What I learned while “wasting” my time watching a game stream

It was late December and the city is quiet. I don’t remember now if any office asks their employees to work at this time of the year, but it did feel like the world has toned down.

Maybe it’s just me.

The floor has been meticulously scrubbed and polished. My clothes all folded, segregated, and pressed. Every single thing at home has been dusted and organized. Scented candles filled the room with the smell of watermelons.

I propped down my bed and have almost forgotten what popular site to go to be able to watch a gaming stream.

A quick Google fixed that.

2 unholy hours later, I was fixated on my phone, half-amused by what I see.

I have not allowed myself to watch Twitch for a long time. There always seems to be something more productive to be done and I have no desire to become a professional gamer anyway.

I was watching an Overwatch stream. For those who don’t know, Overwatch is a popular team-based game with first person shooter characteristics. By now, gaming is a multibillion industry and though I do not necessarily agree that the future of sports is in e-games and no longer the usual athletics, I do think that it has its place in the future. A huge one.

A guy nicknamed as Dafran was streaming his performance live. He’s a celebrity in the gaming industry and was often called the best Tracer (a character) in the world.

That’s a compliment by itself. Tracer is one of the most difficult heroes to play, and being dubbed as the best at it, even over the Koreans is a feat.

He teamed up with Pine, another popular gamer, who is exceptional at sniper heroes.

I was supposedly gearing up for a great game of domination, but 2 hours into it, I was half amused at how much Dafran and Pine, supposedly the world’s best, were tilted, losing, and in despair.

“Yeah, man, I lost a lot of easy shots there.”, he said, talking to his subscribers, while furiously clicking on a few things at the menu. It was obvious that he was starting to lose his cool. There were comments he had to read live from people sarcastically referring to his skills as a professional gamer.

I’ve only watched Dafran’s highlights on YouTube. It was amusing to see him play on his regular streams. Even Pine did a better job as DPS (or the attack hero) than he did. He started to play Tracer, out of desperation to win.

But despite two all-stars teaming up, they were being furiously steamrolled by a bunch of enemy nobodies.

Nobodies. Those guys didn’t even have a stream, never have been in a competitive gaming league, has not uploaded a single YouTube video of their games.

Yet when one of the enemy snipers named B was on the next game at the opposing team again, he muttered profanities under his breath.

I applaud Dafran. Gaming in itself, specially in a fast-paced action-intensive one like Overwatch, the matches inevitably makes the players emotional. Like trading, it was a game of inches. Every minute counts. Every single flick matters. And in the end, even after how much we tried, we can still lose. We can still be outplayed.

Yet, he had to sit through criticism and trolling live. It was WHILE he gamed that they told him he sucks.

He’s dubbed as the world’s best Tracer, yet there he was losing.

It made me think, I was watching right before my very eyes, the very definition of compiling and highlighting someone’s best moments, and comparing our skills to them, versus seeing them perform on a quiet night in December continuously losing, missing their shots, making the wrong decisions in a competitive game… Just like every mortal soul.

Dear reader,

So much has been said about comparison. We can’t even escape it anymore. Social media makes it easier.

But this year, as hard as it can be, try– Just try– not to compare someone’s highlight trade to your losing season. You do not know what they have to deal with when the inevitable season comes when their niche has no edge to hold on to.

Forever yours,


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