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What we can learn from Nightfall

Introduction

It takes a good amount of arrogance to be a top esports competitor. To think that you have what it takes to be one of the best in the world at a game played by millions requires a certain level of swagger that only a few will possess. At the same time, something that in some ways is just as important is to have a level of humility. A work ethic that says you can always get better, and realizing that you must always chase perfection no matter how skilled you become.

Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko perfectly encapsulates that idea. Even at the young age of nineteen, he has already become one of the most promising and talented players in the world, while at the same time showing tremendous will to always get better. He is an inspiration and shows the value of hard work, and to always be humble in every endeavor.

Always Preparing

Nightfall is commonly known for being one of the best ranked players in the world. Along with his teammate Abed Azel L. Yusop, he has one of the highest MMRs of any player in the world despite his high rating. A certain degree of this can be ascribed to his raw natural talent, but definitely a lot of it is due to how much preparation and practice he puts into his gameplay.

For example, Nightfall is meticulous in his study of patch notes. Before he has discussed how he actually would set up alarm clocks for patch days so that he could get up as early as possible to have more time to research the patch. In an interview with his former team Virtus.pro, he stated, “It only works if you have a clear understanding of when the patch is going to drop. This is not the case now, but I obviously start playing way more once the new patch comes out to research its heroes, game dynamics, economy, etc.”

His practice schedule in general is ridiculous — it seems like all days or bootcamp days if you are playing with Nightfall. An average day for him consists of at least four scrimmages with at least ten public games played. In addition to this, he has fully focused himself on competing and having extremely focused practice — neglecting the potential fame and additional revenue that comes with streaming. 

“Streaming doesn’t entice me that much, it’s just added stress for me. When you stream, you lose your game effectiveness because talking to your viewers and playing Dota at the same time is difficult. You have to pick one of those things, so I usually turn off my mic when I stream so I won’t get distracted. As I see it, such streams aren’t that interesting for the viewers.” This is also to be taken to note considering his lack of any presence on websites such as Twitter. Plain and simple, Nightfall is here to play Dota and will be fully focused on his task. His humility and pursuit of greatness is something all of us can learn from. 

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