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How to become a better player at any competitive game? Train a lot? Come up with new tactics and strategies? Control your emotions and hone your mind?

Abaut us

Sure. All of the above are valid and necessary parts of improving yourself, along with many others things and aspects, different for different people and different games and situations. But I, personally, tend to believe there is one, certain, thing that is far, far more important for becoming better than anything else on that list or outside of it.

I’m both a competitive player and an elo booster at a game called League of Legends, for a little more than half a decade now. Both of those endeavors require of me to be a very, very good player at this game - considerably better than everyone else around me, at least - and, to a certain extent, I was able to achieve that. So now I speak from experience when I say, that there is one most important, the absolutely crucial thing that you need to understand in order to become better, to achieve success - and not just in that game, or in a game at all, but in pretty much any pursuit in life. That thing is as follows: there is always, always a way to reach your goal. Sounds simple, sure, obvious, even - but I met so, so many people that just seem to never understand it, or think about their goals from that angle. Because what that simple thing means, is that there is, quite literally, always exists a certain line of actions and choices, that in the end will lead you to your goal. You may not always succeed right away at every step. You may not even always see the exact line of actions right from the first time, or the second, or the third… But the point is that the line of actions exists, and you need to always look to find and understand and complete as many of it as you can.

But enough with the empty words, let me give you an example. You play a team game such as LoL, you do okay, you win against your opponent on your - let’s say mid - lane, score some kills, grab some gold, all is well… And then your teammate from top lane, who is already losing and feeding his enemy, runs down the river or through the jungle - maybe escaping from a gank or trying to roam - and dies stupidly to your opponent. And then again a minute later. And again, and again, and now your opponent who was so much weaker than you before, beefed up on all the free exp and gold, bullies you on your lane and finally kills you. What would you do? An irritable player would run to the guy’s top lane and throw himself at his enemy, spouting racist slurs in all chat. An average player would groan in frustration and try to continue playing, but his morale would be already damaged - inside, he would already accept that they will probably lose, but at least it’s this guy’s fault, and not his, so oh well, unlucky. A good, determined player might remind himself that he is still there to win, grit his teeth, curse the guy under his breath, and try his best to carry.

All of those are very common and understandable and justified reactions, but none of them are right - because none of them actually let you reach your goal, a victory, hundred percent of the time. None of them, even the last one, actually aim to win - at best, they aim to do what you can with what you’ve been given. However, what exactly would be another way to solve this, will be a topic for the next time.