[Colaboración] Les coses petites 3/3


by Jordina








Tercer capítol


Sense esperar-s’ho gens, el palmell de l’Adam va topar amb la fusta com si topés amb la mort. En un acte reflex, va pensar en l’ Ignasi i va sortir al passadís: just en aquell moment, el company de pis sortia per la porta amb una gran bossa d’esport a la mà i una motxilla a l’esquena. L’ Ignasi va girar-se un instant, un de sol, just perquè l’apunyalessin aquelles pupil·les que l’acusaven des del final del passadís, amb els braços creuats, aixecant el mentó poc a poc. Dominat pel terror i enfarfegat amb les motxilles, va arrencar a córrer escales avall.

L’ Ignasi baixava els esglaons esperitat i encara veia el final del passadís davant seu amb l’Adam al bell mig, observant-lo per dins. Recordava el mig somriure, tenuíssim, que semblava desdibuixar-se-li a una comissura.

Aquella imatge va tapar-li l’últim escaló; va aterrar al portal gambant bruscament. La pressa li brollava de l’estómac fins sortir-li pels porus. Tan bon punt va haver fet, accelerat, el primer pas fora del marc de la porta, una ventada sòlida va abatre’l en sec.

De sobte es va trobar prement la vorera aspra amb la galta. Pel cap li regalimava una escalfor que aviat embassaria les llambordes; rierols grana en resseguirien les escletxes. La terra, fosca i espargida sobre el ciment, entre els trossos de ceràmica del test trencat, quedaria xopa i vermella. 

El carrer era buit; l’atmosfera de la tarda suau, rosada i càlida. De tant en tant, però, la sacsejaven fortes ventades de ponent. Des del balcó, l’Adam, amb l’únic esforç d’abaixar la vista, mirava l’Ignasi inert, rebregat pel terra com una caca de gos. Li observava el pit immòbil i la sang, que rajava; quasi segur que no respirava. Ningú va veure com, sigil·lós, tornava a entrar al menjador del pis. 

Va asseure’s al sofà. Aviat, els dubtes van començar a vagarejar-li per dins del cap d’una orella a l’altra, amb totes les seves espines. Encara algú podia trobar el diari. Va pensar en l’Ignasi, estès allà, fàcil de registrar. Segurament era mort. Si s’arriscava a remenar-lo, algú el podria veure. I si no aconseguia el diari, algú podria veure els seus pensaments crus bategar darrere les lletres recargolades.

La idea que el quadern pogués romandre a la calaixera va acaronar-lo com una brisa. Va caminar amb calma fins l’habitació. El segon calaix seguia obert, esperant-lo. S’hi va dirigir. Hi va enfonsar la mà vacil·lant, aquesta vegada entre els mitjons del costat esquerre, i a l’instant va trobar la llibreta, més verda que mai. Va sospirar fort, tancant els ulls, alleujat. 

Lluitant contra la necessitat de posar-se a escriure, va agafar el telèfon i va marcar-hi el número de l’hospital. Va dirigir-se al balcó altra vegada i va acotar la vista. Al carrer, el bassal era cada cop més gran. Va decidir esperar uns minuts. Mirava com la vorera, poc a poc, acabava d’inundar-se mentre tot era quiet. El regueró de sang va vessar per l’esglaó de ciment gris i va escolar-se pel reixat del clavegueram. Llavors, l’Adam va prémer el botó de trucada.

Hola? El meu company de pis està molt ferit, sembla que li ha caigut un test al cap! Sí, no ho sé, una ventada, vinguin de pressa, si us plau, sagna. Carrer Menéndez y Pelayo.

Va penjar. Sabia que tardarien. Tenia la llibreta a la mà. Va asseure’s al sofà i, abans d’obrir-la, va passar un dit per les vores. 




Avui he mort un home. Sembla mentida que fàcil que és. Falten dinou dies. 




Aquest matí encara hi havia dues taques vermelles al carrer, però eren molt petites. Ahir vaig veure un camió que ruixava l’asfalt i el fregava amb escombres giratòries. No vaig poder adormir-me fins tard pel soroll que feia. I a sobre, era lent. 

A classe, tots em semblaven ninots de plastilina. De colorants diversos, però, al cap i a la fi, manipulables i estúpids. De petit, barrejava totes les plastilines pensant que quedarien de coloraines, però en resultava una massa de color tèrbol, lleig, entre verd i marró. I un clatellot de la mare. 

Comença a fer calor i tothom ho comentava. No sé si la plastilina es desfà. En tot cas, que es podreixin de càncer. 

He d’estudiar. Falten divuit dies.




Avui m’he tornat a despertar suat, amb l’esquena i els cabells molls. Crec que tinc febrades mentre dormo, perquè somio el mateix que quan en tinc: un pal petit sobre un fons blanc. Es va fent un gargot i, com més gran és, més nerviós em poso. Quan ho somio té lògica, però em desperto i la perd.

M’anava a dutxar, però la taca de floridura del sostre m’ha fet massa fàstic. L’Ignasi s’encarregava del lavabo. M’he posat a escriure per postergar l’inevitable. Quina merda. Em noto llardós de dalt a baix. D’aquí una hora tinc classe. 

Al final no he fet cap de les dues coses. He anat a classe brut i encara se m’ha fet més llarg. Tot per arribar al pis i acabar dutxant-me amb la taca negra al sostre. Bé, les taques, perquè en realitat són moltes taques diminutes juntes. I encara queda tota la resta del dia i disset més.




Avui només queden setze dies, puc començar a gastar-m’ho tot. En total tinc nou-cents euros. Havent passat tres estius treballant a la ferreteria, em semblen pocs diners. Treballar per viure. Eliminant les fases mitgeres del procés, és com si cada dia posés al microones una hora de la meva vida per cruspir-me-la i deixar-la lliscar pel vàter, dins una casa construïda d’hores treballades. I així tota la vida. 

Acabo de tornar de classe. Mai m’havia fixat que, a una casa del carreró del costat, hi ha trossos de porcellana i de ceràmica, punxeguts, cimentats sobre el mur del pati. Perquè ningú entri sense permís. Darrere del mur afilat, sobresurt un ametller ple de pètals blancs. Jo tot just acabo de florir i ja tinc ganes de morir-me. 




Queden quinze dies. M’he despertat i, al llit, de tant pensar, m’he posat a plorar. Quan començo no paro. He tornat a plorar a classe, plorava mentre prenia apunts i tots m’anaven mirant amb cara de pena, com si els importés un miserable pebrot qualsevol cosa fora d’ells mateixos. Sé que no els importa perquè jo també sóc així. Tothom és així. Us faig pena? Mig planeta es mor de gana. Voleu fer un favor al món? Mateu-vos, ja hi ha prou gent. Massa. Aprofiteu ara, que aviat s’acabarà l’aire i tot serà brut. Però no em mireu amb cara de pena.




M’acabo de despertar. He somiat que pilotava, que volava per sobre de tot. Era tan real que encara tinc les orelles taponades. Falten catorze dies. Tot i que m’ha despertat la claror, segueixo al llit. No tinc classe, no penso moure’m. Intentaré tornar a adormir-me, però mai aconsegueixo que els somnis continuïn on els he deixat. Érem a punt d’estavellar-nos. 

M’he llevat suat altra vegada, quan ja era fosc. Avui havia d’haver anat a comprar, així que només he trobat un bric de caldo al rebost. En abocar-lo a la tassa, no baixava. En sacsejar-ho una mica, ha anat caient un grumoll groc gelatinós. Se m’ha tancat l’estómac i l’he llençat per la pica; feia un any que estava caducat.

Ja han passat unes hores. Fa estona que la panxa ha deixat de roncar-me, però abans no parava, semblaven els sorolls d’un desguàs. Ara em tiba i em fa mal. Si estic dret, més. 

La roba em molesta, sobretot les vores de la samarreta. Les noto fregant-me els costats i el coll. He provat de despullar-me i ficar-me dins el llit, però em molestava la veta dels calçotets i el contacte xafogós del matalàs amb l’esquena. 

La taca de floridura, a part d’enfosquir les cantonades, també ha esquitxat el mig. El sostre és blanc, però els rajols de les parets són grisos i la brutícia es camufla. 

Al final, ahir vaig agafar menjar de l’armariet de l’Ignasi. Amb el costum de no obrir-lo, no hi havia pensat abans i resulta que tinc fideus instantanis per parar un tren. Avui falten tretze dies. Fa molt sol. Qui ho diria que, anys enrere, nevava i havíem d’abaixar totes les persianes perquè no s’escapés l’escalfor. Semblava que el fred ens sortís de dins dels peus. I ara suo.




Falten dotze dies. He anat a classe. Quan he tornat, a l’ascensor hi havia una veïna carregada amb bosses del súper. M’he hagut d’empassar un sermó pausat sobre que l’Ignasi era molt jove i que pobreta la seva família. I sobre quant ho sent, també per mi, que devia estar acostumat a veure’l i que ara em dec sentir buit. Jo només he sospirat. S’ha acomiadat dient que la vida és curta i la mort injusta, i un altre tòpic que ara no em ve al cap. El pròxim dia pujaré per les escales. Hi hagués pujat, si no em cansés tan ràpid. Abans, de tan robust, intimidava i tot. Ja no tinc els músculs que tenia, cimentats a mi, com corbes de porcellana. Dinaré. 




Falten onze dies. Avui, abans d’entrar a classe, una noia que tenia cara de mosquit se m’ha acostat i m’ha preguntat si tenia foc, amb la o forçadament tancada. “Fóc?”, recargolant-se un ris com si no pogués estar-se quieta. No volia foc, volia que em fixés en ella. M’hi he fixat, i el cervell li deu fer conjunt amb la cara de mosquit. No sé què hi troba la gent a fingir un accent que no és el seu. L’he sentit parlar i no té accent tancat. Molta gent de la classe en té, però ella no. He fet que no amb el cap i ha marxat a demanar-li fóc a un altre.

He tornat a dinar fideus instantanis. És que només s’alimentava d’això, el puto Ignasi? Demà aniré a comprar, sí o sí. 




Per fi, demà passat em graduo. Falten deu dies. No sé en què gastar-me els diners. He pensat en prostitutes, però em farien fàstic. Podria provar drogues, però no sé d’on treure’n. L’Ignasi me’n podria haver aconseguit. No sé si preguntar-li a la mosquit o a qualsevol que passi pel carrer, però hauria d’afanyar-me. Setanta-dues hores després, la cocaïna i l’èxtasi ja no apareixerien a les anàlisis d’orina, de manera que tinc set dies per provar-les. Sis, per si de cas. 

Espero que no em decebin. Al Mero, un dels ionquis del poble (el que sempre la rondava en bicicleta) se’l veia prou entretingut. Deia que buscava les boles de drac.




Falten nou dies. Fa molta, molta calor. Quin fàstic. Abans he mullat una tovallola i me l’he passat pel cos, per refrescar-me. Però al cap de cinc minuts, ja he tornat a tenir calor.




Avui falten vuit dies. Quan anava a parlar-li a la mosquit, ho he trobat ridícul i he tornat al pis. 




Estic oficialment graduat. Falten set dies. Ja no cal que surti més del llit.




Falten sis dies. He d’aconseguir drogues. Si segueixo ploriquejant sota els llençols, seran uns últims dies que fotran pena. 




Falten cinc dies.




Falten quatre dies. El bolígraf em rellisca de les mans. Cada dia somio que piloto. 




Falten tres dies. Ja no hi ha temps per res. Després de dinar m’he sentit del tot inútil i he baixat al súper. Almenys, que l’últim que mengi no siguin putos fideus de pot. M’he endut els nou-cents euros i he comprat tot el que m’ha semblat que em podria venir de gust: ensaïmades, magdalenes, galetes, caramels, pizza, pa, fuet, formatge, xocolata, cereals ensucrats, gelats de gel i gelats ametllats. També he comprat l’ampolla de rom més cara que hi havia. 

No sé què fer amb tots els diners que m’han sobrat.




L’Adam va encallar el bolígraf a les molles de la llibreta, la va tancar i la va desar al calaix. Després va asseure’s al cantó del llit. El mirall, que ocupava tota la paret, el reflectia d’esquenes. El vespre matisava el cel i l’habitació s’anava omplint de penombra. Va dirigir-se a la cuina i, sobre el marbre, va treure el menjar de les bosses per després guardar els gelats al congelador i l’ampolla a la nevera. Com que encara no tenia gana, va tornar al llit. 

Al cap d’una hora i mitja, quan ja s’havia fet fosc del tot, l’Adam seia davant de la taula del menjador i de l’ampolla de rom marró, freda. Quan en va haver fet un glop, la cremor li va inundar el nas i el coll. Aguantant la respiració, es va beure gairebé un quart d’ampolla. Havent recuperat l’aire, abans que el foc de la gola acabés d’apagar-se-li, va repetir el procés. La llum groga de la làmpada queia feble sobre l’Adam i la gran superfície de fusta, però la resta del menjador era fosc i buit. En apartar-se l’ampolla del rostre, va quedar-se molta estona observant el seu reflex al mirall de davant. Es va recordar del primer dia que va veure el pis; va estranyar-li que hi hagués tants miralls. Li va sortir un rot de les entranyes, amb gust d’antisèptic bucal.

El cap li pesava. Quan va recolzar-lo a la taula, tenia la boca negada de saliva i intentava empassar-se-la tota. Es va posar dret, però no podia mantenir la vista fixa en un sol lloc. No es sentia les mans, així que va moure-les una mica. Intentava córrer cap al lavabo però, gairebé com als somnis, l’aire es tornava dens i el frenava. Quan per fi hi va haver arribat, va vomitar de genolls davant del vàter; els fideus instantanis van immergir-se a les canonades entre rom i sucs gàstrics. Després, el nas li coïa. Només volia tancar els ulls i dormir. Dormir, dormir i dormir. 

L’habitació era un caos de roba, fulls i borrissol, però va col·locar en línia els dos parells de sabates abans d’arraulir-se, a poc a poc, sobre el llit. L’endemà va passar-lo dormint, menys per anar a la cuina a buscar ensaïmades. Estirat al matalàs, en mastegava una mentre mirava el llum del sostre: tenia vuit petites siluetes negres, una més que la darrera vegada que s’hi havia fixat. Va pensar que l’endemà seria el seu primer dia, i l’últim. 




I va arribar el moment. Feia poc que s’havien enlairat. L’Adam, assegut a la cabina, gairebé s’havia oblidat del tauler de control que l’envoltava i del volant; ni el veia. Només mirava l’atzur, els núvols i les cases, que tan sols eren quadradets arrenglerats. Des del cel, tot eren coses petites. La veu del copilot va fer-lo reaccionar: “Primer dia de feina, eh? No estiguis nerviós. És com tot, això”. Devia rondar els cinquanta anys. L’Adam, en mirar-lo, va veure’s reflectit a les seves ulleres de sol; dolcíssim, va somriure-li com a resposta i, amablement, li va acaronar el coll. Després, els seus dits s’enfonsaren a la pell de l’home, que va desfer-se en un son profund sobre el seient.

L’Adam tenia les aixelles xopes de suor i les parpelles enganxifoses. Malgrat la calor, estava calmat. Ja només calia esperar. Quan la llum no li coïa els ulls, veia el cel tan blau, els núvols cendrosos espargits per l’immens no-res, i el mar. Per un instant li va semblar veure els pètals d’aquell ametller blanc, després més núvols, i ben aviat les coses petites, que s’apropaven i s’apropaven... 




about what the hell team liquid and echo fox are doing


there are certain things a couple of teams in na named team liquid and echo fox are doing that seems to create confusion to most of the fanbase, reddit commentators and even pro players. i think i have a quite accurate idea of what is happening and why.

TL,DR at the end.






about me i am currently analyst in a regional spanish team, i don't main english and hardly ever write with it, i'm a ranked diamond one player in euw and i have zero contact with people of either team nor direct contact with anyone into the scene really, so this is all speculation and i might be wrong about some things so i will have to convince you otherwise. lets start.

league is evolving. the whole league scene is evolving.

from a playing standpoint a time ago you could grab five good young talented players, put them together and teach them how to play the game, and you would had, maybe not a world class team, but a good team whatsoever, how good will depend on the players themselves and even if you have good eyes for it, will be a bit like a lottery and not so much about management skills and coaching if you know what you are doing. but people learn, and involved young and talented players learn a lot. when i started playing and watching this game certain things considered now really common even in the low diamond bracket where praised by commentators like quintessential mechanics, strats and even team coordinated plays. twenty minutes baron calls, clutch teleports and nowadays basic rotations. players are getting smarter, opportunities and advantages in games grow thinner and its harder to keep up with everything. its not anymore about just "transitioning to soloq to teamq" learning it from a single person talking or just learning to drive when already on the road if not everybody knows absolutely everything about the game, what can happen to veteran teams and explain their early success and later stagnation. two things are going to happen if you want to keep in the train; the players eventually will be the ones that know more about their specific role inside the whole organisation and you have to fins a way for them to keep learning and adapting, and the organisation has to maintain and specialise his staff and thus organise a wider thing, a not so easy task.

that's for itself a survival event for some orgs, they realise about the problem because of results and find that results is what they will have to sacrifice to solve it and maybe die in the process, but this problem is not limited to teams that face bad performances right now. if the teams fail to transition to that five players and a coach whose girlfriend is team manager org into a whole oiled machine they will just either lose the train or crumble under their own weight if done poorly, so the risk is huge. 

when you decide to take that road, it is worth then to take resources and invest in that transformation, because west team owners have realised after the last two years that it doesn't really matter what they do short term because they are not going to win worlds in a year or two or three, their growth in the global market is out of the table and they have to focus on regional success, keeping the whole worlds history and goal more of a fantasy to keep the players involved, that after all are here because they have a thrill of competition (see akaadian), more than a real aspiration.

from a brand standpoint, winning is not that important. sure it is important to keep strong players on the team interested in high goals, sure its important when you target regional fanbase if you win or not your own lcs and you go to worlds and stream korea and upload a photo having burger king with bang, but there is not so much difference between barely go into world and just barely avoiding relegation, and even less with the franchising model around. apart from the two extreme cases, we almost can consider all the rest into a middle of the pack tier results for what matters to branding proposes. inside this tier, what will really matter above exact lcs placements is getting and keeping a fanbase interested, creating content and developing a narrative, an ongoing tale that not only direct fans but the playerbase can relate to and somehow get involved with. why is the vaultboy meme being spammed into chinese matches if it is as a dumb reference to the d tier midlaner of one of the last teams of north america? branding. memes, narrative, paid by steve and breaking point.

organisations can say: as long as we don't get relegated, that is what will really matter, because we can't neither impact the international market of league of legends if we are not even the best team in the region, nor monetise a thirth place. 

ok, we have resources because the scene has grown, want to win at the long con because the benefits of winning are obvious but don't really need immediate success until we are capable of reaching the very top and we just aren't there. what do we do? where do we put those resources? do we go deep balls in the contract of star players inflation, targeting an eternal fourth spot in the lcs? precisly this lasts team liquid splits have proved so far that getting one or two star players is not a reliable solution to ensure results in profesional league of legends, see reignover, see piglet. the solution to the problem is, for one side we create an ongoing narrative in form of content or whatever for the fans and work to wide, and for the other we transform the organisation to be an on-going machine able to maintain success when we get there. not easy, it explains why liquid has taken this as a do or die task to do.

how this whole "then we start getting like all the players available in the market and throw them into the gaming house and the lcs chairs the day after they get here from seoul" and other similiary creative ideas fits in here?






a roster wider than five man is not a new idea, skt has been doing it for three years now and lots of explanations have appeared to explain or justify it. strategical diversity, harder to predict, tools to mentally reset in a best of five, all perfect valid points but very direct result oriented, it goes deeper.

we talked about the narrative for the fans, and one of the reasons its important to talk about is because there was an unintentional narrative before, but fans are getting used to the natural narrative of "we are nerds like you we live in a house by ourselves and win money playing video-games", but players are getting used to. the fact itself is just not enough anymore to keep players that have been doing this, some of them for six years now, from being enthusiastic and creative and competitive and giving their all at this game. it's also not enough for a lot of players that grow dreaming about that story and once they reach the lcs stages and get paid real money, get mediocre egirls and away from their fathers, they are just perfect enjoying the dream. it can make them keep playing, but not improving constantly at the needed rate to keep up with the high level competition. to maintain that involvement you need to motivate them, put new and fresh carrots in the way, create an efficient routine and work culture, hire coaches, physic coaches, mental coaches, chess coaches, pay weldon a million dollars; you will eventually need narrative and an environment where keeping with the competition is not a conscious effort but just the way the wind blows. clg has their friendship rainbow narrative, tsm had their everybody rather than our fans hates us narrative, and so on.

there are ways to accomplish similar results, like having a player under another pushing so he doesn't sleep and practice soloq at night fearing to get subbed or just choke at stage, and you can get results from sheer pressure like that depending the type or personality your players have; but it will eventually break them or will just stop having an effect. what will you do when you have a player you are not in a position to replace that, whatever you discover chokes in big moments or its just not good enough, but there is nothing you can do because he can't handle more pressure? the whole sub model works and has worked in skt because being the best team of the world is a narrative for itself that doesn't need reinforcement or special attention, and because world tier players are willing to sub because of who you are. put yourself in situation, you nail a tryout and install from the challenger ladder or from a middle of the pack team into the skt house. you wake up, eat some cereal, wear the skt jacket go into the practice room and you have faker sitting at the desk next to you, woke all night playing fucking poly bridge. you don't need a yoga instructor, this is the best team of the world! as a player inside it, the natural and only response is to try to keep up to this legends and also be the best.

skt had six and seven man rosters but they were really a five man team with a sub or two, what is a lot considering no one was doing it at the time, but from a traditional sport standpoint is just not enough, although necessary because also of stability inside orgs (what happens if a player gets injured or jut can't play anymore? it's pretty obvious concern and very dangerously ignored so far) and they got results from it more because of being skt than because strategic diversity. what a lot of traditional sport teams have, what skt is doing this season, and what liquid and fox are trying to transform their teams into is having some franchise players but eliminating the conception of five man roaster and subs, creating an inside environment into the house based on self competition and constant flow of people related and information about the game. because, we said so, there is a point where every player is the person inside the org that knows the most about his position, and if a player is the only one in that position inside the org, there is nobody he can side to side talk to about the game and the role. that's why liquid was also looking for "positional coaches / parteners" for every position in the game for now months on their website.

having this kind of on-going fluid competition also allows to scrim yourself very specific situations and to try different combinations of players to avoid bad group habits, in general it let you totally control the blocks of scrim practice and break with their inefficiency problems, one of the reasons that usually come up when somebody talks about the korea gap. scrimming with themselves is exactly what echo fox has been doing, at first because of the situation, after that because they realised the possibilities. a space like that can contain any number of players, and is also a place into transition for veteran players just burned in usual models as a perfect transition to streamers, coaches or positional coaches but without leaving the scene.

further, because you can no longer just group them and tell exactly how to play the game at every minute, you can as a coach or whole staff take a step afar from the game itself, and focus on creating and maintaining the environment where players can learn themselves, a much more coach related task than just telling someone how to play the game. it will be them, the players, (and already are) the ones that provide highest level information about the state of the game because they are the ones that are able to keep up into the master and challenger ladders and not staff members, and also be at first line of upcoming talent appearing into the ranks and not having to wait until you suddenly need a new adc for tomorrow to absorb people into the organisation. is much easier to fit a soloq new player into this kind of environment as opposed to a traditional five man model team (although it can be done with success, see biofrost), because there is more space and because there is no immediate pressure or results obligations while they stay in the team bubble and dynamics, while they get anyway consistent practice with the members of team themselves and not with academy ones that share the name but no much else.

a seven, ten or twenty roster also has effects on branding linking to the same solutions as stated before, and makes the whole make content to create narrative even more important. you can't just hype the group of five as your whole marketing tool because at some times certain players will just not play, and viewers will close the stream and go into the other match if they only watch you because of that player. you have to be an identity by yourself as an organisation, maybe abound one particular and link to the hearth of the brand franchised player, and that is impossible if you don't put resources into it, or if you are not strongly linked to a particular county like psg, old giants or most traditional sport teams. even if you have some kind of success, with that kind of promotionless model, eventually the players will rotate from team to team and the people will remember the player they hyped up, as it happens naturally along the process when you are winning, and later forget about the organisation behind it.

if league and the scene keeps going, and everything points that it will, all organisations will sooner or later transition into this model i just named "environmental competition and clusterfuck of people and players involved with the game", and even if a five roster model team gets some stars or happens to have success will eventually be shadowed by the organisations that, when the opportunity was there, were capable of getting his shit done and evolve.



TL,DR: liquid and echo fox don't care about immediate results, they are branding and transforming their organizations into a whole environment based on internal competition by loading a lot of people into the gaming houses, creating, reinforcing narratives and getting sheer attention. and they are doing right.