Unprofessional Rationalization. This is probably going to be one of the most important things that I will teach to my viewers since the creation of my channel. So if you want to learn something that might accompany you for the rest of your life, listen closely.
Do you see this Reddit post in the background? I am going to leave the comment open for the rest of the video, it’s going to be very very relevant.
Hey, ioStux here.
Are you good at something? Like REALLY good at something? Maybe you are really good at a certain sport? Maybe you are really good at playing the guitar? Maybe you are an excellent artist? Seriously, everyone is really good at SOMETHING, even if it’s as mundane as a certain class in school, or a phone game.
I want you to think about that specific skill you have, because it will come in handy later.
Unprofessional Rationalization describes the process of overvaluing tools. So let’s take Overwatch for example. If you scour through the interwebs, watch some guides or participate in late night discord shittalk sessions, you might have heard of all sorts of things that players use to “improve” their play.
People are talking about perfect mouse sensors, shapes, weights and textures. They talk about optimal mousepad size and friction. They talk about minimizing Input lag, about maximizing frame rate, they talk about the refresh rate of your monitor. They also talk about mental state. They talk about being hydrated, well awake, having good posture, holding your mouse the right way, queueing at the right times for comp, having the optimal group size, min maxing mercy specific settings, they talk about psychology, how to keep themselves calm, how to manipulate their teams, they talk about communication, they talk about team comp. They talk about all sorts of things, they try to improve their performance in any way possible.
When asking them why they do that, the answer is always the same. “I want to make sure that I have the optimal setup for performing well in game!”.
At first that sounds like a reasonable statement. I mean, why would I focus on getting better at the actual game mechanics before I have a decent mouse?
Do you remember what I talked about earlier? That specific talent you have? I want you to focus on the tools and setup you have to execute that talent. Let’s take a sport for example! Let’s take football for example (Doesn’t matter if it's american football or soccer). If you are really good at that game, think about all the tools and conditions you have. Think about what makes you so good at what you do? Do you think your sports shoes allow you to play so well? Do you think that the stadium lights being too bright would hinder your performance? Do you think that the grass and ground having a slightly different texture than yesterday would affect your performance? Fuck no it won’t. If you are a good football player, you will stomp amateur league players blindfolded. All of those things don’t really matter to you.
Or let’s take something more relatable. How about playing the guitar? Imagine someone coming to you asking you questions like “I think my guitar strings are too rough, I think my plectrum doesn’t fit my fingers quite right, I think that this guitar is too large or small for me, I think that I am sitting too low…”. You would probably laugh at them. Being a good guitar player means that you don’t care about all of those things. Do you think that Jimi Hendrix would cancel one of his tours because he lost his favourite plectrum? Do you think that he won’t be able to play “Purple Haze” because he has to use his bandmates guitar? Do you think he cares about moving around while playing? About standing or sitting? No he doesn’t! Being good doesn’t have anything to do with the tools you are using!
Or what about the artist? Do you think Sakimichan’s art is going to look worse because she is over at a friends place using her graphics tablet? Do you think that she won't be able to draw on paper? Do you think that she needs a 4k textured display in order to draw those pictures? No! You could give her a pencil and a piece of paper, and she could create a sellable art piece that far exceeds the stuff you draw, even if you get to draw on a fancy 4k textured touch display with customizable angles and a pressure sensitive pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity!
And now let’s put that into Overwatch! Do you think that Taimou is so good because he uses the latest tech? Do you think that he cares whether he plays with his ec2a or someone else's mouse? Just look at sponsorship deals! Some people are simply using the mouse they get from the sponsorship deal, even if it's not their favourite mouse! Do you think that they won’t reach top 500 just because they didn’t drink enough water lately? Now I am not saying that water isn’t good, I am also not saying that a proper mouse makes no difference, and I sure as heck am not saying that 60hz is an acceptable gaming experience. But using those factors as an excuse for your performance is just giving very amateurish excuses. Or if we are being a bit more eloquent: “Unprofessional Rationalization”.
If you are a professional at something, you laugh at the fact that an amateur focuses so much on the tools! You are laughing at the fact that they could spend all that time theorycrafting into actually practicing the fucking game or instrument or skill.
Someone like Sinatraa is probably going to climb out of gold with a damn Apple Magic Trackpad 2! Seagull could walk straight into your room right now and play on your filthy greasy Sharkoon Fireglider and absolutely destroy silver players, even if your team comp consists of Torbjorn Symmetra Bastion Widowmaker and Hanzo!
Stop correlating your performance to your gear! A wise man called Growling once told me “just play the game idiot”. And it holds true! Being comfortable is important! Having a healthy stature while playing is good! 144hz is really nice, and playing on low settings for minimize input lag makes the experience nice! But they aren’t the reason you aren’t climbing! And once you start climbing, you will look back on yourself and laugh at the fact that you spent months and hundreds of dollars trying to find the perfect mouse and the perfect mouse sensitivity because that has to be the reason you weren't hitting shots!
I know that people will start arguing. They will tell me how I’m wrong, that having the perfect mouse is super important, that I am a peasant for defending 60hz, and how professionals use good equipment for a reason. But those guys are missing the point. Focus on what actually matters. Focus on the craft, not the tools. I am not saying that those things don’t make a difference, I am saying that you should never prioritize them.
My name is ioStux, and I’d like to thank you for learning.