The Weight of a Nation: Kairi and the Burden of Expectation in Indonesia
“Well, to each his own. I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you’ve done for them, eventually they will hate you. Why bother?” – Green Goblin Spiderman
Kairi Rayosdelsol, the enigmatic jungler of ONIC Esports, entered the M5 World Championship draped in the double-edged cloak of hero and scapegoat. To the Philippines, he was a symbol of Filipino esports prowess, a rising star hailed for his daring play and assassin mastery. To Indonesia, however, he was more – a national pride, a lightning rod for their nation’s hopes and, after ONIC’s heartbreaking loss to AP Bren in the Grand Finals, a target for blame.
The narrative of Kairi’s journey at M5 is complex, woven with threads of cultural pressure, fervent fandom, and the unforgiving nature of competitive gaming. His early performance was a masterclass in aggression, his Assassins are blur of blades weaving through enemy defenses. The chants of “Kairi! Kairi!” resonated through the Rizal Memorial arena, each syllable a testament to the adoration reserved for their proud son.
In Indonesia, this admiration morphed into an almost suffocating level of expectation. ONIC represented the nation’s hopes of reclaiming the M Series crown, and Kairi, with his mind blowing plays and undeniable talent, became the vessel for those aspirations. Every successful dive fueled the fire of anticipation, every missed objective stoked the embers of doubt. The weight of the nation is a huge responsibility.
As the tournament progressed, cracks appeared in ONIC’s seemingly invincible armor. AP Bren, fueled by home-field advantage and strategic adjustments, countered Kairi’s aggression with calculated rotations. His signature heroes, once invincible weapons, felt blunted against their unwavering defense. The deafening cheers morphed into a tense silence, the weight of national expectation pressing down on the young player’s shoulders.
The Grand Finals became a crucible for Kairi, a trial by fire that exposed the vulnerability woven into the fabric of any great player. With each fallen turret, each missed play, the whispers of blame began to rise. Social media erupted, online chat rooms brimmed with criticism, and Kairi, the hero of the upper bracket, became the tragic figure of the Grand Finals.
The blame directed at Kairi speaks volumes about the intense relationship between esports and national pride. In Indonesia, esports isn’t just a game; it’s a platform for national glory, a chance to prove their place on the global stage. When victory is achieved, the players are heroes; when defeat comes, someone must be held accountable. Kairi being a proud Filipino does carry a huge burden to carry Onic, and in this case Indonesia to the championship.
However, this simplistic narrative fails to capture the nuanced reality of competitive gaming. It ignores the collective responsibility of a team, the intricate interplay between multiple factors, and the sheer unpredictability of the digital battlefield. Placing the entire burden of defeat on one player, no matter how skilled, is not only unfair but also detrimental to the growth of the esports scene.
Kairi’s journey at M5 is a cautionary tale, a reminder of the double-edged sword of national pride. While it can fuel incredible feats of passion and dedication, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and unforgiving scapegoating. It’s crucial to remember that even the best players make mistakes, and that true fandom lies in supporting them through triumphs and tribulations alike.
As Kairi steps into the next season, he carries the lessons of M5 with him. He carries the cheers of the Filipino crowd, the sting of Indonesian criticism, and the unwavering determination to rise again. His story is far from over, and the burden of expectation, the weight of a nation though heavy, can also be the fuel that propels him to even greater heights. Whether he becomes a hero or a villain in the eyes of some, one thing is certain: Kairi Rayosdelsol, the enigmatic jungler of MLBB, is a force to be reckoned with, and his journey on the digital battlefield is far from over.