a community so dedicated to their lives, bringing all walks of live under one roof to share their passion for gaming and eSports. Representing the diversity that is found in real life culture, in your towns, cities, schools, work-place, etc.

There’s more to write, but I could truly go on and no one would read this! To summarize things, do well, and you’ll be considered great, by someone out there. Put your best foot forward and remember these things and you’ll be the next great.

Hi. I’m a consultancy owner. I deal with eSports, players, management and more. I occasionally write and bake awesome pies. This is an opinion piece that reflects on my ideology alone. Like my writing or want to get in contact with me? Twitter @MellowWalt or email

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