We all have our story about how we got here. Some of us wanted to emulate our favorite LCS players. Some of us wanted to have bragging rights. Some of us just wanted a jersey. At the end of the day, though, I think we all got more out of this experience than we ever dreamed.
The “Immaculate Reception,” the “Music City Miracle,” and the “Miracle on Ice” are some of the most amazing moments in sports history. But what about Super League history—or, more importantly, Chicago Force history? The “Team L Victory,” the “Seattle Slam,” the “Second Half Buff.” These are moments that I’ll never forget, not because we would go on to win those games, but because of the people I got to play with.
Season 1 was special. I still remember the moment I was randomly selected to be a part of the Chicago Force. I was so excited that I leapt out of my chair at dinner, hugged my wife, and began to cry. I was going to be a part of a team again. Something I’d been missing for years.
As one of the older guys on the roster, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to show that I could perform in a competitive environment. After meeting up with my teammates I was blown away. For a game that is considered to have one of the most toxic communities, I had instantly made 59 friends, not counting those I made on Super League staff as well. As we made our way to the final game—coming up with strategy, following spreadsheets, and practicing our tails off—there was no way we could have prepared for what came next.
One point. It took one point by the so-called “weakest” team on our roster to become the first League of Legends City Champs in Super League history. I’d love to be able to describe the twist and turns of the match and how it felt to be rooting for my city. But, as with most amazing moments, you just had to be there. We won, and began a tradition that Chicago would continue for the next two seasons.
We walked into Season 2 with confidence. Our roster had changed, but for the better. Grinding through qualifiers was hard but rewarding. We earned respect from each other fast and grew into an amazing team. Win after win our confidence grew, and we had the final game locked up by halftime. All the talk from Seattle became “poster board” material for us, and we used it to become back-to-back Champions. But could we do the unthinkable? Could we pull off a three-peat?
Season 3 felt different. We had a lot of returning talent, but as many teams do, we started to get fatigued. Rigorous practice, pouring over spreadsheets, and defending against all of the Chicago hate was tough. We were behind during the first half of every single game—but for some reason, we just kept coming back. The “Second Half Buff” was born and we rode it until the final game against Phoenix. Could we complete the three-peat? No one thought we could, but we proved them wrong.
Three seasons, three championships.
I said after Season 3, I’d be done. I thought I wanted to be like some of my favorite athletes: I wanted to go out on top. I told most of the team that I was “retiring” and wouldn’t be back next season. What was left to prove?
But after the response I got—the dozens of you that said it wouldn’t be the same without “Dailight”—I realized I was asking myself the wrong question. I shouldn’t have been asking myself, “What do I have left to prove?” I should have been asking myself, “What else do I have to gain?” I loved the competition, the legacy, the “pump up” speeches. And, most importantly, I loved that I’d made friends that I now speak to daily. Why wouldn’t I want to hold onto that? That’s why I’m trying out for Season 4.
So, it’s that time again. City Champs is right around the corner. The roster will change again. New players will alter the face of the Force, and everyone will be out for us.
If you’re joining the Force, whether you like it or not, it’s championship or bust. So, ask yourself: how are you going to be remembered? When will your team’s moment come? What will you do when things look bad? Are you going to come back strong in the second half? Will you write your own chapter about how your team lifted the trophy in Season 4?
Good luck to the new team, should we need it.
Matt “Dailight” Bosko
Join the competition. Sign up for League of Legends City Champs today! Click here.