In recent years, the popularity of professional e-sports events has continued to rise worldwide, and the income of professional e-sports players has also risen. Clubs with capital injections from large companies are even more wealthy and waving checks.
But in the early days of the development of e-sports, the life and competition environment of the players may be worse than you think.
On the evening of October 31, the 2020 League of Legends Global Finals championship battle ended in Shanghai.
In the end, the DWG team from the South Korean LCK division defeated the SN team from the Chinese LPL division with a score of 3-1, and won the 2020 League of Legends global finals world championship.
Photo by China News Agency reporter Yin Liqin
In the League of Legends Korea Division (LCK), there was once a team that was too poor to start, but was very close to the world championship.
In 2016, when the name RoxTigers just appeared in the LCK, people were full of questions about the future of this team.
Although just the previous year, the predecessor of this team, KooTigers, won the runner-up in the global finals (S game).
But also during the same year, they changed their names midway because of the change of the naming company.
As time entered the 2016 season, this team lost its title sponsorship, and the players' jobs were also affected.
RoxTigers celebrates victory.
The position reserved for the title dealer in the team name was eventually replaced by Rox.
The name is an acronym for "Rocks", which means "solid as a rock."
The League of Legends professional game at that time was far less popular than it is now.
Although the overall strength of the Korean competition is booming, the income of the players is not as good as the Chinese mainland (LPL), so many players choose to come to LPL to pan for gold.
This is true for teams sponsored by large companies. Without the title sponsor, Rox has a difficult day.
At the hardest time, the team did not even have enough money to buy food.
The ability to persevere depends on the teamwork of the players.
When boys of the same age are in the youth rebellious period or reach out to their parents for money, these players will voluntarily eat some cheap food, or simply say "I am not hungry today."
The RoxTigers official blog posts the team's daily life.
The club’s accommodation conditions at the time were also poor, lacking infrastructure such as showers.
Rox's "poorness" is well-known throughout the field of e-sports, but this year, the details revealed by the then coach Nofe are still surprising.
After all, today, four years later, many e-sports players already have daily luxury goods.
And these rely on the foundation laid by the predecessors who persisted with enthusiasm during the pioneering period of professional e-sports.
The financial constraints brought difficulties to the survival of the club, but did not extinguish the enthusiasm of the players.
They are like good friends playing games together in college, optimistic and positive.
The head coach has a cat named Makta, and everyone in RoxTigers lives together like family.
Screenshot of Weibo.
The enemy of a lifetime
The enemy of a lifetime
Compared to the 2015 season, in addition to the Tigers name change in the 2016 season, in addition to the top laner Smeb, mid laner Kuro, ADC player PraY, and support GorillA, jungler Peanut joined Rox.
At that time, Peanut was still an unfamiliar young player. He looked cute but played fiercely.
He became the engine of the whole team, and the playing style of the whole team is very similar to their team name-Tigers.
In the LCK Spring Split that year, Rox lost to SKT and finished second.
But in the summer finals, they made a comeback. With Smeb miraculously grabbing the dragon in the fifth game, Rox defeated KT and won the first LCK championship in team history.
The Rox players are weird around the trophy.
(Image source: RoxTigers official blog)
Unlike the heavy vocabulary such as "hero" and "epic" that are often used to enhance the atmosphere in many e-sports competitions, Rox's posture on the field is like a group of college students playing games together. Their funny shapes next to the trophy make Many viewers understand the "high spirits" look.
This is the story of Juvenile Dreaming. Despite many difficulties, it is always a bright tone.
And in such stories, there is often a "big devil" who stands on the opposite side of the teenager.
In the story of the Tigers, SKT has been giving them failures.
SKT's mid laner Faker is the greatest player in the history of the League of Legends, and this year was his peak.
In the semi-finals of the 2016 Global Finals, the fateful duel between Rox and SKT was once again staged.
This five-round game is considered by many to be the most exciting game in the history of the S game.
It's a pity that Rox became the loser.
Peanut cried after the game.
After the game, Peanut hid his face in his seat and wept, and his brothers came to comfort him.
At that time, the teenagers probably would not have thought that for many of them, this was the last time they were so close to the S championship.
On the current social media, there are not too many clues about Rox that year. The official Weibo of the club was not even certified. The update stopped abruptly on March 30, 2017.
The last Weibo is to wish Makta, who was brought to China by Nofe coach at the time, to be able to get along with the club's new partners.
And the players who used to get along with this cat day and night in Rox have gone their separate ways.
Screenshot of Weibo.
Unlike the professionalism of the current e-sports club's official platform, Rox's official blog is more like a fan club. Although it will seriously issue an official statement, more content is the daily routine of the players.
Even in private gatherings after they leave the team, the official blog will actively forward them.
The KeSPA Cup at the end of 2016 is the swan song of this Rox.
They finally defeated SKT in that game and finally won the cup, drawing a fairly perfect end to this story.
On December 1, 2016, Peanut uploaded a photo of Rox’s dormitory on his social media, saying: "I came here for the last time." Kuro left a message below "So you were the last one to leave" and wished him a "good life" ".
It looked like the day after college graduation, the partners packed up one by one and left. The once noisy dormitory was too quiet and uncomfortable.
Even if I know that I will meet again in the future, there is always something different.
During the global finals this year, Peanut, who has already come to the LGD team in the LPL division, wanted to show the Rox logo in the game after winning a game, but he could not find it.
And just a few days ago, the brothers who were on the same team played a naive trick of swapping names in another game.
Fortunately, some things have not changed.
(Author Wang Hao)