More Than a Job

My mom was the one who got me into playing video games. Little did she know she would almost regret it.

When I just a baby my mom put a controller in my hand for the first time. Even though I was still in diapers, I was able to figure it out.

I was playing a snowboarding game called Downhill Racer on the PlayStation, and by the next day, I had mastered it as much as a toddler could, doing things she had never seen in the game before. My mom was definitely impressed.

Since I had started so young, video games were something I quickly fell in love with and as the years went on, gaming became my main hobby.

In honesty though, it had got to a point where I was close to being addicted to them.

By the time I’d hit 16, my mom was pressuring me to get a job. She would ask me all the time if I had applied to open positions and my answer was always: “No, but I will.”

I kept putting it off though. I could never see myself working a normal job and I told her that. Coming out of high school, my options were limited and I couldn’t picture myself working at Walmart or something like that.

We would fight about it often, even though I knew she was only coming at it from a place of care for me as her son.

I did apply for two jobs. I used waiting to hear back from them as an excuse to not apply for more. Those jobs never got back to me, and I’m glad they didn’t. My life could have been really different.

When I first started playing Rocket League, I never thought it would make me any money. I first saw Summit1G play it on stream. I thought the game looked pretty fun and decided to check it out.

I was mostly playing CS:GO at that time, taking it semi-seriously. I used Rocket League as a break to relax when Counter-Strike became too stressful.

Even though I didn’t have a job, I was making a little bit of money during that time, competing in small, community-run Rocket League tournaments almost every night and winning around $50 each tournament. It wasn’t a lot, but it was something.

I eventually linked up with Sea-Bass and Allushin and we started competing as a team. It wasn’t too long after that we entered the qualifiers for Season 4 of RLCS and somehow we made it. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to make it, but when we did, it was so exciting.

It was our first time even trying to make RLCS and we achieved our goal. That showed me that our team had a lot of untapped potential that we needed to realize.

Leading up to that point, I’d mostly been a ones player and though I think that actually helped me gain notoriety in the scene, it almost felt like I had to learn a new game playing as part of a three-person team.

Even after we made the RLCS, my mom still wanted me to get a job. At first, she didn’t understand anything about esports or the potential that I had to make a career out of Rocket League.

At the beginning of Season 4, we weren’t signed to a professional organization, so I wasn’t really making any money. I started talking to her about the organizations that wanted to pick us up and the money we would be making and her jaw dropped.

Although I didn’t go so far as to say “I told you so”, but I definitely had a big smirk on my face whilst talking about potential money with her – I’d proven to her that I hadn’t just been wasting my time all those years. From that moment on, she was really on-board.

I now have the support of my entire family; they text and call me after every game. They’re not only fans of us, but Rocket League in general. They brag about me all the time, and it feels great to have them behind me.

We ended up picking Allegiance as the org we wanted to represent us going into the RLCS, and we couldn’t have made a better choice.

When we were talking to them, they seemed like they wanted to build a family with us, rather than having a strictly business relationship and that’s exactly how it’s been. They showed their commitment to us through all the ups and downs and it’s a great organization to be with.

There have definitely been some highs and lows in my career so far.

Season 4 was tough for us since we were still a very new team and we were definitely nervous to be playing in the RLCS at the beginning of the season. I was used to playing in front of a few hundred people then suddenly, it was tens of thousands.

Although we weren’t expecting to get relegated to RLRS for Season 5 and it was disappointing, we were ok with it. It gave us a chance to reflect on where we were at and realize that we still had a lot to learn.

We made it back into the RLCS for this season, but it has been a struggle. We were more confident going into this season than the last time around but we couldn’t fully pull it together on the field.

Right now, we are facing relegation for the second time, but I believe that we are an RLCS caliber team – so does my mom and my entire family – I’m just going to have to prove it once more.

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