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What we can learn from Fly

Tal “Fly” Aizik is perhaps one of the most interesting players in the game. His accomplishments alone—winning several of the biggest competitions in the games’ history—show him to be nothing short of one of the most fantastic players the game has ever seen. For years now he has shown to be an excellent player. 

What’s interesting about Fly, though, is the unique value he has shown to the various lineups he has been a part of. While it’s easy to understand why someone like iceiceice or Arteezy are excellent—showing off incredible mechanical skill on a consistent basis—Fly’s contributions are a lot more subtle. Taking a deeper look at his career shows a competent leader that will do anything to get his team the victory.

Originally competing as a professional Heroes of Newerth player, Fly took the leap into Dota 2 in 

mid-2012. It took some time to find his footing, but he soon became a valuable contributor to the team. From there he helped Fnatic become a solid regional threat—eventually capable of winning strong competitions such as the Thor Open 2012. 

Fly continued to gain experience with Fnatic throughout the duration of 2013, and showed decent results in several prestigious competitions throughout the year, with the team even qualifying for the 2013 and 2014 versions of The International. By this time, Fly had already established himself as a great teammate and drafter—someone capable of guiding his teammates to wins.

After leaving Fnatic in the middle of 2014, it would be some time for Fly to find a proper home. He joined Team Secret as an Offlaner—and achieved solid results while with the team—but ended up leaving by the conclusion of the year. He had several strong performances on the multitude of teams that he played for in this time, but nothing close to the excellence he was soon to achieve. 

By the end of 2015 he had joined OG, and immediately started to make a big impact there. He was now not only competing at a high level at some of the most important events of the year, but actually winning them. With a first place victory at The Frankfurt Major 2015, Fly could retire knowing he had won a major tournament. But he was just getting started.

Although his team’s showing at The International 2016 was not what he would have liked, the year in its entirety was absolutely stellar. The Boston Major, The Manila Major, and ESL One Frankfurt—Fly’s team won all of these events in dominating fashion. It wasn’t as if he was carrying either, it was a matter of his excellent shotcalling and method of finding winning situations.

Two separate years with victories at premier tournaments is a respectable feat for any player. Fly would achieve more, however, OG continued their momentum going into the next year, with a run to the finals at the Dota 2 Asia Championships and The Frankfurt Major. 

While it’s not immediately apparent on the surface, Fly is one of the most fantastic players the game has ever seen. He has the leadership, creativity, and willingness to push the envelope that has led his team to fantastic results. Many times in life we look to others and don’t see the value they bring. Just like Fly, we should look a little deeper.

Images via Evil Geniuses.

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