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When Jen stepped out of her tent that morning, she frowned at the state of her garden. Nearly every plant had grown weeds overnight and several of them were in desperate need of watering. Along with the bad, there was, of course, the good – many were ready to be harvested and sold.
After spending an hour tending to her garden, which she was slowly becoming quite fond of, she brushed off as much dirt as she could from her clothes before heading inside the take a brisk shower.
As the lukewarm water cascaded down her body, she remembered something she had come across the night before – there was a gaming tournament happening until midnight for Incredible Sports. Could she win? Could she even place in the top ten? She didn’t know and had little confidence in her abilities, but she felt excitement at the thought of entering the tournament so she quickly rinsed the soap from her body and half-heartedly dried herself.
The tournament was enjoyable, mostly because she didn’t need to actually communicate with her teammates – the tournament team had faced a rather bad controversy several years prior when one of the teams got into a rather heated argument over the mic, slinging slurs and insults as if they were commonplace. Since then, the ability to talk with your teammates over the mic had been removed and the text possibilities greatly filtered.
In total, there were fifty participants in the novice bracket, several of which were first-timers like herself. Not only that, but her team, from what she could gather over text, were fairly patient and kind, encouraging everyone to do their best and have fun.
At first, she was sure that she couldn’t do this – she felt far too nervous -, but once the tournament had gotten underway, she completely forgot that she was even competing. Perhaps this contributed to her loss.
Even though she, and most of her team for that matter, had lost pretty early on, her teammates were encouraging and remained calm. They sent messages of praise – ‘You did well!’ – and of encouragement – ‘You’ll get ’em next time,’ – and even of friendship – ‘Add me if you want, we can train for the next one!’.
Jen made three friends that day and, even though she lost, she didn’t feel like a complete loser. She vowed to train hard for the next tournament and to, at the very least, make it through round one.
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