The Shards of War Invitationals 2015 and me Day #2
The blog post about my experience in winning the Shards of War Invitational Day #2
This is part 3 of my blog posts about the Shards of War Invitational 2015. I recommend reading the two previous once for the best reading experience.
We are in Half Finals. The feeling is still a little bit surreal, but it the realization of being just an inch away from becoming the Shards of War champion in the first Invitational and official tournament in Shards of War is slowly dribbling into our brains.
My day started kind of earlier then I would have liked and I decided to lay down for 1 h to relax before the tournament. Looking back it was a mistake. What i should have done is go online and play a few games to warm up and to get into the right mindset again.
Instead, I felt mentally tired and my thoughts seemed to be pressed through jelly – slow and heavy.
I did my utmost to prepare my team for the upcoming challenges. We joined a little bot game again and did some exercises to loosen up a little bit and to get rid of too much tension. First everyone was instructed to follow my character only by looking on the mini map and steering “blind”. Second task was to dive into the enemy base behind the barrier and “show those bots who the boss is” :D.
My team felt relaxed and concentrated on the upcoming first match of the day. I felt confident that we could win and proceed further in the tournament. The only thing which worried me a bit (and what I warned my team about) is the fact that with having all of our previous games being recorded and live on twitch the enemy team will try to counter our strategy.
My thought circulated since we played our last game on Saturday around this truth. I watched all our games again trying to find the week spots in our strategy and was looking for this few moments were the enemy could have gotten an advantage over us if he had utilized the moment correctly. A part of myself had to watch those replay as someone who has to play against us and who needs to find the weakness in our defense. I didn’t try to find a weakness in their defense as our strategy was superior in the current meta and what we needed to do is to perfect our way of playing it and not to try to adjust to an enemy which was using some kind of tactic around team fighting
The first match of the day is very crucial. Especially after having all time in the world to analyse your future enemy and to prepare against him.
Nobody expected the match to become this energy draining and soul grabbing. It felt like playing with a parasite in your neck who slowly sucks you dry.
The match was stretched into nearly 50 minutes. A big part for the long match duration was my bad decision making and the fact that I didn’t play with my head fully in game. First and biggest mistake was calling for taking the dragon in the early stages. The timing could not have been worth, but instead of simply calling my team back (once the drake was spawned and walked through the mid lane) I let them push against an enemy who was prepared and engaged my team 5 on 3 (Vulcan and myself were pushing the side lanes, but we were too far behind).
The result was that my mid lane was defeated underneath their HQ (i don’t remember if they died or managed to escape) and the fact that a drake push was so ineffective jammed my thoughts in a weird way. Instead of just shaking it of my head started to spin around the thoughts of trying to analyse and understand all aspects of taking and pushing with the drake.
I tried to find the theoretical optimal timing when to slay a drake, when to push with him, when to abandoned him, which team constellation will change the timing and hundreds aspects more.
I started to play by motorical memory (like you drive a car on the highway and watching the traffic only on a sub-awareness level). Gank after gank hammered into the top lane and exposed my team into a defensive state and playing against an enemy who outnumbered them.
Around 30-40 minutes into the game i finally started to get my head straight again. It was when I checked the score table and realized that I had in this game only more deaths collected then in all the games before. Finally I started realizing several things: First thing which i totally misjudged was the fact that we were winning (slowly but steadily the enemy HQ was loosing constantly hp). I didn’t need to panic at all (the tension around my heart dropped in an instance). Second thing i realized in this very moment was the fact that I was playing my strategy, but with no adaptation to the situation (like trying to take drake when you could just go and win a game) and therefore highly ineffective.
Traveling the last meters for the victory sign was rather difficult and the enemy had all possibilities to counter us and win the game.
In the end we were able to utilize the mistakes our enemy team made to our advantage.
The second game was no problem at all any more. The other team decided to try to adapt to our strategy further and exchanged some sentinels. The result however was that they focused more on the cosmetics instead of mechanics which had proven to be effective against us. Then again: My team was at this point already so experienced that even without my guidance they were able to hold on to the game and outplay an advantage till i had my senses back up again.
Additionally working in our advantage was the fact that i managed to get my head into the zone again and started to feel the game again. The second game ended underneath 15 mins, leaving us exhausted but happy and proud that we made it into the finals.
We are pushing as a unit, we are retreating by covering each other, if mid lane has to retreat both side lanes pushed into their base. Cobra was appearing out of nowhere and striking like viper snake, only to vanish again before any resistance could be formed.
It is true that we lost a lot of towers in this game and an objective viewer might think that this games were close games. For me it didn’t feel that way. There was not a single cell in my body doubting about the fact that this games would be victorious for us. I was amazingly calm on the inside and filled up with self and team confidence (a very positive and calm feeling).
The first official tournament in Shards of War “The Invitationals” was won by us.
EvilBadDay (Vulcan), Fip0 (our reserve player and the backbone of our team), Diablik666 (Warhead), Xorencjusz (Bullwark), Kitoen (Cobra) and myself Id3ntyD (Striker).
We are the first champions in Shards of War and we are proud of it.