The title, “gamer” intimidates me. Although I was raised on Nintendo classics like Legend of Zelda and Super Mario, I never reached Twitch status. This means massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) intimidate the crap out of me. Sure, I’ve played Ran Online and Ragnarok during its peak. But I never got into recent games like DoTA or League of Legends (LoL).
Entering the gaming world in 2019 made me anxious. As a person who got her first console at the age of 22, you can’t blame me for being scared of getting dragged by professional gamers. What if they think I’m not legit? Or what if I accidentally stan the wrong game?
“Just ignore the negativity from other people. You don’t need that.”
I honestly see it as a lot of pressure. But that changed when I caught up with Twitch fave/LoL icon Cowsep during this year’s Globe Conquerors Manila. When I brought up my anxieties, he told me: “Just ignore the negativity from other people. You don’t need that.”
You may be clueless about LoL. But if you’re immersed in pop culture, you might have heard of Cowsep. It’s hard to miss him with his iconic cow suit and hat. There’s that, and also the following facts: He’s a professional gamer with a 75 percent win rate on LoL’s Korean server, a Youtuber with over 141,097,426 views since 2014, and a Twitch streamer with 655,353 followers. He has the stats and icon status to boot. Also, he is everything that intimidates me as a casual gamer.
I decided to talk to Cowsep about all my anxieties about getting into gaming. In a futile attempt to curb my fears, I asked one of LoL’s best players: What does it take to be a gamer?
What was the first game you fell in love with?
This is a hard question because the first game I fell in love with is a game no one knows. I fell in love with Hellbreath back in the day, but nobody’s gonna know that. So I guess I would have to say Gunbound. I enjoyed spending my time at Gunbound because it’s when I realized that there were people outside the United States.
When I was a kid, I didn’t know there were people outside the United States. People in Gunbound spoke Spanish and there were a lot of folks from other countries. So yeah, it definitely gave me really fond memories.
Read more: Dota 2, Tekken 7, included in 2019 SEA Games
When did you get into the world of eSports?
I never decided to get into eSports, it just happened. I wanted to do gaming for a living. I originally wanted to do game development, but I’ve always been a personality since I like to play games semi-competitively. I don’t play them for eSports. I play them because I’d like to better myself individually.
So when I stream, I don’t really consider myself an eSports player. I saw myself more of an entertainer and it just fell into place.
When we were younger, gaming was just a pastime. Did you think it’ll blow up like this?
Yeah, of course! Back in high school, I wondered why people weren’t playing more games. I was the only person playing online games. All my friends were either playing their PlayStation or weren’t into gaming at all. And I always told them, “You guys need to come and play games on the computer.”
I knew that people would get around to it. Even back in high school, I knew PC gaming would become a thing.
“I feel like anybody could be a gamer nowadays”
What does it take to be a gamer?
I feel like anybody could be a gamer nowadays. Anybody can pick up a phone and play games. But if we are talking about eSports type, you just have to be passionate about it. You don’t really have to be good unless you’re trying to make a career out of it.
You have two different paths: your path as a streamer or an influencer. The last one usually requires you to be good or to be entertaining. Of course, you can be a game developer, too and design a game. That doesn’t really require you to be good.
How do you react when people say becoming a gamer is easy?
Well, one of the champs in LoL is one of the easiest champs in the game. A lot of people come to me and they say, “Cowsep, somebody said that playing mastery is too easy and I suck. what do I say to them? “ I usually ask them, “Why do you care what they are saying about how easy something is for you?”
Ask yourself these questions instead: Are you enjoying it or are you using your time on it because you like it? Does it matter how easy it really is? All that matters is that you challenge yourself and you get to a point where you get comfortable.
Art by Cathy Dizon