Monday, December 19, 2011

Joining the Competitive Scene

Here is the question that I am asked most often. "How does one make it into the competitive scene?" I won't lie, it is not easy. People think that it's all about sucking up to the bigger names, but it isn’t. Ask some of the top-tier players, sure it's nice to have a few fan-boys but in reality that is all they will ever be. It's like you and that girl you like, the one you do all the favors for and in return she just sticks you with how amazing her new boyfriends is = ).

For my example I will explain how I made my way onto the competitive scene. I started playing HoN about a year ago when I was bored of playing WoW Arena. My real life friend Ben dragged me into this game as he did every game I've ever become passionate about. We played "Easy-Mode" which in terms is similar to today's casual mode but not quite as casual. Anyways after being kicked repeatedly from normal games, joining in with 99% EM did me no favors, the new matchmaking patch was being initiated. 

When the matchmaking patch came into play my friend and I took our "EM" skills into the normal mode games. What a surprise... we dominated. Straight to 1900 MMR which was relatively good for the early stages of TMM. I met good players, even got the chance to play with players I watched on Honcast, which I watched religiously at the time. I eventually snuck my way into a few inhouse games thanks to my good stats in matchmaking; many of the pro-players were playing in the IHL and were too good to TMM with the pubs. After the lack of players in IHL it eventually disintegrated, which made way for the emersion of the FRAG Inhouse League.  I was vouched for this league by someone I met in TMM, bugs me that I can't remember but thank you! I was finally playing against the best of the best, the guys I watched on Honcast, the guys I wished I was as good as. 

This was during the tri-lane meta and I took a liking to heroes like Magmus and Hammerstorm. I played this role nearly every game and won. Not only did I win, but I dominated. I became a top pick when teams were being drafted on IRC, Rank 1 Frag Inhouse League Peterpandam. People were surprised and nobody knew who I was, Zaku made the joke that I was Vigoss and we all had a good laugh = D. As the league progressed I proved to be no fluke, continually winning games. I may not have proved to be the best player, but I was a winner. Somehow my team always found a way. Eventually Sneyking asked me to join his team (sGty) along with Swindlemelonzz, WaytoSexy, and China. That’s where it all started. I had a brief stint on some smaller sized teams like u5 beforehand but nothing big..

 On a serious note getting into the HoN competitive scene is relatively difficult and here are a few reasons to note.

            5 Players
a.       Game is so dependent on every little move of every player; all 5 players must perform well in order to experience success. Because of this, building a successful team can be extremely difficult.
a.       TMM has taken away many opportunities for people to Inhouse versus some of the top pro players.
b.      However TMM has also allowed players the opportunity to play against the pros, as they will not often find seats in the aforementioned competitive Inhouses.
a.       Most clans are built on friendship, or at least I like to think so. It is really hard to break the barrier and find yourself in a new clique of players. Once a clique is established they will develop their own enemies and friends, share opinions, and collaborate on their thoughts.

QOTD: What do you think the hardest challenge is when trying to join the competitive scene in any game?

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