Today marks my second year on this site. I joined the VHL on June 18th 2018 through a reddit post. I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts on the league and the members who make this place amazing, and hopefully give some behind the scenes looks.
- Being a GM actually isn't that great. I started out in the VHLM with Halifax when they became an expansion team in S62 and in my first two seasons I went to the finals. Never got a cup, but that offseason I was approached by Quik asking if I wanted to take of the HC Davos Dynamo. I actually almost said no, considering how much I loved Halifax. But I said yes and I think we all know what happens next. I poured everything I had into GMing and I really didn't get much back for my time invested. Some times I'd wonder if I should just quit because I'd make all the right moves on paper and say the right things, but I'd still fail and get made into a laughing stock. I take blame for what happened with Davos, but some days were really demoralizing, and it's a very thankless job. In the public eye, you're either great or you suck, and unfortunately I was seen as the latter. I don't mean to discourage new members from GMing, in fact I even put myself on the list of GMs to be hired. But it's definitely a job for a certain type of person, and if you don't have enough patience or luck, you won't succeed. I got so burnt out of it in the losing days. Something I've never admitted was I was inactive during S67. Coming off a deep playoff run, we lost some core guys and we sucked. I would pop on here and there, say a few words, leave. I made countless filler trades to make it look like I was trying, but in reality I was logging on maybe once every other day, and nobody seemed to realize, or at least publicly call me out. I think when your team is good, it's very fun, which is why guys like Beaviss and Bana can do it for so long, but guys like me struggle with it. This isn't me looking for pity, but it's very hard to be good at GMing, and most of the time the meta is to just YOLO it and pray it works. Definitely wish there was a different way.
- Reputation can be hard. I started out on the site as the kind of guy who said positive things on every thread, always ended with exclamation points, and didn't have a bad bone in his body. Over time, the "meme crowd" joined and it was right around the time I struggled with Davos. I played along and memed myself a lot in an attempt to be relatable. But I guess this just opened people up to thinking it's ok to repeatedly bash me, despite me not enjoying it. I became someone who would often challenge others and who would talk back to higher ups when I didn't like something. I already have another thread on this so I won't beat a dead horse, but it's not easy to try and save face constantly. I never even thought to just take it on the chin because growing up I was kinda that weird annoying kid, so I learned to verbally defend myself a lot against others. I just felt like it was an attack on me rather than my GM skills. I realized most of it was in good fun, but there were nights where I was genuinely shaken about what people were saying because I'm not good at keeping calm under tense situations. The thing I really hate to admit is that the asshole, cocky me, is my real personality. I will admit, I've burned bridges and such in other communities, much like I was doing here. I put on a fake smile when I joined and over time I just revealed the real me. I'm trying to make that the real me a good me, as I've said before. Over the past bit I've made an effort to be nicer to everyone by 50% and so far, it's going well. I'm slowly trying to build up my reputation again and be that guy that so many people want me to be. I'll admit, I miss being the resident nice guy here, so it's something I wanna work towards again. Gonna try applying for VHLM jobs here soon so fingers crossed?
- Tenure doesn't mean anything. Like I've admitted before, I'm really not a role model. However, I have felt very underappreciated in my time here. I've got thousands of log-ins, donated over $200 to the league, been here for 2 years, and it still feels like I am on even ground with new members. I don't mean that I'm better than anyone, but it's very disheartening to not get an updater job only to have them end up hiring someone who joined 3 weeks ago, or someone who was JUST inactive. I GM'd in the VHL for over a year and I was not once offered anything better. There are guys like Dil or Josh or Sonnet which joined the league after me and still have top-tier jobs. I know they're good at what they do, but I have skills too, yet I was never given an opportunity to prove it, or put them to use. Hell, I was 1 of 2 GMs in the whole league that wasn't a BOG, so despite being a GM myself, I was always the last to know info that pertained to me. In fact I think for the Moscow expansion, I was notified a week before it was scheduled to happen, when it had been discussed the offseason prior. I'm not saying I deserve the world, but not a lot of people make it past a year here, let alone 2, so I felt like I got boned a bit when it came to opportunity. It sucks to think even for a second that my legacy on this site one day will being someone who was only ever a GM, and a mediocre one at that. I've voiced these concerns privately before, but it's just a bummer to put so much into a site and care so much for it, only to be socially lower than someone who's still new to this and doesn't know much.
- I've definitely been too harsh on people. I will admit it, I've been a dick to people who really don't deserve it. I've done a complete 180 of my opinion on some guys like Dil or Doomsday. I used to fight tooth and nail with Dil, always calling each other nasty things and calling each other terrible people, but now we work together on Halifax and he's a super cool guy. Doomsday is more recent, me and him have been going back and forth a bit in recent months on the forums, but after some apologies both ways, we're on good terms. So consider this a public apology. I dunno why, but I've just always felt the need to defend myself so whenever someone comes at me, I've always seen it as an attack on my character, when it's anything but that. It's hard to explain, but hopefully you catch my drift. I've learned to just kinda take it on the chin recently, and just sorta shake it off and hope people stop, because I know I don't have much patience.
- The league has become way too PC. I just know I'll cause some controversy here, but I wanna say I'm not looking to start anything, this is just my opinion. IMO, the league has taken the whole image thing too far. I understand mutes and bans for racial slurs such as the n word, but some words that aren't really PC are a grey area. I will admit, I use the R word and G word in my daily life. I don't intend to, but growing up, those words meant stupid or dumb and us kids used a lot and it stuck with me. When I use the R word I don't mean that people with special needs are stupid, and same with the G word for the LGBT community, rather I'm using the WORD as a placeholder for stupid. Now this isn't just about me, but with recent events, I've felt like the league is just trying to protect itself by putting out a BLM statement or making certain things punishable now. Which that's not a bad thing, but it's kinda true that the league has become political recently, and in the event of Bana (IN MY OPINION) the way he leaned politically and his statements were the last straw in his firing. I've never revealed how I lean politically because I honestly fear that I'll be unjustly looked down upon for my opinions, and those opinions don't always line up with the PC way. Again I'm not looking to start shit, but it's really how I feel. If you have an issue with this, please PM me rather than quoting or commenting below.
- The league isn't much fun after a while. Like I mentioned earlier, it's super boring to play out a lost-cause season, and same with being a player. It's no fun in the middle of your career, not earning many points and playing on some doomed team. IDK how I'd fix this issue, but burn out is real, and it happens much earlier than you'd think. Part of the reason I went MIA is because the league just straight up isn't fun sometimes. No point in logging on daily to have meaningless convos and not do anything with your player, and after a while it snowballs and really bites you in the ass, and next thing you know you're inactive. GM wise, the sim makes no sense. I'd pull all nighters working out trades with EU GMs, or checking stats, or PMing back and forth with prospects. I literally lost sleep GMing Davos, and I built superteams. I tried every single combination of players, different types of players, different strategies, different lines, etc. In fact, S65 Davos was considered cup favorites that season, and we didn't even make the playoffs. Makes 0 sense. Also add in the fact that you can only get so involved here, and you've got a perfect storm for inactivity. I've watched some extremely active guys like McWolf and Thranduil seemingly go inactive out of nowhere, and you always wonder why until you realize the league isn't easy to always be enthusiastic about.
- My life has changed these past 2 years. Finally, a lot has gone on for me outside the league. I've been in 2 serious relationships since joining, one of which I'm still in and very happy with my girlfriend. I graduated highschool and moved out of my parents house, went to college, and failed this past semester. This past December, I got a Grade 3 (Severe) concussion which left me KO'd on the ice in front of my entire school student body, I lost my real life job as a result, and when I went home for Christmas, my bday gift was my parents telling me they were splitting (and as of last week they are divorced) and then about a month later, I was fired from my Davos job. This isn't a pity party, I've had some great things happen to me. Despite being 18 at the time, I lost my virginity to my now girlfriend and it was amazing, and I also got into Powerlifting and Boxing, which has changed my life and given me 5x more confidence than I've ever had. A lot has happened in the last 2 years, some bad, some good. Here's to hoping I have some positive words for 3 years next June.
Happy VHL birthday to me!
Claiming for Weeks:
6/15 - 6/21
6/22 - 6/28
6/29 - 7/5
7/6 - 7/12