Competing on the biggest League of Legends esports stage, World Championship or Worlds for short, is no easy feat.

This is the biggest stage where pro players get a chance to etch their name in esports history, hoisting the coveted Worlds trophy. The stakes are sky-high, and the mental pressure is equally intense.

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While many players crumble under a great deal of stress, Fnatic’s mid laner, Marek “Humanoid” Brazda, walks a different path.

This Czech player has been a consistent presence at Worlds. 2023 marks his fourth appearance at the international LoL Esports the tournament.

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In 2015, Humanoid began his professional esports career, and, like any other rookie, he frequently grappled with nervousness during crucial games.

He initially competed in different qualifiers with the Czech team Dark Tigers. Subsequently, he joined eSuba for EU Masters. In 2019, he signed with Splyce, which would later rebrand as MAD Lions, marking his LEC debut that same year.

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After securing two LEC titles with MAD Lions, he was signed by Fnatic, one of the EMEA region’s most prominent teams.

Fnatic at the League of Legends World Championship 2023 Swiss Features Day on October 17, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea
Credit: Riot Games

Fnatic Humanoid shares how he deals with high pressure in esports, what he thinks of the Worlds 2023 Swiss stage format, and what he’d like to improve as a player in an exclusive interview with ONE Esports.

Fnatic Humanoid says the higher the pressure, the more focused he becomes in a game

After playing for years now in the LEC, Humanoid has become accustomed to its regular season format. Because of this, best-of-ones in the LEC no longer elicit the same excitement for him.

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As he gained experience, he grew to enjoy high-stakes matches more, such as the LEC Summer 2022 semifinals matchup. One of his standout moments in the league was an impressive 1v3 outplay with Sylas against three of Rogue’s champions.

For Humanoid, heightened pressure translates into increased focus and enthusiasm on the esports stage.

Participating in Worlds 2023, he couldn’t contain his excitement about playing in front of the Korean crowd.

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A new Swiss format was introduced this year. Teams with similar records or rankings compete against each other in a series of rounds. The first teams to secure three wins move on to the next stage, while those who suffer three losses are eliminated.

during the 2023 League of Legends EMEA Championship Series Week 1 at the LEC Studio on January 22 2023 in Berlin Germany
Credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Reflecting on this format, he expressed his thoughts.

“The Swiss format is better than the previous Groups format. It feels like there’s a reduced element of randomness, whether you end up in a challenging group or luck into an amazing one,” he said. “I believe this format provides a higher likelihood for deserving teams to advance.”

Marek "Humanoid" Brazda of Fnatic prepares to compete at the League of Legends World Championship Groups Stage on October 7, 2022 in New York City
Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Despite being an introvert who excels under high-stakes conditions, Humanoid acknowledges the importance of improving his communication with teammates.

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“I think I would like to work on being the voice of the team. Like controlling the team from comms,” he said. “I think I am good at that and I would like it to be my biggest strength.”

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