The first time I reached the RLCS, it was an incredible feeling.
Metsanauris, al0t and I were incredibly confident as a result of strong weekly performances against other RLCS teams. We were going to make this chance count.
Despite our confidence, once League Play started the pressure started to get to us, and it felt like we had hit a brick wall. The roster was transferred from Secrecy to Resonant Esports halfway through the season, and we were desperate to prove that we were the right choice for Resonant.
We were just going to play the best rocket league we could and hope for the best. After an incredibly tight series, we secured our spot in the playoffs and gave ourselves one more chance at making it to the World Championship. Even after that, we still had to win against F3 once again to make it.
I don’t think my heart has ever beaten as fast as it did throughout that series. At 3-1, it was in our hands and the confidence was flowing, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
Eventually, F3 took the series in a game seven overtime, and everyone was really devastated.The F3 guys came into our teamspeak server for the customary “GGs”, but I just muted myself and started crying. What else could I do? One game away from reaching the goal I’d been working so hard for, and now it was gone.
After the season ended, we saw the chance to represent Method in the Gfinity Elite Series in London and felt that it was a huge opportunity to grow. As a team, we were glad to have finally secured long term sponsorship and stability.
DreamHack Summer soon followed, and our expectations were set fairly high as it was the first tournament representing Method. Unfortunately, once again, the pressure hit and our tournament run ended on day two.
But it wasn’t all bad. Metsa and I rather unexpectedly qualified for the Universal Open, which was the first tournament that my parents paid a lot of close attention to. My dad flew out to LA with me, and in front of him, I managed to get 2nd place with Metsa. Suddenly, both as players and as a team, we were heavily respected heading into RLCS Season 4.
Our goal that year was simply to make it into playoffs. Once you get into that position, you never know what can happen.
Of course, we ended up blitzing that goal entirely and qualifying directly for the World Championships. There were certainly some nerves as the end of the season drew closer, but unlike before, we managed to pull it off.
The circumstances of our qualification made it difficult to set expectations. We wanted to be there, but honestly, we hadn’t fully expected to be there. Game-by-game. That’s how we had to take it.
My dad once again flew out with me to the tournament. He still didn’t know exactly how the game worked, but it was just great to have him there. Throughout the weekend he made sure that I was eating properly, staying hydrated, and keeping focused.
Maybe he’s my good luck charm, once again I found myself in a grand final – this one slightly bigger than any others I had been in before!
Gale Force beat us pretty heavily, but considering we hadn’t even planned on being at the tournament, I couldn’t be too upset.
Our form dipped after the season ended. There were a couple of tournaments where we failed to make the playoffs – perhaps we were still riding the high from World Championships. It was a disappointing period for us.
Once our contracts with Method expired, we had a number of new offers coming in from a variety of different organisations. Ultimately, we went with compLexity because they were passionate about building a dynasty with us and we felt that they were the right choice to go with.
You can’t build a dynasty without consistently competing with the world’s best, and so qualifying for LAN became a necessity, not a possible bonus.
This time, we found ourselves in another must-win situation at the end of the season – against Gale Force. This time we only needed to win one single game. But the mentality was different. Not one of fear, but of confidence. Funnily enough, we lost the series, but won the game that we needed, and that’s all that mattered.
And it meant we got to take part it one of the best LANs that Rocket League has ever seen. RLCS World Championships in London. It’s hard to explain how different the atmosphere was there. In the U.S, the crowd is quiet mostly, but they go nuts when a goal is scored. In London, the hype was constant.
It was quite a strange run for us. Tainted Minds was our first opponent, and we really didn’t know what to expect from an OCE team. It messed with our mindset a little, but once that hurdle was passed, we used the momentum to get wins over G2 Esports and Cloud9, both from North America.
The drive through the bracket came to a grinding halt against NRG the following day, and a loss to Team Dignitas meant there would be no consecutive grand finals appearance for us. It was tough to process, as we had played very well, but ultimately come up short from our expectations.
Consistency was a real problem for us. Outside of RLCS, we were honestly just an average team for some reason. Something had to change.
Replacing Metsa was the wrong decision, and it’s something I regret to this day. After he left, we played in the Universal Open qualifiers together, and it really felt like the last hurrah for us. It was just two friends having fun, and our chemistry was absolutely perfect. I felt the regret kick in after that, but it was time to start a new chapter with gReazymeister.
That new chapter turned out to be the start of my fall as a player. The roster fell into a downward spiral, and never really recovered. It wasn’t gReazy’s fault, we just couldn’t make it work as a team.
I cried the entire night that we were relegated from the RLCS. It took two weeks before I could even look at all of my social media replies again. I even considered quitting Rocket League. It sounds dramatic, but I was in an extremely dark place.
Those feelings eventually lead to me taking some time and working on my health, physically and mentally. So perhaps there was a silver lining.
Al0t left to team up with mousesports at the start of 2019, and gReazy and I both hoped to find spots on RLCS lineups for the season. I tried out with mousesports, Vitality, Dignitas, and Triple Trouble, but for one reason or another, didn’t join up with any of them.
I was out of the RLCS for the first time in two years.
Eventually, gReazy and I opted to team together with Flakes to try and prove to Complexity that it would be worth it to stick with us.
Together, we showed Complexity that they did make the right call. It wasn’t a perfect season, and there were times when I thought the wheels were going to come off, but we held it together and found our way back into the promotion tournament.
I’d been through hopeful, I’d been through confident, but now it was simply do-or-die. We felt unstoppable heading into that promotion tournament. Nothing was going to prevent me from getting back to the RLCS
I was back where I belonged just a couple of hours later.
But don’t call it a comeback, at least not yet. My goal has and always will be to win an RLCS LAN. That’s all there is. Yes, I’m a different player now, I try to cater to my teammates more and work as a team, but the goal hasn’t changed.
We still have a lot of challenges ahead of us, and a battle to keep our spot in RLCS.
Maybe I’ll get there. Maybe I won’t. They always say it’s about the journey, not the destination. And I’m looking forward to continuing my journey.
Image Credit: Dreamhack
Ben Hurst assisted with the creation of this article