The Drive to Compete

To climb the ladder in gaming to become a professional and to be able to make a true career out of it is a dream come true.

My first dream was football (or soccer for those of you in the US). I will always love football as a sport and the moments I had playing it. The love I had for traditional sports is something that I bring to competing in esports.

After a nasty fall, I herniated one of the discs in my spine. The injury was painful. So, whilst it didn’t hinder my drive to compete, it did, however, make running for hours a little more difficult. I wasn’t left with many options.

Leaving football behind was difficult but my back injury really made it impossible for me to have a future as a professional player.

I’d always enjoyed playing video games and though my back injury signalled that football wasn’t going to be a long-term option, I still felt like I could find a career as a natural competitor.

I was constantly daydreaming about being a professional at something where you could compete at the highest level.

I’m okay at most of the sports I’ve tried, but when I truly thought about fully committing to one, esports just felt right. Esports had always been my second favorite thing behind football.

I’ve played many different games in the past 15 years. I mostly played games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike and some Call of Duty before I started playing Overwatch seriously.

One of the most important achievements in my time in the gaming industry before focusing on Overwatch was probably achieving rank one in World of Warcraft in PvP (Player vs Player). I’ll always remember that moment. It was in that moment that I realized I had the potential to be a professional gamer.

Games like WoW were super important in shaping who I’ve become today. They’ve added so many different skill sets to my arsenal that I can call upon at any time. I’ve practiced my aim in games like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike. I’ve managed resources in real time like in League of Legends and World of Warcraft, and when I had my first glimpse of gameplay for Overwatch, I knew I was all-in.

ENCE eSports was the first big organization that I joined and they provided me with an invaluable experience in how to behave like a professional. I’m forever grateful to them for the opportunity they gave me and I can honestly say I did my best to give them everything when representing them.

By the end of 2017, I had caught the eye of the team that would set me on a course for success and has led me to where I am today.

On January 26th, 2018, I joined Team Gigantti, one of Finland’s best Overwatch League teams. The biggest difference between ENCE and Team Gigantti was simply the number of hours that we practised.

There was definitely a big step up in the commitment that we all had towards being a better team. We had great individuals in both teams but at Team Gigantti we also had more dedicated and focused coaching, too. Having Seita as a head coach outlining all the strategies for us and the professionalism that he brought to the preparation made us all improve so much in a short timeline.

My personal goal for Overwatch Contenders was to make myself a better team player and to be noticed by the community. While playing at the top level is extremely important, you need eyes on you.

I was known previously as a DPS player, but I transitioned to my team’s needs and I took over a new role. Now, I’m primarily playing off-tank and I’m aiming to be the best off-tank in the world. I proved myself in Overwatch Contenders, but now I’ve gotten the opportunity of a lifetime and can play against some of the most talented Overwatch players in the world.

Many people might be surprised, but the tryout process for Overwatch League team’s is actually pretty simple. The team wanted to get a sense of my mechanical skill level and how solid my communication is, so I played in a number of tryouts for the Fuel and other teams during the process.

When the offer from the Dallas Fuel came through, I was super excited about their proposal. I’d been feeling pressured by a couple of other Overwatch League teams with contract offers and landing with the Fuel was really a dream come true for me.

However, while this is a dream come true, this is one of the most important tests I’ll have as a professional gamer. Staying focused can be difficult at times. This is no joke. What we do is still a job. You absolutely have to put in the work in order to succeed and function as a fully committed team.

Yes, I have the best job on Earth, but it still comes with its own responsibilities and stress.

My long-term goal in esports was always to get into Overwatch League and prove myself as one of the best in the world. I want to show others that playing video games for 15 years wasn’t for nothing and that you can actually make a proper career out of esports.

Overwatch is the platform that will allow me to showcase my skills.

Competitive environments have always been something I have thrived in and, though I can’t show it on a football pitch anymore, I think I have a good shot at showing that with Dallas Fuel on the Overwatch League stage.

Image Credit: Dallas Fuel

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