An Unlikely Journey

I started playing Rocket League back when it was free on the Playstation Store.

A bunch of friends and I got hooked almost immediately, playing nearly every evening. As is always the case, one-by-one they eventually stopped playing, but not me. I was hooked.

It’s not what I expected to happen, but by May 2018 I was Grand Champion, and I knew immediately that I wanted to try and go pro.

My first experience in the competitive scene wasn’t exactly perfect. I did get picked up by an organisation, but they weren’t the most supportive group. We actually got some decent results as a team, but after a planned Bootcamp fell through, it ended up coming to an abrupt end.

The following season was the first time that I teamed up with RelatingWave. It wasn’t plain-sailing at the start and we had some internal issues, but our in-game performances were extremely promising.

We even started thinking about a potential run in the RLRS qualifiers. We got given a pretty high seeding going into it, but when it came time to perform, we didn’t do ourselves justice. Two defeats and the run was over. The team ended too, shortly after.

My first big win in Rocket League came in quite surprising circumstances, actually. I filled in for a French team at an online event and, even though we could barely communicate, ended up winning the whole thing. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it felt good to win something.

Breezi, Shakharon, and I put together a lineup after my little win, but again, results just weren’t quite there. We made it into the Sogeti Esports Series in France, but Shakharon couldn’t go to the LAN. He was the main reason we’d got that far after his performance in qualifying, so without him we were concerned.

We brought Calix along, and although we did underperform, still managed to make it to the Grand Final. Very quickly, Nordavind took control of the series. At 0-3 in the series, I imagine everyone thought it was over.

But sometimes, miracles happen. At the end of the fourth game, we somehow managed to get two goals in eight seconds. It changed the dynamic of the series entirely, and as you can probably guess, we pulled off the reverse sweep.

It was an incredible LAN to win, and it makes me appreciate the events that allow players who are at that stage of their career to compete. Players who aren’t in RLCS and RLRS need somewhere to prove themselves.

Success there earned me a shot at Dreamhack Valencia with Servette. I was just a stand-in, but it was still a dream come true to compete at such a big event. I got to play against legends of the game. NRG, a team I looked up to for years. What an experience.

Prior to season eight, I had been trying out with a few teams, but nothing worked out. With two weeks left before the qualifiers, I turned to my old teammate, RelatingWave.

He was in the process of putting a team together, and although I didn’t have much faith in making it to RLRS, it became a question of that or nothing. So I joined.

Once again, I apparently surprised myself. With a high seed and good performances we made it through to the RLRS fairly comfortably in the end. But the good news didn’t stop there.

Initially, our only target was to maintain our spot in RLRS. Don’t get relegated, don’t worry too much about trying to get into the RLCS promotion tournament. Just hold our spot.

Our confidence was hit with defeats against AS Monaco and Flomp Resont, but apart from that, our form in the regular season was outstanding. First place in League play. TWO chances to secure promotion to the RLCS!

And then, against Singularity, it happened.

After six games of Rocket League, the job was done. We became an RLCS team.

I didn’t even think I would be playing in RLRS that season, but now I had to prepare for life in the big leagues.

Again, my expectations for this season have not been set too high. I know I am now in the habit of exceeding them, but this is a much tougher environment. I’d like to see us challenge for the top six and qualify for the regional championship, but finishing 7th and keeping our spot would be fine.

I’m not from the richest family in the world, and I want to support them as much as I can through the money that I earn from Rocket League. That’s why I want to make it as far as I can, and that’s why I want to ensure that we keep our spot in the RLCS.

They gave me a lot of support in my journey here, and now I’m going to pay it back to them.

And if it does fall apart, and I lose my spot in this league, then I will just have to fight my way back there. It’s all I can do to make sure that I reach my goals.

It’s worked out so far.

Photo Credit: Zeebo, Sogeti

Ben Hurst assisted with the creation of this article.

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