Rekkles: With great power, comes great responsibility!
Posted 2016-03-26 Fitnerdation
After nine weeks in the EU LCS, it is clear that Fnatic is not the same team it was this time last year. Throughout history, many great sports teams have faced periods of hardship and inconsistencies in their performance. However, these moments are not here to stay and make us stronger instead.
Throwback to 16 years of age – Martin Larsson and the Rekkles inside of him
Every successful person has to start somewhere. In Martin Larsson’s case, the journey began four years ago, when he was just sixteen years old and a super energetic and down-to-earth teenager. Now, he is an intelligent young man with a well-established reputation in eSports. Let’s look at the bigger picture and find out who Martin was back then and how he has grown over the years!
“I think the Martin Larsson who played League of Legends on the stage in 2012, was very childish. When you are sixteen, it just comes naturally. You experience a number of things for the first time: parties, alcohol, girls (laughs). In general, you get to do new and interesting stuff.” – finishes Martin with a smile.
He continues: “Back then I played the game as a hobby and I never really found its greater purpose. As the years progress, I see that League of Legends helped me establish a strong bond with my teammates, family, and friends. Also, meeting people from all over the world and traveling to different places helped me grow as a person.”
Martin: “The team really feels like a family! Experience and discipline fuel my endeavor”
The success and prosperity of an individual can be strengthened by a variety of qualities. For some, it's brute force and a dominant personality, for others patience and understanding. “The fact that I’m 19 and have played professionally for so long is one of the biggest strengths I have. I have the experience to lead them [my team], but at the same time I can be super-duper good friends with them – it really feels like a family” he pauses for a second. “Experience helped me to see the bigger picture, improve my character and still be good friends with everyone on the team. I think being with friends makes it much more special and memorable. If I was here with others, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as now.”– he shares his thoughts.
Watch Martin on the stage for a while and you can notice how focused and relaxed he behaves.
“Another strength I possess is my calm personality. It didn’t matter if I was playing football or handball and everything depended on me – I always kept it cool and performed under pressure! Even when I attended my first tournament, I still managed to keep my head in the game, even though I felt nervous.”– he takes a breath. “I guess this is a quality I was born with and it helps me in every aspect of life.” – his voice brightens.
“Slam down the hammer!”
Recognized for his harsh self-criticism, Rekkles has always demanded his own play style and performance to be top-notch. Although Martin has a great set of skills and qualities that define his character, he feels that there is always something to be improved. While explaining what could be enhanced in his performance, I could see the ambition in his eyes: he truly wants to become a better player and friend.
“The biggest issue I have right now is that I am not taking accountability. I am not able to call people out for the mistakes they make. This is not something I have grown up doing but since taking on the captain role, it has become a necessity. In order to take our game to the next level, I need to be able to slam down the hammer when it is required. It has been really tough to take that step. It makes me go out of my comfort zone, and that is always hard at first. This is probably the biggest transition for me and something I need to work on but once this is figured out, we will improve much quicker. Constructive criticism is the key to moving forward and getting stronger as a team” – he finishes the sentence with a determined look.
Giving it all
Many believe that in order to become better at League of Legends you need to constantly be on the Rift. However, Martin has something to say that will make you rethink your approach towards the game.
Martin begins: “It is no longer about playing League of Legends 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Lately, I do the following – I reset myself every week, so it is a fresh start. I find it super important to take a step back and analyze what happened and how we can build upon past experiences. A Saturday with solo queue is not really giving me too much – analyzing is what really makes a difference. I feel that this makes me get the most out of my time.” – he points out.
“Right now, I am giving 110% in every single game, on or off stage. I am not screwing around. For instance: tabbing every time I walk to the base or being ok with not having the best of my game. If I don’t give 110% of my abilities and then lose, I’d feel bad, I’d feel ashamed.” – he takes a breath.
“I will know, deep inside myself that I haven’t given it my all. I cannot simply walk away without caring or feeling ashamed. I felt this way when we lost at worlds, last year. I didn’t give my 110% and I am convinced that I was actually dragging my team down at times. This year I never want to experience this same feeling of doubt and dissatisfaction. This feeling that “If I played better, we would have won.” That really drives me now.” – he admits.
Play, Eat, Sleep, Exercise – repeat
Improving your gameplay and mechanics on Summoner’s Rift is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of progressing in League of Legends. But what else can be done to take your game to the next level?
For those of you who wonder what exactly Martin does to improve his performance, here is the recipe: “10 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of exercises – 30 minutes a day, which is barely one solo queue game and one solo queue game won’t make the difference, but doing these three particular things might.” – he states.
“I figured that it is worth the try – there’s nothing to lose. I won’t break a leg doing yoga, anyway (he laughs). I felt like it improved me greatly as a player and helped me see situations from a different perspective. I was really focused lately, both in practice and in general. Meditation helps you establish a consistency in your focus. I also see improvement outside the game. It feels like I have entered a whole new world of life and I think that’s great.” – he explains.
Martin shares with us: “I’d suggest people to give it a shot and see if it works for them – yoga and meditation are not for everybody but the closer I got to the top-notch players, the harder it was to find differences between them and so I believe that meditation can give you that tiny bit of an advantage.”
Living the eSports dream
The eSports dream. This statement has become quite a stereotypical expression for those who are in some way involved with eSports. However, professional players can relate to this sentence in its entirety. Martin shared with me his feelings about his eSports experience and clearly pointed out his current situation and his greatest fear.
Rekkles says that he has made a few adjustments to his weekly routine and figured out a way to optimize his performance. “Sometimes it is hard to get the perspective of things and realize how awesome everything is [in eSports and his life],” – he admits and pauses before continuing his thought.
“I always thought that until it’s over, I won’t realize how good it has been. I try to live up to it and share every moment I can. I just don’t want to finish my career with the feeling that I could have done more. That is like a nightmare for me. That’s why I put in so much effort and try to give it my all. I want people to remember me as that kind person, – someone who always fights until the last breath, regardless of the odds. I think that’s my main goal as an individual,” – Martin finishes the sentence and looks me in the eyes. I have never seen a player with such a passion and ambition!
Martin Larsson – One Year from Now
Imagining ourselves in the future is often categorized as annoying and boring to elaborate on, but in order to achieve your goals and become a better individual, you must have an idea of how you’d like to see yourself in a few years.
“[In a year’s time] I’d like to meet a very down-to-earth person, someone who looks out for the others,” – Martin begins. “I feel like the captain role gives you a lot of power, but with great power comes great responsibility. I’ve not yet taken all the responsibility and I haven’t used all the power that I have in my hands. In 1 year I’d like to see myself doing these things – not putting myself before the others, but rather helping them become better players,” – he elaborates and takes a pause. “This is my main goal – to grow into the captain's role and really make the most out of it,” – Martin finishes with a determined look.
Did you think you knew Rekkles well enough? I hope that you’ve also gotten to know Martin Larsson and continue to support him because he is an example of a well-rounded and down-to-earth individual. #AlwaysFNC