(this was originally posted to twitlonger so if some of the phrasing is off that is why). to answer questions, no i'm not bringing the tier list back yet, though I have plans to in the future.

I actually have no idea how many of my followers are even active anymore since it's been so long since I've been super active in the Challenger scene, but for those who do give a **** about me I thought it'd be nice to give an update, since historically I've been pretty terrible about doing them. This is going to be long as ****, so if you aren't interested in hearing all of it, just read the next sentence.

Long story short, I convinced my parents to let me take a year off from college to try to "go pro" in league.

It wasn't easy to convince them to agree at all. When I was gaming in high school and told them I wanted to take it seriously they were anything but receptive to the idea. They would pull the plug on the internet randomly, trash my computer, and lock me out of the computer room whenever possible. In hindsight, I'm honestly amazed I even made it to D1 as early as S3 when I was fighting my parents at the same time as everyone else who wanted to climb the ladder.

For the longest time, I wanted to do nothing other than play league without distractions to see how good I really was. If it wasn't my parents on my case constantly, it was school. I'm Asian. My parents are stereotypical Asian parents. They expect solid grades, and while school on its own was never a problem to me, when I was trying to sneak in 6-8 hours of league everyday to compete with the best players on the server, I struggled to balance keeping my grades high. The only times I have ever been able to play league uninhibited in my life were during school breaks, (hit challenger during them) and the summer before college (which I'll talk about shortly).

I had originally told myself that during the summer before college, I would see how good I really was and put all my focus into League. If I didn't get anywhere than I would just focus on school and play league on the side. My parents agreed with this begrudgingly.

During the school year I was pretty much hardstuck in D2. I made occasional climbs to low master but I wasn't consistent. One month into my grind and I was 400 LP master and playing with Serpentis, which was my first "solid" team since MXLIX. (dardoch, me, mikasa/bischu, tic/deftly, phooka) But not long after joining, I started to feel sharp pains in my wrist. At first I brushed it off since I'd had these pains before and they'd receded gradually within a week, but it became clear pretty soon that this problem wasn't of the same degree. The pain intensified rapidly throughout the week and I forced myself to step down. I went and got it checked out, was given a very general diagnosis of RSI that didn't really give me any information, and was advised to rest it for about a month.

While I told my team that if they found a better player during my break they could just use them instead and I wouldn't mind, truthfully, I cared a lot. Way more than I'd like to admit, but I'm competitive as **** at heart. I don't like losing in pick up badminton, and I certainly don't like losing in League of Legends. It killed me to watch my team improve and succeed (to an extent) without me, but I didn't have it in me to be selfish enough to try to demand my spot back. (Honestly, I have no idea what would have happened if I would have, but I'm just not that type of person).

I ended up trying to come back way too early and re-aggravated the pain in my wrist. My parents didn't really care and refused to let me get another checkup. I ended up not really playing League at all the rest of the summer. Honestly, there were a lot of days I contemplated quitting league, and much worse things. Not being able to use your wrist is painful. Having to watch your dream slip away with no control over it is even worse.

Had it not been for the Cal Poly Pomona League team, I can say with high certainty that I wouldn't be playing League of Legends today. It wasn't that our team was insane gamers or anything (we weren't bad), they just reminded me of how fun playing this game can be. While I didn't accomplish what I wanted to do playing collegiate last season, it re-lit my drive to compete.

I'm well aware getting onto even an NACS team is going to be hard, let alone LCS. In the past few months I re-aggravated my wrist injury and had to learn to play with a super tight wrist brace just to lower the chances of aggravating it again. When this happened, I still had time to rescind my leave of absence application.

But honestly, it wasn't a difficult choice for me to make. Seeing players I teamed with before, as well as players that I truly believed I was better than (no flame) make it to NACS/LCS while I was wasting away, listening to lectures I didn't want to hear, sitting through classes I didn't want to be in... let's just say it wasn't easy for me to swallow. Once again, I'm a competitor at heart, and I knew I couldn't just walk away without giving it a real shot.

I've never been an amazing mechanical player. I've never had 4 digit LP in challenger. I've even been more toxic than I'd like to admit at times in solo queue without due reason. I'm well aware of how difficult things can be in this scene, having been around since S4. But it wouldn't feel right to me to just walk away when I feel like I can accomplish so much more than I have already if I'm able to put my 100% into it. So I won't walk away just yet.

-Albert "H4xDefender" Ong

(wrote all this up in like 10-15 minutes so if you actually read it all, I apologize for grammatical errors, and thank you for actually reading it all. if you have any questions feel free to DM me.)