Not many people like constant negativity. It can be draining to oneself and those around whomever is beaming it. It’s hard to bring someone up from the depths of tilt and self-doubt, especially in competitive scenes. The reason why one does this isn’t as relevant as the steps taken to work on it, both by self, and by that person’s peers.

There are countless pieces out there talking about tilt, how to avoid it, and what to do if you can’t avoid it. We will constantly say the same things we’ve been saying for years. Cliches such as “Keep moving forward!”, “You’ll get there eventually”, and other option selects that give the person saying those words an avenue of retreat should said success never happen.

The vast majority of people giving that advice don’t actually know how to help those dealing with these things; but they want to feel helpful, so they feel the need to say something. Of course, this is very dependent on the person and the situation; but when it comes down to it, people—competitive gamers especially—just aren’t good at helping other people outside of their field. Everything is treated like a video game: if you do this, something good will happen. That thinking creates a massive social fissure whenever something socially negative happens. Social issues become issues of material value, or “EV”, as the older folx call it. If there’s nothing to be gained that can be put towards something else, then it isn’t worth doing.

It’s no wonder gamers value marginalized groups as much as groups of marginalized value.

Negativity is seen as bad, unproductive, ugly, and something to never be. It’s borderline taboo at this point, and I can understand why. Negativity can seed the worst side of gamer culture, and we all know how that can go. That said there’s something to note about being overly positive as well. It’s a form of toxicity that isn’t talked about much because—well, it’s hard enough finding positive things in the first place.

And I don’t mean mundane things such as a streamer hitting a milestone, or a competitor making their first top 8. I mean the borderline naivete of assessing what’s around them, with everything. It’s the “happy to be here no matter what happens,” and the inability to waver from that.

As a serious competitor, in any competition, the goal should be to be the best. If you arent doing that, then you aren’t as serious as you could be. Now, you can have this as a goal as well as other things—“I want to be the best and getting my first top 8 in a Major is a step towards that”, or “I want to be the best, but learning from those better than me right now is the first step”—but doing the best you can at all times is the only thing that really matters. How you do it is up to you.

Positivity gets in your way when you are so positive that it actually takes away from why you’re competing in the first place. How many times is the “but I had fun!” fallback going to work? I get that having fun is super important, as it should be. But you can have fun, be disappointed in your performance, and admit that you have to do better at the same time. And, sure, there’s the “even if you have to lie to yourself, do it if it means you’ll keep a level head” play. The problem with that is relying on lying to yourself, which can manifest into a plethora of problems that wind up worse than how you initially started.

I think the root of this issue comes from the notion that we can only feel one thing at one time, which simply isn’t true. It’s important as a competitor to understand how you can improve if you lose, but doing the same if you win isn’t often talked about. The same applies to being aware of your feelings when you don’t succeed, as well as when you do.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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