Guns are for sticking to.

It’s Ant, the camera-less writer, bringing you your daily dose of TEXT TEXT TEXT. And philosolosolosophy. If, like me, you’ve just watched 11 and a half hours of DotA (and I was watching from my office… which is like 1 mile from the TI3 venue… LOOK I’M USING MILES I’M SO AMERICAN… but I digress… a lot… OOOOOOH ELLIPSES…), think of this text as adding variety to spice up your day!

Today’s timely topic is losing. Because The International is probably the harshest competition ever, for an already harsh game. Competitive players are used to losing a game, maybe a series, and… that’s it. The day’s over. Sometimes there’s a whole week to reflect and recuperate, Not in TI – you lose a game, and then you go into the next one. Morale gets depleted, confidence gets shaken; teams don’t train to lose. You go in with plans, you have to believe in them – what do you do when your plans don’t work?

First you’re disappointed, as anyone would be when effort is not met with result – but such is the consequence of competition. Then, you reflect on your plan. Then you change it, make it better, and try again.

You can’t do that with half an hour between games. Confidence gets shaken, fatigue piles up. Winning is easy if you’re already winning – just keep doing the same thing. Losing takes its toll. It’s a trap – there are no right decisions. You can bank on being able to adapt in that hour between games – which rarely works out. Or you can keep trying to do the same thing over and over again. If you dare. Historically, if Zenith (or any of its incarnations) are bad at something, it’s bouncing back after losing.

Executive decision quote, paraphrased (because I’m growing old and my memory is getting bad), made after group stages. “We just got mindf*(@ed after losing our first game. Then we tried to switch our playstyle. We should just play what we’re good at.”

And so that was the choice taken. Screw theory, screw conforming, what matters most is what the team is good at. That’s a decision that takes balls and deserves respect.

“It doesn’t matter what iG would pick here. It doesn’t matter what Na’vi would pick here. All we care about is what we want to pick here.” Quotation marks for illustration purposes only. Not an actual quote.

Because there’s no glory in going down while tossing your pistols away (i.e. not sticking to your guns).

And then there’s Na’vi with a turnaround game with the best Pudge strat in existence. There’s much glory in that.

Preparing to win is easy. But perhaps it’s more important to prepare for losses.

- Ant, being friendly on E-ink this time, only writing 500 words.

p.s. He even said “N. W. P”, and then his nick on the right was “N. W. P.”, and then his nick front and center was “Yamateh” and everyone keeps calling him “Yamateh”. I giggled. It seems you can’t just shake off old handles.

p.p.s. 3 years later, iceiceice is still iceiceice as ever.

p.p.p.s. If Chinese teams don’t make top 3, my world perspective will shift and I might just quit LoL and play DotA.