Pressure, social tension and isolation: Even though G2 Esports was the 2019 League of Legends team, success also had its downsides. In a recent interview, Perkz in particular gave deep insights into his inner life.
“At least twelve hours of training per day on average. You can’t imagine what it’s like. I just want to be human again.”
Those were the words of G2 Esports’ star player Luka “Perkz” Perković at the end of “Chasing the Dream”, the documentary about the League of Legends World Cup.
After a sensational year, the Europeans missed the crowning glory of the season in the final of the Worlds with a 3-0 defeat of FunPlus Phoenix. They had previously won the Mid Season Invitational and both LEC finals over the year. A milestone!
After six victories in the European premier class, the men around Perkz are again on the road to success this year. In an interview with InvenGlobal this week, Perkz spoke openly about his mental problems last year.
“I defined myself more through competition than by really being human,” he summarized the difficult personal phase. “I think I was burnt out for the last year and a half.”
Change of position against the extreme load?
Actually he is an AD-Carry, but in 2019 he gave this position to newcomer Rasmus “Caps” Winter and moved to the Botlane himself. At the start of this season, however, the two swapped positions again.
This did not really counteract the extreme mental strain. “Burnout comes from your game plan, your training routine and your lifestyle. Lately I’ve been overdoing training and not taking care of myself anymore. I haven’t had any free time either, but I’m now slowly getting my balance back,” says Perkz.
The LoL season lasts up to eleven months for the top players. Therefore, many teams prepare themselves accordingly after player changes well before the start of the season. At G2 there were no changes for 2020 – a relief for Perkz: “It’s the first time I’ve experienced an off-season.
“Eleven months of pressure only”
Fabian “GrabbZ” Lohmann, the German coach of G2, also spoke after the Worlds in the podcast “unmuted” about the drop in load after the season: “We had eleven months of nothing but pressure. There was no time to take a breather until the World Cup.
“And at Perks, this has been going on for four years,” added Lohmann. With up to 14 hours of training there is no time for private life.
Before the final, the coach had already noticed “that some people had already reached that point mentally: ‘One more best-of-five, then I’ll be free and I can live and breathe again. I can see my friends. I can do anything but league.
No experience with the world of performance
But Lohmann also made it clear that there was certainly no difference to other professional athletes.
But in the field of sports, the stars cannot yet grow into this kind of performance society through youth academies or the like. For many, success comes too suddenly, so that experience is missing.
GrabbZ himself had locked himself up at home for two weeks after the lost final. “I wasn’t able to talk to people anymore because I used up all the social stuff over the year. It’s like a flat share from which you can’t get out,” he explained in November 2019. page End of January, the LEC will be back to business for him.