This week I had the idea of planning out and sticking to a content schedule; mostly, I wanted to start becoming more organized with my time, and also wanted to lessen the mental load. Projects can seem pretty big until you take the time to get what exact steps you need to do them out on paper, which is kind of what happened here.
Ironically, though, I’m breaking that content plan on Day 1. I was originally going to put together a video of stream highlights, but I feel this is better suited to start next week, now that I have commands to annotate my streams to hunt down cool moments later. Otherwise I’d be watching about 24 hours of video in the hopes of finding a couple things to put a video together with — I know I’d get lazy and half-ass something, so I figured I’d put some words down here, instead.
But y’know, here’s one, just in case.
This week was pretty weird. I’ve gotten over the weird hump of adjusting to a new fightstick (which I still need to write about), and got back to playing Street Fighter. I switched Tuesdays to playing the game exclusively (instead of after Dota, like usual) and was actually pretty scared of booting it up.
While I’m not really that stressed about the gain/loss of points there, I was more irrationally worried that I’d continue to get frustrated about my assimilating to the new stick. I liked the feeling of progress that I had gotten before, and due to some frustration with Dota (more on that later) I wanted to feel like I was holding onto something positive.
Thankfully this wasn’t the case, and we got our first ragequit on stream.
This was a point of pride, mostly because I’ve always pictured myself to be the one raging out; thankfully I’ve surprised myself with how patient I can be with Street Fighter. During this week’s Tuesday stream I ranked up to Super Bronze and lost it 10 times on one stream. Normally, especially given how I’ve handled losing streaks in Dota, I feel like this would have caused more stress than it did.
But it didn’t, and that’s a cool thing.
This week in Dota
I’ve been pretty frustrated with Dota lately mostly because I don’t feel like I’m improving. This isn’t a “oh I should stop being so hard on myself” moment, either: I genuinely think I’ve stagnated with trying new things and learning things that will up my game.
I’m finding that a lot of my planning for playing Dota kind of falls on the wayside, especially when things throw me for a loop in-game. I’m falling back to comfortable patterns and the thing is, that comfort isn’t doing anything for me.
I’m still losing and winning in streaks, but it all feels pretty arbitrary and I’m getting more frustrated based on things I cannot control. I’m micromanaging my team to the point where viewers are pointing out how unfeasible it is for that to work out, and I agree with them. I guess I just feel like the small mistakes that snowball a game to an unwinnable state are fixable, especially when they start in draft.
Basically, I’m thinking of doing a couple things:
- Devote each stream to achieving a different goal. Say “okay, today I’m going to work on smoke ganking mid at 2-3 minutes in to help snowball it.” This will give me a focus I can stick to, and even if the rest of the game falls apart, I need to be able to force myself to do that.
- Start practicing more offline and off stream. Obviously this is a given, and organizing myself more will help “find the time.” If I want the results, I need to put in the work.
- Pick later in the draft in order to fill in spaces that I think we’re lacking. This usually means picking reliable stuns, but it’s based on whether I want to win games or pick heroes I want to play.
That last point is the thing I think will be easiest, but it also comes with a little bit of a price. I find myself getting a bit tilted when I feel like I’m “stuck playing boring supports,” but the reality is “do I want to win or have fun?”
Obviously the quest is to do both, but if I’m going to have to play Witch Doctor or Vengeful Spirit (heroes I’ve played a lot and want to move away from for variety’s sake), I might have to swallow my pride a little bit.
Other than that, I think more clear goals will help me feel less frustrated in Dota, even if I lose, because I’ll know that progress is being made. Right now I’ve gotten a little lazy about that because of the headway I’ve made into Street Fighter; I think I need to wake up and realize that I can’t just coast anymore if I want to move forward.
You can find my stream schedule here if you decide to join me. I hope to see you there.
Matt Demers writes about video games, culture and the Internet. You can find him on Twitter and watch him stream on Twitch. Subscribe to his e-mail newsletter to get a weekly digest of the new things he posts.