The Confidence Is Back

It wasn’t until the second season of RLCS that I really started to take the game seriously.

I first got into Rocket League on release day, actually. One of my favourite streamers played in the beta right before it released, and it hooked me from there.

It didn’t take long to decide that this was a game I really wanted to get good at. Even if it took me two or three seasons. I knew my time would come.

My first real taste of competition was with Team Infused for the Gfinity Elite Series. It was a fun league in London, and had some decent players, despite not being the pinnacle of Rocket League competition.

A Semi-Final appearance in my first season was okay, but we really expected to challenge for the title. I had to do better.

During Gfinity, Mummisnow, Skyline, and I teamed up for the RLCS play-ins. The expectation was to make it in, frankly. But we also knew that we would end up in RLRS at worst.

We narrowly missed out on qualification, and it was another disappointment. Not the best start to my competitive career, but I knew success would come my way if I kept pushing myself.

When Team Secret approached me for a trial, I knew the hard work was paying off. It felt like there was an instant connection between all of us both in and out of game. I truly think we would have made a good team, but sometimes surprises happen.

When the offer came through from Team Envy, I couldn’t believe it. At that point, I thought I’d be joining Secret, and once again pushing for an RLCS spot. And then – all of a sudden – I’m part of Team Envy.

I used to joke with my friends, saying that I would be the best player in the world if I teamed up with Remkoe and Deevo. It really was a dream come true, and finally a chance to prove myself in the RLCS.

It was tough at first. The level was definitely a step up compared to where I had been competing, but it wasn’t out of my league, not by any means.

That was proven by the fact that we managed to qualify for Worlds in my debut season after beating F3. If you’re wondering how I felt after that, just know that I muted my mic, started screaming, and ran around my house for about ten minutes straight.

It felt pretty good.

Despite the upward trajectory, London ended up being disappointing. Of course, we didn’t go into the event expecting to win it or anything, but all of us felt like we had a point to prove. We just wanted to make some noise.

As it happened, we didn’t do much of anything. NRG were fantastic, but we didn’t do much of anything against them, we struggled against Tainted Minds, and got obliterated by Chiefs.

The only positive memory I have of London is the crowd going nuts every time we did anything good. I don’t really get influenced by the crowd when I’m focused on the game, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice that love in London.

After London, we got the news that Envy wanted to relocate to the U.S. It wasn’t great, because we really enjoyed playing for them, but the silver lining was that the team had the chance to stay together. Although, in the end, we made a roster change anyway.

Deevo had lost a lot of motivation to play after the disappointing Worlds, and Metsanauris had become available from Complexity. It made sense as a like-for-like replacement.

The loss of Envy as a sponsor meant that Season 6 RLCS and Worlds held a lot more importance. The team had to impress and earn the attention of the big organizations looking to invest in Rocket League. Qualifying for Worlds again was the first step, and we nailed it.

At the tournament itself, that pressure to impress gave us a little boost. Performing better than we had in London was vital, and placing as high as possible was the goal.

Third place was a fantastic result. At the time it was actually slightly disappinting, because it felt as though we could have done more and the trophy was almost within reach, but falling to Team Dignitas and Cloud9 holds no shame. Besides, it turned out we wouldn’t have to wait long for our chance to lift a trophy.

Winning ELEAGUE is still to this day the greatest moment of my life.

We went into that tournament as unsigned underdogs. I think the entire analyst desk voted against us throughout our run in the playoffs. I have to say, it felt fantastic to prove them wrong, and to get revenge against Cloud9.

That’s what got the attention of TSM, one of the biggest organisations in esports.

Signing with them was definitely worth the wait. During our time without a sponsor, we had some offers, and we could have rushed into an okay deal, but we knew we could join someone big. TSM was even bigger than we could have imagined, though.

Once we actually signed, our results were – to put it simply – heartbreaking.

It was bad enough constantly getting eliminated on day one of tournaments, but not making Worlds was gut-wrenching. Personally, I lost a lot of confidence in myself, and I think as a team we all lost a little bit of faith in each other. That’s a tough situation to recover from.

We had a brief reprieve with a 2nd place finish at Dreamhack Dallas, and I thought perhaps that it would re-light the fire within the team, but when we bombed out of Dreamhack Valencia shortly after, I knew that my time with TSM was coming to an end.

After a move to Triple Trouble fell through, it dawned on me that I’d have to qualify for RLRS with a new team. I went from the top, straight back down to the bottom. It was easily the toughest period of my career. At times, I even considered just packing it all in and retiring from competitive play.

To give it a final shot, I formed “Fadeaway” with Tigreee and Extra. Although there was still a lot of self-doubt, I knew that the team had talent. Qualifying for RLRS wasn’t too difficult, and getting that small win was a start to restoring my confidence.

We’d heard a lot of good things about AS Monaco from players, agents, and coaches, so when they approached us it was a no-brainer to accept their offer. We liked what they had to say, and it felt like a good fit for us.

Despite making it to the RLRS at the first attempt, I genuinely didn’t expect to make it back into RLCS so quickly. It was an amazing feeling, obviously, but also kind of surreal. I felt redeemed. All of my doubt and fears had been crushed, and my confidence came flooding back.

The bootcamp in Monaco was fantastic for us. Being able to spend real time with your teammates is so often undervalued. It builds up chemistry like nothing else, and that chemistry was a huge part of our promotion run. I can’t begin to thank AS Monaco enough for their belief in us, and support of us.

They know that this team has talent. They know that we all individually have talent. We have the same goals, from players to management. Every one of us wants to be the undisputed best player and best team in the game. I know I won’t stop until I get there.

Yes, I have an ELEAGUE title to my name. I have a few season in RLCS and some appearances at Worlds, but to me, that’s just “decent”. It’s not “incredible”, it’s not a list of achievements that the best player in the game would have.

So until I have that list, it’s time to get back to it.

Photo Credit: AS Monaco, Gfinity, ELEAGUE

Ben Hurst assisted with the creation of this article.

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