Two days ago, Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov, pro player and captain of Team Secret, gave a speech at TEDxTTÜ, where he spoke about a lot of topics including life as a pro player and the development of DOTA 2 and eSports in general.
“Society expects people to go through the stable steps in life. You know, mid school, high school, University to get a degree, to get a job, and you know that’s normal. You’re either that or you’re different, and if you’re different you get scolded. I don’t really care about social norms. I was confident that school was not my path, and I used that confidence to build my own way.”
Puppey starts by talking about the early development of Esports, and all the problems that gamers like him had to face to get where they are right now. When he first started taking interest, his parents like most parents had a negative outlook on gaming. There was no clear moment for him that he should become a pro gamer. It was a learning process.
Next, he states an incident from when he was travelling. At a burger place in Stockholm airport, a fan wanted to take a photo of Puppey alongside Magnus Carlsen, and the fact that a fan compared him to a chess grandmaster was amazing for him; as not long ago he was being scolded for his ways. And now, he had international fame and recognition.
Puppey’s journey to become what he is now, was tough. He started losing touch in school as he became more involved in DOTA 2. Once prize pools started to become so consistent that he could practically live off of them, he started taking more interest; and at the same time the world of DOTA 2 started getting bigger. He started visiting places, it made him into a more “universal” person according to his own words.
When gaming started to grow at a very fast pace, Valve’s The International was around the corner. Puppey took part in the first million dollar tournament with his his, Natus Vincere; and won. This was a turning point for him, as he realized that all the effort he put into gaming eventually paid off.
Puppey compares Esports and gaming to real life sports. He claims gamers have to face similar obstacles as sports players as they have to discuss strategies, take actions with team work, etc. In his views, in the next two years we can already see Esports becoming more complex and harder.
“Not everybody can be a gamer, but everybody can play a game.”
Finally, Puppey reflects at how Esports has had an impact on himself. He says that it has made him smarter. He has used DOTA 2 to progress in many ways. In that sense he has evolved.
Puppey’s presentation had to be through a video, as he was busy playing for the LAN finals of Dota Pit League Season 4.