I was inspired by kavi's story post to write one for myself. Here it is. I know most of the people here don't give a **** about this, and I don't expect anyone to feel compelled to read it. I mostly wrote it for myself.
Wolferer Origin Story
Kormir is a *****
This story starts 10 years ago, when a younger wolf read about a game called Guild Wars. This young wolf hated the concept of monthly fees, but was intrigued by MMOs. After reading about a game in development called Guild Wars, a MMO in development by some ex-Blizzard employees that would feature no monthly fees, wolf was hooked. He eagerly awaited the game's release, which came about a two years later. This wolf was in from the very start, playing in the original E3forEveryone event, through all of the pre-release beta weekends. The game changed a lot in this time, but one thing was constant, the fact that you would build your own skill bar. It was awesome, you could set up your bar to a almost infinite variety of play styles. When playing through the game you would periodically discover new skills, and it felt like you were playing a whole new class each time. Once it started to slow down and you were settling into a build, you were introduced to elite skills which changed everything again.
The other great thing about Guild Wars was the pve. For me in particular, it was the random arena. You get thrown into a 4v4 death-match with random teammates. The real revolutionary thing about this was that teams didn't always have a healer. These battles were fast paced and thrilling. Often they were decided by tiny details, such as interrupting a crucial resurrection signet, or kiting the **** out of that stupid wammo on your ass. What was also amazing about this format is that if one team does end up with a healer, they don't always win. There are plenty of ways to interfere with the healer, and you can bring enough of your own defense to out-attrition the healer. My personal favorite was an energy denial mesmer. He would drain the energy of the foe and would spike for a ton of damage when that target reached zero energy (in guild wars a healer typically will have ~30 energy which recharges fairly quick, there's still plenty of options against energy denial).
The great thing about random arenas is trying figuring out what everyone's builds are, and trying to come up with a plan on the fly to beat it. If one player is weak, you can spike them down quickly and waste your enemies resurrection signets. If one enemy relies on a crucial enchantment, you can try to strip it before they get a chance to cover it. There are a ton of builds you can create, and they often have a soft rock-paper-scissors aspect. You can also bring silly builds that most people consider underpowered and still win by outplaying your opponent. One of my favorites was a contagion bomber necro. You would deal aoe damage and spread conditions whenever you sacrificed health. You could spike down unsuspecting enemies at the cost of most of your life. It worked great versus healers or dangerous mages since you could take them out of the equation quickly. It was a pretty silly build that nobody used at the time, but later in the game's life it became more popular. It felt great to discover strong builds like that before everyone else. I was running Moebius Strike/Death Blossom assassins long before it became fotm and got nerfed. I discovered boon prot monks (using divine boon) during the beta, and even though I didn't enjoy it, the build would go on to be one of the earliest healing meta builds. Finding a build that made good use of underused skills like contemplation of purity and then winning games with it was a blast.
Guild Wars got me hooked on PvP, in particular, small scale fast paced PvP. With the first expansion, Factions, GW introduced a new type of PvP, Alliance Battles. In AB, you had three groups of four pre-made teams on each side (Luxon for life), making it a 12v12. Each team of 4 would usually operate on its own, although sometimes people liked to mob up (which usually would cause you to lose against smart opponents). The goal of AB was to capture points. Maps had 7 capture points, and would vary in which faction they favored based on which faction had been winning the most (they would favor one faction by having points skewed closer to that factions re-spawn point). The capture points would also provide some sort of buff to your team if they were held. Two granted a defensive boon, two granted an offensive boon, and two granted a resurrection point. One central point would provide a map-unique bonus (Saltspray Beach would spawn a dragon that fights with you). The maps are laid out with 3 points to be naturally capped by the 3 teams on each side, then one central point. On Saltspray Beach, some teams would rush for the center point at the start and fight over it, but typically teams started by capturing the three close points.
Scoring in AB worked as follows:
- Accumulate 500 points before the other side.
- Holding all 7 control points for 60 consecutive seconds sets the winning team's point total to 500.
- If every member of the opposing party resigns or leaves
Your team gains points by killing opponents or holding control points:
- 3 points: each time you kill a player from the opposing faction.
- 1 point: for each control point owned by your side; awarded every 7 seconds
I'd often make a team with one of my buddies and either 2 more guild members, or 2 randoms. We quickly discovered a very powerful strategy and would do very well whenever we went in with it. We would have two members using "Fall Back!", which would give almost 100% uptime on an aoe speed boost. We would then have one nuker that would clear the NPCs guarding points out quickly. The rest of our team would be set up to duel with another team of 4. We would have a healer, a assassin or warrior, and a utility mage. I played a ton of Alliance Battle, and the map would almost always be on the Kurzik favoring Grenz Frontier. If we started playing and it was on the neutral Saltspray Beach, it would jump over to Grenz pretty quickly after a couple rounds.
The general strategy we used in AB is to "circle cap". We would cap the left-most point at the start, then start going in a clockwise motion capturing. We would run into the team that capped the equivalent point on the Kurzik side and beat them in a fight. Then we take the point they had captured, and sweep across the back-line. If we ever encounter a mob, we avoid fighting and redirect to another point. Because we have the 100% uptime on "Fall Back!", we circle cap faster than the average team, and we also play well enough to win the 4v4 skirmishes. I would typically lead the way and determine what point we went to, making the call to redirect if a point is too well defended, or if someone is circle-capping behind us on the other team.
Time went on and Guild Wars released two more expansions that had very compelling PvE content. I would still play AB every now and then, but would usually just join the random arena when I wanted to PvP since getting 4 people together isn't always easy. Factions released a PvP mode called Hero Battle. It would be a 4v4 battle, but each team consists of one person and 3 NPC heroes that they customize and issue commands to. This mode wasn't very popular because it was pretty hard to micro everything, and there were only a few viable strategies (The AI is effective at certain specific builds and not at others). I played HB seriously for a little bit and managed to break the top 100 in the ladder, but between it getting tedious microing so much and the fact that you would periodically run into robot jedi masters who would demolish you, I gave up on HB.
A quick overview of HB team comps. At first I would run the player monk plus a balanced hero team (warrior, memser, ele for instance), which was good at 4v4 fights. I later transitioned to player monk + 3 bunny thumpers which is good at splitting up. The typical other comp at this time was player assassin (to outplay player monk) plus balanced team. This was usually a skill contest with the player monk (healing in Guild Wars is pretty widely considered the best healer experience ever in an MMO), but with the monk + thumper comp you could split and let your thumpers outplay their supports. I later transitioned to the player mesmer + 3 thumper comp. This healerless comp basically just ****ed over healers with crazy good mesmer denial. It was really fragile but if played right you would win fast. The only other effective team comp you would see is spirit spam ritualists, but that was a bit boring. So yeah, basically 4-5 viable comps.
I played Guild Wars to death and eventually the game died down while ArenaNet was busy working on Guild Wars 2 behind the scenes. After this time, Starcraft 2 was released, and my friends were all-in on that. I was hesitant to buy SC2 since I hadn't liked RTS games in the past, but everyone was playing it. Peer pressure ya know?
The Space Age
I played Protoss in SC2 because they have the coolest units. I got up to Diamond in solo ranked eventually, but ladder anxiety eventually got to me. I was so stressed out that I rarely queued anymore. If I did queue, I would be stressed out during the game, and if I won I would be even more stressed out for the next game. If I lost the stress would abate and I could play again. It was probably pretty irrational, but I guess I was worried I would eventually hit the wall where I would just get crushed. I started playing some 2v2 or 3v3 with friends, which was less stressful and a lot more fun. Coordinating army comps between multiple races is pretty fun, but as we improved we got to the point where games were won with cheesy stuff. You literally had to scout and prepare for 6 pools each game because it was a seriously legitimate strategy for zerg. If a friend was on, I'd play 2v2's, but if not, I started exploring the custom games. Some games were silly, but eventually I found a dota inspired custom game called Storm of the Imperial Sanctum. This was my first experience with the moba genre (weird place to start), but I loved the game. I started only playing that, and got seriously good. There was no matchmaking, so I would often just demolish the randoms in the game. Often carrying 3v5 wins or even 1v5 wins with a particular overpowered hero.
The best thing about playing SOTIS was that the ladder anxiety was gone. It was probably because there was no matchmaking, and I expected to win most games pretty easily. If I lost, I could complain about a certain champion being too strong, or my teammates being scrubs or quitters.
Destroying people started to get a little bit stale, but I didn't have the ladder anxiety that I used to when playing SC2. The SOTIS devs did some stupid stuff, and I started to get excited for DOTA2, and planned to switch to that when it came out. But instead, some of my friends started playing League of Legends, so I said what the hell, I'll play that with them. This was at the start of preseason for season 2, right after Riven came out. In one of my first coop games I saw a riven, and was baffled as to why she had no mana, and why the riven player was just blowing cooldowns hopping around.
"Champions", not "heroes"
Pretty much from the start I exclusively played LOL in a team setting. I would queue up for SR with my friends, and would almost never queue solo. I was quick to pick up LOL, partially because I had cultivated some MOBA skills while playing SOTIS, and partially because I'm a fast learner. I pretty soon got to the point where I was carrying most of the games. The first champion I mastered was the Skarner jungle. I was a monster. I would turbo farm the jungle until level 6, ignoring my friends cries for help. I would then pick a lane and ruin the other team's lives with my ult. I then return to the jungle, and gank again when ult was up. It was very systematic, and the focus on farming often resulted in me being the strongest on the team. People would cry for ganks, but I learned quickly when it was good to gank or not. I wouldn't gank if it was not likely to succeed (for instance, if my ult was down), and wouldn't gank lanes that are too far gone. If someone was doing well, I would help them snowball without really understanding that I was doing that. Come mid-game team fight time, I would be the strongest champion in the game, and would initiate with blazing speed thanks to my Trinity Force and Shureylia's Reverie.
I started to branch out because other people like to jungle every now and then. I found that I was quite good at mid lane and started to prefer that. I played Morgana and learned the art of the skill shot. I got enough practice that I could track where enemies would be after entering fog and could land blind dark bindings. I also learned that nobody ever gives you props for doing this. They assume it's just blind luck or something. I eventually picked up other mid laners, my favorites being Xerath and Brand. I read about a strategy to get easy level 2 kills mid lane against unsuspecting opponents, and started doing that with something like a 80% success rate. Basically, you get to lane quickly and throw some quick harass on your opponent (Brand is great at this with an E+AA combo). You then attack minions (as opposed to last hitting them only) in an attempt to hit level 2 before your opponent. Then once you are level 2, and your opponent is still level 1, you do the all-in. Walk up to them and ignite, then use a stun combo (E+Q on Brand or Xerath), then auto-attack them to death. You abuse the fact that they still have level 1 health, and by igniting early you abuse the 5 AD+AP that the ignite mastery gives you. It's super effective, and works on opponents all the way up to platinum level (which is where my normals ELO got to).
I tried ranked mode, but I hated it. People would never let me get the role that I was best at, and they would complain so much. Even if we had two lanes winning, the guy who is losing in the third lane will just lose his mind. At this time I was around platinum in normals, and playing silvers in ranked. It was a terrible experience. Everyone had the attitude that they had to carry if they wanted to win. This caused toxicity in champion select when they demanded their best role (instead of trying to fit everyone into a role they are good at), and in game at the first sign of trouble. I started to do jungle Hecarim (this is when everyone thought he was garbage), and would carry games really hard using the same strategy I had cultivated using Skarner. In the end, ranked just wasn't worth it. One of the straws that broke the camels back was a brand game. I was the only player who did well on our team, and carried the match to be even in the mid-game. The team refused to push objectives, and I got caught trying to poke the enemies. The entire team came down on my yelling at me for throwing the game. I had enough. Near the end of the season I did some duo-queue with one of my friends who desperately wanted to get to gold for the season rewards. I supported him while he ad carried and we won a lot of games at first, but then we started losing a few and too much arguing ensued.
During this time playing with my friends, I often took the role of the shot-caller. I would watch Saint Vicious's stream, especially during scrims, and would emulate the types of calls he did. It was pretty effective, and I had a better understanding of the game than the rest of my friends. I started to get a little bit elitist because of it, and would often argue with my friends over things that happened in the game. I learned a lot about how to lead people and how to handle losing games in LOL by doing things the wrong way during these times. I eventually reformed how I was acting with them and tried to be a better leader and mentor in game, but my friends would often still argue between each other about stuff in game. It eventually got to a point where one of my friends had to refuse to play with us anymore and it was big drama. Lets call him Mike. My other friend, Jim, would typically play support. Jim would get bored of traditional supports and do something offbeat every now and then. It usually didn't work, but I would often carry the game anyways. This game, Jim decided to support Ashe. Mike's girlfriend was playing AD carry and got so extremely mad at how bad Jim's support Ashe was that she got Mike to agree never to play LOL with us again. Of course Mike was also often arguing and getting mad about stuff too, so don't just blame it on the girlfriend.
I later started watching some very levelheaded streamers, including Nhat Nguyen, Scarra, and Wingsofdeathx, which helped transform me into the most-of-the-time calm and reasonable player I am today. If I ever get mad at you in game, sorry, I don't really mean it. One particular nugget of wisdome that wingsofdeathx imparted on me is as follows.
If your teammates are doing the wrong thing and you are doing the theoretically right thing, you could be in the wrong. You are better off adapting to what your teammates are doing than getting upset about what they are not doing. For instance, say it would be theoretically correct to group up and push objectives, but your team isn't. If you try to solo push mid tower and die because of it, you shouldn't say "omg team you guys should have been pushing tower with me". They weren't, and you shouldn't have been there.
From Skarner to the Crystal Scar
Dominion came out pretty soon after I started playing. I played a bit during the beta, but not as much as my friends. Once it came out, I played occasionally, but was more invested in Summoner's Rift. Eventually as the happy friend-team SR era started to end, I would play Dominion whenever nobody else wanted to team up for SR. I didn't like playing SR ranked, and soloing in SR normals felt weird. Dominion reminded me of my previous love for Alliance Battles in Guild Wars. It also helped me transition into learning how to play Dominion effectively. I knew that capturing points was more important that seeking out fights. That being able to win skirmishes will help you capture points and prevent your own from being captured. Knowing when to give up on a point and try something else was also an important skill that I was used to from my time directing the circle cap team around in Alliance Battles. Also the fact that even though you respawn fairly quickly, death is still bad. Lots of people did not understand that one back in the beginning.
Dominion is clearly very different from Alliance Battles, though. It is much smaller scale, and is focused on map and information control, while AB is focused on macro decision making and proper team splitting. AB also has the buff system that individual points give you, which adds some strategy as to which points you should try to take. Holding a res point for instance is a huge boon, and is often worth taking over an offensive/defensive buff points.
I still enjoyed Dominion, and I got hooked. One of the things I liked most is that I could play the role or the champion I wanted much more frequently than in SR. Dominion teams with two mages work just fine, but SR teams with two mages can be awkward, for instance. The awkward process of ending a SR game that you are winning is also gone. No more trying to organize people for objectives when they just want to farm. No more whittling down a turret while the enemy Anivia is sitting under it clearing out minions instantly. No more back-and-forth oracles ward clearing. No more getting stuck with the support role and being bored with an ad carry in lane who wanted to play passive. That stuff is not fun, and it is not in Dominion.
One of my friends was more into Dominion than me at first. He taught me some, and I would teach him some. We both rose in the ranks, and he would tell me stories about infeed and how absolutely terrible he is on shaco. He told me about how pentaqueue teams with revive were unbeatable, and it sounded totally ridiculous to me. I would duo queue with him occasionally while we got to higher elo (his summoner name is Rabid Snowman in case anyone recalls it). Eventually I passed him. The first champion that I started winning non-stop with was Nidalee. Sometimes people would be impatient with Nidalee and try to engage right away, then complain that you do nothing, but given time I would make the enemy team crumble with the endless spear poke. Once we controlled the windmill, I would stalk people in the jungle and prevent them from getting anywhere. I went on huge winning streaks, and when I lost, there were usually people complaining about Nidalee being a ****ty champion.
The next champion that I started winning like crazy with was Lux. Lux's burst was insane, and she was very safe thanks to her Q. I would burst squishes and kite bruisers to death. It was super effective. I also had a stint where I was playing a lot of Brand in the high elo bracket. The general consensus was that he was average, but the utility he provided with a Rylais was really good and I made him work. Once BFT came out eventually, people realized how good Brand is, but back then it was just a few Brand enthusiasts.
By this time I was in the high elo bracket. I had games with the big-named players that I had always heard about, Sauron, Talith, Aesh, Aparkhurst, SifuCalvin, etc. I was still a little star striking whenever I had them in game, and felt like I had a lot of pressure to do as good as possible to try to make them notice me, or at least not think of me as some random newb. People had started crying about ranked by this time, but I was having a blast. JabeBot was in full swing and I was tracking my elos after every match.
Then Guild Wars 2 came out.
Trahearne is a *****
Guild Wars 1 is my favorite game of all time, so I was obviously pumped for Guild Wars 2. I was following every bit of information that came out about the game, and once it finally came time to play it during the beta events, I loved it. The PvE was so fun, and it was awesome being in an open world with other people, grouping together to accomplish spontaneous events. Running into a random person in the world and adventuring side-by-side without communicating at all felt amazing.
On release I played like mad. With my trusty ranger, I was leveling faster than most other people. I turned all of the gold I accumulated into gems, which turned out to be a very wise move. The game was starting to get a little stale, but various events would draw me back in. For instance, the Battle for Claw Island story mission was pretty epic. When I eventually got to level 70+, I went to Frostgorge Sound and was in awe at how amazing the environment was. I played the first few dungeons and had a ton of fun with how challenging they were.
The game had some striking flaws. Beyond the first 20 or so levels, there is a lacking sense of progression. While in the original Guild Wars, you would be discovering new skills and changing things up all the time, in Guild Wars 2 you basically only got stat increases and the occasional trait. Some of the traits are actually really cool and change up the character, but they are so poorly detailed that it's hard to tell, which is something they only fixed recently. A trait would say "grant might when X" and you wouldn't know how much might you get or how long you get it for or what the internal cooldown is. Utility skills have high cooldowns, and a lot of them seem pretty boring (especially on the ranger). Once you figure out the few utilities that you like the most, it didn't change much. Elite skills were lame as hell. In Guild Wars 1 the elite skill was the shining beacon of how great your skill bar was. Everything is build around it. In Guild Wars 2, the elite is this weird thing you can use ever 3 minutes if you want to. It's often not even that awesome, and it takes away from your existing skills (often replacing them or disabling them). The ranger thankfully had Entangle, which did some good damage and had some good utility to tie in with my shortbow condition build, but the rest of the ranger elites (and the asuran racial elites) just looked lame as all hell. Rangers also had unresponsive pets, and never seemed to be included in the patch notes. I got to level 80 and explored all of Orr. I got 100% map completion (which I enjoyed, and it reminded me of vanquishing in hard mode GW1), and tried to do the dungeons that I hadn't yet. It was impossible to get teams for them, though. I tried WvW and it just felt slow. I tried PvP and it wasn't the PvP I knew and loved from GW1.
After having not played LOL barely at all during the time playing GW1, I decided to jump back in.
When I returned to Dominion, I quickly discovered that the era of OPs was upon us. I was way out of practice from the time off, and the controls in GW2 being so different. I went on a pretty sick losing streak. I realized that it seemed like crappy Jayces were winning just about every game. I gave up and joined them. I played tanky CDR Jayce, and it was good. Too good. I would play it top lane in SR every now and then and hammer form E max was just unstoppable. I started winning Dominion again and got back to elo heaven. Later the aspects of Jayce that I liked would get nerfed (hammer form), and the lame aspects (E+Q cannon form, blatblatblat) were left with all his power budget. The champion was dead to me. I moved on to other champions. I got good at Fizz in particular, and had a few games with the old elite players where I carried my team. This gave me some confidence. Eventually I got to the point where I almost never played SR anymore.
One day there was a post on the forums by a fine lad named Jakolipo who was trying to set up a team for Dominate Dominion. I previously knew about DD, and on occasion watched it to see builds for certain champions. I was familiar with Jakolipo's name from blind queue, so I asked to join. The team ended up being me, Jakolipo, KaWraith, Koravel, and Raaarrr. We beat some scrubs in round 1, then lost to Cheese Enema in round 2. Sifu was nice to us in the post-game lobby, and said that we would have beaten Amputease (who was their next round opponent). We played another week and lost again in round 2, then I went on vacation and missed two weeks. When I came back, the team had folded.
A week or two later, I joined another team, VVV. The players of that team seemingly no longer play Dominion, *(edit: EXCEPT GENERICKE, who also got his start on that team). I felt like I was the best player on that team, and tried to take a leadership role. We played for two weeks, and the highlight was getting PECS down to 230 points after I got the Nidalee they left open. The team folded.
A week or two later, FatMii asks me if I can sub for his team. His team had just previously gotten 4th place and got a taste of that sweet sweet RP. He needed someone to sub for his team so that he could hold on to the 4th place gravy train. Pretty much the only competition was the 4v5 match, which was vs Fancy Wolf's team, which had my former teammate Koravel. Fancy's team went with a scary bruiser armor shred comp that game. It included Talon, Jarvan, and Xin Zhao. I picked the beefy Alistar (who I was playing a lot of at that point), and shut down all of those bruisers with crushing pulverizes. I remember at the windmill fight they tried to engage, and I landed a 4-man pulverize that interrupted J4 dash. My team follows that up by crushing all of the CC'ed bruisers and we took an easy windmill. We then fought in the jungle soon after and it went the same way. Alistar pulverize stopped all of the bruiser's plans. The game was a total rout. I watched the vod of the game from Fancy's stream afterwards and he was extremely frustrated. I can't lie, it made me feel a little bit good inside.
Now during this time, Jakolipo was in cahoots with SifuCalvin to potentially create a Cheese B team, and I was on board. For that reason, I didn't agree to join FatMii's team. I subbed again the next week and we beat Fancy's team once more, but it was a lot closer. The following week FatMii wanted to try out a new member who would join permanently. This week they lost to Fancy's team. This also made me feel a little bit good inside. The following week I subbed for Fancy's team and they got another victory.
Around this time Haifhearted was kicked from PECS *(edit: actually FTV) for playing Teemo (I don't actually know why). There was scuttlebutt that he was trying to set up a team. At this time, the Cheese B team seemed dead in the water. I didn't really know Haif at that time, and didn't have him on my friends list. I sent word through Fancy that I was looking for a team and Haif contacted me. Haif said that all he needed for the team was a bottom laner. I agreed to commit myself to bottom lane, but pushed to be a top laner instead. At that time I felt I was stronger as a top laner. I played bottom lane occasionally in blind queue and did alright, but felt like I carried games better in the top lane. Haif was insistent that it was either bottom lane, or not on the team, so I agreed to commit myself to bot lane. The team also consisted of TEAU and Bebepop, two players that I was actually going to recommend should be recruited for the team before I knew they were on it. Seemed like destiny or something. Our 5th member was still up in the air, but we had SCIENCE filling in for the beginning.
Fizz was one of my strongest champions at this point, so I decided to see if he would work bottom lane. It took a little getting used to laning and controlling the wave with him, but I was good enough at doing the Fizz assassinating that it was effective. After some practice, I found that it is in fact quite good. My other bot lane champions at this point consisted of tanky derps like Trundle and Nasus, and some mages like Janna and Xerath.
The first tournament for Clueless comes and we beat up on the early round teams. I was a little worried that we'd get stomped by some random team or something, but we had a lot of strong players so that wasn't very realistic. In the round of 8 we get matched up against FTV. If we lose, people probably get demoralized eventually and the team folds. At least that was what happened on the last two teams I was on in that position.
In that game, I'm matched up against none other than Sauron, the bogey-man of Dominion himself. He picks the Urgot, and I pick Fizz because I'm comfortable with it. I don't know the lane matchup at all, and it seems like Fizz might have trouble with a lane bully. I was able to lane effectively against Sauron, and in the mid-game was able to duel Urgot effectively. I helped turn the tide of that game by trying to coordinate a roaming+covering strategy. I would wander top after pushing bot lane, and then call for a teammate with low health, or one who is coming off of being dead soon, to go back and cover bottom. Then I would show up with full health and all of Fizz's assassin-y goodness to clean up. I had roamed before as bot laner of course, but I hadn't tried it to this extent, and hadn't coordinated it with other teammates to cover. It worked. It worked great. After the game I believe Sauron attributed that roaming as the reason that they lost the game. This felt good. Not only had I laned just fine vs the evil Sauron, but I made some plays to help the team win.
FTV gets knocked out of the tourney and gets no RP. Next round we face FatMii and we beat them. In the finals we face PECS and we get clobbered. Second place for the first tourney seems like a good start. Everyone was on board. This team wasn't going to fold in two weeks. The next week is the same story. We beat FTV and we lose to PECS in the finals. Two weeks of laning effectively against Sauron and I felt like I belonged. From here on out, it was about winning, not just placing in the top 4 for that sweet RP gravy train.
Soon after we started beating FTV, the team folded. Haif attempts to recruit Sauron to play for Clueless, and he is on board. Sauron takes over the bottom lane, and I go top. The first week with Sauron we end up winning the tournament. PECS forgot to ban TEAU's Cassio in game 1, and I think infeed troll-picked Karthus in game 2. Afterwards Haif says to Sauron "so... about joining Clueless permanently..." to which Sauron replies "I though I already had".
We continue to be successful, and often take games off of PECS, but usually lose the series. In the horizon, however, is the biggest Dominion tournament to date.
The LolPro tournament was pretty big. It was the first large cash prize Dominion tournament. The winning team gets $250. The tournament spans two days and each round is a best of 3. The biggest difference was the lack of chat bans. The community was pretty worried, but Clueless had a plan for the picks/bans phase. Clueless was a little worried, though, about their roster. At this time TEAU's internet was a failure, and he hadn't been playing for a few weeks. Sauron meanwhile had a wedding to attend. We were a shell of our former team. Can we still do well in the tournament? Will we even be able to get second place?
We ended up recruiting Hipeoples and Zimike, formerly of FTV. I'm back in the bottom lane. Hipeoples is loaded with confidence, I guess we can do this. The brackets for the tournament come out and it's a disaster. Clueless, Cheese, and PECs are all on the same side of the bracket. Clueless and Cheese were set to face each other in round 3. The teams that constantly took the top places in DD are all going to knock each other out early.
Then the brackets change. I don't know who exactly got them changed, but a lot of people were probably asking for it. Now PECS was on the other side of the bracket, and Clueless and Cheese would face in round 4 (quarterfinals), which is the first game on day 2.
The tournament started amazingly. TeamSofandaCox played an epic round 1 set versus Amputease. Game 1 was possibly the best game of the tournament. Clueless had a bye versus a no-show team in round 1. Round 2 Clueless again had a bye, since both of the teams that we might have played were no-shows. We were sitting around all day just watching the tournament, but it was k because the games were great. Round 2 was also exciting, but not as close. Round 3 we finally had some opponents but easily dispatched them. Day 1 is done, and we weren't challenged, but at the very start of day 2, we had to face Cheese.
The match vs Cheese was a challenge, but we won pretty handily. It was clear at this point that our team was legit, and we had the match vs PECS for first place in our sights. What was also clear at this point is that the bottom lane Nocturne I had been practicing works.
I originally started playing Nocturne because whenever I had seen him in blind queue, he seems to do quite well, even if he is rarely ever played. I come up with the idea of a roaming bottom lane Nocturne who ults top into team fights, much in the same way my Fizz would walk top into team fights. The concept seems strong, but it wasn't working too well in blind queue since Nocturne was losing the lane. With enough practice, I figured out how to play and build Nocturne (burst aggression glass cannon). I started being effective in lane, and eventually started winning lanes. Coupled with the roaming potential, it seemed like a legit pick that people weren't using.
Back to the tournament. The semifinals were versus Why Golly Why, which had a very good roster that was assembled just for the LOLPro tournament. They put up a good fight, but again we win 2-0. PECS beats Sofanda on the other side of the bracket, and we have the finals everyone was waiting for.
Game one of the finals we get clobbered. I picked Wukong bottom lane and PECS counters with Vayne. I was holding my own in lane, and eventually started winning once I got Infinity Edge (an item nobody builds on Wukong). Top was struggling though, and we ended up losing. It wasn't too close, and at this point things look a bit grim. In game 2, PECS picks bottom lane Yorick. I had decided previously that Nocturne with Tiamat counters Yorick, since the aoe can kill off ghouls while you are damaging Yorick. It turns out to be a skill matchup rather than a counter matchup, but Nocturne is still one of the best choices vs Yorick, who is a bit of a lane bully.
Game 2 is going a lot closer than game 1. I manage to get two devastating roam+ults off onto PECS with Nocturne and turn the tide of the game into our favor. We ended up winning a close game. 1-1 in the finals of the biggest dominion tournament ever versus PECS. Felt good.
Game 3 I pick Nocturne again, figuring it's best not to stray from what is working. PECS chooses Nasus as a counter to Nocturne. Turns out it's actually a pretty even lane. Our top team does much better this game and is winning. Nocturne roams still help us pull further ahead. We end up winning more commandingly than in game 2. Clueless are the champions, I get an actual $50 winnings from a tournament, not just RP (I spent it on RP anyways). It felt very good.
Sauron comes back and says something along the lines of "I go away for one weekend and you guys do this". I think the whole community expected PECS to win. They had been at the top for so long, and even though they were beatable at times, everyone assumed they would bring their A game for LOLPro.
Zimike wasn't dedicated to playing in DD, so our team going forward was me, bebepop, haif, hipeoples, and sauron. We started placing first in DD tournaments, and looked to take the crown as the #1 Dominion team. The question loomed, "wait, what are we going to do when TEAU returns?".
It was a good question. The answer to that question is a story still being told.
tl;dr: Got into PvP and online gaming thanks to Guild Wars 1. Got into the MOBA genre thanks to a crappy custom game on Starcraft 2, Storm of the Imperial Sanctum. Got into Dominion because it was kind of like Guild Wars 1 Alliance Battle and I didn't like ranked or solo queue normals. Got tired of Guild Wars 2 somewhat quickly (although I play it a bit still), and came back. Joined a few random DD teams, then lucked into a slot on Clueless.
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