Fateful encounter with the game, Rocket League
ーーーThat’s quite the fateful encounter. Arguably, Rocket League isn’t really a mainstream game compared to, let’s say, CS:GO, League of Legends, or Overwatch. How did you end up knowing about Rocket League?
Yuhi Back then, I had a couple of friends who played games together with me.
Those friends had the tendency to switch games every so often because they’d get tired of playing one game really quickly.
Eventually, we switched around until we ended up playing a game called Rocket League.
At first, I was like, “uhh a game where you play soccer as cars?” I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to play it. It didn’t catch my interest at all. However, it was once I started playing the game itself I began to appreciate the fun it brought.
My friends eventually got tired of playing, but I stayed behind and kept on.
This all happened during the time I began job hunting. I wasn’t interested in such activities so I figured that I’d just play this game and make something out of it.
Up until that point, I never really told my real feelings to my parents, especially my father. That time I was determined to tell him how I felt about my future and Rocket League.
I really liked Rocket League.
I wanted to play the game as a profession.
Playing Rocket League was the only thing I could proudly say I was confident and proficient at doing.
My parents were actually intrigued and slowly started to support me.
ーーーSo you managed to convince your parents! That’s good to hear! From that point on, you life would be revolved around Rocket League.
Yuhi Yes, I played it on a daily basis.
Whenever I played the game, I never really thought it was practice or anything like that.
I simply just played the game.
And through that I developed muscle memory.
That allowed me to play the game purely through feel.
I really revolved my life around that game.
I started to develop lots of confidence and decided to enter local tournaments.
However, on the very first match in the first tournament I ever participated in, I was matched with and defeated by one of the local top teams.
On the other hand, such event made me even more motivated to become better.
”I spent and dedicated so much time into this game, yet I still lost. It simply can’t end here,” is what I thought to myself.
That was when I started to actually “practice and train” instead of just playing.
Soon after, I won my first tournament with a team called TT.
Later on the team would have to reform because 2 members left. It wasn’t a hassle in finding replacements, and I was appointed to become the team leader.
We managed to leave some pretty decent results, but those 2 members couldn’t keep up with the team activities and schedule, so they left, which also resulted in the team disbanding.
After that, I wasn’t sure what to do next. It was until then a major tournament, Red Bull 5G announced that I was going to be held soon.
ーーーEven until now, people in the company still know me as the person who did the cool pose during Red Bull 5G onstage.
Yuhi Honestly, I’m someone who is shy of playing in front of crowds.
I did eventually get used to it.
I managed to win my way through the online qualifiers and proceeded to enter the offline qualifiers. I can recall that I saw many familiar and famous gamers back during the offline qualifiers.
I got matched with the best team in Asia, but managed to actually win. As a result, I could hear many people around me spreading the news about my win.
From that point on, I had mixed feelings of confidence and nervousness.
I went on to play in the finals where it would be a best of three for 1st place.
I managed to take the first game by scoring a goal with less than one second left in the clock, but on the second game my strategy was countered.
On the final game, I managed to clutch again with a match-deciding goal.
You could say that right at that moment has been the highlight of my life.
And from then on, I felt that I will be playing Rocket League for the rest of my life.
The Never Ending Spirit
ーーーI certainly did hear about the crowd getting all hyped up. In reality, behind all the success you’ve faced, has there been any hardships that you would like to share?
Yuhi I do, and a lot of them as well.
The most notable hardship that I’ve faced so far is facing the world champion for Rocket League. I lost my matches against him despite being in an advantageous position the whole time.
Playing from Japan basically means that players here are limited to getting matched with the local people to prevent latency issues. Before then, I never really played against people from Europe.
Whenever someone from overseas has to play in a server far away from them like Japan, the latency issues cause the game to become unplayable.
Despite that, the european managed to overcome such disadvantage and still win against me.
In the beginning, I was like, “hey, looks like this guy has a bad network. This should be an easy win!” I was completely proven wrong.
Moreover, the score was 10 to nothing.
I didn’t score a single point.
I felt lots of regret and disappointment.
At the same time, one of my teammates also told me that he wanted to quit playing.
It didn’t really affect me though. I kept on.
That’s right. I will keep on. I was determined to do so.
Later on I learned from someone that the european champion I faced was actually in the audience for Red Bull 5G.
Apparently, one of the extra rewards from getting 1st place in Red Bull 5G held in Europe were tickets to watch Red Bull 5G in Japan.
I had the opportunity to talk with him.
He happened to be the person I’ve always looked up to. He was a huge inspiration to me. Both of us were champions for our respective countries and having the chance to casually talk about everything was the best feeling ever.
Then on, I decided to develop the community by organizing tournaments and providing game commentary.
All because I love Rocket League.
ーーーHave you ever thought of quitting the game?
Yuhi No, not at all.
I love it.
All the hardships and obstacles, they mean nothing compared to how much I love this game.
（To be continued）