Monday, May 21, 2018

A Higher Calling

First blog post, the first time is always the hardest. Let's start with a short introduction and what I want to achieve by blogging. For those that don't know me, I am Dexter Lou. I work in the IT field for my day job, I will not go into much detail as this is not the focus of my blog. Whenever I'm not at work I'm pursuing my dream to be a professional gamer / eSports athlete. It is an interesting career to say the least, a millennial profession if I were to put it in my own words. Writing was always a low-key hobby, I may not be good at it nor do I get to practice often but I definitely enjoy writing about my experiences. Each person knows me differently, some see me as a happy-go-lucky troll whereas others see me as a sincere and sensitive person. I am all of those. I hope this blog will be a beacon of hope to those I can reach; my family, friends, fans and haters. I want to make the most out of my social reach. It is not often you get the chance to have an above average social reach. I do not know how often I can write but I am aiming for at least once a month.

For my first post I wanted to do a short reflection on my journey into this career so far as well as my Christian faith. As some people know I'm a professional gamer playing Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG). I started playing the game about a year ago with a few long-time gaming friends. About 2 months after playing the game we realized we were above average players and were pretty good at the game. Soon after, life got in the way; some of my gaming friends had to use their free time elsewhere, others lost interest in the game. This however did not stop me and my other friend (Paulo) from taking the game seriously. We then found 2 other guys (Andrei and Yves) who had similar goals and aspirations. We were good to the point that we were considered among the best in a large Discord community. This encouraged us to take the game more seriously, we would climb the in-game leaderboards and finish top 10 in all of Asia. After several seasons of topping the leaderboards we decided to enter international competitive events and see how good we really are. Despite the lack of competitive experience in the game, we managed to get promoted to a higher division after our first season. After our first competitive season, our progress hit a wall. We were still considered a top 5 team in the Philippines but often had bad showings in international events and other local teams were catching-up qickly.

Fast forward to December 2017, I had doubts whether or not I should continue with this gaming career. We were still good, but there was no progress, it seemed like we were trying hard and using so much of our free time for no reason. I also felt pressure from important people in my life to improve my day job and look for better opportunities. I would not say this was an all-time low in my life but it was a troubled period for sure. I did not share my concerns with anyone...I did however share it with God. I would pray about it nightly asking Him what to do...asking for a sign. Some people know me to be religious, I practice my faith but I wouldn't consider myself religious, since I know other people who do so much for their faith. I guess being called religious is very subjective and practicing one's faith could be considered religious for others. However, I will never say or think I am a perfect Christian. So back to my reflection, I asked God for help and for a sign whether or not this is what I should be doing at this point in my life. January 2018, a Philippines based organization called ArkAngel reached out and wanted us to play under their organization. Coincidence that the organization's name is ArkAngel? No, my prayers were answered and I took it as the sign I've been asking for from God. What better way for God to answer my prayers. Knowing this is what God wants me to do boosted my confidence and motivated me to work even harder towards this career.

Of course I am thankful for awesome hardworking teammates. I am also extremely grateful to play for such a generous and caring organization (ArkAngel). However, all our achievements since then, I attribute to God. There is no way to repay His kindness and love but I wanted to share His kindness and acknowledge Him publicly. If there is one thing I want my readers to take from this, it is to have faith. God is always listening to your prayers even if He doesn't answer them immediately. Always ask God for help in times of uncertainty.