There and Back Again

I joined my first Rocket League team whilst I was still playing on PS4.

I was put into a solo standard match with a number of high-level players and ended up winning. I added Sub’n – one of my teammates in that game – on Steam since I knew I’d be moving over to PC somewhat soon. He let me know that he liked the way I played and that he was interested in helping me become a better player. Once I moved to PC, I joined Sub’n’s team for Season 2 of the RLCS.

We were there to just have some fun and to see how far we could go. In my first qualifier, I was actually only two matches off of RLCS. It was a fluke, but the following season, when I was in a similar situation, the feeling was that of disappointment.

We played well against most of the teams that were projected to make RLCS and it felt like a large chunk of time was lost.

The following season I became a part of the Hollywood Hammers. Signing with an organisation was amazing. It came with a salary and the chance to Bootcamp in California, both things that I had for the first time ever.

Meeting your team in person for the first time is quite surreal. Especially players that I looked up to like Darkfire and Vince, both of whom had much more experience than me. It was like a dream for me. But soon, that dream would fade away.

A few weeks before the RLCS qualifiers, the team put me on the bench. It wasn’t a great feeling, but it felt even worse to watch from the sidelines as they failed to qualify.

Following a brief, but unsuccessful, tryout with Splyce, I decided to sub for G2 for a season. My main reason was that I was attempting to get into a difficult major at school and wanted to put more focus into that process before taking Rocket League seriously again.

A season on the sidelines wasn’t ideal, but it worked out for me in the end. After leaving G2, I knew it was time to find a team where I’d be on the main roster. That came in the form of “Bread” with AxB and Sypical.

We made RLRS comfortably before a loss to The Peeps hampered our chances of making it to the Promotion Tournament. We felt that this result would ruin our chances, but fortunately, The Peeps lost another two series and we were able to win the rest of ours and qualify.

I wasn’t expecting to make it into RLCS, at all. In the promotion tournament we were up against Rogue, and even in the last game when we were in the lead, it just felt like we would concede or something would go wrong.

But it didn’t. We won. None of us could believe it, but we were in the RLCS.

The offseason following on from our promotion was a strong one. We had one hell of a tournament in Leipzig and shortly before RLCS, we joined Spacestation Gaming.

There was another offer that we turned down because it would have required us to move somewhere, so initially we went into the season thinking that we wouldn’t be signed. It was a surprise when Spacestation hit us up.

We started to repay their faith with a good start to League Play, but as the season went on the results started to turn.

When things start going wrong it can start a chain reaction. Scrims were going badly, tension started to develop in the team, and we slid down to fifth place in the regional championship. We felt we could do better, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

Although we missed out on the World Championships, I was still fully expecting the team to stick together. Unfortunately, that didn’t end up being the case.

After a poor showing at DreamHack Dallas, I was told by my teammates that I wouldn’t be on the roster moving forward. Moved to the bench once again.

It was tough to realize that I’d be saying goodbye to the RLCS after just one season there. I’d have to find another team and qualify all over again. Maybe I’d never even get back there. At the time, I had no way of knowing.

I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep playing, to be honest.

I tried out with Shock and a number of other players, and despite being offered a spot on an RLRS team, he still wanted to team up with Dappur and I. Even though I still wasn’t sure about whether I even wanted to play, I reluctantly agreed to join the team and give it another go.

We made RLRS with ease and before long we were just one series away from the RLCS once again. But this time was different. With Bread, we weren’t 100% sure that we were going up. This time, we knew the entire week that we would be in the RLCS. We did our homework and prepared immensely.

Even when we went down in the series, our confidence remained and we knew that we were the better team. I was back in the RLCS just one season after being booted out.

We joined Soniqs during the subsequent offseason. Although we were forced to turn down the chance to move together back on Bread after some deliberating this time around I was ready to treat Rocket League as a full-time job.

I didn’t want to just float around in the RLCS whilst balancing my university course, and I didn’t want to let my teammates down. We play out of a facility, separating our workplace and our homes, enabling us to be in the right mindset when we need to be.

If I had to describe my career in one word, I’d go for extensive. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs throughout my career, but at the end of the day, I’m still here.

Rocket League motivates me like nothing else, and I’m always trying to take it to the next level.

Photo Credit: Zeebo, Soniqs, Dreamhack

Ben Hurst assisted in the creation of this article

Start the discussion

to comment