Nien – Gaming History and Path to Pro Gaming

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to read my blog :D. This is my first blog so don’t expect too much, but i thought that explaining why and how i became a pro player would be a good topic to talk about. I’ll start from the beginning – as a young boy (i think 5 or 6) I got Pokemon Red for Christmas. Super excited to play it, i opened it up right away and i picked Charmander and played until really late (probably like 10 pm). The next day i went over to my grandma’s house and challenged her neighbor to a pokebattle. I got crushed. I went home and cried, and from that day onward i strove to be the best poketrainer there ever was. (this is a real story) From that point I could be considered a gamer, playing lots and lots of video games, i enjoyed games more than almost anything. (and still do)

My first online gaming experience was on Halo 2 when i was 10. When i first got X-box live i was pumped to play vs other people, but the first game that i played everyone was telling me to come back “when my balls dropped” but of course i ignored the haters and played that game all day everyday. I eventually ended up being lvl 45 in team slayer, something that i was very proud of, and then I stumbled upon World of Warcraft. I’m fairly confident in saying that I will never enjoy a game as much as I enjoyed WoW, I loved almost everything about it, and the feeling when first playing it and discovering new areas was surreal. I did some raiding but i mostly played it for the Arena and PvP, and come season 6 I finally got good enough to get Rank 1 in 2v2 and Rank 2 in 3v3 on my battlegroup, though i got hacked the night before and didn’t get the title, gee gee gee baby baby. I didn’t really care all that much, though, because I discovered a new game that I really liked, and that game was HoN, or Heroes of Newerth.

Me and some friends from WoW, one of these players being Scarra from Dig, used to Inhouse that game for hours on end. Inhousing is where you play a custom game with only your friends, so you know everyone. We’d pick teams dodgeball style, and i always hated getting picked last so I kept on trying to improve, and eventually I ended up always being first picked :^). After I improved a lot i started to play Inhouses with the pro’s. Although not as fun as inhouses with my friends, I loved the competitive aspect that the ‘pro’ inhouses provided and tried to play in them as much as possible. After a while i made a lot of friends in the houses, and decided to make a team with them. (though i was nowhere near as good as i am in League, i had a really bad mindset when learning HoN and could’ve been way better than i was) Individually, we weren’t the best of players, and as a team we weren’t that great either but it was a blast playing on uQT. EternalEnvy, a Dota 2 pro, and Tralfamadore, a Hon pro, are the only players from the team that still play professionally, besides me of course. The only tourney we ended up winning was a qualifier to a fake lan event, but np we won so idc :D.

HoN influenced me a lot in terms of competitive gaming and i am 100% confident that if I had never played it i would not be nearly as good as I am now. Two main players influenced me on that game, and those players were Chu8 and Sniperdaddy420 aka Rycho. Chu was a literal god at HoN, every single pro player looked up to and acknowledged him as the best of the best, and I want to be as good as he was more than anything. Sniperdaddy420 was a farming god, I would not have been surprised if he was a robot, because my god that man was efficient. I watched his replays and took notes on how he played and he, without a doubt, had the most impact on my playstyle in not only HoN, but in League as well. When I first heard about League I laughed at it and dismissed it as just another dota clone, like the entire HoN scene did. Scarra did not however, and swapped over way before I did, and we all made fun of him for it, you could say Scarra made the right decision with swapping over.

After a while I got bored of HoN and decided to try out League, and honestly i didn’t really like it all that much while lvling up 1-30, but after i hit 30 i started to love it more and more. Grinding ranked games and seeing my progress was really awesome, I improved way faster than i did in HoN. I did my best to ignore my teammates mistakes and look only at my own, something that i never did in HoN. I used to stream a lot in WoW and i wanted to do the same with league, so I streamed my progress as a player. is an example of one of the many threads i made on the league forums, desperately trying to get more viewers. After around 9 months, I finally reached my goal of Rank 1 in soloq, but only then did i realize how little that actually meant, though I did improve a ton in the process of hitting rank 1 and ended up on my first team, Orbit/Ex-quantic/RedditNation/C9. Our first event was MLG Anaheim, which was also my first Lan event ever, was really awesome. We beat VvV and TSM.Evo, but ended up losing 2-1 to both CLG.NA and CLG.EU (kinda funny that i’m on CLG now). We went to like 5-6 more Lan Events but only ever got to showcase our play on the mainstage at one of them, always losing the important games that decided if we would play on the mainstage or not, something i was kind of upset about because I really wanted to play in front of a crowd, but when you had teams like TSM and CLG at a tourney, there was no room for no names like us on the mainstage.

I really enjoyed playing with Orb and we all grew a ton as players playing on it, the only players not currently in the LCS being Yazuki and Nubbypoohbear, both very awesome guys but things just haven’t worked out for them. After losing the LCS Qualifer on C9, something that almost everyone expected us to win, came as a huge shock to everyone on the team. After the match we all talked about it and I decided that I would try to join an LCS team, Yazuki wanted to quit, and Turtle/Lemon/Hai were undecided on what they wanted to do, but they ended up persevering and stomping the Amateur scene, and now they are at the top of the LCS. I got the chance to play in the LCS with MRN and I gladly accepted the offer. Playing on team MRN was interesting to say the least, Marn wasn’t the best manager by any means, and i don’t agree with how he handled things but he is a pretty funny guy, and everyone else was cool as well. We had a rocky start when i joined the team, but we steadily improved and ended up taking games off many of the teams, though we lost to Velocity in the LCS qualifier, I think we were a much stronger team than we showed that day, nerves just got the best of some of the players.

It all worked out, though, because here I am now on a team that I always wanted to be on, and the potential we have is absurd, as long as we actually put our full effort into it I honestly see us competing against the other regions, and hopefully representing NA in a good light. For that to happen I need to improve a metric shit-ton, however, and I will do it. In a couple months I will need to be good enough to take on players like Flame and Shy, and I will be ready for the challenge that comes with that. Season 3 finals, here we come. On an ending note, League is an amazing game backed by an Amazing company, it’s honestly astounding how well Riot treats their players, and I am very glad to be a part of not only this game but this company, and I will become the best, I will be the Chu of league.

Tl;dr I will be the best poketrainer there ever was.

And of course I want to give a shoutout to our sponsors, thank you all very much for sponsoring us. Razer, Azubu TV, ELOBUFF, NZXT, and last but not least iBUYPOWER, you guys are the best. :^)

Thanks again guys for taking the time to read my blog, and I’ll try to improve on my blogging skills in the future~ 😀

by Zach Malhas, on July 9, 2013