AUSTRALASIAN Teamfight Tactics (TFT) Fates player Razza has clinched the TFT Fates OCE Championships after a rough start, and is now representing the region on the global stage at the World Championships against 23 of the best players from around the planet.
While Razza ultimately took out the coveted top spot during the four day OCE event, it wasn’t all smooth sailing and a rough start left his tilt at a World Championship berth as anything but a certainty – during the tightly contested second game of the finals, a game glitch landed Razza in 7th place.
Despite his frustration at the situation, Razza managed to regain his focus, to fight back and win the day – earning his position at the TFT Fates World Championships. I had the opportunity to catch up with Razza chat about his lead up to the event, how he manages his mindset during competition, and his planned preparations for Worlds.
In the world of esports, TFT stands as a unique game. Due to the strategic focus of TFT, it attracts veteran esports competitors. The mature community of competitive players actively support each other. Professional and high-level players actively share their strategies in guides and on stream.
Razza spoke about the support he received in the lead up to the Oceanic Finals and said while he couldn’t name names, the people involved had been invaluable for him.
“I can’t thank enough the boys that helped me prepare for the finals,” he said.
That support has continued for the lead up to Worlds Razza reported in an interview with Gangly that he’s had the opportunity to work and scrim with high-level players from both the North America (NA) and Oceanic (OCE) regions. He also expressed his thanks to the Exist organisation for their support.
Razza highlighted another factor that he believes is a key to success for any tournament TFT player. Due to limited high-stakes tournament opportunities in the OCE region, Razza feels his previous experience as a no-limit poker player gives him an edge in intense competition.
“Players used to competition have an advantage in tournaments. You can manage the pressure in must win games,” he said.
As anyone who has ever seen 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale may know, no-limit poker is a high-stakes game. During the bet or raise phase, a player can be bold, going all in with their chips on the table. The “all in” aggressive move forces all other players at the table to match the bet or fold – experience which Razza has clearly drawn on to help keep his focus when the pressure is on.
Jang “Keane” Lae-young, who took second place at the OCE Finals, was previously the League of Legends mid-laner for Fly Quest, and Razza asserts that his and Keane’s dedication to TFT – as well as their previous competitive experience – led to their tournament topping performance.
Managing mindset during intense competition can make the difference between first or last. Mindfulness practice is an effective tool that Razza utilised during the TFT Fates OCE Championships. Razza described one of the techniques that helped him keep his cool.
“I become aware of my thoughts and put them on leaves floating down a stream,” Razza reflected.
His practice with a technique known as cognitive defusion, AKA deliteralisation, allows Razza to recognise his thoughts and let them go. Cognitive defusion creates separation from emotional stress, such as tilt, in a competitive situation. In a TFT tournament format, players often only have a short break between matches, so being able to return to focus quickly from emotionally charged moments and negative thoughts is a game-changer for players.
Razza is ready to represent the OCE region and use his competitive experience and mindset tools to make it to the final day of competition at the TFT Fates World Championships.
He hopes that his performance will highlight OCE region talent and earn the OCE region an additional spot for the next TFT Worlds Championships, and makes no secret of his beliefs there is world class talent in Australasia just waiting for their time to shine.
“OCE is being slept on”, Razza stated fervently.
The competition will take place over three days, starting 10pm AEST on the 7th of April. You can catch all the action on Twitch at Riot Games or from Razza’s perspective on his Twitch channel – twitch.tv/razza168.