When I played Quake Live I was mainly playing duels. I saw a Quake Live frag video and I was like, I want to be as good as those guys! Unbeknowst to me how extremely hard the road was that those guys traveled, but I would soon find out. I was just a noob. A noob that, to put it absolutely mildly, lost every game. I raged a lot during that time. I was so frustrated at the fact that I lost and lost that I even started raging at my opponent. No matter what I did, nothing ever seemed to work out in the game and I kept on losing and losing. I started blaming my opponent for playing so darn good! I know, it’s irrational.
Then, after a month or two of playing, the only thing that kept me coming back to the game was the desire to get better at the game, I bumped into a new player. At this point I was extremely trained by the good (god) players. Every game I was pushed to my absolute limit to even survive for 30 seconds. Because if I didn’t play at my absolute best every match, I would be killed by my opponent in 10 seconds or less. So I was forced to use my head instead of my aim and play defensively and only fight when I absolutely needed to. This training translated into the fact that I pushed myself to my limit every single match, no matter who my opponent was, because in my mind, they were all better than me.
So I played against this new player and I started to get some kills and I was up in score by around 2-0 and guess what, I was bored out of my mind! There was no challenge, I was able to roam around the map freely without the need to think twice before giving my position away, I didn’t need to run from battles, I didn’t need to use my head at all, just my aim sufficed. At this point I was playing defensively, just rotating the items, checking when they were up and just defending them.When the match was over the new player said something like “try hard”. I immediately recognized myself in him and I said to him something among the lines I had heard before from a good player. The good player also won a game against another player and the other player was not happy with it. The good player who won said to him “it’s just a normal game for me”. And I realized at the moment I defeated the new player what it was that he meant with that. I was just playing the game to the best of my ability and it so happened that I won because my opponent was less trained than me. At that moment I was extremely grateful for all my encounters with the god players, because they gave me a great gift. They trained me to become a better player by not holding back. By playing to their absolute best and absolutely crushing me every match, they forced me to push my limits and become better with each match.
After about 3 months of playing Quake Live duels I made a smart decision and quit the game. The decision was smart because I wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. It’s important to enjoy a game when you play it, it’s okay to want to get better, but it’s fundamental to make sure you still enjoy the game!
Looking back, I now fondly remember the tough matches that I had, the matches where I got pushed to my absolute limit because those were in fact the most exciting matches that I ever had. The thrill of putting your heart and soul into the match, that is where the true fun was.