The Long Game

World Champion. I’ll never forget that feeling, it was too surreal.

It was the first ever RLCS World Championship, plus we were underdogs coming into the event. It made the win feel that much more special. All of our hard work had paid off.

Although Rocket League was released just over a year ago at that time. I had been working for this moment for years.

Back in middle school, I downloaded a free demo for this game called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, which is the prequel to Rocket League. I know it’s quite a mouthful so most players called it SARP; but I played that game, a lot.

I would wake up early and get my chores done just to get a few games in before school.

On my way home, I would do my homework on the bus so I would have more time after school to play. It was a game I liked to play for fun, but I put a lot of hours in. So winning Worlds was something I had been working toward for a while whether I knew it or not.

Things seemed like they were going great. Our team got picked up by a really big org, G2 Esports. There was a lot of hype surrounding us for Season 2, but from there, things didn’t go well. Our performance during the season was poor. We didn’t even make it to LAN.

It was crushing going from winning the previous season to absolutely failing.

Part of me felt like I had just got lucky last season. I used this time to reflect on myself as a player. I realized there were a lot of changes I needed to make. It was definitely a big wakeup call.

That next season I had new teammates for the first time in a while. I had been playing with JKnaps for a bit. When we got Rizzo to join last minute, I knew we had something special.

Apparently, others agreed and called us the NA Dream Team. It was nice to be recognized, but that made me nervous.

We played well, really well actually, at the beginning of the season – but threw in the last few weeks. I ended up missing LAN once again. It was a big deal.

There was a lot of tension within the team, but we ended up sticking together. We had some success afterwards and proved to each other we were capable of winning and were in it from the long haul.

As a team we won the first ever ELEAGUE, apparently I’m good at winning new events, and also placed second at Dreamhack in Leipzig.

I’ve definitely accomplished a lot as a player, but I’ve been asked what else there is for me to do.

I want to win literally everything.

It doesn’t matter what it is. I want to win any competition no matter how big or small. I’m still chasing a second RLCS title. I would love to be the first player from North America to have two titles. Plus I would love to bring a championship back to NA and to my teammates.

It’s crazy to think how much has changed in that time. The pro scene has grown so much.

Look at the professional organizations that have got involved recently. The stakes keep getting higher and higher, although some would still consider it slow growth. Many players have come and went because they couldn’t support themselves competing.

The players and I’m sure a lot of the viewers, would love for there to be bigger prize pools. In-game items, or even an esports compendium for every season. I know that Psyonix is the type of company to take their time and make sure they get it right the first time. All that’s needed is some patience.

A lot of players have come and went too because of their skill. Not because they’re bad, but because they got complacent. They don’t see all the teams below them, and how hard they are working to take their job. I try to keep notice.

As I see new players enter the scene and old faces leave, I have to remind myself that it could be me leaving if I don’t stay focused.

There are even more players looking to take my spot now with the addition of the RLRS. It gives up and comers a place to play in the RLCS format. There are more opportunities for players to shine than there were before.

Overall I think it’s really good for the scene. Plus it’s really nice knowing that if I play well during the regular season I have no chance to be relegated. That my spot in the RLCS is secure. Having to re-qualify for the RLCS every season through a massive open bracket was stressful, to say the least.

I do wish the RLCS season was longer. We play in a single round-robin format so you only get to play every team once. It’s hard to really tell who is the best in the league. It would give teams a chance to show more consistency.

I’m sure our fans would like that because I know sometimes it can be hard to predict what form of G2 Esports you will see on gameday, but we appreciate your support.

Overall, I think the RLCS and Rocket League esports as a whole is in a good spot, and the future is very bright. There is so much room to go and I’m hoping for more opportunities for fan engagement.

I appreciate the fans a lot. I know without fans like you all, the entire scene would not even be here.

I am proud to be able to do what I love because of you.

Photo Credit: G2 Esports

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