By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
ONE of the top esports players in the world right now, Johan “N0tail” Sundstein of OG said he is grateful for how his career has shaped up so far and how the sacrifices he has put in to improve his game is steadily bearing fruit.
Recently met a small group of local media via Zoom call as part of the recent staging of the Red Bull R1v1r Runes event, N0tail, 26, shared that his journey in esports, which he describes as a “natural process” for him, is something that he is very proud of and happy about.
Started doing games at a very young age as a hobby, N0tail, a two-time The International champion and team captain of OG, is now basking in playing against the best gamers in the world and having the opportunity to inspire others through what he does.
“I always loved games. So I played games before it became a sport. I played ever since I was a baby basically. I think it was a natural process for me. We went to tournaments where we paid for ourselves to go there and stay there, bringing our own stuff,” said N0tail of his early days in esports.
“So it started from a place where we just wanted to do it, a hobby. We started playing for mouse pads, headsets and now it’s at a whole new level where we’re playing for huge amounts of money. It went from a hobby you pay for to something you do for a living. It has been a long road [but it’s worth it],” he added.
But while he has had a lot of success doing esports, N0tail admits that succeeding in it is not going to be a walk in the park, and that one has to really want it badly and put in the needed time and effort to make it work.
“It’s a competition. Not everybody’s gonna make it. And that is a harsh reality. In competitions there are winners and there are losers. It’s rough. I cannot really recommend it (esports) if you’re not the type who takes risks. Because going into it has a lot of risks,” said the gamer from Denmark.
“If you want to succeed in it you have to want it. You have to want it really badly to have a chance. Even if you want it, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna make it. But if you don’t want it you’re not gonna make it. Motivation should really be out of this world. You can’t be afraid of failing although failure can really hurt,” he added.
N0tail went on to share that the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has made it challenging even for those who are engaging in esports but he is nonetheless thankful that they are in such a field during these trying times.
“I think esports is in a way better shape than other physical sports. Sports in general are used to offline events and [benefitting from] fans coming into the stadium. They are obviously having a harder time than we are. We come from a place where we are used to having online tournaments, doing things purely online and when corona happened all streaming entertainment platforms have these opportunities to thrive and exist. Yeah, corona hit everybody hard but it’s a good day doing this,” he said.
Meanwhile, N0tail lost to Ateneo student Zedrik “Jeff” Dizon, 2-1, in their Red Bull R1v1r Runes Civil War one-on-one joust early this week.
Mr. Dizon got the chance to face N0tail after topping the regional qualifiers here.
Red Bull R1v1r Runes takes places on a custom map built in the DOTA 2 environment and pits players in a fast-paced 1-versus-1 mirror battle that rewards intuition and the ability to make quick decisions. The first player to achieve three kills or collects the first kill on an enemy T1 Tower wins the match.