I am a huge fan of motivational things. Quotes, articles and images of people achieving the “impossible”. It’s not a surprise to most, seeing as I’m a generally loud and excitable person. When it comes to things that are supposed to make me root for the underdog or defeat the odds – I’m a fan and I will shout it from the rooftops. Or in this case, my desktop. It’s not just me. Throughout history, we have rooted for David instead of Goliath or for Average Joes over Globo-Gym. (Dodgeball movie reference**).
So let’s compare this to League of Legends. I was thrilled to see that Origen reached semi-finals, despite the predictions of the analysts. They weren’t even expected to be there, people started to count them out only a few weeks into the split.
If there is even the slightest chance that a lower seeded team can beat a powerhouse team, I will always root for the underdog mainly because I’ve never met a human who hasn’t failed at something. No one wants to hear about someone who had every single thing go right for them. That would be the most boring story ever. What makes for a great story, is the climb to the top and the obstacles someone has to overcome to get there. It is said that the journey itself is more important than the reward. Your achievements will provide you with an abundance of happiness knowing that you were down and out and never quit. There must have been a time in soloq where your team was behind and all of the sudden something clicked and the tide began to turn. Let’s just say it was the underdog mentality that got you there.
Origen was hanging on to 6th place for a few weeks and losing a game or two could have put them in a troubling position. Criticism started pouring in and everyone became an analyst. I’d read things suggesting that they should swap out players for others and that one player was single-handedly losing games for the team. I’m really glad they didn’t give up. Victory is that much sweeter after you’ve failed a few times – doesn’t everyone know that?
We are taught from an early age to work hard for a chance to achieve our goals and for anyone who is truly passionate just a chance is enough. Statistics on paper don’t always surpass heart and passion. I may be biased when it comes to Origen because I’m a staff member but I think they have the passion most teams lack. It’s almost as if they compete to satisfy their own hunger. In their first season, the boys beat the odds time and time again considering they were a brand new team. They won the 2015 EUCS Spring Playoffs, came second in 2015 EU LCS Summer Split & playoffs, won the regional qualifiers and competed in the 2015 World Championship. Although the start of this year has been unlucky, they ended their split in second place. They went from 6th place to the 4th seeding, ending the split in 2nd place with 70 championship points. Lately, legacy teams are being challenged by new blood – this is fantastic to see.
In this way we remind ourselves of the human potential for excellence. Underdogs that succeed, are ordinary people that one day can become legends. When you’re an underdog, nothing is handed on a silver platter. This means you work hard. But when you succeed, you’re much more appreciative of what you have accomplished.
As an underdog, you have to believe that your failures will lead you to your successes. And that your efforts in something are never in vain, even when they don’t achieve the desired result immediately. You have to know that even when others don’t believe in your team’s ambitions and your perspectives that their opinions do not have to be your reality.
I’ve been the underdog before and I’m sure most people have, which is why I’ll always be cheering them from the sidelines.
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