It’s a dangerous dance, here in the Skype call. I can see his mistakes, his over-extensions, his bad flashes. I want to draw attention to those mistakes. I want to tell him how it could have been handled differently, how he could have performed better, or helped me perform better.
I’m bad at it sometimes. After a death, huffing and puffing gets us nowhere. We don’t learn anything when I sullenly say, “Why?” Cursing isn’t good ju-ju. There’s no profit in saying, “What were you doing there?”
I’m good at it sometimes. I teach him things: He black shields me when TF first ults, and I tell him that there is, in fact, a visualization if he is porting in our vicinity. He acknowledges his mistake. This is why we duo–there’s give and take. I have to know that what I’m trying to say isn’t falling on deaf ears. We’re a work in progress.
I always commend a good play. “Nice snipe / bitching ult / wow.” There’s no room for rivalry when the both of you are attempting to improve. Celebrate the highs, and learn from the lows.
I ban his counters. He mains mid lane Viktor, and he struggles against Azir. I help where I can. We’ve scrimmed it, we’ve watched vods on the matchup, we actively work on it. If he goes even with the Azir, it’s a victory, if he dies to an Azir, I ask him if the trade could have been avoided.
It’s okay to not have fun every game. There’s no riches for the loser. We may not be superstars, but we’re not casuals, thank God, not yet. You’ve got to have your morals. This is PVP. A failure should be met with contemplation, not scoffed at as the product of fate. A loss is never a bad teammates’ fault (almost never).
Shut Skype down, from time to time. If the pie is too salty, if the lanes are too far apart, if he’s eating what could only be, by the sound of it, a handful of Vaseline, it might be time for RJD2, or EDM, or Adele, I’m not judging. Good duoing, God speed.