GG Licorice talks about the mental strain of being an LCS veteran Dexerto

After the Golden Guardians’ fourth straight win, Dexerto met up with veteran top laner Licorice. He revealed that despite being confident in his team, he has been struggling to be in the right frame of mind on stage. What followed was a candid account of the struggles that can come with being a longtime LCS competitor.

Eric ‘Licorice’ Ritchie has been around a long time, longer than most players competing in the LCS. He started on amateur teams in 2015 and has been an LCS starter since 2017. For more than half a decade, League of Legends has been a fundamental part of his life.

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However, his mindset when it comes to the game has changed. What started as a conversation about the metagame and how he felt about his performance with the team thus far eventually led to a very candid discussion about his progress as a player and as a person, and how his mindset about going on stage has changed. through the years.

Mental health is something that isn’t often talked about in esports, but Licorice was kind enough to speak openly about her experience with therapy over the past few years and learning how to make her career more sustainable.

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To be clear, Licorice is very confident in his team and their ability to perform. But he doesn’t always share the same confidence in his individual game, and he’s been working to be the best player (and person) he can be.

Licorice thinks Golden Guardians is the best team in the LCS

Golden Guardians didn’t get off to a great start. Young, their replacement midlaner, put in a pretty stellar performance all things considered, but it seemed like they couldn’t come together as a team without their newly signed midlaner, Gori. But, even then, there were doubts that Gori could step in and fix all of Golden Guardians’ problems after an 0-4 start.

Now with him on the team, they have the longest win streak in LCS currently with 4 wins following FlyQuest’s loss to TSM. Things have completely changed. Where did GG find the motivation to change things and how improve so fast?

“We have been working on a lot of things in scrims. We started 0-4, and that’s a lot of motivation to improve quickly. Nobody wants to turn that 0-4 into 0-6. We’ve been getting a lot better with team concepts and working together, playing together. And having Gori helps, it’s really good.”

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When asked where he currently ranks Golden Guardians, he didn’t hesitate to answer.

“First place.”

“I mean, of course that can change with patches and everything, but right now, based on the tights and how my team is playing on stage, first place.”

When asked about the top lane and his individual performance apart from his team, Licorice talked about trying to new selections as Lee Sin, but ultimately think we’ll be looking at a tank meta; We both moaned at this, and he said “it is what it is.” This led to a conversation about how much of an impact he thinks he top lane has on the map and whether or not he’s happy with how his role can affect gameplay.

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While Licorice said she’s having fun with the game right now and has enjoyed trying new things, she went into detail about her personal struggles with finding ways to improve and get in the right frame of mind to play.

There’s more to being a pro gamer than just the game

Everyone has a different way of handling stage nerves. Some teams put themselves under the pressure of playing on a big stage or at international events, while others thrive in an environment where they can see the crowd and hear them cheer.

But there’s often a misconception that musicians just get used to playing on stage, that there’s a linear path to removing stage jitters entirely or finding ways to deal with them. Licorice isn’t happy with the way he’s playing right now, but there’s more to that than just practicing and finding in-game solutions.

“I have mainly focused on the way it feels on stage if that makes sense. Like nerves, energy, getting the vibes right for the stage. I felt like I did a much better job today, but then I lost my lane and… that was sad. I haven’t been very happy with my performance so far: I’m getting advantages in a lot of games, but I’m also making some mistakes in most games. So I’m not looking for a constant advantage in a lot of these games and I think I could. That’s where a lot of my focus is.”

Robert Paul/Riot Games

Licorice Talks About Golden Guardians’ Recent Hot Streak With Huhi

With that in mind, we asked Licorice about the ways he’s trying to improve and the direction he was taking in practice. Did you feel that he was not doing enough to further his leadership, or was he doing too much?

“I think it’s more about playing calmer or toning things down a bit. I felt pressured on stage, at least until today. I think you saw things like Renekton Lane vs CLG where he had a huge lane advantage and then I got close when he had his Q charged up and just died for free. It’s things like that that I’m more trying to keep calm on stage. I know I’m a good laner if I can get my advantage and keep it.”

Pressure can manifest itself in many ways, and it’s possible for a player to thrive under that stress one day and crack the next. We asked him where this pressure to act came from and if the kind of pressure he feels is new to him.

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“I think it’s actually related to… I’ve been going to therapy for a couple of years, and it’s like, when I start to feel different, I get a little confused about how I’m supposed to feel onstage. So…it’s been a really strange experience for me.”

“When I started, the stage was very stressful and that was very good for my performance. But as I have changed and aged it has become very different. It could be related to aging, but I feel like I constantly have to figure out how I want to set up a match day in order to feel good on stage and perform my best. That’s something I’m still working on right now.”

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Licorice hugging Blaber at the 2018 World Cup

Simply put, the way Licorice approaches playing on stage has changed. Where once she could take stress and harness it, now she had to change her mindset. What worked for him in the past isn’t working now.

We don’t ask you for details about why you decided to start going to therapy, but we do did ask him about his goals in trying to improve his mental health and how close he feels he is to reaching those goals.

By 2023, Licorice wants to improve both his performance as a player and his happiness as a person to make his career as long and prosperous as possible.

“I think therapy is good. I think many more people would benefit from therapy than actually go. It just helps you be happier, you know? is like him science of being happy. So I’m like, ‘I like that!’ (laughs) They’re like, ‘Well, we studied millions of people and this is what you should do,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, great, hell yeah!'”

“For me, I’ve been playing for a long time. It’s like, if I’m not having fun and enjoying my life, it’s not sustainable to be a professional gamer. I’m trying to be a good happy human being and a good professional player, so I’m trying to have it all.”