Heroes, Community & CCL Esports
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5 am Thoughts and Emotions about what it means to be a teammate, and other ramblings

It’s been a long long time since I’ve done one of these, or even written much in general to be honest. I feel like now it’s probably a pretty good time to get back into it.

I’m feeling pretty mentally exhausted right now, but sleep is hard and there’s a lot on my mind about everything. To preface this, it’s probably going to jump around a lot and i’m not going to edit it, but these are my thoughts about life and my thoughts/emotions right now.

       First things first - Starting this season off in January, I didn’t really think we would be qualifying for the Mid Season Brawl. Don’t get me wrong, I was confident we would do pretty well given our scrim results, but not “qualifying for the Western Clash, taking series off of EU teams at the Western Clash and then going back to NA and go 8-0 (including playoffs) well”.

I’m honestly not sure anybody expected that.

       I learned something about being a teammate while being on HeroesHearth, something that I feel kind of dumb for not actively realizing earlier on while I was a younger competitive player.

I learned exactly how far that playing well as a team could get you. I stress the word team because my first experience with roster changes on a professional level were basically along the lines of removing someone because we thought we could get a “better player”.

In hindsight, I looked at that situation really stupidly, and I look at every single player on HHE right now and I truly believe that this team honestly wouldn’t function the same at all without any of them. We all pull our weight and contribute what we need to to allow our dynamic to work.

We’ve helped each other grow, as people and as players and I genuinely believe that we will keep on doing so.

       Secondly, it might seem random but I’ve said it before a couple of times, I’d honestly like to thank Michael Udall because of what he taught me as being a team captain. One thing I’ll never forget is that after a loss in the HGC when we were teammates, Michael focused on the fact that one loss isn’t the end of the season for you. Every match is important and honestly, it’s okay if you lose some provided that you have a good response to it.

In the HGC over the past couple of years, we’ve seen some teams crumble after a hard loss and sometimes yeah, losses are hard to handle.

I think back to one year ago when I was on GFE and we failed to qualify for the Mid Season Brawl then. (Kind of funny actually, seeing as on GFE we were the top seed in the playoffs and only needed to win one match and it was versus Roll 20 - Which is pretty much Team Octalysis now, even though the only same members are Justing and Buds) That loss was devastating, not only was I very much looking forward to the Brawl, but I was removed from the team shortly after, and honestly, I didn’t really know how to exist as a pro player outside of GFE, seeing as that’s where I had spent all of my time as a pro player for over a year.

I suppose it just comes down to the fact that sometimes the journey is wild, you never really know where it will take you. However, the important thing to remember is that even when you feel lost in the moment, you cannot let that feeling defeat you. You have to try your absolute hardest to find a reason to keep on going.

It’s no easy task to find that reason. I’m fortunate enough that the thought of ending my professional career right there was pretty much not an option for me. I wasn’t satisfied with the mark I had made. Will I ever be satisfied? Probably not, but that’s what drives me at least.

       Sometimes I feel like a broken record in what I say to you all when I write things like this, echoing sentiments of appreciation and of hoping I am able to inspire at least a fraction of you.

So I’ll keep this part short and leave it on a couple of lines. You all are one of the main reasons why I do this and why I compete. Every supporter of me, no matter how large or small makes a difference in my life, so I hope I’m doing the same in yours.

       I don’t know if any of you watch anime, probably some of you do though so I’ll make this reference before I close this out. One of my best friends, Amber, recommended an anime called Haikyuu to me. It’s a sports anime about high school kids and volleyball and I hadn’t ever watched sports anime before this.

She recommended it to me because she thought it was pretty motivational and the way that the characters developed as friends and as teammates was really amazing. I agree it was motivational, but I also took something else away from it. While watching I learned a lesson about being a captain, or even just being a teammate really.

As a teammate, you can choose to force somebody to play the exact way you want to play, because that’s the way you think works, or you think is best. But, you could also utilize each teammates strengths and what they’re especially good at doing, basically working with them to the fullest extent instead of working against them.

I think this holds true for just life in general really. Everyone has their strengths and those can either be ignored or they can be utilized.

       Hopefully this wasn’t too long and thank you if you took the time to read through it all. Writing like this is something I haven’t done in a long time but I think it’s really good for me as a person, therapeutic almost. It’s always been how I’ve vented and coped with life or even just wrote my thoughts down to better understand them myself.


I hope you enjoyed.

Much Love ♥

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I feel ya on the unexpected sports anime inspiration. there was this relatively unknown manga and then anime adaption called "giant killing" that I happened to watch back in 2010 that someone I trained with in the starcraft scene recommended. It was from the perspective of a former player turned coach of an underdog soccer team and it always stuck with me as a unique look into mindsets, even though nobody ever talked about that show, I always remembered it and I re-watched it again when I first started coaching at the start of the year.
Great post Khroen. Thanks for writing it.

There's something special about this team. It's very exciting. I don't know exactly what it is. At a high level, it feels like the team is happy and extremely motivated and confident in each other, which makes for some really beautiful play. I think there are a couple factors powering that.

The team captain (you) is one of the most positive and accepting players in the pro hots scene. The team has a mix of seasoned veterans and eager but capable and coachable "rookies" that have improved by leaps and bounds. Also I absolutely love the creativity that comes from the team, which I think makes the players generally have more fun (and it shows). It's a bit tougher to see from the outside but I think Cauthon's coaching has been very valuable from a focus/anti-tilt perspective as well as game strategy, individual player improvement, and team building. And lastly, I really believe HeroesHearth is a special org, built by people who love HOTS and want it to grow, people who are willing to make bets on the right people and right things, and commit to promises. That has to be so great for everyone involved with them, staff and players alike.

I'm obviously feeling very optimistic after yesterday's match. I've been a Mcintyre sub for over two years and obviously have been pulling for him and this squad since the first Hold it Down Open Div tournament, but in that time I've come to know the HHE team a lot more too. I feel like each player has stepped up his game so much and continues to improve, and each one brings something special to the table. You guys deserve this MSB spot, and I'm super excited to see the next level this team gets to. Enjoy the short break, best of luck in Sweden when the time comes, and until then I'll hopefully catch you guys on some strims!

Khroen you're crushing it on all fronts, mate. I've been a fan of HHE since the first game of the season when I saw your rad flame logo, picked up on your vibe in interviews, caught the games at Clash, discovered the treasure trove of knowledge and bastion of collaboration that is heroeshearth.com, and then watched every map of your 8-0 run - unbelievable. I invite friends who play HotS but don't watch HGC over to watch you guys play because I am confident that you guys will bring the energy and entertainment. You are, imho, the best representatives of the HotS community in NA (<3 Tempo Storm), and I wanna see some fireworks at MSB.

Having said all of that, I am most impressed by your headspace and your dedication to putting the good vibes out there. Riding the high of last nights games, you chose to express appreciation, share insights and seek to inspire. Most impressive.

Much Obliged!
It takes so much dedication to be great players. It takes a lot of heart to be great people. GG man. GL HF