Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-woo, a former professional League of Legends player for CJ Entus and current OGN caster, talked at length about the various causes of slumps when it comes to professionals in League of Legends and how dating could be a detrimental impact on a professional career during a stream.
“It’s a difficult problem,” he said. “I’m not saying dating is always bad. In fact, it’s very natural and can be something that’s positive for a player…The fact is that since esports culture is made of very young people, and many players debut straight from playing, so comparatively there are many cases where the players are inexperienced in dating and social life.”
CloudTemplar explained further that the cases when the fans are aware of a dating life — such as the recently married Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong of Samsung Galaxy — are because those are one of the good examples of dating. The ones that the fans aren’t aware of are typically the relationships that have a negative impact on careers. He clarified that there are indeed “many cases” of negative outcomes, leading to a large drop in players who were previously performing well.
Slumps in general aren’t rare to see in professional esports athletes, and one of the reasons is quite natural: age. CloudTemplar explained that it’s not as if age suddenly makes the mechanics of a player poor, as the actual physical activity is “simply clicking a mouse,” and that aging doesn’t impact that most of the time. The problem, he explains, is with focus.
“Whatever the sport, there is a thing called a ‘golden age,'” he said. “Even brain sports like competitive gaming, it’s not like because you get older your physical abilities in game get that much worse. Even in representative brain sports like Go, there are points that get harder as the player ages. Players need to concentrate harder and think more thoroughly, but I’m sure you feel this and you get older yourselves. Getting older means you have a lot of things you need to start thinking about.”
Other things that are outside of the players control are circumstances of meta changes and team compatibility. As League of Legends is a game that undergoes constant changes, certain play styles easily go outside the norm. A tank meta can turn into a dealer meta or the other way around, and depending on the player, it can cause some problems when it comes to adjustment.
More interesting is CloudTemplar’s insight on team dynamics. More so talking about communication and team dynamics, meaning that even a talented player can find himself in a slump when the team just can’t get along. CloudTemplar explains that it’s natural and human nature, and sometimes it’s all based on luck.
“There are a lot of weird cases in this category,” he said, with a chuckle in his voice. “There are times when players lose the game just because they have a vendetta against a teammate.”