My ultimate goal has always been to compete in “big” esports events.
The second Invitational, where PENTA Sports came back from 2-0 down to beat Evil Geniuses, amazed me. That’s the kind of event I’m talking about. I always watched the Pro League, even when I wasn’t competing in it.
But that Invitational…that was something else.
I’ve always played in front of people, and I’m naturally a really competitive person. When I was younger, I played ice hockey. This translates over to video games, too.
Gaming was first introduced to me when I was six years old. My brother was the one actually playing, I would just sit there watching him on Call of Duty, but it got me interested.
When he got a gaming laptop at some point he started letting me play a little more.
CS:GO was definitely the first game I got seriously into. I played the game pretty much every day, and in total, I must have around 3,000 hours on it.
It’s how I found my love for first-person shooters, and to be honest, I desperately wanted to play professionally.
The only game that broke the cycle of CS:GO was Rainbow Six Siege. When it dropped I picked it up on Xbox with a couple of my friends, and for two weeks we were on it all day. It was pretty rare for a game to pull me off of my PC for that long, so I knew there was a lot of potential in R6.
Once I upgraded my PC, I bought Siege and it quickly took over from CS:GO again. Funnily enough, I had absolutely no intentions of playing professionally, I just enjoyed the game casually.
It was a friend of mine that asked me whether or not I had considered trying to compete. I didn’t even realize I was that good, I mean I knew I was decent, but I hadn’t given a thought to attempting to go pro.
I kept hopping around from team to team, only on an amateur basis at the time, improving upon whatever I could. It was a bit of a grind, but it paid off when OMEN Esports offered me a tryout.
Thankfully, I made it, and the journey began.
Our first attempt of anything really serious, the qualifier for Challenger League Season 7, was a resounding success. We made it – first try!
The following season was a success too, first place and straight into the Pro League.
First LAN event? Dreamhack Austin and a top-eight finish. Everything was going great, to be honest. We did take a very narrow 2-1 loss to Rogue in the knockout stages, but all things considered, I was pretty happy with the result.
At DreamHack, I was approached by my old teammate Lycan from Spacestation Gaming. I was always close with Lycan, he helped my progression so much. He offered me a role as a starter in the team.
It was so close to the transfer window but I wanted to do it, so I took the offer.
But there was a problem.
At first, we were told the move could happen, then, following the buy-out process of my contract, the same administrator changed their mind.
It even spawned a ‘#FreeRampy’ campaign because I got screwed.
In the end, the transfer window was accepted to accommodate my move. Other teams were free to make changes in this period, but I believe we were the only ones that utilised it.
So I joined Spacestation Gaming. This was midway through 2018.
I had an awful first half to my first Pro League season. I didn’t have a lot of confidence and was feeling the pressure. Spacestation Gaming had always been a top four team. They were one of the teams I watched closely as I rose through the ranks.
Following another roster change, the team and I improved and things started to come together. I had a huge turnaround in performance and we managed to retain our top four status.
After two months of practice, we travelled to Sweden to compete in DreamHack Winter with hopes of booking our place in the Six Invitational 2019.
We beat LeStream Esport, which is impressive in its own right, and then Mock-it Esports to reach the semifinals. I thought our strategy against PENTA Sports was solid, but they actually countered us really well.
We knew what was on the line and we were pumped with adrenaline. I believe that’s why we lost. Rather than thinking about what we were doing and how we were playing, we let our emotions get the best of us.
Things really could have gone off the rails there, to be honest. Everyone was feeling pretty down, so we called a team meeting, which went tremendously. There’s not a lot that can help bring a team back up more than a productive heart-to-heart where no one gets offended.
We had to move past our struggles in the Pro League and in Sweden.
Out of the five professional teams that were competing in the Six Invitational qualifiers, we were the lowest seed. It seemed like we were on a decline because of recent results, but we felt really good about our chances actually.
On our run, we faced Orgless, Excelerate, and Rise Nation and none of those teams are easy to play at all, but we didn’t drop a game against any of them, 2-0 across the board. It felt like we were back to our old selves. No silly mistakes, solid gameplay, and a grand final to play.
Our opposition in the final ended up being Orgless, again.
Before the tournament, we had essentially been scrim partners, so between that and facing them earlier in the tournament, we didn’t really have a lot left in our pocket, and neither did they. It was a fascinating game because neither of us had any real surprises for the other.
That’s why when it went to a third and final map no one was really surprised. We knew the margins would be slim, and despite a strong defensive performance from us, that final map was still extremely close. It really came down to us trying something a little different and pulling it off.
But it worked, and my goal was achieved. I’m going to the Six Invitational.
Obviously we’re going to give it everything to get as far as possible, but honestly, I’m just glad to be there.
One “big” esports event ticked, and hopefully many more to come.