EternaLEnVy is the hero we deserve

Alex Manisier Columnist

By , Alex Manisier is a Roar Expert

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    EternaLEnVy has fallen yet again. But in him, Dota 2 has found its anime protagonist.

    Winners are remembered. It goes without saying, but the only way to truly guarantee a place in history is to win. There isn’t a Dota fan alive who can’t tell you who PPD is, just like how anyone who’s followed League of Legends can tell you all about Faker.

    Winning is how an team like Wings Gaming that no longer exists in 2017 will be spoken of for years to come.

    So, if you aren’t one of the five players each year that earn the privilege of lifting the Aegis of Champions at Seattle’s Key Arena, how can you write your name in the pages of history?

    How can you capture the hearts of audiences in an esports where every single last hit, victory, loss, roster change and tournament win is just a build-up to the biggest video game tournament in the world? For EternaLEnVy, the solution has been remarkably simple. Try. And try. And try again.

    It’s a cliche at this point, but we all love an underdog story. And there are few underdogs in esports more compelling than Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao, better known as EE (or EE-sama, depending on who you are). Evicted from his team No Tidehunter after a slew of first-place finishes, EE has been one of Twitch’s most-loved Dota streamers since.

    There’s something in EE that draws us towards him, and makes us want him to succeed. It’s the same hot-blooded, never-say-die attitude we saw in childhood heroes like Goku, Ash Ketchum and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin that inspired us to do our best every day in whatever sphere of life we found ourselves in.

    It’s been a good ten years since I’ve regularly watched Dragon Ball Z, and adulthood has sapped some of the magic that I discovered when I witnessed my first Kamehameha. But when I watch EE overextend into enemy territory and play an intricate game of cat and mouse with the other team’s supports as he amasses farm, I feel like I might actually be able to do anything I put my mind to.

    And when I watch him get caught and die, I grin as I type my BibleThump into Twitch chat, because I know he’ll be back again to do the exact same thing.

    For an insight into the EE mentality, here are a few choice selections from his library of wisdom:

    On falling behind: “Whether I get team wiped or not, it doesn’t matter if I lose the game anyway. You don’t go for a beautiful loss, you have to go suicidal. You have to make the game way more chaotic than this, and make it into a game where no one understand Dota anymore.”

    On kicking Aui_2000 and PLD: “I’d rather risk everything than lose sight of my purpose.”

    On dealing with failure: “I look at the moon and I tell myself…I f***ed up. I f***ed up.”

    EternaLEnVy has fallen. His TI7 hopes have been dashed again. But listen to the cheers. Those aren’t the cheers of fans who just want to give some commiserations to another victim of The International’s brutal sudden death bracket. Those are the cheers of thousands of fans who are captivated by EE, who share in his struggle, and revel in his success.

    Thank you, EternaLEnVy. And see you next time.