If you claim to be a gamer and/or e-sports enthusiast and have not heard of League of Legends, you’re either lying or have been living under a rock for the past 5 years. For the past 4 years of my life, I have been playing this game, and there have been many ups and downs. At one time, I wanted to go pro in the game, at another, I wanted to quit. Currently, I just play the game with friends for fun, but I don’t really enjoy the game as much as I used to anymore. Despite this fact, I owe a lot to League for what it has done for me.
I first heard of League around 2012/2013 from videos circulating around the internet. I was originally a console fps player, not really into pc games in general. But entering my second year in junior high, in 2012, I was beginning to get bored of the same old Call of Duty games year after year. Around this time, I began to join a new friend group, a friend group at school who I would grow with to this day. They were all mostly PC gamers, and a couple of them played League (this was before League became super popular), so I decided to give it a try. At first, I didn’t really like it, so I decided to play other MOBAs like DOTA or HoN, but eventually I started to warm up to League. As I began to play it with friends I wanted to start taking it more seriously, so my friend linked me to a character build guide. And that’s how I first heard about TSM.
In 2012, e-sports wasn’t really that big yet, at least I’ve never really heard of it before. The only games I was aware that people played professionally were any MLG FPS games and Starcraft. So when I first heard about TSM through their website, I thought it was pretty cool. The champion I really enjoyed playing was Graves, and my go-to guide for him was by one of TSM’s players: Chaox. I began to watch videos of him and of TSM and I loved it. I thought it was so cool how precise and mechanically skilled they were; I wanted to be like them. I began to watch tournaments on Twitch, cheering on my idols. I looked up the histories of all the pro teams to try and learn as much about the competitive scene as I could. The rivalries, the storylines, the triumphs, all of it seemed so surreal that all of this could come from playing a videogame competitively. I remember watching them become the best team in North America, winning IPL4 and defeating their sworn rival CLG. I remember watching them at the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship, which was the point where League exploded, and feeling so sad to see my favorite team lose to the foreigner Korean team. I hopped into Ranked mode as soon as I was able to, I wanted to get as good as I possibly could, and maybe one day I could make it onto that stage. TSM will forever be my favourite esports organization, because they were the very ones who got me into competitive gaming. This was my initiation to the world of e-sports and competitive gaming, a big part of my life currently and would eventually lead me to Super Smash Brothers.
2013 -2014, League of Legends Seasons 3 and 4 was when a lot of my other friends in my friend group started playing, so we had a lot more people. I began to play with a larger group of people and it was fun to see each other improve and just have fun playing the game. All the laughs we had together, all the screaming at the top of my lungs, all the hype, everything that came from playing with friends will forever be ingrained in my memories. Along with this tide of new friends to play with, during this time was my big push to improve and rank up. This drive gave me a goal to work towards and though I fell short, it was still a big part of my life. Having a goal to strive towards always lets you grow, and during that time I realized a lot about myself as a person and as a player. I would also make a username change that I would forever relate myself to: Mecha Zix. The origin of this tag was simply I enjoyed playing the champion Kha Zix, and he had a skin called Mecha Kha Zix. I wanted to be clever, so I put the name together to Mecha Zix. All my friends just called me Mecha, and the name stuck.
Now, my time playing League wasn’t always pleasant. I’ve seen some of the worst come out of me and others playing this game, and I’ve had some of the worst times of my life that came from an addiction to it, but that still doesn’t change the fact that due to this game, my life is completely different. League allowed me to find a group of friends that still stick with me to this day, it allowed me to discover the exciting world of e-sports, and it allowed me to taste glorious victory and bitter defeat. It was my first real online experience interacting with people and without it, I might not even be writing on this site right now. League allowed me to compete with my friends and grow with them as players. I honestly could not imagine a world where I didn’t meet my friends through this game, or a world where I never discovered TSM or esports for that matter. And even though the game and my enjoyment of it may be different, my feelings and gratitude towards it won’t.
Thank you League of Legends, thank you for all the memories, tears, screaming, and laughter. And thank you for shaping me into who I am today.
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